Don’t want to grow up cuz you’re a Toys”R”Us kid? Then this is just the place to score a cap-gun mirror, cupcake seats, and ice cream benches for your $1 million condo.
Tucked away in the far left corner of The Flying Squirrel’s new Greenpoint shop is Jellio, a design company that makes furniture “inspired by fun, childhood memories.” As in, the Lego bench that 45-year-old founder Mario Marsicano was sitting on when we stopped in today. “Jellio was my college nickname,” he said. “I’d rather not say why.”
Marsicano worked in advertising for 12 years, but he always had a thing for vintage toys. “It got to the point where I had rooms and rooms of the stuff,” he said. Instead of hoarding them in their boxes a la Andy Stitzer in The 40 Year-old Virgin, he displayed them in glass cubes that he used as furniture — to “keep those memories that made me smile around all day.”
Friends and family took note of the unique pieces and asked him to craft vintage toy-inspired tables for their homes.
In 2004 Marsicano started a website for Jellio, but it wasn’t until 2008 that the company officially launched and “became a real business.” Then one day he noticed The Flying Squirrel was looking for a retail partner at 87 Oak Street. Next thing you know, a chandelier made from 3,000 gummi bear replicas was hanging from the ceiling.
The $2,400 piece is Jellio’s most labor intensive, since it takes two weeks to string the bears. Any upholstered products, like the ice cream cone barstools, can be had in a week’s time. The polyurethane pieces, such as the cupcake seat, are crafted in Michigan and take three to four weeks to make. All other pieces are made locally.
Jellio also has a design lab at 239 Java Street in Greenpoint, where you can see prototypes like the Banana Bench, Wheelie Table, Construction Desk, Barrel Table and Prize Light. So far, the Cabin Chair (seemingly made from giant Lincoln Logs) is the most popular, and the most likely to go into production.
If you’re looking to grab a Gummi light, now is the time to buy. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday select items will be 50 percent off. But don’t go too crazy… “When I first started,” said Marsicano, “I told people you don’t want to fill your home with Jellio, cause that’d just be weird.”