Bushwick Art & Shipping Inc. just moved into town. Sure, there are already a few stores that sell art supplies in the neighborhood, such as SoHo Art Materials on Gardner (which operates only during short weekday hours), Better Than Jam at the Loom , and Low Brow Artique on Central. But this addition to the wide array of small businesses popping up in the ‘hood is one that was sorely needed. Bushwick Art & Shipping Inc. brings together all of the art supplies that previously were spread out, scarce, or just plain inaccessible all under one roof. With a very convenient location (on Flushing, just steps from the Morgan L stop), this diverse store houses art supplies, a shipping center which is FedEx, USPS, and Postal Service certified, and a vintage boutique, making it a one-stop-shop for many locals. (Fun fact: well-known gallery Factory Fresh was here before closing in 2012.)
Helen Bala, one of the two owners of the store, managed a shipping business in Manhattan until October 2011. She was born and raised in the East Village, which is not surprising, given her energetic personality and true New Yorker tongue. Kenna Kindig, the other co-owner, is from Virginia and received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in fine art. The two were friends and both residents of East Williamsburg/Bushwick who decided to join forces and knowledge to provide a burgeoning neighborhood of local artists what they need.
Helen: You can make copies here, send your regular mail, ship out your artwork, you name it. We have the vintage store in the back too with both thrifted pieces and hand-made pieces.
Kenna: And we’re encouraging people to bring in their artwork! You’ll see above the supplies, a lot of work hung up. Artists can just show it, or put a price on it. We want to get everyone involved.
Helen: We have a courtyard in the back too. We’re pretty open to what it’ll be used for. One neighborhood business wants to have a barbecue and we’re into that. There’s so many options. We have a basement too, and starting in the spring, we’ll be holding classes and workshops in there. Anything artistic. Poetry readings, whatever people want to bring to it.
Bushwick Art & Shipping Inc. is located at 1053 Flushing Avenue, on the corner of Vandevoort. They are open from 10-7pm Monday-Friday, 10-6pm on Saturday, and closed Sunday. They can be reached at 718-386-3355.