Karin Persan in her soon-to-open shop, Better Than Jam, which will sell handmade fashion and accessories on Flushing Avenue. — Photo by Sarah Pappalardo
There’s a lot of handmade fashion in Bushwick. Now, there’s a new co-op boutique to sell it.
“I just want to help out my friends,” said Karin Persan, owner of Better Than Jam Handmade Co-Op, opening at The Loom on February 1st. With 13 designers of clothing, t-shirts, jewelry, and hats, Karin is using her sunny storefront space as a way to promote her friends’ work as well as her own designs.
Persan began selling her silk-screened clothing and accessories on handmade-products website Etsy, for which she then became a street team coordinator. Only a few months ago, she decided to open up the shop at 1095 Flushing Avenue.
“I had no intention of opening a store… but everything fell into place, and then I thought, ‘well, what else am I gonna do?’” said Persan. “This just seemed right.”
Persan and a handful of local Bushwick designers were already sending their work to boutiques and markets around the city, but there was no venue for them to promote their work in their own neighborhood. As the first handmade clothing and accessories boutique in Bushwick, the venue will offer more than just designer threads; Better Than Jam will host workshops and events for the creative community in the neighborhood. Persan lives and rents a studio space in Bushwick, and is excited to engage her neighbors in this space.
“I basically work for [the designers], and help them get their stuff out there,” she said. “I’ve done the same thing for a long time, putting my stuff in boutiques, and I know how much they work. So this is really for them.”
Better Than Jam will be hosting an opening party on Friday, February 5, from 7-10pm. The store will open officially on February 1st.