Our Store Spotlight this week takes us to Catbird in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Since 2004, owner Rony Vardi “and her amazing technicolor dream team” have been hunting down the best of the “eclectic…glamour, strangeness, and sparkle.” If that’s not enough to make you wanna jump on the L and head over to the ‘Burg, then…well…you might be impossible to please, ’cause Catbird is awesome!
Q: Any fun facts about Catbird that we should hear about?
A: Our shop may be smaller than your closet. Also, it used to be a cell phone store…how unglamorous!
Q: Tell us about your neighborhood and why you love it?
A: We fully realize there are many, well-deserved reasons to poke fun of our beloved Williamsburg, but despite that I find it to be such a vibrant and exciting place to be. People take risks here – in the businesses they open as well as the clothes they wear.
Q: When not in your store, where is the next most likely place you’d be?
A: At home with my kiddos.
Q: If there is 1 thing someone “must do” when they visit, what would you recommend?
A: Walk across the Manhattan Bridge. Or eat food from a truck. Or people watch at any of the cafés. Ok, that’s three things.
Q: Whats next for you/your store…. any upcoming sales/events?
A: We don’t ever have sales and our store is too tiny for events! But the blog and website are where we have the most room to expand and we are constantly adding new things and fleshing out new ideas there.
Q: What blogs/magazines do you follow?
A: I’m not very diligent in that respect, and I don’t want to leave out any friends, but I just looked in my history and today I read these blogs: The Selby, Into the Gloss, Cup of Jo, East Side Bride, Oh Happy Day, Dinner: A Love Story and We Could Grow Up Together.
Q: Where do you find all of your products?
A: Well, we make a fair amount ourselves. As for the rest? Everywhere. We stop people on the street, people email us, we trawl the web, we go to markets. Everywhere everywhere everywhere. And everywhere.
Q: What was your inspiration/motivation to open your store?
A: I have always loved coming up with projects and having different aspects to my life. I was at a stage in my life where it made a lot of sense to take a risk. We lived in a (tiny) rent-stabilized apartment in Williamsburg and a store front became available around the corner, where there was not much going on at the time, and I just dove in. It was sort of like, if I don’t do it now, when would I ever do it?
Q: How did you come up with the name Catbird?
A: I have an old Audubon poster called Birds of the Northeast that has a cute little catbird on it. It seemed like a mutable name that I could use no matter what form my shop took, and I knew that the first incarnation would be just that. It’s a word that looked good, graphically, and didn’t pin me down to one thing.