This month I got to go to NYC twice and love every minute of it! For my first trip I popped up for a few jewelry meetings and a fun jewelry show in NJ. My second trip was with Coco and I have a blog post coming soon with all my kid tips for NYC!
My first meeting was at 10am & I had a few minutes to spare so I popped by Bryant Park to get a little injection of the holidays. One of my favorite things about NY during the this time is going to all the Holiday Markets. Lots of artists, small businesses, and creatives set up booths & it's so fun to pop in and out.
A list of my favorite NYC Holiday Markets:
Bryant Park Winter Village - Ice skating, food, cocktails, artists, very festive and fun to see at night.
Union Square Holiday Market - This one is my favorite place to buy gifts. Usually over 200 vendors and lots are NYC local.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market - lasts only one week & near Central Park and Museum of Arts.
Brooklyn Borough Hall - Haven't been here yet but I hear it's cool. It's supposed to be more like an urban space with Brooklyn Based artists & lots of one-of-a-kind pieces.
Most of my meetings are in an area of NY called the Garment District. It's a hub for anyone who is interested in design & this is where you would find fabrics, stones, findings, trimming, beads, etc... It's between 34th & 40th streets and goes from Broadway to 9th Ave. Lots of these places are not on the street level so when you are walking, it's hard to get a full sense of everything. Most of the places also require a tax ID or business license, but there are a handful of places that you can shop if you are interested in designing or creating something. You'll see lots of interns from designers running around looking for a specific button, sequin, or thread. I was in a store yesterday and met a girl who interns for Diane Von Furstenberg & she was on a mission to find a specific color ribbon for a piece of clothing they are making. She had a sample of the color in her hand and needed to match it perfectly. I started learning about the Fashion District in high school when I started making jewelry & belts for friends. The area became popular with Project Runway ...especially the fabric store @moodfabrics!
Sadly, it's totally different now due to Covid. Rent prices are high and there wasn't any foot traffic so lots of these businesses couldn't survive. Several of the places I work with don't have an online presence & they had to leave the city. I've been able to keep in touch with several of these businesses and I usually order by seeing everything on facetime or receiving samples in the mail. These businesses have set up locations outside of the city but don't have open storefronts. A few stayed and some moved back but it's a different vibe. I still love it but you just need to hunt a little harder for what you are looking for!!
One of my stone vendors moved out of the city when Covid hit, so now we do lots of FaceTime. I typically choose stones & then receive samples. After I approve the samples, we will FaceTime again and I'll order each strand. The stones typically come on 15.5" strands and then I cut open the strands and rewire them, make patterns, etc... It's so much easier to see everything in person but this still works! It just gets challenging when there are like 25 different shades of blue. After I choose stones, I'll make decisions....if I would I like the stones to be smooth or faceted or should we have color variations or veins throughout the stone or how big the hole needs to be in the center. For stretch cord, I need a larger hole size in the stone because the cord is thicker....
I had an hour in between meetings yesterday and shot down to Chelsea Market for sushi. My favorite sushi is inside @chelseamarketny at a place called The Lobster Place. It looks like a fish market but there is a sushi bar in the center and the sushi is delish, fast and so fresh! Chelsea Market is also a fun place to walk around with tons of cool shops and eateries. There is also always a Sample Sale going happening inside. Warning..the market gets packed during lunchtime!!!
This is the inside of Chelsea Market - it's really cool. Another little tidbit is that a handful of the shows on the Food Network are filmed on the floors above Chelsea Market....Chopped & Iron Chef are filmed here. To avoid the lunch crowd, you can also come here for a late breakfast (@friedmansnyc is great) and if it's a nice day, take a walk on the highline after breakfast. The highline is essentially an elevated park that runs 1.45 miles above the city! The views are fantastic & you'll also find art installations, gardens, food/drink vendors, benches, and pop-ups.
My meetings all ended around 3 and I had a jewelry show in Montclair, NJ. I took an Uber to Montclair & checked into the cutest hotel! The George Montclair, Bobbi Brown is from Montclair and she opened this boutique hotel. And of course I forgot to take photos from the jewelry show... but I loved meeting so many new friends!!! Also, we love to travel for shows! If any of you would be interested in hosting a show (local or in a different city) please let me know! You receive lots of free jewelry and it's pretty much like hosting a party with your friends at your house but jewelry is there too! Feel free to DM me or email me: Erin@erinmcdermott.com
That's it for now... stay tuned for my Kids in NYC post!