Toni Hacker and Ben Harnett like to say they started their company on April Fool’s Day, 2005 as a joke. But what began as a small handbag company run from their kitchen table has now become the booming Brooklyn-based brand, Hayden-Harnett (Hacker-Harnett sounded too much like a law firm to them). Along with their storefront in Greenpoint, the partners — in business and love — opened a Nolita boutique last month, and recently collaborated on a line with Target. We covet their luxe leather handbags (with pretty patterned linings and compartments designed especially for mobile gadgets — perfect for city dwellers) and brightly printed frocks, and love that they’ve embraced Twitter, often alerting us to great deals like their current sample sale for followers only. Since we’re such admirers of the creative couple’s designs (and their fab loft, featured on Design*Sponge), we asked Toni for her five favorite spots in BK.
1) Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Amazing in the summer and fall. Always super-inspiring and relaxing. Love the Japanese pond for quiet contemplation. The roses are phenomenal and April is cherry blossom viewing season. 1000 Washington Avenue (between Crown and Montgomery Streets), 718.623.7200
2) Robin Des Bois/Sherwood Cafe: My favorite restaurant in Brooklyn. The interior looks like the inside of my head exactly. The food is delicious and the drinks divine. Go for brunch with friends in the summer and sit in the back garden. 195 Smith Street (between Baltic and Warren Streets), 718.596.1609
3) BAM Rose Cinemas: A great getaway for unique and independent film and entertainment. Ben and I are huge cinemaphiles. 30 Lafayette Avenue (between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street), 718.623.2770
4) Five Leaves: Delicious dining in a quaint, non-stuffy sort of nautical setting. Perfect for cozy, romantic dinners that are sure to impress. The service is great. 18 Bedford Avenue (between N. 12th Street and Lorimer Street), 718.383.5345
5) The Coney Island Boardwalk: A total slice of history and easy to get to on the train. The sea view is magnificent and so is the people watching.
BB Link: The Affordable, Sustainable Reno of Your Dreams? A slower season for contractors means that new kitchen or revamped office will cost less, and Eric Safyan’s architectural and design services can help you make small changes that add up. es–architect.com