Items range from $3 to $50, with both $5 and $10 racks a mainstay.
Admittedly, I hadn’t really paid Graham its much-deserved attention until my friend Kate Goldwater opened a second location of her store, AuH20 Thriftique, there in mid-October (Au = gold and H20 = water, you get it). Visiting the street and store for the first time, though, piqued my interest. Why had Kate decided, after her first location’s years-long residency in the pricey East Village, to try things out on Graham Avenue?
“I’ve always been very inspired by the style of Williamsburg,” she said. “Even when stocking the East Village store I’m always thinking, you know, would somebody wear this in the Lower East Side, would somebody wear this is the East Village, would somebody wear this in Williamsburg?” Kate lives in the hood herself and hopes to provide stylish locals with the quirky items they’re looking for in the store.
Her first location opened in 2006, and sold both secondhand and handmade clothing and jewelry. These days she stocks carefully selected secondhand and vintage items ranging from recent Urban Outfitters finds to ‘70s jewelry to a heavy focus on early ‘90s vintage (“wearable vintage,” she calls it, joking that her job “is cutting shoulder pads”).
Beyond style, though, it seems that Graham Ave. dwellers fit the clientele bill even more than those living in the EV. “If you’re living over here you want to be able to find things for $25 and under,” she says, explaining that the area hosts a lot of students and people just out of school. One of Kate’s missions in the business is to make fashion accessible. Items range from $3 to $50, with both $5 and $10 racks a mainstay. The other goal is to keep things eco-friendly. Buying a secondhand or vintage piece is, ultimately, recycling.
I’m sure you’re wondering, as I was, how things went her first week. “Everyone’s been very welcoming,” she says. There is, apparently, a weekly happy hour with with other merchants on the street, locals have been stopping in to say hello and a solid stream of customers have come in to check out the store. Which for Kate means a home well found. And for me means another reason to drop by and check out exactly what I’ve been missing.