Friday Close-Up: Still Hip Brooklyn

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Part boutique, part playspot, part parental therapy zone, Still Hip is a Brooklyn Institution. Let's start with what owners Marcie and Gabby do best--giving second life to outgrown fashions. The ladies collect the best maternity clothes and children's togs (sizes 0-8) from their clients. Parents get a credit (about 25%-45% of the price the item will sell for) to shop in store.

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The owners have a knack for mixing essentials and items that are quirky and special. In addition to the great discounts and deals, the space is a haven for the little ones in the community. Classes and events range from music to art for tots and CPR for adults. And they love throwing parties! Whether it is a neighborhood fest (The Block Party is planned for Sept. 19th ) or planning and orchestrating blow-out kids parties in their space (Parties are 2 hours long rates start at $125--fun extras, such as face painting and crafts will add to the cost) the folks at Still Hip thrive on making families happy.Here's what co-owner Gabby had to say about her business:

Why did you launch this business?
I wanted to combine all of the things I love and what better way than a child friendly shop that's dedicated to saving the earth by reducing, reusing and recycling! After I had my kids another local mom and I were chatting and we decided that since we both had such similar energy and similar ideas we should start a business. We wanted a place that our kids would feel comfortable and a place we would feel really good about what we were doing. From that we created Still Hip!

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What are the brands that get snatched up immediately?
That is such an easy one! :) Tea Collection, Zutano, Ralph Lauren and any of the specialty stuff like Appaman tees and BabyLegs. As far as maternity the hottest brands are by far Mimi Maternity, Cadeau and Seven for all Man Kind.

Other than great trendy clothes what goes on at StillHip?
We have a great play area where we host classes, workshops, mixers and parties! Classes include: Private Picassos, silk screening with Cecile and Claudia Pearson Art for your artsy toddler; Let's Dance Brooklyn to get your tots moving, and plenty of music classes; including Music for Aardvarks, Musica Para Mi and RoliePolie Guacamole. For mom we've got babywearing and cloth diapering workshops. If you are on the search for the perfect school we've brought in Joyce Szuflita to share her knowledge of the school process. We also host monthly events like the Still Hip Mixer, a networking event connecting local parents and the community at large. Be on the lookout for our monthly small business workshops with topics like writing a business plan or organizing your home office.

What you love about your job?
So many things! I love my regular customers who come in and hang out with me. I love the kids that run in and give me hugs and tell everyone that they 'work' at Still Hip. I love the community people feel at the store. I love that my kids sometimes want to chill at the store rather than go to the playground.

Favorite places for an NYC "staycation" (i.e. where do you take the kids locally to keep them entertained)?
We love to spend an afternoon at Pratt looking at the sculptures and picnicking. PS1 is definitely another one of my kids favorites. They also love the 5 Pointz artist studios across the street from PS1, with all it's incredible graffiti. Of course hanging out in the sprinkler at Underwood Playground is a great little day trip anytime.

What do you love about your NYC neighborhood?
I grew up in Park Slope in the 70s and 80s and Clinton Hill reminds me so much of my childhood. It is like a small town. I walk down the street and everyone says hello. Most of the business are owned by local people. Everyone is involved in the local schools, even if their kids don't go to school in the neighborhood. There are so many creative people and art everywhere. Clinton Hill is the best!

How's the recession playing into your business?
It is
n't easy! You might think people would turn to a resale shop for the lower prices but our main obstacle is giving more store credit than people are actually spending in the store. Most of our inventory is gotten with store credit, but if there is no one to buy it, we don't make any profit. Another big part of our income is through classes. Since the recession, fewer people are signing up for classes, so we are loosing there too. I am hoping that with the fall coming and all the fun back to school stuff, like our fall bag sale on Sunday, August 30th, we'll see a big increase in business!

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283 Grand Avenue
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
Sunday + Monday 11-5 | Tuesday + Wednesday 10-5 | Thursday + Friday + Saturday 10-6

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