To properly experience Brooklyn-based designer Caitlin Mociun's new Williamsburg store is to take a moment to explore each of the unusual clusters of objects that adorn the display tables, window sills and floor areas. Mociun wants you to peer into the ceramic bowls, to reach under the tables and display cases, and to lift up the vintage Moroccan rugs.
"In a retail store, you're supposed to act like a grown up, and there's a certain way that one behaves in a retail environment, and it's not like having people reach under a piece of furniture and crouch on the ground and maybe dig through things," says Mociun, who is best known for her elegant jewelry lines and Bauhaus-inspired clothing and textiles. "I'm hoping to give people an experience that is more fun, and have them discover something in a different way."
Mociun also hopes her eclectic arrangements encourage customers to consider different uses for the objects in her store."It's about getting people to see functional pieces as art objects, to not just be like, 'Oh, this is a cup,'" she says. "It's like, 'This is a cup, but you can also put it on a table and it also can be this beautiful thing that acts as a piece of art.'"
Included in Mociun's unique collection of products are colorful coasters by Chen Chen and Kai Williams; bulbous stitched baskets and bags by Doug Johnston; assorted ceramic pieces by Blue Eagle Pottery, Eric Bonnin and Shino Takeda; knotted rope bracelets and necklaces by Wing Yau; leather Baggu bags, pouches, and keychains in black and neon; geometric jewelry by Samma; soap by Saipua; and a variety of beautiful objects by Iacoli and McAllister. The store's centerpiece is, certainly, Mociun's delicate rings, necklaces and bracelets, featured in two glass display cases.
Mociun began to see opening a retail store as a possibility after running her own pop-up shop in downtown Brooklyn in May 2011. The shop, which opened this past March, is located on the corner of brand new building on Wythe Avenue, a burgeoning shopping destination for design lovers, with Baggu Summer Shop and Pilgrim Surf + Supply just around the corner. "It's just a really nice Brooklyn community of stores that actually support each other instead of compete with each other," Mociun says.
Mociun, who receives new merchandise every week, continues to tweak the store's product lines. She plans to streamline the ceramic collections the store carries, add some jewelry lines, and introduce a line of shoes. As the store's products change, Mociun also plans to adjust the store's layout, moving the modular furniture around in an effort to give customers a new shopping experience. "I kind of think of the whole space as an installation," she says.
Mociun is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 8pm.