Archive for the ‘Discussion’ Category

This Built America- Episode 5: Brooklyn Industries

Friday, April 25th, 2014

This Built America and AOL highlights Brooklyn Industries as the featured New York company in their 50 state series on companies that are helping to build the manufacturing industry in the United States.

View the entire episode on Brooklyn Industries here.

How to Quit Your Job in Style

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Marina in the Alma Sheer Utility Buttondown and Skip Tweed Skirt

For Marina Shifrin, living in Taiwan and working long hours at a video company was going alright, but the create part was fundamentally lacking in her work environment. Shifrin decided to record and upload a video of her quitting to YouTube, and the rest is viral internet history. We saw the video the day after, loved it, and soon found out that she had written about our Live, Work, Create motto earlier. We also learned that because she had to rush on the plane for television interviews in New York, she didn’t have time to pack a lot of clothes. We turned to Twitter to offer her an outfit, and asked her some questions about her sudden internet fame.

What’s it like to be viral?

It’s completely bizarre, exciting and scary. I’ve wanted to be a creative writer (in any capacity) for a long time and now I am thrilled there are people following my blog and reading my writing but it also increases the pressure to put out good stuff. I am still a novice compared to other great writers and comedians out there but, HEY! you gotta start somewhere?

When this all dies down a bit, what’s next for you?

I want to go hard at stand up. I want to get a solid set ready and perform as much as possible. Also it’d be really cool to create a long-form piece of writing whether it be a movie, book or pilot.

Tell us how the “Live, Work, Create” sticker entered into the picture? 

Actually, it’s quite funny. When I moved to New York I decided to start a blog so my parents and friends could keep up with my shenanigans if they wanted. The first post I ever wrote was a letter to my parents where I was whining about being a New York novice. I told them the story of how one day I was debating on whether or not I should stay in Brooklyn or move back to Chicago when I saw a “Live. Work. Create.” sticker. This is so silly, but I thought it was a sign for why I was in New York.

The Pixel Trade – Live, Work, Create, and Barter

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013


When we first heard of what Australian Shantanu Starick, a.k.a. The Pixel Trade was doing (traveling the world on zero dollars, bartering food, housing, and transportation for photography), we immediately jumped on the opportunity, then kicked ourselves in the ass for not thinking of this ingenious way to travel. The next thing we had to consider was what we had to barter with. We offered him food and one of our outerwear pieces since it was December in New York, but outside of material goods, we thought we’d share with him one of the greatest things about living in Brooklyn – the chance to spend a lazy Saturday in Brooklyn with two of our designers.



We started our day at Allswell in Williamsburg for a leisurely brunch, then wandered the neighborhood. While we weren’t sure if he’d find Williamsburg interesting enough to shoot, Shantanu assured us that no matter how normal your place of living seemed to you, people halfway around the world are always absolutely intrigued by it. His adventurous spirit led us to somewhere we never thought to go before in our own neighborhood – underneath the old Domino Sugar Factory. After a stop off at our headquarters in Dumbo to show him the design studio, we cleaned up and brought him to our company’s holiday party in a Boerum Place apartment. With a warm coat, neighborhood experience, and a full belly, we sat down to ask the intrepid photographer a few questions about his project.

What was your original inspiration for this idea?

I guess everyone comes to a crossroad in their life, pick ‘this’ or pick ‘that’. I chose to pick ‘that’, which was completely focusing on photography. Shortly after I chose this I had many people expressing their concern about choosing one path and the risk of money it had. This is when PART of the idea originated, to fight against what people thought to be of absolute value.


What’s the biggest difference between working through barter rather than financial transactions?

The biggest difference with bartering is the relationship you have with ‘clients’. Money can stress people out so when you remove it the work setting becomes relaxed and experimental in a way, this is a lot more like working with friends. So it changes the whole work dynamic to something where everyone involved is relaxed and not concerned with their watches indicating one hour longer and who was paying for that hour.

What’s the most interesting barter you’ve done so far?

Brooklyn Industries of course! Ha! To choose the most interesting trade is not possible. Every single trade has added something pretty amazing to this whole project, I know that sounds corny but it’s the simple truth.

There was a particularly interesting time in New York City when I was trading with about 3 different companies at once and I realized all the necessities were covered for an entire week and that I could sit back after the trades were finished and just enjoy what I had with no involvement of money. I chose however to continue trading because I didn’t want to miss a good subject.


Are you really traveling strictly through barter? What do you do when you need to buy something like a $3 pack of Ex Lax?

Absolutely. If I broke it even once, for the smallest things, I wouldn’t feel like I really accomplished the project to perfection. What this frame of mind does is really makes you realize what you NEED compared to what you WANT. I’ve got everything I need. As for Ex Lax, it’s not a need or a want. But if I want a tube of toothpaste I’ll ask the trade if it can be included in our exchange. In fact I have a full tube sitting next to me right now because my current trade just got me one.


To view all of Pixel Trades so far by Shantanu Starick (pictured below), visit his travel log here.


The Brooklyn Dérive – A Texan Falls Back in Love With the Wander

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Our graphic designer, Teddy shares some thoughts about living in Brooklyn…

As a new Brooklynite, one of the things I find most charming about living here is getting lost in Brooklyn – not the metaphorical gesture – like getting “lost in love”, but literally getting lost. Having no idea where you are. On the second night of my arrival here a year and a half ago, after a few drinks with friends, I ended up getting separated from them in the middle of Brooklyn. On top of that, my contact lenses had dried up and fallen out and my phone had died, so there I was – second night in an unfamiliar city, completely lost and halfway blind on top of that. For some reason though, I felt a great sense of ease.

In the 1940s, The Situationist International, a loose group of Parisian revolutionaries, artists, and poets coined the term dérive to describe an unplanned wander through the streets of Paris. Their goal was not to end up at any particular destination, but to create experiences. They used the feelings of neighborhoods and streets to design their own psychogeography. They even drew up maps of their (sometimes vin-soaked) wanderings. This is what one of their maps looked like:

In Manhattan, it’s exceedingly easy to not get lost. Gridded streets and extreme vertical cues easily guide you directly to your intended destination. In Brooklyn though, it’s far easier to curve down the streets into a quiet alley full of interesting shops, or through multiple ethnic enclaves. I love passing by out of the way artist studios and talking to strangers that I would never normally pass going from A to B. In Manhattan, every inch is staked. In Brooklyn, there is space to get lost. In that sense, Brooklyn is not that different from Texas.

Looking lost in the Ellis Peacoat