Archive for May, 2010


Friday, May 28th, 2010

Our Boston location is kicking off Memorial Day weekend tonight with an art event featuring muralist Kevin “Sensei23″ Sullivan. The event begins at 6 PM at 337 Newbury Street. We spoke to “Sensei23″ earlier this week to learn a little bit about him and what he does.

Name: Sensei23
Occupation: By Day, Mail Clerk – By Night, Artist
Age: 31
Number of years in Boston: Cape Code 18 years, Boston 5 years (Seattle 8 years and counting)

BKI: What type of art do you make?
Sensei23: A lot of my art can be called Urban Contemporary Art, however I like to add in different styles to make it unique. I like working with all media types, currently I am creating paintings on canvas and murals on walls in Seattle, teaming up with Matamuros and Seattle Mural Art (SMA).

BKI: When did you first realize you were an artist?
Sensei23: Around age 5 when I first picked up a crayon. I would color outside of the lines and drew on anything and everything.

BKI: What artists have influenced you, and how?
Sensei23: There are many, but to name a few… Jim Davis with Garfield – as a kid I was drawn to his colorful and bubbly characters. Tex Avery for his off the wall crazy cartoons. Comic book art by Todd McFarland is some of the best line work I have seen. The Graffiti world opened my eyes to creating art with freedom and expression. My latest creations have been influenced by the Japanese scroll artist Kenko Shokei with an urban graffiti touch.

BKI: Can you talk about the art you will be creating at our Boston store?
Sensei23: I have a few ideals rolling around in my head… I guess you’ll just have to stop by and check it out.


Friday, May 28th, 2010

Katie Hodges! Yesterday Katie won the artwork that artist Ennis Martin completed during Bucktown’s 2nd Birthday Party. Katie was excited to win. Brooklyn Industries is one of her favorite stores – she was even wearing the Spectrum Sweater when she came to pickup the painting. At the party, Katie purchased the Coast Printed Dress and a Glass Bead Necklace. When Ennis and she met at the store to get photographed for our blog, she gushed, “It’s going in my bedroom! Does he have a name?” Ennis said “It’s up to you, but I think it’s a girl whale.” And Katie promised to “give her a wonderful name.” Congratulations Katie!


Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Coolspotters spotted it first! Last week Macaulay Culkin paid a visit to our Chelsea location and purchased several t-shirts, including our Be My Neighbor? tee. We originally thought he was possibly making purchases for this lady, but it looks like we were wrong!


Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Last Saturday was our Bucktown Birthday party. We celebrated two years on Milwaukee Ave in Chicago. Special thanks to our BKI staff, Ennis Martin, La Fonda Del Gusto and all of our lovely guests. Here are some photos from the evening.


Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Name: Howard Travis
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Current occupation at BKI: Boston store manager
Creative muses: Bob Ross
Inspirational website:
Best summer activity EVER: The Cactus Club on Boylston street after work
T-Shirt Cult Pick: Night Ride
Currently reading: Where the wild things are
Currently eating: EVERYTHING!!!
Favorite BKI item (new or old): Tarp Courier

Howard Travis will be hosting our Sensei23 art event at our Boston location this Friday, May 28th from 6 PM to 9 PM. Guests can shop BKI’s June collection and enjoy refreshments as well as live art painting by artist Kevin “Sensei23″ Sullivan.


Friday, May 21st, 2010

Our Bucktown birthday party is tomorrow and for us that means celebrating two years on Milwaukee Avenue with friends. One of those friends happens to be Chicago-born artist Ennis Martin who will be painting on canvas at the event and raffling off his masterpiece to one lucky guest. We spoke to Ennis about his art, inspiration and what we can expect.

Photo Taken by Kaleb Yetter.

Name: Ennis Alexander Martin III
Occupation: Artist
Age: 36
Facebook Page: Facebook/bear.illa
Number of years in Chicago: 36

BKI: What type of art do you make?
Ennis: Graffiti based with a bit of fantasy sci-fi flair.

BKI: When did you first realize you were an artist?
Ennis: I fell in love with art around 8 years old. The fun thing about art is that you are constantly growing with every piece of art work you create.

BKI: What artists have influenced you, and how?
Ennis: With anime being such a huge influence to me, most of my inspirations come from these types of films. Masaki Yamada character designer for the anime Apple Seed: Ex Machina, Jim Henson (Dark Crystal), and every Anime fan has to start from a certain place. For me, as well as most others, that place would be Akira. The most influential part of my growth as an artist comes from director Katsuhiro Otoma‘s 1988 classic. A film way ahead of it s time.

BKI: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Do you plan to stay in Chicago?
Ennis: I’d like to get into creating Figurines and animation based on the characters I’ve created throughout the years.

BKI: Can you talk about the art you will be making at our Chicago birthday party?
Ennis: My plan is to do something along the lines of an earth based design, with a touch of fantasy.

BKI: So how do you feel about having “the third” at the end of your name?
Ennis: There’s pressure! My father was a special man, and there’s a history of getting things done so I just have to live up to it.


Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Take a walk with us on our summer photo shoot. Story by Lexy Funk, Brooklyn Industries CEO and head photographer.

Here in Brooklyn, you can feel a little landlocked. We are close to the water, we see it from our windows, but there are few access points. In search of wide water scenes and the sea, we headed to Red Hook for our summer shoot. Below are the locations we hit along with our running commentary. Enjoy the cranes.

1. Imlay Street. Behind this street is the dock for the Queen Mary and Elizabeth 2 cruise ships. What interested us is the way the light hit the intersection at 5:30PM and the huge amounts of trucks that came barreling upon us as we shot in the street. The Obama building was a welcome surprise and provided a nautical and political backdrop to our Dot Dress. Cattycorner to the metal fence pictured is a green wall of a shop that was perfect for the Pigeon? 2 M t-shirt.


2. Baked. We love Baked’s Scandinavian and chocolate brown décor. A beacon of design and originality, this coffee shop come bakery is one of the best reasons to get on your bike and head to Van Brunt Street. We bought a Baked cupcake for our model here in Exotic Burst Skirt and Beach Fleece. Check it out at www., 359 Van Brunt Street.

Here is Anderson across the street from Baked. He is wearing the Melange Zip Hoodie and some fierce Crystal Mirrored Aviators.

3. Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier. This park has a small pebble beach. Ordinarily, this is a perfect sun-catching, fantasizing that you are not in a metropolis kind of spot. But the day of this shoot it was 50 degrees, the wind was blowing a near force gale and we shot our pictures rapid-fire, diving into the car in spurts for warmth. Here, Susy is in the Chevron Dress. Just north of the pier and beach is a closed FBI-looking building with strange cars entering at the end of the day.

4. Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie. Okay, we haven’t actually tasted the authentic Key Lime Pie yet, but we have photographed in their parking lot a couple of times. There is a neighboring nursery, lots of trees, a water fountain and of course Key Lime Pie for when you are not on a hectic shoot. Views of the water included., 204 Van Dyke Street.

5. Wall. Now this is the wall of all walls. The perfect color of blue-grey, a yellow stripe, quite a bit of garbage and deterioration…perfect. We are not too sure we want to fully divulge this one, but let’s just say its the Cornell Paper & Box Company. Anderson is wearing the Silas Short Sleeve Shirt and the Lincoln Slim Fit Denim.

6. NY Water Taxi and the Pier at end of Van Brunt Street. We have been kicked off this pier a couple of times for photographing so we were pleased that the gale force winds kept interlopers away. We almost had visions of Amsterdam and house boats. Behind Susy wearing the Rope Trim Knit Dress is the free water taxi that runs from IKEA to Wall Street.

7. Back of IKEA, by Beard Street. We stumbled upon the parking lot in back of IKEA. We were trying to avoid the ubiquitous yellow and blue box, but the sculpture park/open walkway behind the retailer is pretty magnificent. You have perfect views of cranes, the waterfront, ships and general industria (Okay, we made up that word). There was also a gaggle of geese that appeared and disappeared. Here, Anderson is wearing our Deerest sweatshirt.

8. Red Hook Recreational Area. We hear there are terrific food vendors here on Saturdays. We liked the massive industrial backdrop and the field of green. We had the models run in circles to keep warm and the shoot became an exercise in running laps rather than perfecting clothing.

9. Fort Defiance Café and Bar. We wrapped up our day at this quaint café-bar on 365 Van Brunt Street. Fort Defiance is named after a fort built in Red Hook during the Revolutionary War in the weeks leading up to the Battle of Brooklyn. Here, Anderson is ready for battle in the Swift Track and Miami Driver.


Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

On Sunday evening, our Chelsea location hosted the opening reception for “Killing Women,” a new play currently running at the Beckett Theatre. The play, which describes itself as “a comic exploration of the ironies and insanities of corporate America” is basically a farce about a woman on the edge with a gun. This was our second time working with kef productions, an artist run theatrical company and photographer Ben Strothmann captured the festive event for us. Good wine was poured and laughter roared until midnight. Killing Woman closes June 5th. To learn more about the play, visit

Autumn Hurlbert, Adam Kantor, Lori Prince, Adam Fitzgerald, Michael Puzzo, Lisa Brescia, Bryan Dykstra

Lori Prince, Colin Hanlon, Isaac Oliver

Lori Prince, Autumn Hurlbert, Lisa Brescia

Adam Fitzgerald, David Gurland, Rob Maitner


Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Name: Mia Buttinelli
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Current occupation at BKI: Assistant store manager, Chicago
Creative muses: Garance Dore, Michelle Williams, Tina Fey.
Inspirational website:
Best spring activity EVER: Biking biking biking!!
Favorite word: Adorable
Currently reading: Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
Currently eating: Avocado on toast
Favorite BKI item (new or old): Olympia wrap dress
How do you LIVE, WORK, CREATE: Cooking, Decorating, and the occasional sewing project. I also just started a blog.


Friday, May 14th, 2010

AOL has relaunched its small business page and it’s better than ever. The new platform now has a Board of Directors, all recruited from the entrepreneurial community to discuss a variety of issues, offer business advice and engage in smart conversation. BKI’s CEO Lexy Funk was one of the 23 to be recruited. Alongside her on the board are powerful business minds like Sir Richard Branson, founder and President of Virgin Group, Bob Parsons, Founder and CEO of Go Daddy Group and Rob Dyrdek, professional skateboarder and President of Dyrdek Enterprises.

No doubt to the liking of Steve Jobs, one of the first topics for discussion was, “Will the iPad change the World?” While others were doubtful of its longevity and impact in the business market, Lexy begged to differ. Here’s what she said:

“I would like to see the iPad get rid of the cash register in store. The cash wrap, as we call it, takes up too much space and is really redundant. What if we could just have iPads that could accept payment, plus show our customer images, collections and the website? It could be a walking checkout/advertising/interactive center that could roam with the customer.”

No that’s an idea worth exploring.

Be sure to visit AOL Small Business new conversations.