"Sincerely, Tommy" opened for business only 30 days ago and already—like a funky new hairstyle, nose ring or tattoo-- the business has embellished the face of the neighborhood.
First, let's start with the name, "Sincerely, Tommy," which-- according to the store's owners, 26-year-old Kai Avent-Deleon and her mom, Linda-- is a tribute to the store's address, 343 Tompkins Ave.
Kai said she chose the name as an homage to the street and community where she was born, right here on Tompkins and Jefferson.
It is a lifestyle/concept boutique, a fashion oasis for those residents normally compelled to leave Brooklyn for Manhattan to shop. At Sincerely, Tommy, a walk up the street will earn you SoHo-boutique flavor, with a dash of Brooklyn Soul."The concept behind it is that all of these designers are local and international emerging brands," said Kai. "For most of them, this is the first store they've ever been in. So that's what we want to stick to as we continue to grow, is to be a place where these new lines can showcase their art."
And that's what it feels like: An art gallery of clothes and accessories and natural body products. The price point? A little cheaper than Manhattan, but on the higher end, for Bed-Stuy: $8 for a pair of socks; $42 for a pair of sunglasses; $150 to $400 for handbags; $200 to $1,100 for coats; and yeah you get the point.
There's also a coffee bar, Lakawana Coffee, inside of the store, with a small seating area by the window where you can work or read or just have a cup of coffee and soak in the cool vibes.
The store's interior design is clean, airy and minimalist, which has the effect of drawing the shopper's eye in more closely to every edgy detail. And almost everything on display has been carefully curated by Kai, one-of-a-kind items, with unique expressions that turn what should be a simple cotton shirt or pair of pants into something quite special.
"This is definitely a reflection of Kai, very minimalist, very clean, very meticulous, I would say," said Linda, who handles the business side of the store. "Kai grew up vegan and is definitely concerned about what goes in her body as well as what goes on her body."
"Kai has been a fashionista from a very early age," Linda continued. "She always wanted to play dress-up like so many young girls do. But she went to the extreme with it and it was challenging for me, because there were times where she would leave the house wearing these bizarre outfits. And I allowed for it."
"I was very in my own world, yeah," said Kai, laughing. "But to me, fashion is art. I've never looked at clothes for the label. I'm really big on textures, colors, fabrics. And I think the clothing in this store represents that."
Interestingly, although the textiles, colors and patterns do span a wide spectrum in the store, they all seem to compliment each other. In fact as dissonant and diverse as each product is, they all share a common, invisible thread-- a signature feel.
And chances are, you'll find at least one thing (probably more) addressed to you. From the croissants at the coffee bar, to the art on the wall, to the clothes on the racks, to the furniture on the floor, pretty much everything is for sale at Sincerely, Tommy.
Consider it an artful love letter signed by Tommy Ave sealed with a kiss.
Sincerely, Tommy is open Tuesday through Friday, from 12:00pm -7:00; Saturdays, 11:00am — 7:00pm; and Sundays, 12:00pm — 6:00pm.