Wandering around south Williamsburg recently, I stumbled upon A Thousand Picnics, a new store stemming from a collaboration of jewelry designers Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer from Cold Picnic, and Species by the Thousands’ designer Erica Bradbury. Looking through the store was almost just as intriguing as the products in it. Every time you turn around you see something new, its a treasure hunt that will bring out the kid in you, a very stylish kid at that. The talented designers gave us some inside scoop on how the crafty collaboration came to be.
The great thing about collaboration is that multiple visions get fused or brought together to make something bigger than just one idea. What do each of you individually bring to the store that makes it such a perfect fusion between designers?
One of the reasons we thougt the store could work is that Species by the Thousand and Cold Picnic have an aesthetic that sits nicely together – nature-inspired, with a nod towards the 70s. Species is a little darker and more woodsy, and we’re a bit more ethnic and desert-y, which we think is reflected nicely in the interior of the shop. Erica does these amazing drawings – one, a macrame face mask has become a sort of mascot for A Thousand Picnics. It merges her bearded men drawings with our macrame pieces. We do a lot of our work in leather and also macrame, and both have worked their way into the shop as well.
Do you have a specific aesthetic that continues to shape your store and products?
Before we opened the store we collected loads of images from handmade houses, mainly from the 1970s, which perfectly captured the look we wanted for the space. We all have a lot of DIY craft books, also mainly from the 70s, which reflect many of the products in the store – dreamcatchers, macrame plant hangers, etc.
What are your backgrounds? Have you always been interested in designing and handmade crafts?
Phoebe and Erica both studied fine art at the University of Pennsylvania. Erica started her line shortly after, and Phoebe went back to school a few years later for apparel design, which is where she and I met. We both worked for a few years in fashion, designing clothes and prints, before we started Cold Picnic.
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Store Location: 171 S. 4th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Photography Kathryn Chadason