Store Stories 001| Brother Vellies

Over the past few years while writing this blog, I’ve received quite a few emails and comments, asking where I shop here in the city. I always try and tag the shop or the store when I’m there. Not only for the simple fact that it makes it easier to trace back “where I was when,” but also to help bring some attention to these shops as well. Many of them don’t need it. But, most of them will appreciate it. As I know you all appreciate knowing great places to shop when visiting the city. 
When taking a break from this blog a few weeks back, I thought about a way to display some of my favorites via a new series. Store Stories will be a running collaboration series highlighting some of the most beautiful, well designed,  and well stocked local stores here in NYC. I am thankful that a lot of the shop owners are friends, some locals, some strangers, and all of them are just really good people. It’s really important to me. 
I met Aurora, the creative director of Brother Vellies a few months back at a dinner with a few other new friends. We sat next to each other and chatted a bit. She was warm, beautiful, and she oozed creativity and passion. She’s one of those girls that you just want to hang with. We connected on so many levels, and I’m so happy to have her shop as the first one featured!

What made you choose to open up shop in South Street Seaport?

AJ-I’m really big on neighborhoods and communities, that vibe is definitely alive here. All of the shop owners know each other and check in on each other all the time. Judith from Whisper Editions has become one of my favorite people!

It kind of feels like home in here. What inspired the design? And what’s your favorite part about the space?
AJ-I felt compelled to create a space that felt like my own home, I’ve always been a big vintage, antique and textile junkie, so you’ll feel that energy in here for sure. I’m excited to continually build on the space, we have artisans in Kenya right now working on different things for the store. Which is also amazing because I get the opportunity to work with people outside of shoemaking. Carpenters, carvers, weavers, etc.

I’ve heard having a storefront in New York City is very difficult, what has it taught you so far?
AJ- That good help is hard to find!! I am now officially, perpetually, hiring.

It almost feels like a secret village over here, what’s your favorite part about the area?
AJ- The Seaport has really embraced us. There is an amazing mix of locals and tourists and there are some fantastic restaurants. We definitely feel at home. They just put up a greenhouse with amazing coffee and donuts and I feel like its now my second office. There is always something new and fun happening here!

Thanks Aurora for sharing your beautiful shop!

4 Fulton Street. / South Street Seaport
New York, New York
Photography by Nneka Salmon for LaTonya Yvette

3 thoughts on “Store Stories 001| Brother Vellies

  • Reply byEclecticA February 12, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    The styling in this shop is eye candy! I was just in NY visiting from Cali and would've loved to have visited this shop. It's on my list for my return visit.

  • Reply Cynthia February 13, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    I will def go and check out this store! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply Leanne Rees February 21, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Vellies! also known as Veldskoen. In Afrikaans,a language resembling German and Dutch, which is an official South African language veld =open landscape and skoen=shoe. Vellies is the shortened version. I am from South Africa and these shoes are shoes that I grew up around. They were never really seen as fashionable items to wear, more functional and definitely the footwear of choice for farmers. Its been really cool to see that in the last few years they are making their own statement in the fashion world in SA as well as in the USA. I was excited to see this post and that store. Thanks Latonya

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