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Take the L to the Tea

Williamsburg’s newest children’s boutique offers a cuppa.


Belfast native Bronagh Staley spent a decade in Williamsburg before her son, Fiontan, was born seven months ago. She has witnessed the neighborhood change, and not just from artist enclave to travel-magazine fodder. “There’s a real baby boom here,” she says. While on maternity leave from her former job as Cookie magazine’s fashion market editor, she couldn’t help noticing that B’burg’s youngest residents lacked an appropriate clothing store. So she opened one in September, naming it Sweet William after the British flower. Staley’s blossom is blooming, in a way it never could have ten years ago in this area. “It was a whole different block,” she recalls. “I guess rather than protest, I decided to go with the flow.” On November 18, Staley will throw a celebratory Irish tea party in the petite shop, which was designed by her husband, the artist Peter Staley, to resemble a fantastical Scandinavian tree house. (Birchwood abounds.) Irish tea tends to be “more frugal” than English—just biscuits and a cup of Barry’s, sweet and creamy. All the better for neighborhood kids to partake and not get jam-sticky fingers on the mostly organic, meticulously curated merchandise. The mix of traditional (“how kids used to dress before logos”) items, including jeans, cords, duffel coats, and cashmere blankets, for newborns to 6-year-olds is almost all from fifteen independent designers. One line is even homemade in Park Slope. Unusually, the boys’ stuff is as cute as the girls’. Youngsters aren’t mandatory for entry. “A lot of the lines I carry appeal to people with an artistic sensibility.” Which explains the furtive childless types purchasing lifelike Hansa stuffed animals.

11/18, noon to 2 p.m. Sweet William, 112 N. 6th St., nr. Berry St. (718-218-6946); free tea, clothing $20 to $200.


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