Mon-Sat, 1pm-7:30pm; Sun, closed
2, 3, 4, 5 at Borough Hall; A, C, F, R at Jay St.-MetroTech
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Gourd Chips is an affordable, locally focused accessories boutique on the border of downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights. Charlene Heyliger, the store's ever-present owner, offers everything from kitschy $5 jewelry to oversize tribal-print sweaters and size 14 wraps. Neighborhood friends supply a selection of handmade velour gloves, painted chiffon scarves, and quirky women's hats. Though the namesake gourd chips are nowhere to be found, the moniker comes from the shakera, an African hand drum made from a gourd covered with beads. Heyliger played the instrument in her youth and later hand-painted them. More recently, her specialty is creating pins and brooches out of broken gourd chips—the recipients of which, she claims, include Winnie Mandela, Patti LaBelle, and Betty Carter.