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Nina Allen

Top Hat, 245 Broome St., nr. Ludlow St.; 212-677-4240


What made you open a gift store?
It was an impulse buy. This was a Chinese bakery, and we opened two weeks after we got the lease; at one point I was sleeping here, sprawled on one of the toboggans.

How would you describe your stock?
Pieces from old companies from around the world—bird callers from France, chalk from the oldest chalk factory in Germany.

What’s popular so far?
Fake snowballs from Finland. They’re made out of rubber and rice, but when you squeeze one, it feels and sounds exactly like a real snowball.

Has all the recent snow boosted sled sales?
They sell for $140 to $360, but we rent them out for $15 to $20 an hour, in case you don’t want to stow an eight-foot toboggan in your apartment.


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