Ask a Shop Clerk: Tennessee Thomas

Photo: Sarah Silberg/New York Magazine

This shop feels very artisanal Brooklyn. Why open in the East Village?
I live here in the neighborhood and so do a lot of my friends; we’re keeping the East Village weird. This place is kind of like our clubhouse. My friend Mandy makes these bunny-shaped leather purses in her studio on St. Marks. And my other friend Tommy, who’s the guitarist for the Dap Kings, pulled together these 45s—all sixties soul records. We also sell handmade clothes and antiques like this Siamese-cat lamp.

How do you know all these people?
I used to be in a girl band called the Like; you encounter a lot of other creative people that way. And now I D.J. at the Soho Grand and the Tribeca Grand, which is also quite social.

Does it confuse shoppers when they see you and all your friends hanging out?
Yeah. We’ll be sitting around having a chat, and people will walk in and be like, “I don’t know what to do. Is this a store?” It is a store! Please come in!

Interview by Lauren Schwartzberg

Ask a Shop Clerk: Tennessee Thomas