BKLYN DESIGNS celebrates first year in Greenpoint

Creators of all kinds came together on the morning of Friday, May 8 to prepare for the 12th annual BKLYN DESIGNS showcase presented by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (BCC).

The showcase, held for the first time this year at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint, once again brought together some of the borough’s most talented artists and designers for a three-day program of exhibits, pop-up lounges, installations, demos and more.

“BKLYN DESIGNS is really an amazing, internationally renowned exhibit of the best furnishing anywhere in the world, made right here in Brooklyn,” said Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Carlo Scissura at the Friday morning kick-off. “BKLYN DESIGNS was founded in 2003 and it’s come a long way since its humble beginning.”

Scissura, expecting thousands of attendees from the trade and the public as well as industry influencers, educators and – of course – design savvy consumers, was quick to commend his colleagues as well as sponsors – such as presenting sponsors Broadway Stages and the chamber’s partner in BKLYN DESIGNS, Novità Communications – for helping to build BKLYN DESIGNS from the bottom up.

“We really just have to applaud the Chamber and their team for continuing to make Brooklyn the place to be and for using the innovative attitude and energy to move us forward,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, adding that, in his opinion, the greatest design in all of Brooklyn is its people. “Like Snapple, we are made up of the best stuff on earth. Let’s keep moving forward.”

Assemblymember Joe Lentol was particularly happy to welcome the expo to Greenpoint.

“We have some of the best and creative people than you have in all of the United States of America and so it’s obvious to me that you would use this location for a design planning program,” he said.

This year’s BKLYN DESIGNS was also a homecoming for some former artists, with co-founder Christine Abbate announcing its Alumni Gallery – featuring new and old pieces from some of BKYLN DESIGNS first-ever participants.

This year’s participants were excited to get the party started.

“We take a lot of pride in our work,” said Brooklyn Butcher Blocks’ Theo Papademetriou of his company’s handmade butcher blocks, ranging in price from $30 to $300 depending on budget and aesthetic. With some of the company’s custom work displayed, Papademetriou was excited to strut Butcher Blocks’ stuff at the expo. “They’re built to last and we’re all about making top quality products for the kitchen.”

Exhibitor James McDonald, the artist behind I Lost My Dog, was just as amped to see his stuff on display. The Brooklyn-based company was born more than 15 years ago, he said, growing a little more each year.

“It’s expanded so much since then,” McDonald said. “It started with pictures of my dog and now, is really about my travels, drawings and artwork. We do everything from New York and Long Island – because that’s where our roots our – to four different continents all over the world.”

Already having wet his feet in smaller outdoor craft fairs and even larger trade shows like the New York Gift Show and the Stationary Show, which I Lost My Log will appear at this year, McDonald said BKLYN DESIGNS is just as – if not more – exciting.

“My goal is to kind of get my name out here as a Brooklyn based company,” he said.

Exhibits and workshops will run from Friday, May 8 through Sunday, May 10. For a full schedule or to purchase tickets, visit bklyndesigns.com.

“More than a tree is growing in Brooklyn,” said Adams. “Great designers are growing in Brooklyn.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.