In our Boutique Spotlight series, we take you inside the carefully curated and magically creative stores we work with! You can find Clr Shop products in all of the boutiques featured on our blog.
Name: Babs Home and Pantry
Location: Astoria, Queens
Tell us about you! How did you start Babs Home and Pantry?
Hello! I'm Anna, a born and based New Yorker with a home goods store in Astoria. I consider myself to be a person with many interests and always eager to take on something new.
Before opening Babs Home and Pantry, I had spent several years working as a photographer and doing construction work (a classic combination). In the slower months I started making earrings and candles and would sell them, along with my photography prints, at local vendor markets. Through these markets I ended up meeting so many incredible artists working in my neighborhood and this, combined with my ever-growing love for interior decor, spurred me to open Babs!
Tell us about your creative process. Where do you find inspiration and how do you curate items you want to highlight in your store?
Small batch artists make work so much more unique and heart-felt than you'll find in big-box stores and I want to curate items where people can bring that care and intention into their own home. I love working with artisans! I find it's the most fulfilling way to have an eclectic mix of unique home decor because every piece is a different person's brain child.
I also love a good upcycle. I recently thrifted a bunch of vintage fabrics and a close and very talented friend of mine sewed them into reversible placemats and let me tell you, they make my heart SING.
What’s one piece of advice you always go back to when it comes to your career?
I remind myself often that Babs can grow and morph as I do. Being open to evolving and adapting the business feels important to its longevity and my happiness within!
What makes a space feel like home?
I find decorating slowly and always keeping one eye open for unique pieces has kept my home feeling like a reflection of me. Instead of buying a bunch of things at a big one-stop-shop store just because it's convenient, I like to take my time and have every piece be something that brings me back to a fond memory. Even my bathroom trash bin is a repurposed metal flower vase from my favorite garden store upstate!
If you like looking at everything in your home, the odds are much better that you'll love walking in your door. And the things can come from anywhere! Sometimes they're handed down from a family member, thrifted, or found at a local shop.
My partner and I always say "good better best" - so starting with something you find to be "good" and can afford, and knowing it can be replaced down the line with better then hopefully best!
What’s your best tip for achieving a sense of balance in your home?
I love blending modern and antique touches. My store has a mix of vintage, upcycled and new items and I think my home will forever be that way as well. Thinking of the composition of a room as a whole also helps. Making sure the colors, levels of furniture, shapes and sizes of pieces are all evenly distributed. And of course, how you arrange the room!
We recently rearranged our bedroom and it no joke feels like it doubled. So consider if the way you move around your space feels calming and easy or stress inducing. (For instance, I was tripping over my bedframe about twice a week and my shins were very unhappy. Rearranging the room has made moving around the space so much more relaxing.)
What are some of your home essentials?
A collection of handmade mugs where no two are the same, several very funky flower vases, 2-5 statement plants, art on most walls, statement couch pillows and comfy blankets.
What are you looking forward to in the next year?
I'm opening my second store! It will be just a few blocks from where I grew up in the East Village so I can't wait to not only have the second store but also to be able to have lunch with my mom :)