Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Love Shine is closing shop on 6th Street and moving online


[Image via Facebook]

After 20 years at 543 E. Sixth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B, Love Shine is closing up shop at the end of March, moving to an online-only operation.

Owner Mark Seamon, a visual artist and former chef, officially launched his business in 1996. He opened the storefront and studio the next year to sell his line of handmade bags, accessories and gifts.

We reached out to Seamon for more on the upcoming closure.

"Our lease is expiring at the end of March. The best deal we could negotiate with our landlord was a 25-percent increase with additional yearly increases," he said via email. "While we absolutely love our location, and live right down the block, the foot traffic isn't really the best for a retail store. We couldn't afford to move to an avenue and now we can't afford to stay here."

He continued: "When we first opened in 1997 it was possible to open a mom-and-pop shop in the East Village because the overhead was low and the neighborhood was filled with creative people, artists and designers. There was a large availability of affordable spaces to rent. I really think the development of the neighborhood, change in demographics, along with the enormous rents and the rise in online shopping, have made it really difficult to sustain a small retail shop."

Despite the changes, he doesn't have any plans to move away.

"The positive news is the East Village has always been our home," he said. "Our studio/workshop will be in the hood. We have our own unique line of bags and designs, and while we continue to invest in our online shop, we hope to be able to maintain a presence here at local craft fairs and markets and possible some other local stores."

You can follow Love Shine on Pinterest ... Facebook ... and Instagram.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

As the owner of a small business in the EV I understand and agree with what they have experienced and must now do to survive. I wish them much success online.

Anonymous said...

SO very sorry to learn this. Have shopped there many times and have always been welcomed by friendly faces and warm hearts. Such nice people. It's not fair that we keep losing our cool gift shops because of GREEDY LLs.

Scuba Diva said...

Mark is the best; I've been shopping with him since the beginning and have lots of things I've gotten from him over the years.

His inimitable style will be sorely missed; yeah, I know he'll still be online, but this was a great—and dog-friendly—place to stop into on the way home.

(Time to place your bets: will this become another bar/restaurant, fitness center, or will the Asian herb/reflexology/massage parlor just expand into the space?)

Anonymous said...

Heartbroken to learn this. Love Shine is almost always one of my first stops for Christmas shopping and I get stuff for myself too.
I understand the challenges, but it stinks as I prefer to shop in person: Getting packages is a hassle for me.
Plus, the beauty of living in New York City was always that you could find everything you needed: no need to order from far away. There were far fewer chains so most of the stores had unique items. People in the burbs came to the city for the stores here. Now, why bother? You have to go online to get stuff from your favorite "local" store and rearrange your life to get it from the PO/Fed Ex/UPS (and where's the convenience if you have to go pick it up?)
Maybe it's time to move to a tropical island....

VH McKenzie said...

My daughters LOVED the cool bags made from juice boxes, iirc. A very cool shop but, as duly noted, not much foot traffic on that block, I imagine. It's sort of out of sight, out of mind. I'm bookmarking their online store - hope they continue to thrive at least online.

Goggla said...

This is one of my favorite shops and I've bought many gifts there over the years. It's one of the few places that really feel unique and inspired. And they play the BEST music!

I'm really sad to see them go, but wish them the best online.

Love Shine said...

I have met soooo many great people from owning this shop. Made so many friends. I have lived here most of my life and having a shop gave me the wonderful opportunity to feel like I am part of the fabric of the community. I thank you all for the kind support, friendships, the shout outs from the streets.....I feel the love. Hopefully we can stay in touch through social media and who knows where we may show up next.

Anonymous said...

Almost all the fun has been sucked out of EV retail.

Stockton Hall said...

This is so sad. I've shopped here since the 90's. Love Shine is really one of a kind. I loved that so many of the wares were handmade. It will be missed!

Anonymous said...

Still use my Love Shine bag regularly here in Melbourne, Australia and my mum has nearly worn out the tote I bought her too. East 6th is our nabe when visiting NYC and very sad to see the retail shop the latest under the axe in a long line of closures. Glad we can still shop online though. All the best.

Anonymous said...

Noooo! The fun messages on the sign out front always bring a smile and it is a favorite stop I make with every out-of-town visitor. Such a cool little shop with eclectic finds in a wide price range. Will really miss this neighborhood gem.

Anonymous said...

Whimsical sandwich board & colorful handmade bags n' treats/ delights for the eyes and soul. Very sad to lose this little charming shop .
Greedy LLs take away all the good stuff. Wishing you all the best in online sales

Magali Regis said...

I walked by there a couple months ago and was saddened to see it closed. It was a great shop that really added to what's special about the East Village. I have shopped there many times for bags, jewelry and other cool stuff. So sorry to see them go. I wish them luck in their next venture online. Magali, East Village, NYC