Friday, September 19, 2014

At Fly Dove NYC

In August, longtime East Village resident Rachel Breitman opened Fly Dove NYC, a women's boutique in a basement space at 197 E. Seventh St. between Avenue B and Avenue C.

We asked Breitman, who moved to the neighborhood with her mother as a child in 1979, a few questions about her start. Stacie Joy stopped by for some photos.

How did the shop come about?

It was somewhat of an evolution of rethinking my life-long interest in fashion and exploring the idea of having my own business. I figured this would be the best time in my life to take the risk, although I still have my 9-5 while I get this off the ground.

I started two years ago with the idea to design some outerwear, then I realized that it was too expensive and competitive of a business. Along the way, I would do weekend markets in Nolita, Long Island City and the West Village. By doing that, I discovered that I enjoyed the retail aspect of it all and started to envision what my boutique would look like.

I always loved editing, styling, and the idea of being a buyer for a store always intrigued me. However, I did want to do something of my very own — create my own vision. It was a one-two year long process but eventually I started looking at spaces in Alphabet City last fall.

Was this something that you had always thought about doing?

I did not always think of doing something like this. In fact, I always saw myself having a nonprofit centered around the arts, education and economic/community development, etc. Working in the Loisaida community was my background before getting into finance.

East Seventh Street between Avenue B and Avenue C is one of my favorite blocks in the neighborhood. Was there something in particular about this block that made you want to open your business here?

It is a great block. A lot of trees and a nice mix of buildings — good foot traffic too.

I definitely wanted to be in Alphabet City and Seventh Street just felt right. Of course the affordability of the rent really was a factor too. When I started looking, I really was surprised how many commercial vacancies there were and how many businesses were closing.

However, landlords want to charge crazy rents that only a bar would be able to afford to pay and/or someone with a trust fund. [Laughs] But, they don't care — they will stay empty.

Once I get my business off the ground I definitely want to explore what can be done in terms of affordability of commercial space for small business startups or existing in this area. Perhaps get together with some of the other neighboring businesses.

It was also important to be in the vicinity east of Avenue A and between 14th Street and East Houston because there wasn't really any other option to find on-trend women's clothing within my price point. Pricing things affordably is very important to me.

What has been the response so far to your shop?

The response has been amazing! I get new faces coming in every day checking out the boutique. The place is still being discovered, especially since I am a basement location and nothing has been here for more than 20 years. So I plan to continue to market as much as possible, host events and get the word out!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great addition to the neighborhood!

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic! Wishing her the best of luck. It IS a lovely street.

Anonymous said...

Rachel says, "I definitely want to explore what can be done in terms of affordability of commercial space for small business startups or existing in this area. Perhaps get together with some of the other neighboring businesses." Rachel, check out EVIMA - the EV Independent Merchants Association! They're already getting together. Call EV Community Coalition for info, 212-979-2344.

Makeout said...

Nice! Kinda like Wednesdays only different!

Anonymous said...

This is the situation. Restauranteurs move into this neighborhood for the sole purpose of destroying it. They get an apartment and sniff around for a storefront to open up a high end and then quickly but surely the neighborhood becomes a place for the rich.

Brokers along the park are the ring leaders. People refuse to see how the high end restaurants are one in the same with the developers. They feed off of each other.

We do not need not one more over priced restaurant. It's killing us.

Please join us at the community board meetings and oppose these restaurants that are seeking to open on your block.

Also, please stop taking money from these restauranteurs/real estate developers/brokers.

Check the CB 3 SLA Committee Agenda every month online to see who is coming for dinner.