Beautiful Dreamers sits on an unassuming street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Inside, rustic wooden tables are piled high with unique objects and jewelry and tree branches-turned clothing racks hang garments from local independent designers. Plants and foliage are nestled between the handcrafted furniture and native American wall hangings adorn the shop’s walls.
Behind this dreamy store are two fashion stylists Marina Burini and April Hughes. Their boutique and art space is “œdedicated to supporting authentic creative expression, sustainability, integrity and craftsmanship”. They believe that true creativity in design comes from having a sense of community and naturing space in which to share, and the result is exactly that.
As much a gallery as it is a shopping destination, the wooden floors, vintage furniture and hand-made designs procure a mellow, homely vibe that many customers would love to live in if they could. April and Marina have managed to turn collecting and hoarding an excessive amount of jewellery, clothing and furniture into a welcoming space as well as a thriving business in the community.
Opened in fall 2011, the pair hadn’t actually worked together before opening Beautiful Dreamers. Part of a wider circle of friends, they discovered as stylists they had a similar vision and jumped at the chance when they found the right retail space.
Their shared vision is the foundation of the store, is what makes it so successful and is why we love it so much. April and Marina focus on global artisanship and underscore that it is about a lifestyle, not just a piece of clothing here and an armchair there, rather’ about entire aesthetic and bohemian way of life. You can find bigger name brands like ace&jig and Pamela Love in the store, but they sit alongside fledgling designers and indigenous objects.
It’s exciting to discover gems like Beautiful Dreamers as it highlights the shift from the mainstream mall mentality to unique shopping destinations. This value being placed on the overall experience is increasingly becoming the norm, with retailers celebrating uniqueness and drifting away from wanting to be just another high street store.
Beautiful Dreamers is so much more than just a store, the pair are bringing a vibrant community of artists and craftsmen together, connecting them and linking them, so it feels more like curation and an experience, rather than just another retail space. It becomes a network of designers, artists and customers.
As a business they try to reach as many people as possible, without losing their emphasis on sustainability and uniqueness. They say they “œtry to be fair in conjunction from where we’re sourcing from. In retail there’s a specific markup, so for certain things we have to go by those rules. Other things that we find along the way, we try to price into it the travel and the shipping. All of that goes into it as well”.
They have a wide spectrum of price points within their store, from little incense oils to large furniture pieces and artwork. Fundamentally, they feel they represent artists that do things by hand and create products that aren’t mass produced, where a huge amount of hours go into the production equation. Representing these artists well seems to be just as important, if not more than making a profit on the pieces they sell. It is all about the balance.
April and Marina also pride themselves on the fact that some of their items will not be found anywhere else and spend a huge amount of their time looking for these things. Both cite global travel as their main source of inspiration as well as their products, but equally amazing gems have been found a little closer to home at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles. They describe their customer base as being “œa very wide variety” of people; eclectic women from the city frequent the store, but also people from their Williamsburg neighborhood and other travellers, especially’ the Japanese.
As well as selling goods, they’ve turned themselves into a gallery space too – friends have graced Beautiful Dreamers with their work and the store acts as a sort of window to these artists. Last year their colorful window display was an installation by a set designer friend Olivia Sammons. April worked with her on a shoot and they decided to extend the concept. While they had the installation Olivia received a lot of commissions from it and April and Marina are happy to see her hard work paying off.
April also begged a friend of hers, Rowena Sartin, to sell her clothing in the store – she had never sold it anywhere but her own shop in LA, but April felt so strongly about it Rowena was convinced. The real reward for April was seeing her friend’s special pieces go to the right people and seeing them enjoy them as much as she does; her top three things about having a store are community, expansion of vision and the connection of the finds to the customer.
Collaborations and values like this are what makes the store so special – Burini herself is interested in exquisite expression, whether it’s in a small detail or in beautiful overall concept. She sees clothing, jewelry and interiors as ways of expressing personality, and so the ever-changing store seems like an extension of the stylists themselves. Their value in the natural world, community, sustainability and culture flows throughout Beautiful Dreamers and Burini says it best herself: “œIt’s about the quality of life, and the quality of life comes from appreciation of natural things”.
If you’re a fan of linen’ tailoring, handmade jewelry, navajo prints and quirky accessories you need to make a visit to their Williamsburg space or drift’ through their online store.
Stay curious and inspired, browse through our selection of linens‘ and’ start on a new sewing project today.