Butter and Eggs: 'ingredients' for home
October 20, 2003-- Home Textiles Today,
Though it sounds like a good way to start the morning, Butter and Eggs is also the name of a downtown store that focuses on well designed home furnishings as gifts — whether bought for others or oneself.
"We sell ingredients for the home," said Judy Olson Dunne, owner and former industrial designer who wanted to bring her affection of objects to the Tribeca community here. "I love stuff — that's why I wanted to open this store."
Located at 83 West Broadway, Butter and Eggs — a nod to the wholesale dairy industry which used to do business in this area decades ago — hopes to achieve a balance between great design and value, she said, as well as fill a void in the neighborhood of such a store. Originally she was looking to showcase small items, but that was before she fell in love with several Italian furniture lines. Now furniture is nearly a third of the merchandise.
After a career in the design field, including 10 years in toys, Dunne obviously loves the hunt of finding new designers and said it's "fulfilling to work with other people" — one of the advantages of working with small to mid-sized manufacturers. She draws her assortment from a worldwide base of resources, including New York-based Michelle Varian, Etro Home, which is known primarily for its apparel, the Indian designer Shyam Ahuja, and Agnona, a line from a menswear company.
Decorative pillows and throws have the largest real estate of the store — about 35 to 40 percent of her business — and retail around $85 to $350. She also stocks decorative bedding, including Shyam Ahuja and the "more traditional" Anichini line, which has "fabulous colors." She stays out of the sheeting business, which is so competitive, she said. Quilts start at $175.
Other textiles include table linens and rugs, and other categories include ceramics, glass, old New York photographs, paper and beauty care.
"These are objects people can live with," she said. The products are well designed but also are affordable, she added.
Butter and Eggs sees most of its clientele coming from around the area, as well as Wall Street. But it also gets a group of consumers no one ever talks about. "We get a lot of people who are down here on jury duty," she said.
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