This is the time of year when many people focus on gift giving…and often think “where can I buy something that’s a little out of the ordinary?”. For many shoppers, the answer could be World’s Window in Brookside.
I wanted to write a blog about Worlds Window because this is one of the oldest, locally owned stores in the Brookside shops, serving our neighborhood for the past 23 years! Stopping by the shop recently, I chatted with owner Jan Buerge. She explained how World’s Window came to be.
Before Brookside, World’s Window was located in Westport—the shop started off in a small stall off Pennsylvania. When Westport started focusing on bars and eateries, Jan and her husband decided to move the store to Brookside—close to their home. They focus on “folk art and fine design”, says Jan. “We like to sell interesting, well made things, from companies that commit to Fair Trade principles.”. Jan values talking directly to many of her suppliers and artisans based around the world.
Of course like so many other retailers, World’s Window has been affected by the COVID pandemic. The shop was closed for several weeks, and Jan quickly pivoted to online sales. One unique way she kept sales going via the web was by publishing a newsletter every day, with the theme Around the World in 80 Days. Jan wrote about individual vendors and told their very personal stories. “The resilience and creativity of the human spirit is amazing” she explained, regarding how her contacts throughout the world were dealing with the pandemic and yet kept going. You can read the 80 days of stories at the World’s Window website.
Jan hopes to resurrect her annual Rose Brooks “Flipping Favorites” fundraiser next year, where shop patrons bring in gently used clothing to donate to Rose Brooks, in exchange for a discount coupon for the store. Throughout the holidays, you can still donate to Rose Brooks (a domestic violence emergency shelter) when shopping in the store by donating $5 through a “dip jar” as your purchases are festively wrapped for the season. “Of course you can dip your credit card in the jar as many times as you would like”, says Jan. “What a great way to share in celebrating this Season of Joy”.
There are just so many fun things to explore in this store: you’ll find comfortable and festive clothing, colorful scarves, stocking stuffers, candles, jewelry and even jeans! There’s all kinds of folk art, candles, ZUM products, socks and gloves, tree ornaments and a large section of children’s items in the back of the store.
World’s Window is sure to have something unique and special for that hard to buy for person—and for yourself! Stop in the shop at 332 W 63rd St; hours are 10-6 Monday through Saturday and 12-5 on Sunday.