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435 East 9th Street
The Workshop 1 Jewelry East Village

When I walked into The Workshop, thinking that I would find another upmarket New York jeweler, I quickly realized that it was a kind of store I had never seen before. The Workshop sells body jewelry, but unlike many body jewelry stores, the pieces on sale are high quality and often made from precious metals and stones.

When I engaged George and Shah in conversation, - the partners who had opened the store in April 2015 - they told me that they specialize in a different sort of clientele than most body jewelry stores. As Shah said, “We are not on St. Marks.” The two men are familiar with the businesses on St. Marks, since they worked together at Jewels 32 for a year and a half prior to opening their own store. Whereas George has always been interested in piercings and different kinds of metals, Shah fell into the business through a friend. Despite their different paths, the two men appear to now share an equal passion for their craft.

George and Shah recognized the "great vibe" of the East Village and made the decision to look on 9th Street, with its hamlet of excellent small businesses and friendly characters. They knew it would be a welcoming environment and they said it already feels like the perfect fit. The two men told me that their goal is to share their passion and their knowledge with the neighborhood, and to provide a service – an upscale body jewelry boutique – that the surrounding area has yet to experience.

The Workshop 2 Jewelry East Village
The Workshop 3 Jewelry East Village
The Workshop 4 Jewelry East Village
The Workshop 5 Jewelry East Village
The Workshop 6 Jewelry East Village
The Workshop 7 Jewelry East Village

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Trash and Vaudeville

Trash and Vaudeville is actually two stores – Vaudeville, full of colorful, ornamented clothing pieces, is a more kitsch environment, while Trash “is one of the seminal punk and goth stores of NYC.” Founded in 1975 by Ray Goodman, Trash and Vaudeville began adorning Rockers, Mods, Punks, Goths, and Rockabillies – “everyday working class heroes who just wanted to walk and dress on the wild side.” Today, the store continues to cater to a similar audience, dressing rock stars, such as Lady Gaga, counter culturists, as well as the average New Yorker and tourist. Besides the bright colors, feather boas, and rubber dresses, the store’s character is derived from the people working here – most notably, Jimmy Webb. He is the epitome of rock n’ roll and an era gone by - wearing tight pants that hug his body, a leather studded vest, metal bracelets that coil up his arm, and a shag haircut that shields his eyes. Jimmy's tough appearance is marked with the gentlest of souls. He tells us that he loves Iggy Pop, that he wants to be a “little piece of a great big thing happening,” but most importantly that he loves this store. In fact he is completely devoted to it. As he bops from left to right, Jimmy cannot help but charm every visitor...and he treats each of them with the utmost kindness, whether it be a star who walks in, a music lover, or someone who is simply exploring - like us. While the store is aesthetically memorable, Jimmy makes it much more noteworthy. A few years after our interview with Jimmy, Trash and Vaudeville moved from its longstanding home on St Marks to a location on 7th Street. However, the spirit, punk vibe, and killer style (not to mention Jimmy!) followed the store. We have left up our photographs of the St. Marks store as an homage to the location that started it all. Can't get enough? See more of our interview with Jimmy here.

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