Obsessions: Erica Weiner

by Amy Azzarito

Erica Weiner has an incredible talent for digging up amazingness — you should see the collection of vintage rings she has at her store in NYC’s Nolita neighborhood. Heck, you should see the old-school cases that she’s unearthed to display such wonders. The aesthetically gifted lady also has a killer namesake line, which includes a stellar new lariat necklace made just for the site I co-founded, Of a Kind. Luckily, Erica was happy to give us a rundown of her current hit list full of finds that would make pretty great belated holiday presents. — Erica

1. Cold Picnic Wall Hangings, $200
“Colorful puffballs. They’re pretty in line with the 1970s Catskills cabin aesthetic that’s happening right now — you know, magical crystals, macrame, witchy photo shoots in the woods, etc. If I had a lake house, I’d hang these in it.”

2. Steven Alan Pintuck Bra, $49
“Ladies with small racks: If you don’t need or like an underwire bra, go with this cotton one. They come in seasonal, pretty fabrics, they have almost no cheapo-looking elastic and they’re on sale right now. They can also double as bikini tops — anything goes at Rockaway beach, anyway.”

3. Comstock Ferre Seeds
“This seed bank has been in business for 200 years. A young family bought the struggling company and used archival photos to create the prettiest edible-gardening catalog you’ve ever seen. Sadly, my Red Hook backyard garden, compost and soil were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy’s floodwater, but next year I’m going to rebuild it with these heirloom edibles. Seriously, order a catalog even if you don’t have any outdoor space to grow stuff. ”

4. Astier de Villatte Incense, $30
“This outrageously priced (but worth it) incense can be found at John Derian. My favorite is Oulan Bator and Delhi.  The packaging is exquisite, and whenever I burn it, I feel rich.”

5. OLO Fragrance, $45
“I think these guys have blown up recently — and if not, they’ll be huge in about five minutes. Heather Sielaff is a Portland, Oregon-based perfumer who began working out of her apartment, and then demand forced her to move to a studio. That story resonates with me. We’re going to carry her whole line in our Elizabeth Street store starting in the New Year.”

6. Eagle Blanket, $160
Joinery is one of the few good new stores in Williamsburg, among the avalanche of mediocre stores that are clogging the neighborhood with dumb garbage. This cotton blanket series [is] hand-woven in Brazil — [at] a price that’s pretty incredible.”

Image above: Erica Weiner’s lariat necklaces are always a huge hit on Of a Kind. Her latest features leopard-skin jasper stones. Amazing!

7. The Foxfire Book Series, from $13
“In the late 1960s, a high school teacher and his students went about interviewing older members of their rural Appalachian community about old ways of doing things: basket-weaving, planting crops by the signs of the zodiac, faith healing, moonshine-distilling. There are pictures of the awkward hippie kids churning butter with people who were born during the Civil War. There’s a whole series of these books.”

8. Valentine Portable Typewriter
“I bought one of these secondhand in Scotland during my college years, while I was studying abroad at the Glasgow School of Art. Now we use it in our store to make all of our signage and price tags. It’s a design classic from 1969, and it appears that they’re rare and expensive! I must have gotten a great deal on mine, although it only has a £ sign instead of a $.”

9. Zenith Stapler, $32
“Never again in my life will I struggle with junky staplers that fly open or jam. These heavy, well-made Italian staplers were originally designed in 1948. They come in lots of colors; you have to special-order the staples, but it’s so worth it. I gave these away as Christmas gifts last year, and they are life-improving.”

10. Rowan & Rowan
“Lately my business partner Lindsay and I have been traveling to London a lot to buy antique jewelry for our shop. We always pay a visit to Charlotte at Rowan & Rowan. Her collection is full of museum-quality pieces. I’ve learned a ton about jewelry history from her.”

11. Three Potato Four Market Bookshelf, $1,250
“This Philadelphia-based antiques specialist is our friend and personal furniture picker. Most of our store’s furnishings came from here. They’re carrying some antique-inspired new goods now, too, like this leather and copper riveted bookcase — a real piece of craftsmanship that can replace the crappy Billy bookshelf we all have somewhere.”

12. Common Ground Country Fair
“The Maine Organic Farmers and Grower’s Association (MOFGA) has a huge hippie festival at the end of every summer. Livestock breeders, soap-makers, kombucha-brewers, weavers, dyers, foragers, basket-weavers, midwives, stoneworkers — all the characters from Foxfire — are represented here. There are good vibes and lots of baby animals!”

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