Holiday gifts from Manhattan? Fuggedaboutit!
Industrious Brooklynites celebrated their hard work at the “Made in Brooklyn Holiday Market” in Sunset Park’s Industry City on Nov. 22 and 23. About 4,000 shoppers passed through the gift market and perused goods from 40 borough vendors, according to organizers with the firm Wanted Design. One borough business owner who moved manufacturing here from abroad said the decision is saving lives — bird lives.
“Control of the materials was a top issue,” said Angie Yeung, whose company Celltei makes pet carriers. “Birds are very sensitive to toxicity so we need to be really careful, and when we did things overseas, we did have problems.”
The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce certified Yeung’s business as “Brooklyn Made” because Celltei fabricates its carriers in Williamsburg and most of its eight employees live in the borough, she said.
The Chamber doles out gold, silver, and bronze certifications to companies based on how much of their manufacturing activity takes place in the borough.
Another business owner who fashions housewares such as clocks and mirrors in Williamsburg said the company keeps it local by patronizing suppliers in New York state.
“We receive raw parts from vendors and assemble and package them in our studio,” said Jamie Wolfond, of Good Thing. “They’re sending us these dirty pieces of precut metal, and it’s our job to make them into a product here in Brooklyn.”