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Sincerely, Tommy

www.bridgetbadore.com

Photo of Kai Avent-deLeon by Bridget Badore for The Style Line

Story by Rachel Schwartzmann – Shop Sincerely Tommy Photos by Bridget Badore for The Style Line

The concept of fostering local and emerging talent –

is a no-brainer for Brooklyn shop-boss,Kai Avent-deLeon.In fact, it serves as the core for her concept store Sincerely, Tommy which pays homage to quality, creativity and community. Located in the heart of Bed-Stuy the neighborhood gem caters to clothing and coffee-lovers alike with a dual built-in espresso bar. “We want people to feel welcome and most importantly get to know the space and what we are doing.” Kai shared when asked how this component enhances the environment. The space itself serves no shortage of inspiration with it’s rustic interiors, plant-filled corners and a surplus of natural light – Sincerely, Tommy seems to celebrate every New York staple when it comes to providing a true city-inspired shopping experience. With that said, we sat down with Kai to chat further about the role New York has played in the launch of Sincerely, Tommy and how her personal style translates into her life as Brooklyn boutique owner.

My name is Kai Avent-deLeon and I am the owner of Sincerely, Tommy.

I enjoy traveling, it’s hard for me to stay in New York for long periods of time at once. My favorite city besides my hometown (NYC) is Paris. So naturally, I really appreciated French culture, their films, art world and most of all the architecture. My passion for interiors really developed from my time there. When I’m not in the store I am usually developing new ideas for a new objects series I am designing. Otherwise, I am hanging out with my boyfriend and friends.

How would you characterize the Sincerely Tommy community?

The Sincerely, Tommy culture and community represents a lifestyle of young creatives. We are a group of artists that are innovators and leaders in what we do, be it fashion design, ceramics, carpentry, jewlery design, visual art, etc.

What inspired the coffee shop aspect Sincerely, Tommy experience and what value do you think this adds to the community?

The coffee counter serves as a more interactive component allowing customers to sit and relax or talk with our staff. We want people to feel welcome and most importantly get to know the space and what we are doing. I think those who aren’t in the market for shopping can still find solitude in the store knowing that that component exists.

Talk to us about Brooklyn – From your experience how would you describe the collective personal style and of your customers and what role do you think style plays in their lives?

Most of my customers are between the ages of 21-40 and work in a creative realm. They appreciate being able to find exclusive or emerging designer pieces here. Because most of our product is quite unique it attracts a person who is thinking outside of the box.

Personally, what is your favorite aspect of NYC style and how do you think it translates into the energy of Sincerely, Tommy?

My favorite thing about NYC style is it’s effortlessness. People in New York carry themselves like nowhere else in the world. Style comes with such ease and confidence here.

Are there any pieces or nooks within the space that are a constant source of inspiration for you?

When I first opened I picked up the line, Cistanthe. Her pieces are made usually one of a kind and made throughout the world with beautiful fabrics and handmade prints. There was this one oversized pastel purple angora coat that was in the store and I told myself that whoever buys this ensure that my customer is out there. Someone bought it within a few weeks of the store being open and since then that coat remains my inspiration for finding insanely gorgeous and special pieces.

How has pursuing this endeavor redefined or re-inspired your definition of discovery? 

It only reinstills my belief that you have to follow what you’re passionate about in life. I think I’ve discovered qualities in myself that I didn’t realize existed until I opened the store.

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, if what is your “style line”? 

I am on the go everyday so I am always prepared for what may happen over the course of a day. I like to be comfortable and classy at the same time. I usually opt for one or two statement pieces because I visit a lot of showrooms during the week, but I may also have an interview. I like to stand out!