We are beyond excited to introduce you to NORMAN & JULES Toy Shop...our go-to for gorgeous goodies from around the world. Stocked with handcrafted toys and imaginative decor, we never walk away empty handed. Take a stroll over to their Brooklyn shop or new e- shop, we promise you a drool-worthy experience.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO OPEN UP A TOY SHOP?
Avi and I both love beautiful well-crafted goods. In the early days of our relationship we discovered it was a common dream to own a shop. There were a couple of different ideas, but once the idea of a well curated toy shop came up, we knew we had to make it happen. There are so many incredible analog toys to aid in a child’s development that weren’t available in our area of Brooklyn. With all the like-minded families in Park Slope, we had a pretty good feeling that our idea would be well received.
WHAT DID YOU BOTH DO BEFORE YOU OPENED NORMAN & JULES?
Courtney: I spent 16 years in the apparel industry as a tastemaker for over a dozen brands. I spent my last six years with a fortune 500 company as the Manager of Global Trends and Insights, which basically means I was out and about discovering branding trends for all the major brands and retailers in the world.
Avi: I ran my own design firm for 10+ years and spent my last 4 years as the Creative Director for a major men’s brand.
WHAT WAS THE BEST BUSINESS ADVICE YOU RECEIVED?
Hire a bookkeeper and follow your own intuition when making decisions for your business. Definitely hire a good bookkeeper!
WHAT'S NEXT FOR NORMAN & JULES?
Developing our 800 square foot backyard into one of Brooklyn’s premiere outdoor play and event spaces. We recently launched a community crowd funding campaign to build an amazing event space for the community to use and enjoy. We will have birthday parties, story time, playgroups, concerts and all sorts of different events. It’s really exciting for us!
WE LOVE YOUR SHOP AND ARE OBSESSED WITH ALL OF THE GORGEOUS GOODIES. DO YOU HAVE FAVORITE ITEMS IN THE SHOP?
Courtney: It’s so hard to say especially because we just finished up with 2 days at NYNOW. We have some really great products coming in. Some of my favorite items in the store now are: Lieschen Mueller Cat and Bear Dolls, Alanquo Dolls, all of Lucky Boy Sunday, Bow & Arrow by Sketch + John, Fagus Trucks and Little City Houses Building Set by Grimm’s.
Avi: Wooh, that’s a hard one. I’m having a whole lot of fun building Tegu tower displays in our window, but I love a lot of things in here.
WHAT SHOULD OUR READERS/CLIENTS KNOW ABOUT NORMAN & JULES THAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
What makes Norman & Jules special is that we spend all of our free time researching toys from around the world in order to bring our customers special treasures that aren’t found elsewhere. Another really cool thing is the growing number of local vendors that are stocking our shelves. We love that!
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
We live in Park Slope, Brooklyn, a block and a half from the shop! It’s a tough commute.
IF WE WERE VISITING YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, WHAT WOULD BE ON YOUR LIST FOR US TO SEE/DO/EAT/SHOP?
See: Just walk the neighborhood. There is so much charming architecture and plenty of wonderful shops.
Do: Explore the new play ground in Prospect Park that is made from repurposed trees lost in Hurricane Sandy. It is such an amazing, imaginative place for the kiddos to explore.
Eat: Gather, Pork Slope, Milk Bar
Shop: Bird, Poppy, Claypot and Sterling Place, but there are just so many others — it would be hard to list them all.
WHAT/WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST SOURCE OF INSPIRATION?
Our 3 year old daughter, Charley. She had a hard entry into this world, but she just pushed through it with superhero will power and is now an incredibly strong, imaginative, sweet little girl.
FIVE THINGS YOU EACH CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT?
Courtney: Avi, Charley, Beach, Exercise, Good Food & Wine
Avi: Aside from Courtney and Charley...Chicken wings, My iphone, Our cozy leather couch, A good run, Collecting
Thanks Courtney and Avi!
Three Kisses Chelsea, Rachel and Diana
Visit Norman & Jules.
Beaming with pride that Anthropologie is featuring our Giraffe wallpaper collaboration with Jill Malek. Head on over to check us out. Oh my!