There's a new gallery in town—' new New York City gallery, that is. 1stdibs, if you're unfamiliar, is a vast online marketplace for everything from 18th-century antiques to new, contemporary designs, with an inventory that covers decor and furniture, art, fashion, jewelry, just to make a few key categories. And their new retail space will make you feel like you're walking through a design museum that you just happen to be able to shop, too.
The first thing you'll notice about the 1stdibs Gallery is just how easy it is to get lost in it. I mean, the place is huge—and if you can believe it, the 45,000-square-foot space is only 1 percent (yes, really!) of 1stdibs' inventory. While that's the case, 1stdibs' Chief Commercial Officer, Cristina Miller, tells CQ it's a good representation of the range of products the marketplace has to offer. The gallery also features more than 50 exhibitors—20 percent of whom are from outside the U.S.—along with rotating exhibitions that change every few months.
"It feels like a continuous path of discovery," Miller says, describing the gallery's general vibe. "Each area of the gallery has a different feel, so as you walk through the space you have a unique experience and view in each area." While you'll easily come across pieces worth tens of thousands of dollars along with much more affordable finds, it's definitely not an intimidating space to shop in—and it's not just a space for people in the trade.
"We have a friendly and knowledgable staff that are happy to help, but also happy to let you be," Miller says. "There are areas with pillows and tables to rest or just hang out, so people can be really self-guided. We love the idea of people just spending time with these beautiful items."
Oh, and shopping is made easy at the gallery, where, along with the physical products you see in the space, you can use iPads throughout the gallery to shop online, and use your phone to scan QR codes as well.
You can visit the 1stdibs Gallery at Terminal Stores (269 11th Avenue) in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, on the 7th floor, Monday through Friday. Miller does note that Friday afternoons are "a bit more festive," but given the size of the space, you can take your time and explore no matter when you pop in. And be sure to be on the lookout for events taking place in the gallery.
"We also do a lot of events in support of the design community, including day-time lectures and evening parties, so those are always a fun time to visit," Miller says. "Who doesn't enjoy a little shopping with a glass of champagne in one hand?" Cheers to that!
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