One thing that Governors Island is not short on is creativity. For the past five summers, visitors could meet Karin Persan, who makes her own silkscreen and clothing for pop-up shops. She runs Better Than Jam, a Bushwick, Brooklyn, shop that specializes in unique items. Karin curates a group of fellow artists and designers who make handmade items that are for sale in her pop-up shop. For 2015 BTJ will be in Building 410, the former 1917 Officers’ Quarters, on Hay Road, South of Comfort Road. Karin was nice enough to tell us about what’s coming to the island this season.
How would you describe the items in your popup store?
Everything is handmade by the designers themselves. Nothing is made in production, so a lot of one of a kind pieces.
How long has BTJ been around, and how did it come about?
The Bushwick store opened February 2010, and I was invited to run the Governors Island store in May of that same year, by the EtsyNY street team. This is my fifth year open, and fifth year running the Govs shops. Before the shops BTJ was solely my own label. I silkscreen textiles, and sew fashions.
Why do you like being on Governors Island?
I love it! It’s so surreal and relaxing. An unexpected calm in the busy city. Having a history as old as the city itself, it’s fascinating to dig back into it’s past.
What’s new for 2015?
The shop is no longer sponsored by the EtsyNY team, so for the first time, the application was open to anyone from the city who creates their own line. I received a ton of great new applicants. I’m excited to see what they have created for the visitors of the island.
Kevin C. Fitzpatrick has written and edited seven books with ties to New York history, including "The Governors Island Explorer's Guide" and "World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War." Kevin is a licensed sightseeing guide and has been leading walking tours since 1999. He resides in Manhattan.