Who are GEOMETRY kids?
Many of my work days are spent on Grand Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When I am early to work or sometimes on lunch, about once a month, I spend a few minutes in GEOMETRY kids on 48 Grand Street. It is a small but full, colorful boutique with high-end children clothes, goods, and books. Everything in the store is exquisitely crafted or designed. This does lead to a certain price point for many of the items, but for Williamsburg its not absurd. What more than makes up for this higher price point is not just the quality, but the aims of the shop. In their own words:
"GEOMETRY kids takes inspiration from the many facets of our diverse city. We strive to stock goods that teach families lessons about being different, about acceptance, and about learning from others. Our city is an example of how globalization is quickly bringing together many people of different backgrounds and ideas. In order for our children to thrive and succeed in this environment, they must know more about one another. Every item that we stock is an effort to push our children towards understanding new and different ideas.
GEOMETRY kids is Tassy, Mehiko, Fernando, Shirley, and Jenny. We come from diverse backgrounds, ranging from Thailand, Japan, Brazil and the Dominican Republic, but all share a love of family, great design and joyful parenting."
I'd say those are spectacular goals for a children's shop.
Classics and Contemporary: Slightly Edited
Last spring I worked with one of the owners - Mehiko - and have loved hearing a bit about the books they stock and her aims for the shop. In fact, one of the more refreshing conversations, just last month, was about revisiting the beloved classic Babar the Elephant by Jean de Brunhoff with the passage of decades and adult interpretations.
For many, this is a beautiful and touching childhood memory. This was true for me. But when considering whether to carry it in GEOMETRY kids, the team decided the out-of-date themes of colonization, racism, and violence was not appropriate for their aims of encouraging diversity and acceptance.
Instead, they carry classics like The Snowy Day: a celebration of exploration in NYC, widely known for its famous use of a black child (but also critiqued for not addressing black culture) or Where the Wild Things Are: a story of exploration, family, and imagination.
For contemporary books, they carry a small mix of hand and digital illustrated books. All with positive, fun, or educational themes. My only critique in selection, which I make to the children's illustration world as a whole, is that some of the digital books with great stories lack in artistic quality. Not all mind you, but a couple books in the collection occasionally read as cold or distant to me. It should be noted I do have a strong preference for the human touch in art and am a biased critic.
Why I Visit so Often
Honestly, convenience plays a part. It is in a great spot I pass all the time. But I pass many stores all the time. Really it is the colors that keep drawing me in. I know they have a small but amazing collection and I can count them adding and changing the books regularly. Each time I go I see something new and I always have a nice chat with whoever is working. It is a warm, inviting shop with lots to look at and beautiful things to buy. I am focused on illustrated books, but their collection includes clothes, toys, baby and home gear, and more. I highly recommend visiting and seeing what they carry on their shelves.