Sep 01, 2017

Happy Anniversary to The Brass Owl and Lockwood!

Happy anniversary to two of our favorite local boutiques – The Brass Owl and Lockwood!

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Welcome to September! This is an auspicious month in the Astoria small business/retail world—two heavy hitters, The Brass Owl (36-19 Ditmars Blvd) and Lockwood (32-15 33rd Street), celebrate anniversaries this month. We thought we’d check in with Nicole (The Brass Owl) and Mackenzi (Lockwood; full disclosure: Mackenzi is a WHA founder) to get some insight on the world of retail in the neighborhood.

What date did you open your business?

The Brass Owl: We opened September 13, 2014.

Lockwood: We opened in September of 2013. Since we do soft openings the dates are always a little fuzzy.

What kinds of things did you sell at the beginning? What were best sellers then?

TBO: I opened in the Fall, and sold a TON of scarves.

L: We sold a little bit of everything back then! When we opened we had clothing, handbags, cards, housewares, candles, and kids things, and over time we’ve spun out our paper and women’s clothing items into stand alone stores—which we’re celebrating Sept 14!


Photo credit: Lockwood

What kinds of things do you sell now and what are the current best sellers?

TBO: Accessories and shoes are still the backbone of The Brass Owl, but now we carry ladies clothing which has been flying off the shelves.

L: Current best sellers are our clever/funny socks, sunglasses and greeting cards.

What are some of your favorite memories over the past years?

TBO: Every year, my favorite day is Small Business Saturday. I love to see so many people from the community come out to support TBO and all the other indie shops in Astoria.

L: Our favorite memories always include babies and dogs! It’s fun to see families grow and change. We’ve also had a few notable shoppers—the cast of Nurse Jackie and Orange Is The New Black have both shopped at Lockwood.


Photo credit: The Brass Owl

What kinds of changes have you seen in the world of Astoria retail?

TBO: Retail in Astoria seems to really be growing. We have a great group of indie retailers. I started @shopsmallastoria to promote all the amazing stores. Astorians can do all their shopping here in our neighborhood and never have to go into the city.

L: I think Astoria retail just gets stronger and stronger! We’ve seen such a tremendous amount of support for our new concepts and we’re so grateful for that.

Do you have any predictions for the future of the local retail scene?

TBO: I think (and hope) that it will continue to grow. The more indie stores that open in the neighborhood, the better it is for all of us making Astoria a shopping destination.

L: Good question! I think we’ll just continue to see more and more stores. I personally think we still could use a kids store and a kitchen supply store.

Photo credit: Lockwood Style

Is there anything else you’d like us to know about your business?

TBO: We care a lot about the community at TBO, so we do a lot of events in-store. Every month we have a free workshop and pop-ups from local artists, and for holidays we like to throw fun parties. So it’s always a good time at TBO!

L: We’re always hiring! With 5 locations, we’re always looking for awesome team members. They can apply at Local designers can also submit their creations to that same email. We love working with local makers and suppliers.


Photo credit: The Brass Owl

Big thanks to Nicole and Mackenzi for spending some time to answer our questions. And since they are both celebrating anniversaries, that means parties! The Brass Owl celebrates on Sunday, September 10 from 11am-8pm and Lockwood on Thursday, September 14 from 5-9pm. Here’s what you can expect:

The Brass Owl 3 Year Anniversary Party. Look forward to:

  • Free Brass Owl tote with purchases over $10
  • Double Loyalty Points
  • Raffle for $100 Brass Owl gift card
  • Complimentary mimosas and cupcakes from Aloria Cakes
  • 5% off entire store and 50% off clearance

Lockwood Block Party. This is happening at the original Lockwood (32-15 33rd Street), Lockwood Style (new location: 33-06 Broadway), and the new Lockwood Paper (33-02 33rd Street). Look forward to:

  • 20% off anything in-stock (including markdowns!) at all Astoria locations
  • Extended party hours from 5-9pm
  • Free gift with $50 purchase
  • Wine, La Croix, and dessert bar featuring Chip New York City cookies and cupcakes from Lily SPOTS NYC!
  • DJ at Lockwood Style
  • Customization bar at Lockwood Paper
  • Cocktail bar from our friends at Cocktail Crate at Lockwood featuring Ginger Bee’s &
  • Grapefruit Palomas!

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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