Shackleton Thomas Furniture Store Comes to Brooklyn

By Melissa Duchan

Shackleton Thomas furniture, based in Vermont, opened its Brooklyn outpost on May 15. Owner Charlie Shackleton and his wife Miranda Thomas have run their original store in rural Vermont for 30 years. Charlie enjoyed making functional household items since he was a child. Because his interests were more hands-on as opposed to academic, he decided to attend the West Surrey College of Design in Farnham, England. He met Miranda at the college in 1978. He was studying for a BA in 3D Design (design using metal, glass, ceramics and wood) and she was studying for a BA in ceramics. He moved to Vermont in 1981 with glassblower Simon Pearce who had set up a business there. Miranda started a pottery for Pearce two years later. In 1986 the couple finally opened their own store, while still providing inventory for Pearce. Their Brooklyn outpost is the culmination of over a decade of research and planning. They were looking into expanding in various metro areas in the Northeast but settled on Brooklyn after their daughter began working in the Dance Motion intercultural program at BAM. Charlie and Miranda were very enchanted by Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights in general when they visited their daughter. Although their town in Vermont does attract tourists, the store on the corner of Henry gives them access to a much wider market. They especially liked that the neighborhood felt like a community, much like their headquarters in Vermont.

Charlie described the initial reception in May as “completely amazing.” Shackleton Thomas has a team of 20 people in total, including 8 furniture makers and several potters. All the merchandise is handmade by this team of craftspeople in Vermont. Shackleton had already garnered what he dubbed an “admiring customer base” during the first six weeks after opening, partly due to the local affinity for handmade items. He said the space on the corner of Henry and Atlantic felt right instinctually, and his instinct proved right. He expects another uptick in business after Labor Day. Shackleton Thomas is located at 117 Atlantic Avenue between Henry and Hicks. They can be reached by phone at (929) 337-6911 and their website is shackletonthomas.com.

The exterior of the store includes a cozy bench for tired passersby and large glass windows

     The exterior of the store includes a cozy bench for tired passersby and large glass windows.

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                The interior of the store features everything from ceramic mugs to wooden tables.

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