One of the biggest fears that new parents have is that their apartments—their whole lives, really—are about to be taken over by poorly designed, primary-colored, environmentally hazardous, plastic baby gear and toys. At least, we’re pretty sure this is a top concern of new parents. But does it really have to be that way?
When the rest of our Brooklyn-dwelling lives are so defined by a clearly articulated design aesthetic, why can’t that extend to the things belonging to our children? Well, it can. Norman & Jules is a new toy shop located in the heart of Park Slope that specializes in beautifully designed, fair trade-certified, environmentally conscious toys and child-oriented objects. The store is owned and operated by longtime Park Slope residents—and parents to a one-year-old daughter, Charley—Avi Kravitz and Courtney Ebner. Kravitz and Ebner come from backgrounds in art direction and marketing, respectively, and their combined design knowledge is evident in the beautiful store, which manages to be both aesthetically engaging from an adult’s perspective and yet welcoming and fun for a child.
This balance is difficult to strike and so it makes perfect sense that the community has come to embrace Norman & Jules so quickly. Kravitz tells us, “The community’s response has been incredible and it feels so good. To have started out saying, ‘This is a dream. This is our family’s vision and plan.’ And to have that become a reality is just awesome. Everyone’s just been super supportive. And it makes us feel so good.”