At Home with Artist and Designer Scosha Woolridge

Located right in the center of Williamsburg, which can feel like the center of the incredibly chaotic universe, is the serene home that artist/designer Scosha Woolridge shares with her husband, Joe, also an artist, and their young son, Summit. The apartment, located in the back of the building and protected from the noise of the streets, is flooded with sunlight and full of vibrant art and beautiful textiles and, well, life.

Australian-born Woolridge traveled the world before landing in Brooklyn: “Directly before I came to New York, I came from the Amazon. I was in Brazil for about a year.” She lived in Manhattan at first, not leaving that particular island for months, before venturing out to Brooklyn because of the kind of story that will doubtlessly be fun to tell her son in years to come. Basically, Woolridge tells me, laughing, about how she first encountered her Brooklyn-born husband, “We met on Craigslist…not like that!” He was renting studio space and she was looking for a place to rent. And while she didn’t take the space, she did go back to Manhattan that day to tell a friend, “Oh, I’m going to marry that man.” She explains to me now, “But I was completely joking, I was never going to even get married, I was on my way out of here.”

Instead of fleeing New York, Woolridge has put down roots, both in the form of her apartment and also her eponymous shop, Scosha, which is within walking distance of her home. The store, which also has a workshop in the back where her jewelry line is crafted, is a beautifully curated mixture of jewelry and textiles and other home goods. Woolridge’s jewelry line has been inspired by her many travels but being a jewelry designer was not her original intention: “I always loved jewelry, you know, Afghani and African jewelry. I always loved little worlds, you know, peeking inside of little doll houses. I always found little things like so fascinating. I just didn’t really want to be in the commercial world though.”

Even though jewelry design might not have been the plan for Woolridge, whose paintings, along with her husband’s, fill her apartment, she acknowledges that Williamsburg is a sort of ideal place to have a business and raise a family. She says she loves, “The parks, and that there’s more of a community here, which is great for small businesses and it still feels very mom-and-pop, plus there’s still the dregs of creative artists here, although we all know that will change too.”

And despite having ventured to all corners of the world, Woolridge isn’t so sure if there’s anywhere she’s rather be. When I ask her what place she’d like to see on the other side of her apartment door, if she could one day open it and magically be transported, she answers, “Somewhere warm. I don’t know where I’d want to go or where we would go, but it would probably have to be somewhere warm, some little island somewhere. I know it’s cliché. But the thing is that I’ve done that before and I get bored. I need things to do, I like the pace and the energy of being here. I like a fast pace. When things are too slow, it’s not relaxing for me. To do nothing is not relaxing to me.”

In fact the only thing she would really change about her apartment is one that is familiar to anyone who has lived in New York: she’d like more space. Specifically, so that she could have more people over. Woolridge tells me, “I would love to entertain, I would love to have a space where I could have people just come and that’s something I fantasize that because I used to that a lot in Australia. I like people. I’m not interested in going out to a bar or a club, I’d like to have people over.” As she said this to me, we were curled up on her couch, Fleetwood Mac streaming out of speakers, drinking tea and eating some of the fresh fruit that she had laid out for my arrival. I could completely see why this consummate hostess, who is instantly welcoming in an unforced and gracious way, would like to be able to have a home where people could come in and out, to eat and talk and laugh and enjoy each other. And, of course, listent to Stevie Nicks. You can never have enough Stevie.

Scosha; 64 Grand Street, Williamsburg

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen


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