In the age of e-commerce, there is something undeniably refreshing about walking into a brick and mortar store that you can immediately tell is made with love and attention. Everything in the store has been chosen and arranged for a specific reason, in the hopes that you will enjoy what you see, and perhaps, “have a good day.” That’s the feeling you get when you walk into Thank You Have A Good Day, in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Behind the scenes is the lovely duo, Alicia and Gary. Alicia has been a stylist for over twenty years, so her eye and her edit is one of the best. Gary, a creative director, is also the builder, the fixer, and even sews in the tags of Alicia’s line that is sold at the store (more on that below!).
I have to ask about the name. It’s so unique but at the same time a ubiquitous phrase. Why and how did you decide on it?
It makes people smile. It’s playful. It’s a hug with words.
Thank You Have a Good Day came to me in the middle of the night. I gave myself two weeks to workshop it, but I think it was our name before we even dreamed it up. It is also a bit of a nod to the art of customer service and the beauty of human interaction as brick and mortar retail slowly fades away.
What is the ethos of the store? You carry such a fun mix of smaller, indie brands and vintage but everything has a fun yet timeless quality to it. When buying for the store, what is your thought process?
Above all, we wanted to create a space that felt genuine. A shop made up of a hand-picked, hand-built, considered, and cohesive offer with a strong point of view. It is a tactile articulation of what we love.
Sharing and showcasing objects we want in our own lives, all day everyday felt important, as did creating an environment that was true to us in a thoughtful way.
We hope for our clients to experience a strong sense of discovery when they walk into and around the shop. and this is reflected in the buy. Unexpected yet of course kind of sums it up. thank you have a good day is things our friends make, things our friends friends make, things stumbled upon, things sought after, happy accidents/grand experiments. and it has been (and continues to be) a very organic process. almost all of our collaborators are close by. working with New York based collections/partners has allowed us not only to create wonderful relationships, but also be more thoughtful in the way we receive our stock.
As retail becomes increasingly challenging to navigate with more people transitioning to buying online, a distinct formula for brick and mortar has emerged– it is a beautiful formula, but it has led to a very homogenous retail culture in terms of not only branding and identity, but offer and presentation as well. I think it is important to create a space that is dynamic and experiential, multilayered and infused with a human touch. unique without sacrificing accessibility. Like the name and logo, we wanted the store to reflect that point in time before everything exploded and shifted and became focused on globalization. Before local got left behind.
Talk to us about your own line you carry at Thank You Have a Good Day! Where did the inspiration and necessity stem from?
My workhorses. I drew strongly from a handful of well worn/well loved vintage workwear pieces that were constantly popping up in my edit. I wanted to create a collection of beautifully simple wardrobing staples that felt unfussy and effortless. Versatile silhouettes; chic and easy blank canvases that sort of shape shift into what you need them to be in the moment. When we shopped for ourselves, we felt that was missing, and we wanted to make something to fill that gap.
We produced locally and sourced special fabrics. Workwear icons reimagined– we made a pant and jacket to be worn together or apart, and a street ready nightgown with pockets. Each piece is finished by hand– all of the labels are hand drawn and hand sewn by Gary. With love of course.
Can you tell us a bit about how the actual store came together and the work you and your lovely partner, Gary, did to make it as sustainable as possible?
We realized early on that we could build out the space in a very thoughtful way. from recycling building materials to repurposing found objects, we tried to only source what we needed from thrift stores and salvage yards. Even the paint colors for the most part were dictated by what we could find used. The notch wall at the back of the store was entirely built using sheetrock and wood from an interior dividing wall we tore down to open up the space. The flooring was salvaged and reimagined in the space with recycled paint “rugs” poured on for texture in place of fabric rugs which we feared would need constant washing to keep clean. We even made a shelf from old Levis.
You and Gary seem like such a collaborative, creative couple! Can you tell us a bit about how you inspire and support each other through your creative endeavors? Do you always work together or use each other as a sounding board?
Alicia: Gary constantly inspires and impresses me. he is a limitless creative force of nature who has taught me that anything and everything is possible. Without his presence and encouragement the collection would still exist in a limbo dream state in my mind. without Gary life would be significantly less magic filled.
We are very collaborative– whether it be working together on a project or offering an ear or eye to each others individual work/projects. it is all pretty organic– which I think is rare.
It was during the arduous process of creating a logo for the store when I realized how well we work together. Every morning for weeks, with coffee, in bed, cycling through idea after idea until we had the one that hit. It was nothing but calm conversation, constructive feedback and honesty throughout. It set the tone for the way we’ve partnered on all projects since.
Gary: Alicia is effortlessly stylish with a beautiful temperament, both of which are priceless and something you’re born with. Respecting is imperative. Working on the logo together was our first collaborative effort and being comfortable enough with one and other to disagree and reject ideas was a breath of fresh air. It was a real joy how we navigated the process and everything just flowed after that. We both have a great deal of experience in our respective fields which makes us a very good team.