Never have I been to a space where I could grab arguably the best matcha, shop Martine Rose garments, and mint my own NFT. That is until I visited SEED Brklyn, Brooklyn’s cool one-of-a-kind gem.
Located in Brooklyn’s historic neighborhood Bedford–Stuyvesant, or Bed-Stuy, SEED Brklyn is many things, but boring isn’t one of them.
Launched in late October, the multi-functional space arrives as a coffee shop, sneaker laundry, art gallery, and — inhales deeply — a retail store in one place. Though, the gallery, which includes an NFT experience, is technically right next door (but you get the point).
SEED founder and artist Christophe Roberts’ favorite spot in the Bedford Ave place? Hint: it’s not inside. Roberts tells us his preferred area is across the street, where he stands from time to time watching curious passersby visit the place he’s worked to bring to life for over five years.
Stepping into the first-of-its-kind space, I was met with greenery all around. Vines dangled from the ceiling of the greenhouse-style café, while eco-friendly faux and living plants draped the gray walls of the retail scene.
On the contemporary-nature aesthetic, Roberts, who gave me a tour of the space, stated he wanted to make visitors feel like they were in “another world.” Well, mission accomplished (in a good way, at that).
As I made my way through the space with some tasty matcha in my hand, SEED came off as both welcoming and visually-pleasing — a nice break from the stuffy, minimalist boutiques, which often feel only approachable to its upper-class customers.
Inside the room dedicated to shopping, plant-inspired racks and shelves boasted garments from labels like Maharishi, Martine Rose, UNDERCOVER, and 424 — brands of which Roberts felt “represents all sides of New York City.”
“I love brands with a utilitarian vibe and a sustainability component. And I wanted to share that with our community,” Roberts stated.
“But for the most part, I wanted an original brand matrix. I wanted to introduce and sell unique brands in Bed-Stuy, a neighborhood where you won’t be able to find brands or designers like the ones featured in our store.”
At the same time, Roberts is also keeping space open on the racks for more brands, including rising and even local labels founded in Brooklyn.
SEED’s vision spans far beyond its cool design and neat experiences. Indeed, Roberts launched the place with the community in mind, especially the locals of inhabiting Bed-Stuy.
While SEED celebrates the neighborhood home to culture-shifters like Jay-Z, Jackie Robinson, and Lil Kim, it also inspires and nourishes tomorrow’s creative minds.
“So many of the creatives that live in this neighborhood and across Brooklyn often had to go across the bridge just to get the tools they needed to create,” Roberts said.
“I wanted to cultivate a space close to home where creatives can get the tools they need — a book or a cup of the best matcha —right in their backyard.”
As for the future, Roberts will undoubtedly continue to — if I may — plant SEED in the community through events and activations aimed at offering resources to local artistic minds (for those wondering, they’re having a web3 panel on November 22).
“To me, SEED symbolizes the passing of the baton of sorts, in that it inspires fellow creatives to realize that they can do this, too, and also launch their own conceptual spaces around the world.”