interview: karin schaefer and diane crespo from acorn toy shop

karin schaefer of acorn toy shop

i am addicted to acorn toy shop, my definite all-time favorite toy store ever with its focus on beautiful handmade toys.   acorn makes me wish that my kids will never grow up so i will always have an excuse to buy wooden cherries, whimsical dolls and gorgeous clothing.   since i love the aesthetic of the shop so much, i was very excited that the women behind acorn, karin schaefer (pictured above) and diane crespo, agreed to share their favorite places to shop and eat in brooklyn and beyond.   in addition to owning the store, these two are just a wee bit busy.  karin is an artist (i love the mapping projects), and diane is a filmmaker.  thanks so much karin and diane!

layla shop


top places for clothes?

layla for jewelry and clothing, shoes from eva gentry and its consignment store (we both have a thing for fiorentini and baker boots).  makie  for jackets and tops, martin for jeans. 

hostess gift ideas?

khadi towles from layla, bananagrams from acorn, moroccan market basic from grdn filled with goodies from sahadis  or wine from the heights chateau.

for stationery?

postcards from john derian, coral & tusk and foxy & winston notecards from acorn.

for flowers?

we buy flowers at grdn, seaport  or the borough hall greenmarket.

stationery from foxy & winston

kids’ gifts (in addition to acorn, if there is anywhere)?

we like the city blocks from muji,  and antique toys and furniture from wellfleet flea market in cape cod, massachusetts and daisy drygoods in arcata, california where we go each year when we are in humbolt county to visit our boy kaya who is in college there.

favorite spot for the women in your life? 

diane just bought me a beautiful gold victorian bead necklace from erie basin.  we both buy gifts for each other and our mothers at layla, erica tanov, book court  and swallow.

what about the males in your life?

clothes from hollander and lexer.  gifts and books from darr.

wedding presents?

sometimes we give art, either my work, or other artists like myriam babin.  we have given assortments of colorful towels from layla, astier de villate dishes from john derian or serving boards by patrick keesey.

treats for you?

i can never have enough of the elam sketch books in assorted sizes from john derian. we both like a rag and bone indulgence – jeans, jackets and coats.

all-around favorite shop?

layla.  when diane is not at acorn she can be found holding court in the pink chair at layla.

for the basics: pharmacy, dry cleaners, tights?

weleda and dr. hauschka products from perelandra.  best cleaners on henry street.  socks and tights from diane t or century 21.

acorn henry public


favorite date-night restaurant? 

vinegar hill house.

with friends?

we have people over to our place.

best spot for drinks?

we have been enjoying henry public (pictured above) of late.

most amazing dinner dish?

this week it was the trout at prime meats.

the best place for desserts?

the chocolate room in cobble hill.  it is all about dark chocolate for us so we like an assortment of the truffles there; the valentina, franscesca, lola etc.

for breakfast?

we don’t go out for breakfast here, but when in the berkshires we like the egg and cheese paninis and cappuccinos at rubi’s in great barrington, massachusetts.

favorite asian resto?  latin american?  middle eastern?

locally we like hibino, habana outpost before a movie at the brooklyn academy of music in the summer, and yemen cafe on atlantic ave.

acorn frankies

favorite neighborhood spot?


the best coffee and pastry?

café pedler in brooklyn and diane goes to stumptown at the ace hotel near her office in manhattan.

top comfort food?

take out from mamas in the east village.

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