Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Interview: Scaredy Kat Owners Damond Gallagher and Nora Yockey

AAF: Where are you from originally?

Damond and Nora: Damond is from Colorado and Nora grew up in central Illinois. We both moved to NYC in the early 90’s and met working in theatre. Nora worked making costumes in various costume shops in the city and as a dresser at Les Miserables, among other shows. Damond was a stage manager and lighting director for various companies in the city & internationally.

At some point we decided we wanted to run our own show, thus Scaredy Kat was born.

AAF: When did you open your business in Park Slope and why did you chose the location?

Damond and Nora: When we opened the shop in 1999, we considered various locations throughout Brooklyn, but one of the things that drew us to 5th Avenue was the diversity of the people along the avenue and within the community of Park Slope. It seemed different than 7th Avenue or Smith Street in that it was a long stretch of available commercial property that had the potential to grow into something really great. We weren’t sure what that would be, but we knew that we wanted to be part of it.

We finally settled on a small 250 square foot shop at 219 5th Avenue and since then have steadily moved to larger and larger locations (229 5th Ave. & now, 232 5th Ave.) as we, as well as the neighborhood, have grown.

AAF: How would you describe your store?

Damond and Nora: We consider it a modern general store in which you can find a little something for everyone. We sell an eclectic mix of cards and gifts that range across the spectrum. From jewelry and toys to bath soaps, candles and witty coffee mugs we strive for a fun and inventive solution to your gift giving.

AAF: What do you like best about 5th Avenue?

Damond and Nora: In having a shop on 5th Avenue for the last 11 years, we feel like we have become part of the community. We’ve made birth announcements for parents and have been able to watch those children grow up. It allows us to feel part of something greater and to see the development of the neighborhood from what it was all those years ago.

Interview conducted by Rebeccah Welch

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