A new hybrid boutique/ art space centered around batik opened this morning in the space that was last occupied by Soula, on Fifth Avenue between Degraw and Sackett. Called Hiho Batik ("high-ho"), it's run by Julia Gordon, who'd spent the past 15 years practicing the art form in Miami, along with business partner Robyn Stylman. For those unfamiliar with batik, it's a craft that uses wax and dyes to create an image, resulting in a very cool and unique finished product.
The space is divided into three unique sections: up front batik t-shirts, hoodies, messenger totes, headbands, and other accessories are sold, geared toward children (for now) and all made by hand on site.
In the back there's a party space, where kids and adults can easily create their own batiks based on a selection of templates. And beyond that is the work space where up to 100 items can be hand-made daily for sale in the front shop.
"It's so easy to do, it really brings out the artist in everyone," said Julia, pulling out a t-shirt with a Yankee logo made recently by a six year old.
The party room can be rented out for any occasion, but you can also drop in at any time (calling ahead is recommended).
Owners Robyn Stylman (l.) and Julia Gordon
Hiho Batik, 184 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. 718-622-4446.