A charming new mom-and-pop toy store opened last Sunday in the space that had been home to The Park Florist for the past 40 years, on Seventh Avenue between First and Garfield.
Run by the husband and wife team of Avi Kravitz and Courtney Ebner, Norman and and Jules is unlike other toy store in the area. As opposed to the standard assortment of Legos and Thomas the Tank Engine sets, there's a focus on "handcrafted and imaginative toys, decor, and art that enable children to explore and develop through creativity," according to their press release.
The bulk of the merchandise is made of wood or fabric, handmade by local artisans and companies that use sustainable materials (many of which belong to the Fair Trade Federation). Musical instruments, handmade dolls, small wooden animals and vehicles, and a whimsical assortment of other items, many milti-purpose, definitely seem to spark the imagination more than most of what I've seen at, say, Toys R Us. And very few of the items for sale use packaging.
“It seemed crazy to us that there was so much waste in the toy industry," Kravitz recently told Patch. "Then we found that there are so many entrepreneurial toymakers, artisans and artists that are creating all these handmade toys and are being responsible socially and environmentally.”
Avi and Courtney are on hand to help find that perfect item, and their young daughter Charley and affable Chihuahua can usually be found in the shop as well.
Norman and Jules, 158 Seventh Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 347-987-3323.