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We love getting a view into the lives of creative people we admire, through objects that are important to them. Today, Kristin Axtman and Anthony Francis of Brooklyn Haberdashery give us a glimpse behind the scenes of the objects of beauty and utility that they source and make. Welcome, Kristin and Anthony!

—Ann and Kay

Anthony building our timber frame house in Port Townsend, Washington

We built a modern timber frame home with trees we cut from our property and milled ourselves. The frame was mortise and tenon joinery with wooden pegs. While we no longer own the home, we still have the skills and memories of the experience.

Collection of vintage sewing notions

Vintage sewing notions and the typography on them are an endless source of intrigue.

Workshop at BH

On the wall of our workshop hang woodworking and blacksmithing tools several of which Anthony made himself. Many others are from tool makers whose workshops we’ve visited around the world.

Kristin stitching in Brooklyn Bridge Park

When we moved back to Brooklyn eight years ago, it was a very deliberate decision to be a part of the creative life here. No regrets.

Hanging out with our nephews in the back yard

Growing some of our own food pushes us outside to move our bodies and fill our souls.

Stitching on the stoop

As often as possible, we sit on the stoop. All day long, greetings of “Good afternoon!” ring out. Some neighbors stop to chat a bit—we check on each other, and stay up to date on each other’s lives.

Pressing apple cider with our neighbors

We like to say that “Our neighbors make our neighborhood.” And ours do.

Chore jackets from France, coveralls from Texas, and a farm vest and denim shirt from Japan

Our love of the utilitarian and of fabric has us looking out for vintage work clothes. We wear them, mend them, and feel connected to a long history of people who work with their hands.

Tandem ride to transport the child

Our Dutch bikes give us a leisurely way to get around the city.

Part of our pencil collection

Using (and manually sharpening!) pencils is a small utilitarian joy.

Brooms in Kyoto

Beauty in everyday objects … it gets us every time.

About The Author

Kristin Axtman and Anthony Francis collect, make, and offer beautiful objects for makers at Brooklyn Haberdashery.


  • Great article about everyday life of making!

  • So glad you highlighted this fantastic, creative couple. Aside from wishing I was friends with them, taking a peek into their lives and business makes me want to support Brooklyn Haberdashery even more! Time to shop!!

  • Lovely !

  • What a colourful, functional, green & growing world in which to live and create.

  • Your post reminded me of Neruda’s “Odes to Common Things,” one of my favorite books. Off to pull it out and read a few of the poems…

  • One of those stories that makes you wish the rest of the world would be that way. They’ve certainly lit their one little candle. Chloe

  • What an amazing family. I’d like to be them when I grow up, except I’m all growled up at 72, but its never too late. Thank you Krisitin and Anthony for being who you are.

  • I understand that Brooklyn has become very gentrified.

    • It’s a very big borough!

  • I love this segment. Please bring us more like it.

    • ICYMI, Jeanette Sloan’s Portrait in Objects is right here:

  • Oh my gosh! Love the collection of brooms.

    • I saw those and thought of my great-aunt who had a broom shop in the Amana Colonies in Iowa for years. So cool. Also loved the view of their backyard, which was so British in its smallness and ambition. And making your own timber-frame house of your own milled wood is no joke! You can see their love of craft in everything they do.

  • Thank you for this!! So inspiring!! I look forward to supporting them.

  • What a great way to be inspired! Calm and soothing, a reminder to make use of what we already have and recycle/reuse beloved objects. Perhaps it’s time reissue parts or the whole of an old MDK book I found at my used book store. What’s the title? It’s called, “The Curious Knitters Guide”. I’m such a bookaholic. Happy Holidays everyone. We must knit on. Soon the pandemic and 2020 will be over.

  • Hi Kristin and Anthony. Thanks for sharing this article about your awesome sounding business. It’s nice to hear about your lives and your inspiring example of low impact living.

  • This is the first time I’ve heard of Brooklyn Haberdashery, but I think it’s going to be in my life from now on. Wonderful fabrics and ideas, and such a happy air about it all.

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Beautiful shoes, too!
  • Beautiful and creative artisans and artistry. Beautifully done and well written featured piece. Beautiful people and souls.

  • I very much enjoyed learning about this company and this couple. Keep this series going please..I like to hear about people who share like-minded visions of craft and the world beyond…

  • I have a button box that has more than buttons in it that I treasure because there are pieces of people and their lives that I will never know but I cherish

  • Beautiful story. I love and enjoy creativity. I’m 77 years old: a quilt maker, knitter/crocheter, sitting in my car in the fog here at Mercer Lake in Jersey, enjoying your story. Thank you…..Gail

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