NYC Together X Line & Label

Internships are often thought of as being for the benefit of the intern, but more and more we’re seeing what effect they can have for the company taking on the intern, too.

When Jerome arrived at Line & Label, Kate O’Riley’s hip Greenpoint boutique, she didn’t know what to expect. She said she partnered with the NYC Together internship program this winter simply because she wanted to pass on what she knows to aspiring designers.

“I always thought it would feel good to mentor or help someone, but never could I have imagined how good it made me feel,” she told us recently in an email. “It was a life changing experience for me. I think the bond that I developed with Jerome will be life long. I am truly thankful for the time that I get to spend with him every week.” 

When Jerome arrived, he loved clothes but he really didn’t know anything about making them, she said. He helped her mostly by taking packages to the post office, picking up sewing and trimming supplies, and doing inventory. She helped him by teaching him some basics in designing, draping, patternmaking, and sewing.

“What I wanted him to learn was first making a simple tote bag,” she explained. “He made the flat pattern, cut and then sewed the bag. I was pretty impressed, he had never made anything like this before from scratch.  Now we are in the process of making a custom fit button up shirt with his measurements.  He is learning that he can take an existing flat pattern, and make the adjustments according to his (or someone else's) measurements.”

Jerome is a senior in high school and hopes to continue his education at a fashion school next fall, where he’ll have some skills when he enters the classroom.

“There were a lot of people in my life who influenced me,” Kate wrote. “I would love to be able to inspire and help someone work toward their goals and dreams.”

Are you a company interested in providing an internship for an NYC Together youth? Contact us here.

Just like this story and want to contribute to the organization doing this work? Donate here.


Our First Dreamcatcher Workshop

Our first Dreamcatcher Workshop was a success!
We put out our collection of leather, feathers, beads and fringe for everyone to use.  
We were truly impressed with everyone's finished piece, and so happy everyone finished in time too!
Hopefully this was just the first of many events that we host at Line & Label.  September 15th will be our next Dreamcatcher workshop!

Insider Brooklyn by Rachel Felder

I think it was about a year ago that Rachel came into the shop and started telling me about a book that she was working on - and I remember thinking, what a great idea, I wish this was coming out now!!!

I of course am biased and think Brooklyn is the best borough - it's where I live, work, hang out - I'd take Brooklyn over Manhattan any day!

Rachel highlights things to do and places to stay in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Park Slope, Gowanus, Red Hook, Fort Green, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Ditmas Park. I don't think she left anything out!

Here is what she wrote about Greenpoint:

And of course about Line & Label:

'With Siouxsie and the Banshees blaring in the background and clothes by the likes of Christian Joy - a stylist who's worked with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Alabama Shakes - it's no surprise that the garments at this homespun boutique have a rock'n'roll edge. But owner Kate O'Riley, who designs some of the clothing, offers pieces that would work in a casual office environment despite their "cool girl" sensibility. There's also restrained, delicate jewelry and simple bags to tone things down. Nothing's too pricey and many items, including just-trendy-enough handbags, are made in-house in a studio that's tucked in back.'

We've ordered copies that we will have for sale in the shop - we think they will make great gifts filled with useful information as well as keepsakes for tourists.

Thanks again to Rachel Felder and Harper Collins for including us!

Meet Kate, Owner of Line & Label

What inspired you to open the store?

I had been working for high end clothing designers for the past 13 years - doing mostly design, production and operations.  I really thought it was time to do my own thing!  It was a combination of wanting to work for myself (I don't do well with authority - ha!) and the freedom to be more creative.

How did you come up with the shop name?

Line & Label came from me wanting to design a "Line" of my own for the shop as well as carrying other designers or "Labels".  

What are your favorite pieces to make?

I love the process of making dreamcatchers.  There's not a right or wrong way to make them - it's just what ever feels right, and I like that. But my true love is making leather handbags.  I am really a pretty practical person - and I love that I can make something that I think is so simple and beautiful and useful all at the same time.

What would your ideal "day off" be like?

My ideal day off would start with not setting my alarm (but I'd still be up by 8 I'm sure!) - and having it be a day off for my husband too.  We'd grab brunch at Enid's or Cafe Mogador and ride our bikes over the Pulaski Bridge to PS1.  Then go have a glass of wine or a beer somewhere and talk about what we liked and didn't like.



Favorite date spot?

I'm easily entertained and like going on a date (almost) anywhere!  But a favorite of mine would starting with a cocktail at Hotel Delmano and then crossing the street for dinner at Miranda's.  This is an old standby for us - and I think sentimental too.  We've spent many birthdays and anniversaries there!

What songs are you listening to right now?

Oh god.  I feel like this is the most loaded question.  I listen to Pandora at work and shuffle between The Kinks and The Clash stations.  Right now it's The Clash.  But yesterday it was a lot of Neil Young on The Kinks station...

What brought you to Greenpoint?

I graduated from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago in 2000, and knew I had to move to New York to work in Fashion.  I'd heard from a friend already living here that Wiliamsburg was the neighborhood to live in. We couldn't afford it and Greenpoint was the next best thing at the time.  Now it's obviosly the best and we've lived here ever since!  

What is in your bag?

A little bit of everything - I am overly prepared for anything.  Including jewelry in case I want to switch it up mid day.

What can you not leave home without?

Sunglasses.  If I forgot them at home - I'd buy another pair!