Though ABC is one of the most beloved stores in New York City, its owner and creative director, Paulette Cole, doesn’t like to call what people do there shopping.
“I think of it as discovering and creating,” she explains. Since Cole began stocking home items in her family’s century-old carpet business in the ’80s, visitors have been treated to a sense of discovery: Its globally-sourced offerings run the gamut, including ceramics, modern furniture, vintage lighting, and, of course, carpets.
Cole was an early proponent of fair-trade and responsibly-sourced home goods, an ethos she has stuck with over the decades. She's also been creating what we would now call "experiential shopping" far before that was a trendy buzzword: In 2010, she partnered with chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten to launch ABC Kitchen, then a daring concept. It's now one of three destination restaurants within the store, including the latest, buzzy vegan spot abcV. It’s all part of Cole’s idea that “the home really begins within.”
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