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Pencils Are Big Business on the Lower East Side

Quick takes on the retail news making headlines in New York City.

Bryan Sansivero for Racked

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LOWER EAST SIDE—Bloomberg took a deep dive into the economics of CW Pencil Enterprise to understand the maintenance of such a niche business, especially in an out-of-the-way location. "I didn't want it to be in a shopping neighborhood," owner Caroline Weaver previously told Racked. "I didn't want anything too polished. I like the idea that this shop kind of has to be discovered, that people seeking it out would be brought to a neighborhood that they might not usually come to." We'd say it's working.

BROOKLYNBy Brooklyn is closing, Pardon Me For Asking reports. Owner Gaia DiLoreto confirmed on Facebook that she would be shuttering both the Williamsburg and Carroll Gardens locations of her shop that specializes in made-in-the-borough products. For one last look, attend the farewell party on Saturday, April 23rd at 261 Smith Street.

TRIBECA—It appears that Alex and Ani owner (and neighborhood resident) Carolyn Rafaelian is opening another location in Manhattan. Tribeca Citizen speculates that her latest store will arrive at 156 Reade Street.

NEW YORK CITY—The New York Times called attention to graffiti artist Michael De Feo (better known as The Flower Guy), who scribbles over the city's fashion ads with single-stemmed blossoms; rather than alienating the industry, he's now being sought out to add his distinct touch to campaigns for brands like Neiman Marcus, Christian Louboutin, Dior, and J.Crew.