The Marquet Might Just Be The Cutest Home & Flower Shop in Brooklyn
In a landscape of Brooklyn retail that is saturated with cute homeware shops and cool vintage ateliers, The Marquet— a gorgeous curiosities shop located on a quiet stretch of Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg– stands apart from the rest. In a small corner nook inside of Simple Cafe & Restaurant, The Marquet (which opened on Bedford Avenue towards the end of 2015) is owner Tanya Quigley’s vision of a synergistic partnership with the adjoining restaurant, which is owned by her girlfriend, Chef Samia Behaya.
“The original concept was to do flowers, wine, and chocolate… your dinner party essentials all in one place,” Quigley reflects, noting that in the course of designing the shop, the first thing she did was tear down the wall that separated the shop from the restaurant, replacing it with floor-to-ceiling glass to create a unified experience.
“But since I wasn’t a florist by trade (I previously had a full-time job in fashion) I had to think of something I could bring in that required no maintenance and would last. My mom, an avid botanist and the floral force behind Petals & Moss, suggested I try dried bouquets.”
“My mom drove down and unloaded all of this gorgeous product and I instantly fell in love. When I saw the response to the dried flowers, I knew that we were on to something, and it was then that I decided to stick to that concept rather than fresh. It’s amazing to me how much waste exists in the floral industry, and I didn’t want to contribute to that,” Quigley recalls of the dried flowers that have become one of her shop’s signature items. “Dried flowers are completely sustainable, because we do bouquets with our scraps– and the variety of colors and textures available is incredible!”
“When brought into an all-white space like this–one that is largely inspired by Scandinavian design with a little bit of a Moroccan vibe– the older concept of ‘dried flowers in my grandma’s cottage’ completely changes,” Quigley explains of her bouquets.
Quigley professes her love of putting interiors together, and soon decided to make flowers and other seasonally-curated products the centerpiece of the Marquet’s constantly-rotating selection. The response to her flowers was, as Quigley puts it, “amazing,” largely because of Quigley’s keen eye and how she integrated them into the space:
“When brought into an all-white space like this– one that is largely inspired by Scandinavian design with a little bit of a Moroccan vibe– the older concept of ‘dried flowers in my grandma’s cottage’ completely changes,” Quigley explains, noting that curating a shop is all about making smart juxtapositions. “When you see [the bouquets] in a more modern setting, I think it brings a different feeling to the flowers, as well.”
Quigley’s great grandmother, whose name was Aline Marquet, served as partial inspiration for the shop’s name. “Anyone who knows me can say that the first thing I do when I visit a new place is head to the local market to see what I can find,” Quigley explains. “It fit perfectly with the mood I wanted to evoke for customers as they walked around the store, and so, there it began.”
Having grown up around gardens, Quigley says she has always been in awe of their natural beauty. “It’s something I seek no matter where I am in the world, content to sit there in quiet observation for hours on end,” she explains. “So, as the season changed into Spring [she founded the Marquet in November of 2015] I decided to add in plants. They’re such an easy way to transform the tone in any space and speak across cultures.” Today, Quigley sources varieties that are original in both color and texture, pairing them with unique pots to make a statement that seems to transcend typical “home decor”. Within this approach, her shop takes its cues from nature: “This balance will continue to shift with the seasons, meaning more dried in Fall and more green in Spring.”
In addition to plants, the Marquet also stocks home décor and a variety of locally-made natural skincare products and other botanical essences– many of which happen to have flower names in the titles. “I’ve always had an obsession with foreign pharmacies, so the apothecary was kind of a natural add on,” she notes. A collection that started with candles quickly expanded to include beauty products that were plant-based, organic, and chemical free, and these products now inform the shop’s decor just as much as Quigley’s Moroccan baskets, select vintage homewares, and unique rugs (each of which are also worth coveting).
As such, Quigley sees the curation of her shop as a way to explore cultures around the world. “Nothing gives me more pleasure than finding unknown designers and brands from across the world to showcase in the store,” she says of the Marquet, which is fast becoming a celebrated Brooklyn outpost. “I’m not interested in big names– there’s more than enough of that available. I’m interested in seeking out those artisans that haven’t yet been discovered, and bringing their work together to speak to customers here, in this little corner of Brooklyn,” she adds thoughtfully. “If there is one way to describe how I buy, it’s this quote from Anais Nin: ‘Luxury is not a necessity to me, but beautiful and good things are.'”
The Marquet is located at 346 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg. For more information, visit the shop’s website.