Brooklyn Industries is a cutting edge design company that sells its innovative clothes exclusively through its 16 retail stores and online website. Founded by visionary artists Lexy Funk and her partner in 1998, Brooklyn Industries’ stores engage the local community in art, clothing, design and style.
Lexy Funk and her partner met at Art Omi in upstate New York where they were both resident artists. After moving to New York City together in 1995, the young successful artists were searching for a way to make a living through their creative endeavors. They decided to start their own company so they could LIVE, WORK, CREATE. In 1996, the duo started Two Tsunami Productions, a design-based company that produced TV commercials and documentary films. Despite some moderate success, Funk and her partner changed course in 1998 when inspiration struck in an unexpected place.
Funk's partner had long been staring at the giant billboards from the couple’s studio on the West Side Highway. One night, he found a vinyl billboard in a dumpster and decided the material would make a perfect messenger bag. Funk rented an old factory building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to manufacture their first product – messenger bags made out of recycled billboards. One afternoon, they sketched the view from the Williamsburg rooftop looking west toward Manhattan; this drawing became the iconic logo for Brooklyn Industries, which quickly started creating t-shirt designs and bags for the local community.
Over the next four years, Funk built up a wholesale distribution business marketing the brand across the US, and in Japan and Europe. In 2001, Funk decided to focus on vertical retailing and opened the first Brooklyn Industries store on Bedford Avenue, the first retail store in Williamsburg to offer a full range of clothing for men, women and children.
Currently, Brooklyn Industries has 16 stores. Five are located in Manhattan, nine are located in Brooklyn, and the others are located in Chicago and Portland. The Brooklyn Industries office and design studio are located in DUMBO.
In 2006, Brooklyn Industries was recognized as a top entrepreneur with Crain’s Business New York’s coated “Small Business Award.” The company also ranked in Inc. Magazine’s 500 list, which highlights the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.
In 2010, Brooklyn Industries CEO Lexy Funk was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Metro NY Retail, Distribution and Manufacturing category. Brooklyn Industries was also honored in 2009 as a “Green Power Pioneer” by ConEdison Solutions and Community Energy, Inc., in recognition of its commitment to using 100% National Wind Power in its stores.
Brooklyn Industries continues to grow every year as an innovative and creative vertical retailer that stays true to its Brooklyn roots.