The Marquet is a sunny corner lifestyle shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Founded in 2015 by Tanya Quigley, it is filled with bunches of delicately dried flowers, plants, apothecary products and home goods. The Marquet is accessed through the restaurant, Simple, so Tanya replaced the dividing wall with a floor to ceiling glass wall to create more synergy between the two separate businesses.
What are your best sellers? The dried floral bouquets which are hand tied by my mom are definitely our signature, but I’d like to say that’s changing to include unique & hard to find goods from around the globe.
Where are your products sourced? Our selection comes from around the world, from right here in Brooklyn all the way to Morocco and is mostly from small artisans, 90% of whom are women. I bring limited edition items back from my travels, visit pop up markets locally & research on Instagram! It’s a great way for both parties to see if the aesthetics are a match before committing to work together.
What makes your shop unique? Aside from the assortment, I think the shared space sets us apart from other retailers. Being a part of the restaurant adds an element of energy that doesn’t exist in all shops, because there is always something happening. I also think the merchandising approach is different because I curate every object as a part of the entire story, not just as individual goods.
Who are your customers? Being on Bedford Ave I get a lot of tourist traffic, but my regulars tend to live in the neighborhood or be new to the area and looking for unique gifts or things to spruce up their space.
How has the internet impacted your business? I’ve just launched online so we’ll see what happens there, otherwise I’d say it’s given me the ability to connect with makers far & wide and build a community through social media.
The Marquet owner, Tanya Quigley
Who inspires you? Entrepreneurs & other small business owners, especially women (sorry dudes!). Everyone starts somewhere and you don’t always get it right at first, but you can learn a lot from other people if you ask, so I always do!
What inspires you? History, architecture, culture, craftsmanship, nature…! There are too many things to choose just one but I guess if I have to its ultimately design thinking. I love to know the story behind things, how they were created, what they were traditionally used for, and how/if that will shift in the future.
Before I was a shopkeeper, I….worked in fashion doing sourcing, store design, visuals & branding.
The hardest lesson learned in starting a business? Patience. It takes time to build a presence and for people to trust what you do, but once they do & keep coming back there’s no better feeling.
What task do you like to delegate? Cleaning my floor! The white can never be white enough.
The best lesson you have learned opening a shop? It’s OK to ask for help. I think a lot of entrepreneurs get fixated on trying to do it all alone, so they often don’t ask or won’t ask for outside opinions or support. You’ll end up saving a lot of time and a lot of stress if you do, so don’t feel like you have to be the best at everything in order to be successful.
Your advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? Don’t get hung up on the details. Just start. Try new things. Some will stick, others won’t…but you can always change it. Also, collaborate as much as possible – you are only as strong as your community so the more ways you grow it the better off you’ll be.
Which famous person would you like to visit your shop? She may not be famous but…my great grandmother, I’d like for her to see how I’m using her name.
If you weren’t a shopkeeper you would be…a branding consultant. I do this on the side and I absolutely love it. There is so much beauty in crafting messages for people to relate to their products & stories. But honestly, I think this is exactly where I was meant to be!
What is your perfect day off? Sifting through vintage shops, wandering through markets, or sitting in a botanic garden with a good book…I’d say any one of those things makes for a pretty perfect day.
Favorite neighborhood restaurant: Simple, obviously!
I wish I could…I think it’s more like I hope I can continue to connect with makers across different categories and stages of their brands, concept creative ways to collaborate with other entrepreneurs, and ultimately add something beautiful & good to the world.
On the Future of Retail
“I think retail has shifted, and will continue to shift more and more towards experience. Shared spaces, like this one, will become more common place. People like to see the application of products, and when you create a space where things are blended together and it doesn’t feel forced, that’s when the story behind each piece is truly shown.”
346 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn