The cooperative specializes in affordable vintage housewares and has always attracted a younger clientele. Pedestrian traffic to shops in Williamsburg and Greenpoint is now close to prepandemic.
But business is booming on Instagram. Before the pandemic, the store's Instagram feed was more of a marketing tool. Most of the cooperative's 72,000 followers came to see them for inspiration. Now you can go shopping. Internet sales account for 50 percent of the cooperative's business, up from 25 percent a year ago.
"Before we would set up some kind of post to encourage pedestrian traffic, like, 'Hey, there are a lot of new things here that we brought, visit the store," said Ms. Wagner. "Now it's literally like this:" This article is due this price for sale. Here are the dimensions. "
1980s design is particularly popular with customers in their 20s and early 30s who are interested in the colorful, whimsical aesthetic. "It reminds them of their parents' furniture, so they are drawn to it," said Ms. Wagner.
Vintage and antique sellers say their customers have been better informed about design through social media. There's simply more time to rush through leather and walnut internet rabbit holes. What's the point of all those endless Zoom meetings if you can't spend the time silently flipping through 1stDibs, and an electric-blue Ettore Sottsass side table in glam rock metal and marble from the 1970s for $ 4,500 -Dollars to look at? Follow a few Instagram hashtags like #vintagedecor or #vintagehome – each with well over 2 million posts – and you can escape into a world full of sideboards and coffee tables.
There's also the zoom-room-shame effect. We worry that our virtual employees are silently playing their own private game Room Rater, rating our bookshelves, houseplants, and lighting on a scale of 1 to 10, just like the popular Twitter account.
Put a leather Hardoy butterfly chair with its scooped hammock-like body and iron legs in the corner of the camera frame, possibly with a towering fig leaf fig behind it, and your otherwise unforgettable background is suddenly a 10. In that era, the home office is up the new work wardrobe – you may never dress again, but your setting definitely can.