A new lifestyle shop and CBD lounge coming to the Lower East Side has already gone viral and it hasn't even opened yet.
Bowery Showroom, which opens on Saturday, has gotten more than 5.5 million views on TikTok. Its founder Matt Choon has been posting short videos on the app teasing the store and it got so much attention that about 2,000 people turned out to its pre-launch event on March 31.
But what exactly is Bowery Showroom all about? Why all the hype?
Firstly, it's a designer thrift store selling rare sneakers and designer grails (sought-after) clothing, but it's also a CBD and hemp flower dispensary selling products from its sister brand, Potion. Choon, 24, launched Potion in 2018 when he realized there were no cannabis-related brands that served the younger generation nor any spaces to connect and bond over cannabis and creativity, especially in New York.
Matt Choon, who is a Bushwick resident that grew up on the Lower East Side, had been showing off his cannabis products from Potion at the Hester Street Fair and held a pop-up shop in Chinatown previously and online sales have been strong, so he felt it was time for a brick-and-mortar store, he says.
When the shop opens on Saturday, it will sell gummies, roller balms, pre-rolled joints, CBD hemp flower, tinctures, and more. And once it legally can do so, it will sell recreational marijuana products thanks to the recent legalization that took place in Albany. (Choon says he'd like to donate a portion of sales to organizations that provide equity and justice for those who have been incarcerated for cannabis-related crimes or don’t have the same opportunities as large corporations in the industry.)
His desire to create "an inclusive, accessible, future-facing atmosphere" goes even further—Bowery Showroom will be a sort of community space that hosts workshops for creatives, art installations and parties where visitors can make their own art and express themselves.
But it is also providing a space for Gen Z New Yorkers like himself. When he was in college, he and his friends got tired of the same old gentrified bar scene in Manhattan, he said.
"Gen Z is a generation that loves the digital world and discovers trends there, but also wants to experience what they discover online in a physical space," he added. "They are also a generation that emphasizes authenticity, creativity, and inclusivity. We wanted to create a place where they can feel comfortable creating digital content as well as hang out in a space where they can connect with people like themselves. We’re a generation that is about to come into immense influence and buying power, and it’s about time that a place dedicated to our values open up for the community. Bowery Showroom will serve as that community and cultural hub, owned and operated by Gen Z."
TikTok plays an especially big part in the launch of Choon's store. The app reaches a wide audience without having to have a lot of followers to begin with, because of that, it's a great source to find out about new trends and places, he said. Instagram, on the other hand, has been said to feel more sponsored and paid for.
"TikTok is a great channel for organic content which is something that we will focus heavily on moving forward," he said. "We’re planning on launching a series on TikTok on YouTube where we vlog our journey and daily activities in the store."
Bowery Showroom is holding a blow out grand opening party with a DJ set from Bad Company and vintage pieces from 1950 to the early 2000s (that's now vintage, people!) from local clothing brands AKB, Zoë Bandz, BASIL, Ave C, Kitowares, Basil Gallery, Montel, Tenant NY, Karma NY, When Smoke Clears as well as designers like Chrome Hearts, Comme Des Garcons, Vivienne Westwood, Rick Owens, Raf Simons, Stussy, Louis Vuitton, Nike Jordans, Nike Dunks, Noah NY, Rhude, Bianca Chandon, Ed Hardy, Von Dutch, Polo Ralph Lauren, Harley Davidson, North Face, Human Made, Colette, and more. Items range in price from $5 to $1,000.
Access to the event is free but there are VIP tickets that allow you to cut the line. Racks will be replenished every hour.
Bowery Showroom opens at noon on Saturday, April 24, at 57 Stanton Street in the Lower East Side. Opening hours will be Monday-Friday noon to 8pm and Saturday-Sunday noon to 9pm.
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