Artist Christopher Roberts dreamt of conceptualizing a space for Black artists, designers, and visionaries alike to be able to feel welcome and comfortable enough to dream. Enter SEED Brkyln. Founded in October of 2022, SEED is a space where luxury rids any uptight and unwelcoming energy that many Black consumers experience; it’s a space where browsing doesn’t have to mean buying something. Most importantly, Robert’s wanted it in the heart of Bedstuy, right on Bedford Avenue, as luxury and buying power don’t solely exist in Soho. “It’s the illest borough!” the multidisciplinary exclaims when describing why Bedstuy was the perfect place to open. Known for being a multifaceted curator, participating in mediums like sculpting and graphic art, Roberts took each craft to sow a “seed” for the neighborhood. “It was really out of necessity,” said Roberts. “I mean, just speaking to the landscape of Bedstuy and how rich the culture was here. I knew the archetype was here, the mindset was here, but there’s really no place for it to be nurtured.” The space comes with many concepts that are sure to feed the creative palate of young Black artists and creatives.
The space, one big greenhouse, is fitting of the metaphorical name and divided into two floors, housing a coffee shop, a shopping space, an actual small green room full of plants to buy, and a digital art gallery. Roberts’s efforts to give back to the community include NFT workshops for Black artists, allowing access to an industry with the doors barely cracked open. “Even a space where art can be shown within this neighborhood, it was important to me being an artist and having that vision,” explains Roberts. “I was not only speaking to the retail space, but with the artists, with community, and how that can all work in one space because I knew it had to be like a cultural hub to really work if it was gonna stand alone on a block where nothing like this exists.” After just a few months since opening, it’s safe to say that the space is indeed a cultural hub that champions artists and designers alike.
He describes the space as a “hybrid blend of nature and the city,” as he hand-made the railings in the store himself to create something similar to a bike railing — very New York. The design layout of the space is an integral part of the store because Roberts wanted it to feel as welcoming as possible. When you first walk into SEED, you see welcoming faces behind a cafe counter filled with greenery and art books to flip through while you sip on matcha. Once you’ve passed that area, you’re immersed in the two-floor shopping space filled with streetwear and art collectibles galore. From personal experience, it’s the best luxury shopping experience I’ve ever had. He made sure that even the employees were interactive with the space rather than them standing and watching as you shop, they are making conversation or even pruning plants in the greenhouse space in between the cafe and store.
On top of featuring established designers like Martine Rose, he’s also stocked up brands like Against Medical Advice, founded by Wole Olosunde. Having up-and-coming Black designers featured isn’t performative for Roberts, as he believes Black designers are the future. More brands featured are Maharishi, Undercover, Clarks, 424, and so much more. There are even art collectibles in the space by Funko, Maritan Toys, and Super7. Open to the public but made with Black and brown people in mind, Roberts has created the ultimate luxury experience with varying price points from $10 to upwards of $1000, making things as accessible as possible. If you haven’t been yet, take a day to immerse yourself in the SEED world that he dreamt of and made a reality.