Buy Cool Stuff (and support a locally-owned business, emerging artists, and a Kenyan charity in the process)

Randi, co-owner of Der Shwarze Koelner, the beer garden opening in Fort Greene this summer, wears many hats. Not only is she helping her boyfriend and business partner, Dale, get ready for the beer garden opening, but she also runs a Fort Greene-based export business, called ex49. ex49 (ex=export / 49=German country code) provides talented, emerging artists from Germany the opportunity to exhibit and sell their products overseas. The company is environmentally aware, with many of their items made from recycled materials, and socially conscious (take a look at their Angels for Africa collaboration). While ex49 usually sells wholesale, they are currently offering certain items retail. I had a chance to look at some of their wares up close and was impressed with their craftsmanship, creativity, and overall sense of fun. Some highlights:

board Bellevue Cutting Boards My personal favorites; made using wood from sustainable forests. Look closely and you’ll notice the patterns in the wood complement the story the laser-engraved figures are telling. Some of these boards are currently on sale on the website.

angel Angels for Africa These crocheted angels are made by single mothers in Kenya. They get paid per angel and can therefore earn income to feed their family, send the kids to school and pay for medical care.


Hot Water Bottle Bags Made out of hot water bottles from the 1960’s German army and used tarp.


Vintage Dish Cloths Dating back to 1897!

And more…

Thanks for the heads up, Dale and Randi!