The Shop Blog
Storefront Reopening Details May 17 2020
Last week the New Haven Independent (with story and photos by Emily Hays) spoke with myself about how I've been able to transition Strange Ways to solely online sales the past 2 months. Luckily, we've seen great support from locals and customers from all over that have continued to shop with us. This has also helped our business maintain support for the creatives we source our products from, by restocking their items and passing on the cashflow.
We've been keeping our New Haven, CT storefront closed to the public—while continuing to consistently ship out orders every week. For safety measures, this has been the easiest route to streamline things while keeping things going. Even for local customers we turned off In-Store Pickup, but we did reduce the Free Shipping minimum hopefully allowing many people to stay home safely.
Recently Connecticut Governor Lamont announced plans for retail businesses like Strange Ways to reopen on May 20th, with necessary precautions. After assessing the risks, I have decided to have Strange Ways be a part of this phase of business reopenings. However, there are guidelines any customer who wishes to shop in-person must follow. Most of these come from state regulations, while we also kindly ask you to follow some of our own.
We will continue to ship out online orders in a timely manner—even moreso now, reverting back to packing orders almost every day of the week. If any customer wishes to shop with us online still, that is absolutely no problem. Let us ship to you! We also turned back on In-Store Pickup at checkout for all Connecticut customers if they order online. All one has to do is pop in for a few seconds as we hand off your order.
Stay safe, healthy, and smart!
Owner & Creative Director
Strange Ways Storefront
Reopening May 20th
IN-STORE SHOPPING GUIDELINES
All customers absolutely must wear a face covering
All employees will be wearing a face covering
Limited amount of customers inside at once
Cashless pay preferred (Tap, Apple Pay, Google Pay)
Please only touch items you wish to buy, if possible
Staff will be disinfecting common touch areas frequently
No one should come inside if they feel sick
We offer easy online shopping with In-Store Pickup!
Instagram Live Friend Chats March 23 2020
This week we go LIVE w/ a few of our friends to discuss how we’re being effected during this weird time. Small businesses, restaurants, and artists must all re-strategize right now. We’ll discuss how things have changed, how you can help—and yes some fun stuff too! 😝
JOIN US: instagram.com/shopstrangeways
Temporary Closing + Reduced Shipping Costs March 18 2020
Like so many other businesses across the world, our New Haven, CT storefront will be closing temporarily to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The good news is, we have always had an extensive online shop (where most of our customers come from!). It will continue to be operational and packing up orders to be shipped out on just a slighty delayed schedule. To make things even easier to support one of your favorite strange shops—we've also temporarily reduced our FREE U.S. Shipping to orders over $20!
We appreciate any continued support during this time. We feel for any small business that is currently having to scale back hours and pay due to reduced income. Strange Ways has supported hundreds of artists, designers, and small brands over the years—and with your support we will continue to do so for a long time. If you ever need a Pick-Me-Up while in self-isolation or want to send a gift to a friend even though you can't visit them, we'll be here for you!
If anything, come commingle (separately!) with us as we continue to post relevant items of the times to our Instagram. (Our dark sense of humor will come in handy right about now...) We also plan to host some Live Streams soon with other small businesses and artists, so stay tuned! We'll all get through this together.
From The Owner: 5 Years Down February 14 2020
It's already over a month into 2020, and I am just now finding time to write something I've been thinking about since last Autumn. Believe it or not, our little shop is over 5 years old! I launched the online shop in September of 2014, and soon after started doing Pop-Ups around the city of New Haven. Less than a year later we had a signed lease on an official storefront.
Being the owner of such an endeavor like starting your own business (props to all who have done this before) one finds little time to slow down and reflect. Usually you're just trying to tread above water. You want to seize every opportunity. No time should be wasted. You are constantly working. And when you're not working... you're thinking about work.
I will say that's been made easier for me these past years, because I do truly enjoy and find passion in what Strange Ways is about. Our product assortment is one thing, but all the items in our shop—they are me. I often get asked how I pick out what the shop carries. While it's not just out of thin air, a main component is my gut. If I think something is unique or fun or says something I'm drawn to, I buy it and hope others get it too. That “strange” vibe the shop has, it's me. I created a store I would want to shop at and support.
The past 5 years have also been made easier, because Strange Ways does have that support! The customers that seek us out, that spread the word, shop with us, and come to our events: Y'all are awesome. I love that Flair Fair has become a market we do twice a year, and people look forward to it. If I ever feel drained or down on things, that excitement is filled up again with your enthusiasm. I also can't believe some of the early press we received from StyleCaster to Refinery29 to Seventeen Magazine. Is our shop changing the world? No. Do we represent something? I think so. Do we carve a hole for artists, and some underrepresented people? I try to. Is it carrying product that is a bit weird and unique? Absolutely!
I want to say a loving Thank You to the people that get us. We've had an online shop for over 5 years. We've had a storefront for over 4 years. For such a niche product offering, one might think we'd be a trendy flash in the pan (I mean, I never thought so!). But something amazing happened last year. Our sales have gone up—specifically in-store. The online shop and storefront build off each other in a nice, symbiotic way. We've increased open hours to accommodate visitors. (We're open every day of the week now!) And to let you in on a little secret, we're looking to expand...
When I started Strange Ways, I knew people were making cool stuff. I knew others would connect with it. I thought maybe customers would want to support it even! But truly, the shop has outgrown my dreams of where it would be. I can't wait to see where else it goes, and I hope you continue to stick along with me for this strange ride.
Founder & Creative Director
PS - Here is an interview video from about 3 years ago when we were starting out. Look how different the shop looks!
Now Offering In-Store Pickup December 05 2019
Seeing as our New Haven, CT storefront also acts as our shop HQs many people have asked if they can order online and pickup instore. For various reasons this would prove to be too complicated before—but we figured it out! One can now purchase items online and then choose the “In-Store Pickup” option at checkout. We'll then pack up your order, and have it waiting for you the next day.
Perks of In-Store Pickup:
• No shipping charges
• No waiting for shipments to be delivered
• Easy product browsing online
• Avoid potential package theft
• Feel like a baller rolling up with your order ready
However, we're dubbing this a “Locals Only” option. In order for your to even view this option during checkout, you must have a Connecticut address. (Another perk of living close to us :: wink wink ::)
In-store pickup orders are packed and ready for you by 11AM the next day. You will receive an email notification when your order is ready (incase we happen to get to it the same day). Please come in with your Name and Order number, and notify the Sales Associate that you're collecting your order. We will hold your items for 7 days, after which we will cancel your order and refund you. (This may not be the best option if you're forgetful!)
We hope options like this makes shopping at Strange Ways even easier and better for you. Stack on things like our new Rewards Points system, and we hope to see you coming back again and again—whether that's in-store or online!
A Pre-Holiday Flair Fair in November October 21 2019
Our biannual vendor market Flair Fair returns next month! This time it's right before the rush of holiday shopping begins, so get a jump on any gift-buying you have to do—all while supporting artists and small businesses!
Over a dozen independent artists and designers will descend upon New Haven for a Pin + Patch show that also includes zine, jewelry, art prints, socks, clothing, and more as well. It's FREE entry (thanks to our Sponsors) and located right across the Strange Ways storefront.
It's an easy road trip away from New York City, Providence, and Boston. If you haven't had a chance to visit Strange Ways before, this would be the day to come and visit! You can browse the market across the street. See y'all there!
Chroma Crush October 16 2019
Bright tones saturate our latest lookbook as we gather a candy-colored and color-coded assortment of items. We're crushin' on these mono-themed views of a diverse array of fun pieces. Which hue speaks to you?
Introducing our Rewards Points Program October 07 2019
Want access to exclusive rewards and discounts? Join the Strange Ways Secret Society! Become a member today to start earning Rewards Points that you can redeem for future discounts.
Earn $5, $15, or even $25 discounts simply by choosing to shop and support our small business, and the creative entrepreneurs we buy from. You can also earn Referral Rewards by telling a friend, and sending them a discount code they can use at Strange Ways.
Besides earning Rewards Points every time you shop (both online *and* in-store!) by creating an account with us you can also save shopping Wishlists, have your Order History and tracking in one spot, and get 10% off right away just for signing up! This is a super easy way for returning customers to get something back for simply continuing to shop with us.
Soon people will be wondering how you're able to own so many cool items made by people they've never even heard of. Well shh... it's a secret! Only the initiated get to join in on the perks.
New Haven Night Market - Downtown Pop-Up May 12 2019
The downtown of New Haven, CT comes alive this Friday with another New Haven Night Market. Seeing as our storefront is in the sometimes “too far” away neighborhood of Westville, it's nice to get downtown to see all the locals and visitors in the city on a Friday night. Strange Ways will be doing a pop-up vendor table—along with tons of other sellers, food trucks, games, and night deals happening. Come join us!
*Our storefront will close at 2PM so we can head downtown for the event. Stop by our table to say Hi!
New Haven Night Market
Downtown Strange Ways Pop-Up
Friday May 17th — 6PM–11PM
College Street • Downtown New Haven
Between Elm & Chapel
Our Pin + Patch Market Turns 3! April 07 2019
Strange Ways organizes a vendor market geared specifically towards what we focus on best—pins and patches! Flair Fair has helped revitalize artist work in this area, specifically in the Northeast and New England area. We are proud that visitors keep coming out, so in turn we'll keep having them! This year marks going on 3 years since our first one in 2016, and this is our 7th one.
Our artist market is similar to other ones across the country like Renegade Craft Fair or Brooklyn Flea—but the makers focus on “flair” which all encompasses the collectable little goodies artists are making (and fans are often wearing). Enamel pins, iron-on patches, vinyl stickers, old school pinback buttons, and more are what you'll find at Flair Fair.
This Spring's market moves the location from historic Lyric Hall (currently being sold) to Lotta Studio—a unique co-working space and venue. This move also puts Flair Fair directly across from the Strange Ways storefront!