The Shop Blog

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.

Alex Dakoulas
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 in-store. 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!

Flair Fair 

Saturday, November 9th • 11AM–4PM
911 Whalley Avenue • New Haven, CT

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?

View the Chroma Crush lookbook

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.

Join us! Create an Account

Learn more about how Rewards Points work

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!

Flair Fair 

April 13th — 11AM–4PM
911 Whalley Ave • New Haven, CT

Strange Ways Holiday Pop-Up Shops November 28 2018

You can always keep track of our events at the links below!



A Spooky Flair Fair This Year! October 03 2018

We're bringing back our vendor market Flair Fair for a 6th time—this round is the first one in October! We decided to have it a month later than usual to line up with City Wide Open Studios happening at the same time in the neighborhood. This allows us to get a little spooky with the poster art by Allison Bamcat.

The 1 day market features over 10 makers selling pins, patches, buttons, and more collectible pieces of art. If you like Strange Ways—you'll definitely enjoy Flair Fair! It takes places just a few steps away from our storefront in New Haven, CT. The event is free to attend, and will feature a food truck and official after party at Barcade downtown. See you all there! 

Flair Fair

October 13th — 11AM–4PM
827 Whalley Ave • New Haven, CT

Vendor List + Market Info
RSVP + Invite Friends

Strange Ways at RuPaul's DragCon NYC 2018 September 21 2018

We're coming back again to DragCon! THIS TIME—with a bigger + better booth! Strange Ways will be separated out from “Artist Alley” into the main area now, so come look for us with the big guys this time. We're glad to have even more room to show off (and sell!) product the entire weekend.

RuPaul's DragCon runs Friday–Sunday September 28–30 in Manhattan at the Javits Center. Strange Ways will be there all 3 days selling some of our most popular pins, patches, and other top selling items like graphic tees and keychains. Come shop with us including our exclusive Drag Queen collabs with Shea Couleé, Laganja Estranja, Laila McQueen, Peaches Christ, Joslyn Fox, and more. We'll also have lots of gay pride and LGBT related flair so you can bling up you jackets, bags, hats, and more.

Drag Queen Merchandise

LGBT Pride + Queer Culture

Spooky Halloween Pins + Patches

Visit us at Booth 1124 Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.