The Shop Blog

New Location (+ New Business Announcement!) August 24 2021

We are moving locations!

Important dates below.

What felt like years in the making, I can officially announce Strange Ways will be moving next month into a large, open space in downtown New Haven, CT at 151 Orange Street!

When the pandemic hit, I thought maybe we’d close like so many other small businesses at the time. Instead, y’all hunkered down and supported us like never before. When we were allowed to reopen for in-store sales here in Connecticut, they’ve only been stronger as well. Maybe it’s the mindsets of what people want to see survive these strange times, but the last year has given me the confidence to take Strange Ways to the next level.

With a larger space, we can showcase more diverse product and more makers with room for storage and display. This new location will also have an office area, studio space, pop-up event room, and hopefully more creative offerings. Not only will the larger store allow growth for the future, with better flow between online and in-store sales—we’ll generally be closer to all the new happenings downtown. Orange Street, and the Ninth Square area, has seen other local small businesses thrive. We’ll still be close by, and if anything have more opportunity for New Haven visitors and locals to pass by us and stop in. 

Last Day for Shopping in Old Location:  Aug 31
Opening Day in New Location:  Sept 20

Last Day for Placing Online Orders:  Aug 29
Online Order Fulfillment Begins Again:  Sept 13

I tried to stay find a way to stay in the Westville neighborhood that we flourished in, but when an opportunity like this new Downtown location arises it almost feels like fate. BUT—we couldn’t leave that easily. Lots of you have been asking what is going on with our old space when we move—well, surprise, we are opening a new shop in its place. Please go follow our future sister store the Westville General store for updates at @westvillegeneral. I hope y’all welcome it with open arms the same way Strange Ways was.

Thank you to everyone who has supported my (and our) strange little business to the point that we can now grow into the next chapter. We will need to close the online store and the storefront for a bit to transition, so please prepare. The last few weeks have been build out on the new space, and when I find time to pause it feels like a dream. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

-Alex Dakoulas
Owner & Creative Director


Seventeen Magazine | Best Friend Gifts 2020 December 05 2020


It's been a bit of time since we received any mainstream press. This holiday season Seventeen Magazine chose the Fuck Off Rose Socks we carry as part of one of their gift guides. The last time they featured anything from our store was over 4 years ago, so this is pretty cool!

55 Thoughtful Holiday Gifts Your Best Friend Will Genuinely Love

 


Shopify Gift Better Guide November 19 2020



We've been gladly chosen as part of Shopify's #GiftBetter Guide that helps spread support for independent shops this holiday season. They teamed up with select influencers and artist Adam J. Kurtz (whose work we carry!) chose one of our newer tapestries as part of his picks. View the entire guide below, and remember to shop small for gifts this year more than ever!

Gift Ideas for Interior Delights
by Adam J. Kurtz


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!

-Alex Dakoulas
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.

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 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!

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