Kaufmann Mercantile: Everyday Items Built to Last

Store Profile

Store History

  • Founded: Fall 2009
  • Founded by: Sebastian Kaufmann
  • Headquarters: Brooklyn, NY

Kaufmann Mercantile is a New York based online store for carefully selected, long-lasting, and well-designed goods. They also write and commission a library of essays on the history of materials, various how-to’s, and Q&A’s with artists and designers.

Founded by Sebastien Kaufmann in 2009, Kaufmann Mercantile offers a collection of everyday classics — tools, kitchenware, home goods, gardening supplies and accessories — designed to stand the test of time, and in time, become classics themselves.

Name/Title: Alexis Shubin/PR and Creative Manager

Open/launch date: Three and a half years ago we launched our shop with eight products. Adding an average of two products every week, we’re now at 500! But our goal hasn’t changed: to offer an alternative to the superfluous, to scratch beyond the surface, and to spend an awful lot of time to find what seems right and good.

Inspiration for opening: Finding, curating, and selling quality goods, while educating people on what it is they’re actually buying, is Kaufmann Mercantile’s mission. In 2009, we set out to change our disposable lifestyle by offering quality goods at reasonable prices. “Most of the things in the world now can be obtained, but what makes them truly special is who made it, how it was made, when it was made, why it was made, and collectively, why it should be yours, ” says Kaufmann.

Merchandise source: We are committed to supporting and working with craftspeople; the people who create, build, tinker, modify, hack, improve, invent, or simply make something. In our Brooklyn office our small team spends countless hours searching the globe for the finest examples of products out there, turning down 99% of what we see, so you can be assured everything you see in the store has been talked about, held and tested.

Best selling item: Weck Canning Jars

Your favorite item: Ooo, tough question, I have so many favorites! My current favoritewould have to be our Everyday Carry Brass Compass. I love camping, but being that I live in a concrete jungle, I don't get as much time outdoors as I'd like… With the compass on my keychain, I can navigate NESW whilst pounding the daily-grind-pavement. I feel (at least) a little closer to nature.

Favorite store (other than your own): I really love what the guys at Workers are doing. Not only do they offer perfectly tailored menswear, they also provide blueprints for every single piece that they sell. I'm also a big fan of Brooklyn based Where I Was From — they are rethinking the way you buy and style vintage. Between their stunning photography and inspirational merchandising, every item they sell takes on a life of its own.

(Images: Kaufmann Mercantile)