Create + Influence is a CONTRA tv original series; conversations with the people about ideas that matter most to the creative class.
New York City is that magical place, in that you are likely to stumble upon amazing things IRL and meet interesting people you never knew before just by walking down your street. Such a place is American Two Shot, located between SoHo and Chinatown. Founders and friends Stephanie Krasnoff and Olivia Wolfe took their friendship, based on a mutual love of fashion, art and ice cream, to this big, shiny city, not knowing exactly what they would do, but knowing they would do something. Without much experience or know-how of how to run a store, lest a successful business, the girls trusted their guts and taste, and saw they could fill a sort of niche. Thus just a short time ago, American Two Shot was born. Some people say it’s a gallery, or a curated closet open to the public, or a coffee shop. Well, it is all of those things, sort of like a ‘grown up’ tree house, one that holds events with free-flowing vodka to showcase artists’ work on a Friday night, and one that is considered among many the go-to place for a morning coffee hangover cure the day after, served up by the Nicaraguan-coffee-bean guru and Cafe Integral founder, César Vega. Steph and Olivia’s friendship – and probably their loveliness too – has sparked a local community in what they call ‘the city of friends’ . This ATS-curated collective of young creators who orbit and collaborate with the shop include Fred the Mavensay Bear, Julian Wellisz, Terry Richardson, Dan the Man, Baron von Fancy, Ben Rayner, Lara Vincent, and a slew of other local artists and designers, whose work they carry in their gallery/shopping space. We’re really glad to have stumbled upon this gem and more so to have been able to chat with the ladies who run it. It’s like the loft you dream about living in, except you don’t have to dream, because when you walk through the doors of ATS, you’re going to feel at home.
Follow ATS on tumblr (with ~real~ film photography by Olivia) and visit the shop at 135 Grand St, NY.