One of the largest underground economies in America revolves around sex, yet it continues to remain a stranger in the public eye. Evoking old Hollywood charm with a modern twist, SHAG – a new “sexy shop” in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – unites sex and art by creating an environment that is inviting, playful, and open to all. At the most basic level, SHAG is a retail store and fine art gallery – offering local artists a place to experiment and sell sexy objet d’art for the home and body. It also functions as an event space and creative hub for the community where hands-on workshops, art-related classes and photography services will be available for positive exploration of sex and togetherness in all relationships.
SHAG is located on the corner of North 6th and Roebling, in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It is the brainchild of Samantha Bard and Ashley Montgomery-Pulido, who wanted to expand the traditional sex toy store into an open, inviting and educational experience. According to Bard, “Artists and designers are often reluctant to experiment with taboo subjects and new mediums because they are worried about commercial viability. We created SHAG as a place where people can go and not be afraid to try something new.”
Nearly all of the store’s inventory is locally made and bridges the gap between fine art and commercial retail, giving consumers the opportunity to own functional one-of-a-kind pieces of art. Home décor and tabletop items such as dinnerware, linens and shower curtains will be available as well as jewelry, clothing, lingerie, and other unique products for the home and body. The founders of SHAG are also developing their own line of products.
SHAG is interested in supporting the local art community by creating a platform through which artists can uninhibitedly express themselves. The shop will host five exhibitions a year, and boasts a talented troop of local artists including painters, photographers and sculptors whose work investigates sexuality, gender and identity. A few of their featured artists for the upcoming year include: Jess Levey; Rebecca Loyche; Sandra Mack-Valencia; Hiroki Otsuka; and Chris Smith.
SHAG will also host educational programming for the public through seminars and lectures addressing complex issues related to sex and relationships, as well as discussions on contemporary art and how it relates to our society. SHAG will also function as an event space, hosting everything from baby showers to scavenger hunt bachelorette parties.
Samantha Bard has a background in fine art and eight years experience working with sculpture and casting techniques – experimenting with plaster, rubber, ceramics and plastics. Virtually all of her fine art work focuses on sexuality, intimacy and desire with an emphasis on revealing what is concealed in our culture. Ashley Montgomery-Pulido is the founder of Nitty Gritty Concepts – a financial management consulting firm that works with entrepreneurs and business owners across a wide range of industries.
Shag is located at 108 Roebling St., Brooklyn, NY 11211 www.weloveSHAG.com