Sunny's Pop finds a permanent home in Narrowsburg
NARROWSBURG, NY — “I want [people] to know that it’s a beautifully-curated collection of home goods,” says Sunny Ruffalo on the subject of her eponymous retail store, Sunny’s Pop. “In many ways, it represents family, community. Having a homewares store, I’m trying to shed light on how much that means to me… I’m very much interested in… the aesthetic of a rural lifestyle that’s also copacetic with a modernist lifestyle—and also the idea of providing people with heirloom objects. I’m not interested in disposable fashion; I’m not interested in disposable homewares. I’m not purely interested in trends.”
The products that can be found in this collection include glasses, pillows, journals, objets d’art and even toilet brushes. “There’s no place in your house that’s too small to make beautiful,” says Ruffalo. “I haven’t seen too many really good-looking toilet cleaner brushes, and I happened to find one that had elements of birch in it, which is very natural, and then it has concrete; a concrete bowl that [the brush] sits in, and it has bristles that are coconut fiber.” That sense of style takes a great deal of inspiration from the juxtaposition of materials: “wood, concrete, metal, soft fabric.”
Sunny’s Pop, which opened its permanent Narrowsburg location in November, sprang to life as a literal pop-up last summer in Callicoon; from there, in addition to a local presence, Ruffalo found interest far and wide, sending her products to clients in Oregon, Hawaii, England and Scandinavia. After the pop-up’s initial run, Ruffalo considered selling her wares exclusively online, but a free space nearby opened up a new possibility: “I loved being in the store—I loved that experience of being more connected with my community,” she says. “It was great, and we had a really wonderful winter [in Narrowsburg], and we’re also in the process of building that store, picking the new products.”
“We really try to focus on quality items… that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing to look at,” says Noel Slifko, who has worked with Sunny’s Pop since Callicoon. “Showing people that you can mix old and new and modern… mix it up, have fun—it doesn’t have to be modern furniture with modern art and modern architecture. It can be antiques and new items.”
Having already hosted events and get-togethers to celebrate the local scene, Ruffalo is excited to be a part of the region’s thriving art life, but more than that, a part of the region itself: “I’ve traveled all around the world, and I have to say, Upstate New York is still, to me, the most beautiful place in the world… It’s the aesthetic beauty, but it’s the people who make it so beautiful for me upstate. It’s my neighbors, it’s my community—it’s the mothers and fathers and children and grandmas and everybody who surrounds us and supports us... We may have many differences amongst us in our community, but we don’t ever let it interfere with kindness and compassion for each other… I feel blessed that I’ve experienced that in our community.”
Sunny’s Pop is located at 50 Main St. in Narrowsburg, currently open on Thursdays through Sundays. For more information, visit the store’s Facebook page at tinyurl.com/yb3su56g. A standalone website, www.sunnys-pop.com —which will include online ordering, gift guides and showcases for featured artists—launches on May 24.