Not long after Sarah McNally opened McNally Jackson Books in the Nolita neighborhood of New York City in 2004, she began actively looking for a second location on the Upper West Side. But she soon became concerned that a second store across the city would take away too much time from her son, now age four, and her bookstore. Fast forward to 2012, and it was a vacant space around the corner from the bookstore found her. Now she is preparing to open McNally Jackson Store: Goods for the Study in mid-April on Mulberry Street just steps away from the bookstore entrance.
“It’s going to be small. I thought I might do custom stationery,” says McNally, adding “we don’t do giftware. New Yorkers don’t want giftware.” Instead she is planning to expand on the mission of the bookstore “to do things about the life of the mind” by turning the 400 sq. ft. space into a place with beautiful vintage and new objects from around the world: desks, lamps, prints, and even rare books. Prices will range from $3 for a pencil to $3,000 for an imported desk.
“There are so many beautiful things in the world,” says Jackson, who is importing desks from Scandinavia and chairs from Austria. She shopped for the store in Paris as well as in Mexico, when she attended the Guadalajara International Book Fair last fall. She’s also buying up prints, and doing it all in conjunction with the bookstore’s art and design buyer Sandeep Bhuller.
“It’s going to be beautiful,” says Jackson, who describes it as “romantic in the same way as the bookstore. The aim of the bookstore has always been to make reading more alluring.” Unlike the bookstore, she sees Goods for the Study as having the potential for strong sales online. Goods for the Study will have its own Web site with a shopping cart, but McNally anticipates that its tumblr site will be ready sooner.
In order to make sure that everything in the new store is just right before it opens, Jackson has decided to forego a soft opening. She pushed the original opening date back two weeks from April 1 to give the Jielde lamps more time to arrive from France. As for the name, she credits her son with calling it the McNally Jackson Store.