What began as a concept store at SoNo Spaces in South Norwalk’s trendy design district when the pandemic hit and we could no longer host coworkers in a shared space in 2020, grew to a stand-alone brand with a unique presence at a 75-vendor vintage retail market in Downtown Bridgeport. We specialized in mid-century modern furnishings, antiques, and apparel from the 1930s–now from MegaGlam and MegaGlam Vintage. As of January 2022, we have moved back into the design side of the business and opened kHyal + Karl Studios at the historic American Fabrics building. Built during the early 1900s, AmFab now houses commercial artisans, fine artists, photographers, and designers.
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Contact: kHyal, 646-470-8713
Creative Team Turns Lockdown Lemons into Lemonade with REJECT Concept Store
SoNo Spaces North Pivots in Pandemic
SOUTH NORWALK, CT, JANUARY 2021 – When the pandemic caused Connecticut coworking spaces to shut down for safety, SoNo Spaces North at 13 N Main Street, a thriving open floor plan creative studio, was forced to ask coworkers to find alternative workspace and provided an option at the sister location just 150 yards away. The 1700 square foot space is the original office of Karl Heine, who has run his talent recruitment firm, creativeplacement out of the iconic storefront for over 20 years. In 2007, he and his partner kHyal launched PUSH workshops here, a design education initiative that brought up to 150 creative professionals together for learning and networking events. Heine also launched The Taste of SoNo here. In 2011, after the team had used coworking spaces while traveling in the US and Europe and became part of NYC’s thriving share economy, they founded SoNo Spaces North. After years of success at 13 N Main, Heine formed another partnership and launched SoNo Spaces South at 23 S Main Street — a coworking, office and event space that is still thriving since it features plenty of private offices and several conference rooms.
Now, at 13 N Main, Karl and kHyal have launched “REJECT Found + Made” a highly curated collection of merchandise that contributes to a sustainable and circular economy, always a driving force in their design ethos. From vintage apparel to mid-century antiques, furnishings, home goods and oddities on the “found” side — to custom notebooks, artisan lighting, designer “SoNo” hats and shirts, plus street style and fashion from the team’s own brands DesignerJournals, Fresh Beam and MegaGlam on the “made” side.
The store is generally open every day, but visitors are encouraged to call or text 203-856-8661 if they’d like to ensure a shopping experience for a specific time or day. Masks are required, and only four shoppers are allowed in the store at any given time. Hours and availability to shop are in sync with state mandates for Covid-19, and time in the store is also limited.
“We’ve been surprised at the overwhelming response to our merchandise,” said Heine, “Our sensibilities tend toward larger metropolitan areas like New York, but our sales have been excellent, and many shoppers have said we’re the ‘coolest store in Connecticut.’ We were featured on The Best of Norwalk after being open less than a month,” he noted.
Heine also mentioned that with many shops closing during the pandemic, and with luxury apparel store Simple shuttering its store on Washington Street until April (according to a note on the door) — it’s the only retail store of its kind in the area for those who want to support small business and purchase truly unique items. It’s also currently the only place you can shop MegaGlam streetwear samples at special pricing, highly reduced from the items made to order on MegaGlam.com, and special edition and sample notebooks not available at DesignerJournals.com.
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