New Boutique Offers Handbags and Hair Extensions on Gritty Block of Bergen

By Sonja Sharp on July 31, 2013 9:22am 

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  From belts to baubles, leather bags to hair extensions Brooklyn designer offers shoppers 'spa' experience
Barbara Campbell Studio Crown Heights
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CROWN HEIGHTS — Designer and cosmetologist Barbara Campbell is offering clients a bit of glitter amidst the grit on Bergen Street.

The owner of a brand new, by-appointment-only boutique on Bergen Street between Franklin and Bedford avenues sells a mix of handmade clutches and totes in buttery Italian calf leather, statement jewelry in silver and gold and a range of hair services from extensions to weave-in highlights in what she hopes can be a spa-like oasis for Brooklyn women.

"Women need a a break — they need to just be pampered sometimes," Campbell said. "I've created a space so they can relax. It's a bit of a higher-end service, but it's still affordable. It’s not quite a spa, but it has all those components in one space."

Campbell's designs range from posh to punk, with distressed leather cuffs and belts that can add edge to a more demure dress and chic, slouchy handbags that would still be home in the office.

"My latest collection is going to be tote bags for the mix of leather and canvas," Campbell said. "My goal is to introduce a woman t one of my pieces and graduate them to other pieces that they can wear together or independently."  

Earrings start as low as $45, while bags begin around $80 and can run as high as $300 for a large, custom-made piece. In addition to her handmade couture, the FIT graduate and longtime cosmetologist has sectioned off a portion of her fashion studio for hair appointments.

"My specialty is women’s hair enhancements," Campbell said. "Girls who may want to get their hair enhanced, either for length or texture, or women who have hair thinning, or people who just had a baby and their hair got very thin or even fell out a bit. What I’m able to do is to create hair enhancements for them."

Though she's only just arrived in the neighborhood after a decade in Park Slope, Campbell said she already feels at home on Bergen Street. 

"Moving from a co-op to a house is a big transition , but we were really excited about it," Campbell said. "We wanted to remain in a diverse community. When we got here we totally fell in love with the place and the area."

As for the clientele, she said she's confident the women of Crown Heights will fall equally in love with her work. 

"I enjoy working with women. I enjoy making the beautiful, whether it’s making them a custom handbag or some earrings, or doing their hair," Campbell said. "I used to volunteer with the American Cancer Society and I would teach women how to care for their hair while they went through chemo. Whatever I can do to help a woman’s self-esteem, I have a passion for that. I wanted to  merge these things together."

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