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Red Hook's 'Metal and Thread' Owners Close Storm-Damaged Shop

 Metal And Thread, a Van Brunt Street handmade craft shop, will not reopen after sustaining extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy.
Metal And Thread
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RED HOOK — The tide has receded, Sunny’s Bar is reopening and Home/Made is serving dinner again, but the reverberations of superstorm Sandy 10 months ago are still being felt in Red Hook.

For six years, Metal and Thread has occupied a building at 398 Van Brunt St., but owners Derek Dominy and Denise Carbonell are being forced to shut down their Sandy-damaged shop.

Metal and Thread, which focuses on handmade products and artifacts like jewelry, artwork, metal designs and general oddities, was named after Dominy and Carbonell’s self-taught backgrounds in metalwork and textiles respectively. 

“It's just a whole collective of who and what we are,” said Dominy, 41.

Though their brick-and-mortar store will be closing, Metal and Thread will continue their sales online through their website.

The couple had moved their home and business to Red Hook from the Lower East Side, living above the property and moving their workshop into the basement, Dominy said.

“It kind of encompassed our entire existence,” said Dominy, who met Carbonell, 57, 12 years ago and who married her two years ago.

The couple took measures to prepare for Sandy last October, securing their property and boarding up the shop. But the basement workshop, where they stored their work and collectibles, including art pieces and Dominy’s collection of vintage tools, was deluged by 4-feet of flooding. Their losses amounted to $100,000.

The snowball effect continued as Sandy’s arrival battered Metal and Thread’s Christmas sales, leaving them without a single day of business in November, Dominy said.

They had initially hoped to revive their business through insurance but found out their policy would not cover a sufficient reimbursement. Then, the couple was turned down for a loan backed by the Small Business Administration.

The Small Business Administration does not approve or deny loans, according to a spokeswoman, who said the matter rests with a moneylender to decide on a business’s application.

“We were numb for months after that,” said Dominy. “Weeks, months later, we were finding more and more things that were wrong."

Fighting hard to keep their business afloat, Dominy and Carbonell finally decided to leave behind their brick-and-mortar store. 

Along with closing the shop, the couple will also be leaving the waterfront neighborhood and moving out of New York City, where they have both lived for decades. 

In Red Hook, Dominy said they always felt respected and loved by their peers and other business owners.

“It’s in New York City but it’s very much like a small town,” he said. “It wasn’t an easy decision.”