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Dishing on Success: How Fishs Eddy Found Its Footing A 30-year-old NYC housewares emporium plates up a delicious future

By Lambeth Hochwald

This story appears in the February 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Spencer Heyfron
At your service: Julie Gaines and David Lenovitz of Fishs Eddy.

With its iconic ceramic hand statuettes on shelves by the entrance and twinkling strings of red lights, Fishs Eddy, a 4,000-square-foot home goods emporium named for a quaint town in the Catskills, remains as hip and quirky as the day it opened in 1985 near Gramercy Park in New York City.

Founded and still owned by Julie Gaines and David Lenovitz, the store is packed with artfully stacked piles of plates, vintage salt-and-pepper shakers and creamers, flatware and glassware. Many of the cheeky patterns are designed by celebrity partners, including fashion designers Cynthia Rowley and Todd Oldham, noted cartoonist Roz Chast, and comedian and actress Amy Sedaris.

It's this just-right blend of folksy general store and urban edginess (hand-drawn checkerboard plates sit near a table featuring "Brooklynese" mugs emblazoned with cawffee) that enabled Fishs Eddy to reach $9 million in sales in 2014. The brand resonates with NYC locals, tourists and out-of-towners—online sales in the first quarter of 2014 were up 20 percent over the same period the previous year.

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