WORM, a colorful small business and studio based in Brooklyn, has taken the art scene by storm.

The a quirky online shop, located at 56 Bogart Street in Bushwick, features a variety of crafts makers, artists and designers who came together to create some of the most whimsical objects. From vibrant and trendy housewares, totes, to even bath and body works, WORM is shifting the public notion of what a general store looks like.

Founded by Amanda Maldonado-Perez, a proud queer Latina business owner, WORM has been her dream since day one. Born in Ponce, a vibrant town in the southern part of the island of Puerto Rico, Maldonado’s upbringing within a town pulsing with vibrant fashion and architecture directly inspired WORM’s eccentric color palette.

And as an artist herself, WORM is not just a business but a curatorial opportunity, as Maldonado is intentional with every purchase.

“WORM started as just a small idea,” said Maldonado. “I started sculpting jewelry and making all these little things, and I knew I wanted to start my brand. I also wanted it to be focused on people donating found objects that I would sculpt around to make jewelry.

Similar to countless other small businesses, COVID-19 had a direct impact on WORM’s development: Just as the pandemic hit in January 2020, Maldonado was finally deciding on a name, designing her logo and sharing pieces of WORM’s first collection.

“People were really supportive of small businesses right when everything first hit,” Maldonado said. “I know a lot of business owners that had to close their stores regardless of community support because it just wasn’t enough. And I started getting so inspired by all the store closures and wanted to keep connecting with artists…”

To avoid becoming a storefront featuring only mass-produced objects, Maldonado is very selective in her curatorial process. She features only handmade or individually sourced pieces from local artists in hopes of pushing buyers to shop more consciously.

“I’m always open to seeing New York. I want people to send whatever they are making,” stated Maldonado. “I want to create a platform for that.”

In addition to hosting more pop-ups, Maldonado is looking to acquire a permanent brick-and-mortar location for WORM to call home.

“That idea of connecting with the community– especially in Brooklyn– is so special,” said Maldonado. “I would love to create a hub for people to come together.

“Having a permanent location is a huge endeavor, especially with the idea of it being a community space. So in the future if I have enough funding to get the community really going, I hope I can make something happen.”

Interested in selling at Worm? Click here.

Kimberlean Donis

Kimberlean Donis is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn. She is a student at both London City University and Williams College majoring in Political Science, Art History, and Africana Studies.

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