original williamsburg store located on bedford avenue
carrie behind fence + old friend joan
original beacon's closet owner carrie peterson moved from tucson to williamsburg in 1996, arriving on the heels of her brother and his group of friends who had been living on metropolitan ave., in a warehouse turned apt. that was wedged between a gas station (now a bank) and the golden dragon chinese restaurant.
there were a few local businesses and hang out spots at the time: teddy's, sweetwater, mugs, the charleston, the right bank, rubulad, up and coming mighty robot (now secret project robot) and for shopping max and roebling, and of course, domsey's. popular restaurants were oznot's dish, the s & b, veracruz, kasia's and lest we forget, the L cafe and kellogg's diner, earwax, ugly luggage, sid's junk shop on 11th and driggs, and main drag music.
after a brief period of temping and working miserable office jobs in the city, carrie ultimately maxed out her credit cards and grabbed the original store location on bedford + n. 11th, which had remained vacant for several months, and at the time, was considered by some as a bit far down the stretch, and a questionable spot for foot traffic.
initial inventory came from her own personal stock, closets of friends, and thrifting. carrie originally lived in the back of the store while getting it off the ground, had a shower built and propped on cinderblocks in the bathroom, and lived in a room off the then garage, which later became a mini record shop, within the original location. dear friends from what would later be mighty robot and then secret project robot, were instrumental in helping cut the wood for counters, build the dressing rooms and assist with lighting.
shortly thereafter, carrie's friend sam fogarino moved to brooklyn and became the store's second employee, and subsequent partner for a brief period. from his own well curated record collection, he developed a modest record store in the same room where carrie and then sam, eventually lived. beacon's continued to carry music in williamsburg for about 10 years.
his most appreciated contribution to the store, however, was introducing carrie to his then wife, cindy wheeler, a former L cafe manager, and front woman of the band pee shy, who took the reigns as a manager in 1999, and who came on board as a partner in 2001. sam ultimately left for a full time gig as drummer for interpol, and cindy held strong and built her partnership with a share in 3 out of the 4 beacon's locations.
as williamsburg grew exponentially, so did the shop, the inventory, and those pesky rents! eventually this store branched off into 4 separate locations, the original beast holding down the fort nearby, at 74 guernsey in greenpoint, and other locations in park slope, manhattan, and bushwick.
carrie, 16 years old, painting the bedroom black c1987
molly s. at the buying counter, bedford location
happy shoppers c1998
the first park slope location
carrie at first park slope location
co-owners of park slope, first location
park slope co-owner + thermos
pups that make it work
erik z. was instrumental in helping get bedford location open
friends of beacon's: marissa, cindy (co-owner), & micki p
friends of beacon's: vashti w., wolfie + etain f
erik z., curtis z. walker, p5
thermos 1995-2008, our beloved friend,
original store concierge, and goodwill ambassador