Strange Ways offers a market of unique pieces and local art
Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter
If you are in the market for oddities, unique accessories or local art, Strange Ways may have just what you are looking for, and it is right off campus.
Strange Ways was created by owner Alex Dakoulas, as a place for his style to thrive.
Their website says, “Strange Ways is not just about the visual, but also about operating consciously. We specialize in product from entrepreneurial artists, designers and small brands. We also try to focus on American-made, recycled content and working with LGBT artists. And at the end of the year we donate 5% of profits to various nonprofits. We want to function professionally with a personal touch; to use our brains so you don’t have to. Shopping should be easy, and buying from Strange Ways should make you feel good in more ways than one.”
Strange Ways began as a website for Dakoulas to showcase artists and independent brands and companies to show people something that they hadn’t seen before.
The website boasts, “If you’re seeking a look beyond the mall and mass culture, we hope you find it here. For all you wonderfully weird people with an eye for style, we hope you find a little bit of yourself in our products. We want to help you express your individuality and carry things you won’t find anywhere else.”
Dakoulas said, “My background is in graphic design. I used to work design for brands like Puma, but I decided to throw it all away in favor of doing my own thing. I like to feature independent artists and brands. I’m always looking for what is fun and different.”
Dakoulas says that the shop’s presence in New Haven started with pop-up shops and markets. After doing a long term pop up at the store’s current location, he decided that they had gained enough momentum and gotten their bearing, so he signed a one-year lease.
“New Haven is a ripe environment for Strange Ways. It is slightly alternative, and there is not much going on it the way of male oriented alternative boutiques,” said Dakoulas, “Even Westville itself has a really cool feel to it.”
The store relies a lot of customer perpetuation of the store.
“Our most effective marketing tool these days in social media,” said Dakoulas. “ I like to see the customers spreading the word about us.”
The store holds monthly events for customers. Dakoulas will bring in local artists to display their work. There is also a mail list sign-up in store for customers to receive email updates from Dakoulas. Currently, the Westville Village Association is offering students a virtual welcome back bag with coupons to establishments in Westville. This includes 20 percent off of a $20 or more purchase from Strange Ways.
Their website states, “Strange Ways also works with talented folks to create one-of-a-kind collaborations and exclusive items. Through our forward-thinking and unusual lens we offer exclusive product from some of the most relevant trendsetters, creatives and icons. We don’t just strive to curate and carry interesting products—in creating some of it ourselves, we hope to become a place you can look to for inspiration.”
Photo Credit: Alex Dakoulas