The Brooklyn Women’s Exchange was founded in 1854, during a particularly volatile time in American economic history. Many women in Brooklyn found themselves in need of income but with no means of support. Following the lead of church ministers who were training indigent women in the craft of needlework, a group of concerned local women began the Brooklyn Female Employment Society providing a discreet enterprise, or “exchange,” through which women could sell their needlework and handcrafts. As the organization evolved into the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, a small sewing school and storefront enabled women to care for their families and earn income without having to work in a factory or other dangerous environment.

In addition to selling their wares, the women of the Exchange made “warm garments” for soldiers in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War and World War I. During the Civil War, the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, the Abolitionist preacher of Plymouth Church, bought “coarse garments” from the Exchange to be distributed to the poor.

Today, the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange stands at the forefront of the American crafts movement, representing hundreds of craftspeople from Brooklyn and across the country. 

The Brooklyn Women's Exchange is a member of the National Federation of Women's Exchanges

An integral part of the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, the shop brings a modern link to a bygone retail experience by offering one-of-a-kind items and personalized service

An integral part of the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, the shop brings a modern link to a bygone retail experience by offering one-of-a-kind items and personalized service.



In addition to buying our beautiful hand-crafted items, you can support our mission by donating directly. When you give to the BWE, you help nurture the creative efforts of 250 talented crafters working throughout the United States. Help us continue this important work into the future!



The Brooklyn Women’s Exchange is dedicated to helping talented people by displaying and selling their original creations. We return 70% of the retail price to the artist. In accordance with the original mission of the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, potential consignors must represent one of the following groups: the elderly, the handicapped, the financially needy, and those that further American crafts movement.

If you are interested in placing your work in our shop, please download and send us the application form below with a description of your work, suggested retail price and, if possible, photographs. If email is not practical, you may mail photos or a sample. 

Click for more information about the consignment process

Download the application to become a consignor

The Brooklyn Women’s Exchange
137 Montague Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201



The Brooklyn Women’s Exchange is a membership organization that relies on its volunteers to run the shop on a daily basis. Our members are the lifeblood of the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, handling transactions, identifying new crafters and displaying merchandise. All members volunteer to work in the shop for a minimum of eight hours per month

We are always interested in speaking with potential members. If you would like information on getting involved stop by the Shop during business hours, please call 718-624-3435 or email us at bwemember@gmail.com

We welcome volunteers of all gender identities.


137 Montague Street (between Henry & Clinton in Brooklyn Heights)
Brooklyn, NY 11201

(718) 624-3435


Please join our mailing list or follow us on Instagram at @bklynwe for the latest updates. Please remember our online shop is always open!