For Women's History Month, we're partnering with over 30 neighborhood organizations from across NYC on the #SmallBusinessWonderWomen campaign. We're sharing the wonderful women behind the businesses that make NoHo a special place. Every woman was asked to share what makes them a small business wonder woman and why they chose to make NoHo their home.
"NoHo residents and visitors from around the globe know Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter, my 6,000 square foot gallery space on Lafayette Street, as a peaceful and inspirational wondrous respite from the outside world. Gallery clients and visitors are encouraged to interact with the objects on view, ask questions and linger in the bright and airy environs surrounded by a magically curated collection of Scandinavian and Northern European antiques and artworks. At any given moment, the collection I’ve amassed ranges from gutsy Baroque cabinets to elegant Gustavian chairs to iconic mid-century chaises to contemporary ceramics and sculpture.
I am a #SmallBusinessWonderWoman because the gallery – after 16 years – remains a reflection of my own personality and style: inclusiveness, curiousness, and a broad view of what defines beauty in art and objects. Every #SmallBusinessWonderWoman is wondrous in their own personal way!
As a woman business owner, I often remind myself, “There are no ceilings except those that you put on yourself.” I began my career in the Department of European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and later worked at Didier Aaron, Inc. and Jacques Grange before opening my own gallery. Then and now, the items I collect are truly one-of-a-kind. I love learning and experimenting and, most of all, sharing my love for Scandinavian design with others! Our collection is always changing, and it’s not uncommon for the gallery to look entirely different from one day to the next.
As a collector, I enjoy the thrill of the hunt for a special object and learning about its ‘story’. The gallery is woven into the provenance of every object that passes through our walls, each one with a unique history often going back hundreds of years. I draw inspiration from things I see, hear, and experience everywhere, from music to architecture to fashion. In a similar way, we hope anyone who enters the gallery or even walks by the windows can take inspiration from what they are seeing, whether they are a designer or artist by trade, or just someone who appreciates special things. The greatest compliment we can receive, and truly my goal for the gallery, is for people to be inspired by what we do.
It is more important now than it has ever been to extend an atmosphere of acceptance and welcome to our neighbors, which has been one of the tenets of the gallery since its opening in Sag Harbor in 2005. In addition to our devoted industry and designer clients, we often see returning visitors who come to simply wander through the gallery and soak in the ambience. We have been at our current Lafayette Street location since 2010 and have weathered all sorts of storms alongside our NoHo community, from Hurricane Sandy to COVID-19. Through it all, we have remained open, and continued to thrive and to hope like our neighbors around us.
We have been at our current location on Lafayette Street in NoHo for over a decade and absolutely love the energy, buzz and comradery of the neighborhood! My family resides nearby and adore the range of options from the arts, to dining, to theater to fashion that are all commingled into the magic of our NoHo neighborhood. I truly believe that the some of the success of Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter can be attributed to the magic of our NoHo location and its amazing BID team which is the glue that brings us all together!"
Lean more about Jill Dienst in her 2019 profile for Architectural Digest: For Jill Dienst of Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter, Stories Are Always the Guiding Force
Dienst + Dotter is located at 411 Lafayette Street. Visit their website to learn more.