Art of Living Well

Girlboss Turned Cottagecore Boutique Owner Audrey Gelman on How to Make the Most Out of City Life

Image courtesy of Audrey Gelman.

Audrey Gelman is a consummate New Yorker.

She has a Mets tattoo on the inside of her lip, once guest starred on her childhood friend Lena Dunham’s HBO series, and first made a name for herself as the indomitable publicist for a previously little-known candidate for New York City comptroller.

After a high-profile stint as the founder of the now-defunct women’s coworking space the Wing, she re-emerged last year with an unlikely new venture: a “country store” in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood. The shop, which also has a robust ecommerce business, comes with an elaborate backstory (it is located, according to the website, in the “fictional village of Barrow’s Green, a small civil parish with 640 residents”). In the midst of the frenetic holiday season, CULTURED asked Gelman to reveal her secrets to staying sane in the city.  

How do you determine what kind of home goods are the right fit for The Six Bells?

Our motto is “out with the new, in with the old,” so anything that you’d see in a dreamy country house is something you’d find at The Six Bells. The merchandising process is very much a “hunt”—we find amazing artisans on Instagram, through word of mouth, and scour antiques across tiny towns across the country.

You are a lifelong New Yorker. What's one of your favorite tips for how to live well in the city? 

Take three hours and visit World Spa in Midwood once a month. It’s like the elevated version of the Russian Baths and if you’re brave, you’ll go in the snow room (I can only do it for about 3.5 seconds). They also have incredible food so you can easily spend a whole morning or afternoon.

Image courtesy of Audrey Gelman/Instagram.

What is a splurge you reserve for special occasions?

Ordering Peter Luger’s on Caviar. A $65 steak feels like a lot, but it’s worth it when you consider your body NEEDS THE IRON. Also, don’t forget the Luger’s steak sauce and the schlag (you’re not a real New Yorker if you don’t know what schlag is).

What’s your favorite small luxury to give to someone else?

A basket of bagels, nova, and babka from Barney Greengrass.

What do you do when you need to feel grounded?

Listen to Pantera’s “Walk” very, very loud!!!

What’s your favorite smell?

I wear men’s cologne, and love Loewe Pour Hommes.

What’s a luxurious ritual you inherited from someone in your life?

It’s not quite a ritual, but I inherited my obsessive love of the New York Mets from my family. They dressed me as a Met for my first Halloween, and it was off to the races from there.

Image courtesy of Audrey Gelman/Instagram.

What is the best thing you’ve put on your face recently?

Retinol, to be perfectly honest; a big old pot of Crème de la Mer; and Gucci’s lumière face gloss gel, which I put on as glossy eyeshadow.

What’s a wellness ritual you think is overrated?

Yoga, because it’s so deeply boring to me.

For more tips on how to live well, check out our interviews with Brock Colyar, Naima Green, and Jenny Walton