When we heard there was a brick and mortar store for drone hobbyists right over the bridge in Brooklyn, we couldn’t resist checking it out in person. Last month, Stephanie and I took a visit to Brooklyn Drones NYC, which is located on Fourth Avenue in South Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood.
There aren’t many retail locations that sell drones (it’s mainly an e-commerce gig). We were intrigued to see what this would look like, especially in Brooklyn, a borough whose competitive real estate market often demands creativity, if not compromise.
We found the store clean and uncluttered, with beautiful prints of drone photography lining the walls. The space isn’t huge but it’s well laid out. You can get up close to the products and there’s even an outdoor space in the back used to test fly certain drones. There’s also a knowledgeable staff, including the owner Roger Kapsalis, available to answer questions and talk shop.
We followed up with Roger after our visit with a few questions about Brooklyn Drones NYC:
What inspired you to open Brooklyn Drones?
I saw a need to have a go to place for all things drones. Where people can come ask questions and see physical product, rather than internet pics and videos. To also introduce people into this great hobby and technology.
What drone from your store would you recommend to a beginner?
It would either be a DJI Phantom series or a Yuneec typhoon series. Prices from $499 – $1399
You mentioned you’ve partnered with some local schools in the community. Can you tell us a little about that?
Not just yet. We’re finalizing the details.
There aren’t many local storefronts that specialize in selling drones. How does having a physical retail space (as opposed to online sales only) benefit your customers?
The benefit of speaking to a knowledgeable staff. Customers typically have many questions. I also get calls reading rules on flying in NYC. We help the best we can.
Looking to the future, how do you see Brooklyn Drones’ role in the community evolving/growing?
We hope that we’re an ambassador to the hobby. Education is key. Rolling out products that are safe and well-made.
We loved the drone photography hanging throughout the space. As a hobbyist drone photographer yourself, what are some of your favorite places to shoot?
Given the opportunity, I would fly anywhere. So many great shots to take. I recently took a trip to the Catskills to get some amazing landscape photos of their mountains.
You allowed us to tour your workstation – thanks! Would you mind telling us a a little about what you use the space for?
Repairs. We’re currently repairing drones that have been damaged and we’re building some drones for customers as well.
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