I said I was coming back to blogging and then I disappeared again. Well this time I’m back for good (seriously) plus I was gone for a good reason.
Selling whipped shea, cocoa and mango butter out of my Brooklyn apartment was no longer sustainable. My boxes took up the bulk of the building’s shared basement and hauling 50 lb cases of raw butter up two flights of stairs was not ’empowering’ anymore.
My lease was up and I had the choice of going through the whole drama of trying to find a bigger apartment and a landlord who would put up with my sprawling operation, or just get a storefront. I chose the latter.
I found a cute little spot in Bed Stuy, right on Marcus Garvey Blvd at the intersection of Kosciuszko St. And so began my nightmare.
First there was the horror of moving all the boxes out of my apartment basement to the shop space. I had to move them *before* my contractor started work on the space. Which meant he had to maneuver around a humongous pile of boxes that we pushed against various walls according to where he needed to work next.
And by the way every horrible thing they say about working with contractors is true. Over budget, past deadline, sending ME to Home Depot to find supplies. Like what the hell do I know about plywood and sheetrock?? Didn’t stop my contractor from having me go find stuff for him. And I don’t mean ‘pick up’ stuff. I mean FIND stuff. I was in the aisle searching ‘proper subflooring for hardwood’ on my phone, hands shaking, praying I did not buy the wrong stuff.
I want you all to know that I literally, *literally* went to Home Depot every day in the month in August. Sometimes two or three times a day. And it was horrible. The leering men, the horrible customer service, the disorganized store layout.
My plan was to open the shop on August 15. That didn’t happen. As mid-August came and went I’d go home at night and curl myself into a ball. Oh wait, no because I have three kids under five I had to put to sleep first *before* I could curl into a ball and weep silently at what felt like a huge mistake.
Finally, *finally* in early September the shop was done enough that I could begin accepting customers.
I designed our sign, learned our ‘point of sale’ system (which is the fancy word for cash register. Apparently things have changed since I was a child.) But finally, save some minor details, the shop was completely ready for business.
This was a gamble, but it felt like a move I had to make. I jumped off a cliff and I still don’t know what the outcome will be. But I’m proud of what I created.
It’s been a couple weeks since we began taking customers and things have been good. Settled enough that I can manage my blog team again and continue accepting online orders at bglh-marketplace.com.
The shop’s grand opening is on October 1. If you are in the area please come on down! I’m also hosting a BGLH meetup in the space on Saturday, October 7 at 11 a.m. It will be a small gathering. Just 40 people and some brunch‑y refreshments. If you live in the area and want to meet me and see the space, please enter your email below.
So, in summary, no I didn’t abandon BGLH. Yes, I’m back blogging for good. And yes, now I have a shop.
BGLH Meetup in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn at BGLH Marketplace
358 Kosciuszko St, Brooklyn 11221
(at the intersection of Kosciuszko St and Marcus Garvey Blvd, beside Fermento Cafe)
Saturday, October 7 at 11 a.m.