As much as I like a consistent chain store, I absolutely love small businesses more. You know, your “mom and pop”, your local spot…those independently owned shops that know you better than some of your own family. It’s so vital to our community that we ABSOLUTELY support these neighborhood places; they add color, character and cool to your area – while providing competitive (aka lower prices) with better customer care and service.
MY TOP 5 FAVORITE SMALL BUSINESSES:
If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you already know how much I love this South African/American eatery. Owned by my married friends, Dean and Maya Jankelowitz (named for Dean’s grandparents Dean & Maya) – this place is always my home away from home. I sometimes land from a long work trip away and head straight there (luggage and all) to be greeted by familiar faces and the best food. When you make yourself a regular, the staff and owners take a MAJOR note and eventually treat you, not only as a loved customer, but as a family member. And because it’s a small business with owners investing their own time and money, they are more focused on the customers experience and satisfaction.
Support your local restaurants before they get bulldozed and replaced with chain restaurants that won’t bother to try and squeeze you in. Instead, they’ll hand you a monster beeper that will buzz like shock therapy to alert you aeons later that your table next to that loud family is ready.
My Favorite Jack’s Wife Freda Dishes (Vegan Friendly):
Roasted Cauliflower Creamy Garlic Dressing & Capers
Greek Salad (hold the Feta)
*You MUST and I mean MUST try their homemade hot sauce. It’s INCREDIBLE…and also vegan!
As a DJ, a shop like Turntable Lab has been crucial for my work. Not only do they handle all my DJ equipment needs, they are also always there to share their own personal DJ expertise and suggestions (as most of the staff are actual DJ’s or musicians).
But, you don’t only have to be a DJ to shop here. TTL also sells an array of interesting art books, rare records/CD’s and fun little gadgets and things.
Not only is this hip boutique a super cool small business, it’s also owned and managed by two young women named Olivia Wolfe and Steph Krasnoff! Even more reason to support this hot spot with entrepreneurial sisters doing it for themselves! This place is perfect for personal shopping or last minute gifts for almost anyone! It’s edited super creatively and worth an in-person or online browse!
My Favorite American Two Shot Picks Under 20$:
Supporting your local bar might not seem like a priority, but before you know it – they could be gone! Where are you going to hang when your high school buddies come to visit or when you need a place to hang after work before that annoying dinner thing you have. Then you’ll be assed out, hanging out at a Starbucks next to that smelly weird guy and the group of tweens excpaing their parents who will find it weird that you have no where else cooler to be.
Besides. You need a go-to for delicious cocktails or mocktails and possible therapy from the tender of the bar. It’s also a great place for people watching and getting to know other locals.
5. Live Live.
Live Live is an independently owned business that serves all things natural and vegan; things like Oregano Oil to fight colds, Dry Brushes that help lymphatic drainage, Probiotics for healthy gut bacteria and more. A shop like this is so crucial for me…and for anyone who is open to a holistic journey. Supporting places like Whole Foods and Trader Joes is good, but for those of us not in close proximity to one – a shop like this is just as wonderful, if not more. A lot of people think they don’t have places like this in their, area – but just Google it! Seriously. Even in the hood, their are rastafari owned shops that feature a lot of the natural goods you are looking for. The benenfit of small business like this is that, they are a wealth of knowledge and usually open to sampling their products to you.
I recently did an interview with TheCoveteur.Com where we paid a visit to Live Live and I talked about all things wellness.
Well, I hope this not only gives you some good ideas for independently owned business that you should check out in New York City – BUT, more than that…I hope that this inspires you to support your very own local spots that are contributing to your own community, inevitably enriching your area more!
For more, check out this piece I did with Paper Magazine/American Express for their #ShopSmall campaign a while back. See the video below with me talking about why I love supporting my local spots…
Check out some honorable mentions of Small Businesses below.
Founded by Tasha Burton of St. Louis, MO, Belle Butters is a line of natural skin and hair products. Full of potent and rich ingredients, this small business line is sure to hook you and prevent you from seeking standard store available brands. Did I mention each product smells as good as it feels?
Bevel provides a brass razor as well as cream, oils and balms to achieve a smooth and hydrating close shave.
Skyy Crystals contains an inventory specialized in crystal healing jewelry to cover your chakras
Served Fresh is clothing brand that reflects the social times of both pop culture, history and politics.
–Boho Exotic Studio
Boho Exotic Studio is a black owned small business determined to provide natural curl textures to match women of numerous ethnicities.
Melanie Marie provides a plethora custom made jewelry items such as: nameplates, shoe lace tags, earrings and many others including apparel.
Based out of the UK, Nubian Skin is a lingerie line committed to the comfort and aesthetic for women of color.
Grace Eleyae created the Slap–a satin lined cap–to maintain the moisture needed to protect your hair. It’s another appealing option in comparison to traditional bonnets and scarfs.
Cultural Interiors brings the beauty of the globe into your home.
Beelux makes decadent body products out of organic honey, as well as many other holistic healing properties we discuss right here on Vashtie.com. They make being a naturalista, convenient.
-Tabeel Aromatherapy Gifts & Salon
Tabeel is a mini market for all things pure and beneficial. They sell teas free of pesticides that are grown responsibly, as well as scrubs, essential oils and candles etc.
Pear Nova is the answer to those seeking vegan and clean nail polish to complete their fashion looks.
–Briogeo Hair Care
Briogeo Hair Care is a home grown natural hairline committed to focusing on the internal health of your hair.