When designer, entrepreneur, and businesswoman Jill Lindsey opened her eponymously named store at 370 Myrtle Avenue (between Adelphi Street and Clermont Avenue) last May, it was solely a lifestyle boutique filled with a fun, vibrant, and carefully curated collection of accessories, clothing, gift items, and more — designed by herself and others. By July, it had become a combination gift-shop/cafe. And now, on the heels of celebrating its belated first anniversary, the store is not just a “mini-department store” but also a community gathering space for art classes, social nights, and more.
“The main reason I opened the store was to not be stuck in specific product categories since I was making all kinds of things,” explained Lindsey. “So, [going forward], I’m focusing more on apparel and working with artists from other countries, and that we [already]carry here. I really don’t know what’s going to happen! I definitely want to keep the community growing.”
That sense of community was the best surprise for Lindsey over this past year.
“I never thought it would turn into such a community, but that’s what has become the most important part of the space, whether it’s through events I curate or as a shared space for people to make their dreams come true,” she said. “That’s what’s been most rewarding.
“I love Fort Greene and have lived here for eight years. It’s my favorite neighborhood in the world and it’s amazing to see the transition in the world,” she added. ” It’s nice to be on Myrtle because of the diversity. You can come into the store and buy a $3 iced tea or a $2,000 dresser or take a $15 workshop. It’s really special to be a center for everyone in this neighborhood.”
On the other hand, the biggest challenge for the 37-year-old entrepreneur has been balancing being the owner of a small business and an independent woman business-owner.
“To have a business on Myrtle Avenue at this moment, you have to know what your’e doing is right, feel that [confidence],” Lindsey said. “Some days you don’t have high sales, so you hope for the next day. Providing things for the community, focusing on what your’e doing, staying positive.”
Soon, the Jill Lindsey store will also be providing a Wellness Center on the downstairs floor. By October, the plan is to be offering aroma touch massage, reiki, meditation, and other wellness services.
In the meantime, stop by the shop for a drink and snack — perhaps in the 24-seat backyard — along with your dose of retail therapy. Jill Lindsey Store is open from 11am-11pm daily, with the backyard open until 9pm.