This week we’re sharing a new (to us) plant shop, shining a light on all of the new colorful lanterns in Chinatown, and introducing you to a cool new friend: Lauren Williams. 



If you’re looking for a new plant-bb to bring into your life, “plant-mom” Katherine Hernandez has a new plant-business called Juanita’s Plants (based in NYC)! Everything is super reasonably priced and she delivers to all five boroughs WHATTTTT. Follow her along here to stay up to date on what kind of leafy babies she’s carrying! 

Will 250 Lanterns Be Enough to Save Chinatown? - NY Times
It’s no secret that between the pandemic and the preceding xenophobia, Chinatown has had a really tough year. Read about how one new initiative, Light Up Chinatown, aims to provide aid to the neighborhood. Want to support Chinatown IRL too? Check out our neighborhood guide here.

In case you needed an excuse to go get a warm Czech pastry filled with cheese and sausage...Brooklyn Kolache has a new & improved storefront! Since we are from Savannah (home of Foxy Loxy Cafe - which is home to the Foxy Kolache) we are often craving them. BK Kolache is our favorite place in NY to cure the craving and we can’t wait to stop by their Bed Stuy cafe to see the updated lewk!

We love starting out the year with a fresh sketchbook to fill with all of our weird doodles. If you are like us and are looking for a more unique approach to the new-year-new-me-new-sketchbook idea...try out The Sketchbook Project. You buy one of their sketchbooks, fill it with your weird doodles, give it back to them, and it stays in their permanent sketchbook library...FOREVA.

Guest Editor: Heather Beck

We obviously know some neighborhoods in NYC better than we called in our resident LIC friend, Heather Beck, to guest edit a list of her must-sees, must-dos, and plenty of must-eats in Long Island City, Queens. Read her picks here!

COOL FRIENDS: Lauren Williams

Meet Lauren, owner and curator of Lolo - a Carroll Gardens retail store (and soon-to-be coffee shop!). Almost all of Lolo’s unique art-objects and accessories are designed and made by women-owned businesses. Read about how it all began and be on the lookout for the new Lolo location opening this spring!

How did your shop, Lolo begin?

I kept the idea of Lolo in my mind for probably 2 years before saying it out loud to anyone in 2018. I went to an ideas workshop at Sincerely, Tommy in the Summer of 2018 and nervously listened to other entrepreneurial women talk about their ideas, side hustles, and/or growing businesses. It inspired me to start planning the shop I had always dreamed of. In December 2018, when I presented my father with a business plan to ask him for a loan, I began bawling. He was incredibly confused why I was crying, and it was because it was the first time I talked about this dream of mine out loud, outside of my own brain. I was terrified. A few months later, in March 2019, I was able to open the store! I signed a sublease for 1 year so in case it totally failed, I at least had a way out in a year (though I had no intention to fail). The store was funded by a mix of my loan, my savings from 8 years of modest fashion design salaries, credit cards, and the fact that I secretly worked remotely for a separate, full time job at the desk of the store for an entire year - ha! Since I was my only employee, aside from a few wonderful angels who covered for me when I needed a day off, I was the only one I had to train. Two years later, I'm getting ready to hire a small team who I'll entrust with my living dream. 


What's your favorite part about the New York creative community? 

Their adaptability and resilience! There's a reason why so many creatives live and work here, and why not everyone finds home here comfortable. New York is always in flux and the creative community is constantly adapting to this wild ride. This constant brain exercise definitely creates and inspires some incredible artists.


What's inspiring you right now?

Always always always, the makers and artists Lolo carries. All I do is create a space for a fraction of their wonderful work to live among others - whether that be virtually or in real life. I try to do it in a way that both allows their work to stand out and to live harmoniously with the others. Which I suppose is how some of us live our lives in a way? The colors, textures and stories are always driven by the work that goes into the shop and the brilliant minds behind the work. The result, the essence of Lolo, is how my mind interprets it all together.

Follow along: on Instagram

Brownstone Patina in Park Slope, BK

Read more Best Of articles, Cool Freinds interviews, past Newsletter editions on our website: 

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