Plant Apothecary: Meet The Woke Couple Making Beauty Products That Are Beyond Skin-deep

Photo by Nadeem G. Salaam, taken at Plant Apothecary’s Office in Greenpoint

Meet the husband-and-wife co-founders of Plant Apothecary, Bjarke and Holly.

Holly McWhorter and Bjarke Ballisager, are a well rounded husband-and-wife team with backgrounds in architecture, journalism, and music. They started PLANT Apothecary back in 2012 when they saw an opportunity to promote healthy ingredients, environmental friendliness, and social responsibility. Starting with organic bodywashes, the line has since grown to include moisturizers, masks and more. We chatted with them to explore their current product line and what’s next for this dynamic conscious duo.

GP: Say I just stumbled blindly upon your company, how would you describe what it is you provide?

Holly: We’re an organic skincare and bath products company based in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. We also have multiple missions, environmental sustainability, social responsibility, [with] cool package design to whatever extent we can! We both [looks to Bjarke] have design and architecture backgrounds, that was a big part of where we came into this industry from.

GP: What was the local landscape of organic products when you entered the market?

Holly: At the time we started, about 5 years ago, there weren’t as many organic all-natural skincare products that were really straight forward with contemporary design focused on minimalism. It was either, we’re trying to sell you something luxury so you felt you were buying into the luxury life-style, or hippie centric, and either way, things were very status conscious, but we liked very straight forward products and packaging, so we created Plant Apothecary to fill the hole in the market. Continue reading

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Friday Night’s Tragic Hit-and-Run Accident

The sign asking for tips at Franklin & Noble

At about 12:30 am Saturday morning, NYPD responded to a call of a cyclist hit by a driver on Franklin Street at Noble Street. The 27-year-old male cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene and the accident has been labeled a hit-and-run. According to Gothamist, “An initial investigation by the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad determined that the cyclist was biking on Franklin Street when he was struck by the garbage truck driver who was moving south on Franklin. The garbage truck driver then left the scene after striking the cyclist.” The police are still looking for the truck which is described as a green and white sanitation truck with yellow writing.

By Saturday, neighbors had learned that the deceased was a member of the community. Neftaly Ramirez was a beloved employee at Paulie Gee’s and had been biking to his home in Alphabet City after a shift at the restaurant. Paulie Gee’s was closed in mourning Saturday. 110 Franklin Street is the future home of Paulie Gee’s slice shop.

Neftaly is the 11th cyclist fatality this year in New York City, and his death brings renewed calls to make our city streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians. The 94th precinct alone has had 43 cyclist accident so far this year, the same number as last year. The NYPD is asking anyone who has information about the accident to reach out (800-577-TIPS) as the investigation is ongoing.

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Volunteer at the Greenpoint Library Popup!

Greenpoint Library Park Church Co-Op

While the Greenpoint Library is undergoing major construction, the Park Church Co-Op (129 Russell St) will be hosting a popup library with some of the materials from their collection. They’re currently seeking volunteers to help out with opening the church, greeting guests, helping guests loan books and closing the church. Email [email protected] if you would like to volunteer. Continue reading

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Greenpoint Power Couple Takes the Ultimate Cross Country Road Trip

Paola Baldion and Jamie Toll.

A lot of people drive cross country from New York to California, but few people do it with a larger social and political message as a goal. On August 8th, Australian-born local street artist and Northern Territory owner Jamie Toll and his wife—Colombian immigrant, actress and filmmaker Paola Baldion—will do just that, while making a completely unique trip. For two months they will travel across America providing free DNA tests to total strangers, and then on the return leg of their journey they’ll interview the recipients of the kits about their DNA discoveries for a documentary film the couple plan to make while on the road.

Jamie and Paola conceived the trip after the success of Paola’s You Tube video, which went viral garnering 30 million hits! They will partner up with the genetic research company myHeritage DNA to shoot the documentary project I Am Migration.

Continue reading

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The Best Frozen Drinks in North Brooklyn

Got our daily fruit last weekend with Northern Territory’s Pimm’s Cup  Image: Northern Territory/Instagram

A year ago, we were at the beginning of a five-day intolerable heat wave. Luckily, it seems we’ll only get a handful of 90°+ days this year which means more time outside drinking frozen cocktails! Boozy slushies are a bit of a trend right now and the neighborhood is full of them. It just so happens that they’re perfect for that cooling afternoon drink or to pretend you’re actually on a tropical vacation. Here are the spots happy to put a tiny umbrella in your drink. Continue reading

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All Bacon Everything, Greenpoint Burglaries, and $$$ Condos—The Hook-Up 7/21

Greenpoint Ave & Franklin St - Megan Penmann
Greenpoint Ave & Franklin St. Photo by Megan Penmann

The condos that are replacing the old New Warsaw Bakery on Lorimer Street have gone on the market, for upwards of $1.5 million per unit.

A guy broke into two Greenpoint businesses in less than one hour, and robbed them. Baoburg (614 Manhattan Ave) and a nearby laundromat were both hit.

Predictably, there’s a new all-bacon tasting menu in Williamsburg at a restaurant called Belly. Continue reading

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Cat-Calling All Feline Friends: The Greenpoint Cat Club Meets Tomorrow!

stray catDo you want to help every stray cat you see? Does the sight of whiskers make you go “awww?” Well, you’re not alone! The Greenpoint Cat Club meets once a month at Archestratus (160 Huron Street) to discuss issues and solve problems on behalf of the feral cats of our ‘hood. You already know that many local residents try to help the outdoor kitties. Bowls of cat food are tucked away in corners all around our neighborhood waiting to feed the hungry masses. We’re a sympathetic bunch!

There are over 50,000 stray cats in New York and hundreds in Greenpoint, presumably subsisting on kielbasa scraps and other fallen Polish delicacies. One of the major problems facing our community is that when people move, they sometimes sadly leave their house cats behind to fend for themselves. This is cruel behavior, as domesticated cats are not equipped to care for themselves in the wild. The streets are very dangerous for feral cats, and the best you can do if you find yourself in the sad situation of having to give up an animal is to find them a new home. Muddy Paws (447 Graham Ave) pet store has adoption events every Sunday from 2pm-5pm and you can find someone there who will help you find the resources you need. Continue reading

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Tonight: Toxic Gardens at Greenpoint Terminal Gallery

ART OPENING: Toxic Gardens
Featuring works by Caroline Larsen, Christian Little, Jack Henry, Sarah Weber, Sarah Zapata

at Greenpoint Terminal Gallery
67 West St., Suite 320

Opening reception: Friday, July 21 (7pm-10pm)
July 21st – Aug. 25th
Curated by Brian Willmont & Alison Sirico

Greenpoint Terminal Gallery is pleased to present a group show evocative of the season, including work from five artists – Caroline Larsen, Christian Little, Jack Henry, Sarah Weber and Sarah Zapata. Entitled Toxic Gardens, the exhibition embodies traits of a secret garden—a space that is secluded, paradisiacal, entangled in foliage—abundant in layers and depth. The artists in the show are united by an interest to intermix materials and subjects not traditionally tied. Continue reading

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We’re Seeking Contributors + Happy Hour Next Thursday 7/27!

McGolrick Park, photo by Megan Penmann

Greenpointers is seeking writers, photographers, illustrators, videographers, and content makers. If you love Greenpoint and create content in the areas of local news, art, music, food, fashion, wellness, environment, politics, history, events—then you should contribute for us!

Meet with our editorial team along with old and new contributors Thursday, July 27 2017, 7:30pm at Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave). We’ll have a fun time exchanging ideas, drinkin’ beer and meeting other mega-talented Greenpointers. If you missed the last happy hour or you attended and we didn’t get in touch with you yet, we’d still love to see you. Please feel free to come by!

You should RSVP here so we know who’s interested! Continue reading

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It’s 90° Out! Get Thee to The Beach!

Rockaway Beach  Image: Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

The past few weeks have been very “hot town, summer in the city” and most of us have felt the overwhelming urge to blow off work to head to the beach. If you can’t play hooky during this week’s 90° days, we’ve got at least another month and a half of chances for good beach weather. The issue is getting to there from North Brooklyn is no easy feat. But luckily, it is getting easier as the years go on. Well, at least, the city is trying to make it easier. Here’s are the best ways to get to our area beaches without a car. Continue reading

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