When Franklin Street first started to become a shopping destination, one of the first people I met there was Jade Elzien, who was then working at one of Greenpoint’s earliest boutiques, Dalaga. Her upbeat attitude, warmth and genuine personality helped me feel comfortable and excited for what the neighborhood had in store. So it was very exciting to find out that she was opening her OWN boutique, Violet Pepper (688 Manhattan Ave.) last summer.
To celebrate the shop’s first year, Violet Pepper‘s hosting a big celebration with sales Friday July 25-Sunday 27th. Everything will be 20% off and sale items an extra 20% off. On Saturday the 26th there will be an added bonus of Brooklyn Brewery beers!
A little more about Jade and her journey from friendly Greenpoint neighbor to independent Greenpoint business owner after the jump!
Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? When did you first come to Greenpoint? What made you want to stay and begin your family here?
I grew up in San Diego and moved to Greenpoint 8 years ago to go to school. I studied fashion marketing, and while I was in school I met Michelle Mangiliman who had just opened her own store, Dalaga. I worked there for 5.5 years, and in the process decided that I also wanted to open a boutique as opposed to going corporate.
What was your inspiration to open Violet Pepper? What is special about your storefront?
Seeing all the hard, rewarding work that it takes to run a boutique. I decided I wanted that challenge in my career. I absolutely love this neighborhood and knew I wanted to live/work here for as long as possible. I had a daughter in 2011 who we named Violet Pepper and since she is my proudest accomplishment in life I knew I had to name the store after her.
What is your favorite part of being a small business owner?
My favorite part is definitely the flexibility and creating my own hours. I also can’t believe when I overhear customers saying how much they love the store and the merchandise, it is the most thrilling, satisfying thing to hear.
What is your thought process when buying for your store? Is there a particular kind of customer who you envision when you are selecting your merchandise?
My thought process usually begins with “Would I wear it? Would my friends wear it? Would my regulars spend X amount on it?” I have to be realistic with what I buy, but I try to be as playful and fun as I can. I love having a store in Brooklyn because there really are no fashion boundaries. Growing up in Southern California I always felt like I had to restrict my fashion choices, to blend in. Here people want the opposite. They want to stand out.
What’s your favorite line that you carry right now?
My favorite line has to be DL1961. They are a phenomenal denim company whose luxury products run under the $200 price range. They are as nice as Rag & Bone but at half the price. Let’s just say they give everyone an amazing ass.
What was your favorite moment during your first year? What are you looking forward to?
My favorite moment was definitely my “soft” opening. To see all my friends and family in my store was so surreal and gratifying. I am looking forward to growing my customer base as more people discover how great this section of Manhattan/Nassau/Driggs is.
If you haven’t checked out Violet Pepper yet, this weekend is definitely your chance! Stop by, grab a beer and say hi!
Sponsored post courtesy of Violet Pepper.