By Nadeem Gibran Salaam

About Nadeem Gibran Salaam

Nadeem Gibran Salaam is the founder of the music blog ElevtrTrax, he is a New York native, affordable housing activist, and artist. He has had a hand in New York's music scene for 15 years as both a musician and writer.

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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Violet Sands, Ian Chang, And Body Language Defy What Indie Rock Bands Can Be

Violet Sands kicking things off – Photo: Nadeem Salaam

Friday nights at Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave.) are often surprisingly jam-packed with talent sourced from our own backyard. A simple perusing of upcoming shows ties the seemingly endless web of Brooklyn indie music together. Both Body Language and Violet Sands, who played the Bazaar last Friday, have been deeply immersed in local projects over time, and watching artists’ evolution is what scenes are for. We live in a city with exceptional taste and openness to new sounds, and Friday night that curiosity was piqued when Ian Chang, (drummer of Body Language) treated the audience to experimental oddities, performing solo on a drum kit wired to sensors and truly defying the definition of a band. Continue reading

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Paul Gold And The Legacy Of The Lathe Kept Alive In Greenpoint

Paul Gold at Salt Mastering.
Paul Gold at Salt Mastering.

Vinyl might be making a comeback, but Greenpoint audio mastering legend Paul Gold never left it behind. At Salt Mastering (61 Greenpoint Ave.) in the Pencil Factory, he’s spent the last 10 1/2 years mastering for such acts as Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective, and LCD Soundsystem.

I recently set aside some time to garner stories from Paul about his history in the business, and maybe get a few technique pointers along the way. Arriving at his place of business, I pried open his door on the fourth floor, and he shouted from the other room to come in.

Paul is a bit of a mad scientist. His hair bounces around as he moves about in his studio, and his large frame glasses are actually of his era, and not worn ironically. We sit in a relatively small unit, the front half filled with tools and scraps of audio gear, while the main mastering room is surrounded by large gear that looks like something out of those black-and-white Twilight Zone episodes on time travel from the 1950’s.

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