How to Open a Business in Brooklyn
New York’s biggest borough is as much a brand as a location, and it is ripe for start-ups of all stripes.
Jun 28, 2010
For Alexis Miesen, Atlantic Avenue had all the makings of the quintessential Brooklyn thoroughfare that combines the charm of a small town with the pace of city life. With its colorful boutique storefronts, diverse dining options, smattering of coffee shops, and antique stores, she expected to see happy families strolling along the street sharing ice cream cones.
There was one problem: There was no ice cream anywhere around.
“It’s filled with all these fantastic bars and restaurants and shops and it just has this really great kind of energy. They have all these great amenities to the community but no great ice cream shop,” she said. “This is a gap in what other people are offering.”
Less than three years later, Miesen and her partner Jennie Dundas had opened not only an ice cream shop on Atlantic Avenue, but also had rapidly expanded the franchise to two other Brooklyn locations, feeding summertime crowds that often form lines winding out the door. Blue Marble’s organic, grass-fed dairy-based ice cream has been praised on The Martha Stewart Show, CNN, and in a bevy of New York publications.
Brooklyn has become as much a brand these days as a location. Slap the word “Brooklyn” on a piece of clothing and it’s instantly edgy, and quite likely to sell. New York City’s most populous borough remains a popular place to start a business, and Miesen and Dundas are emblematic of the grassroots, DIY entrepreneurs across the borough who’ve found a niche, and a loyal fan base that helps spread their brand along the way.
The surge of creative energy, young artists and recent graduates is putting Brooklyn on the map not just for its booming music scene but also as competition with San Francisco to see who will lead the next Internet revolution.
Business owners say starting a venture in Brooklyn requires creativity, a careful study of neighborhoods, and a good deal of Web 2.0 savvy. We talked with several successful companies about why the county of Kings is a bubbling cauldron of entrepreneurship, and how to get in on the action.
READ THE REST because it’s a clip not about drinking cheap beer or black-jeans wearing rock bands for once!