Made With Love: Talking Coffee, Clothes and Community with Jill Lindsey
Words and Photos by Sophia Pizzo
In Jill Lindsey’s eponymous store, her personal touch is immediately evident. From her own clothes adorning the racks, to the furniture she designed herself, everything is made with love and an attention to detail. The store sells apparel, gifts and jewelry, features a café and “secret garden” in the back, and includes a lower floor dedicated to wellness treatments.
A fashion designer by trade, Jill opened her Fort Greene store in 2014 as a way to sell her clothes, as well as to enrich the community.
“I’ve lived in this neighborhood for many years, and there weren’t a lot of options for stores or coffee," says Jill. “I thought it would be the best option to open my own store so I could sell whatever I wanted, make whatever I wanted, and I could promote my friends and other independent designers.”
Jill aspires to find a happy medium between high fashion and what her customers want. “My inspiration comes from a lot of places,” says Jill. “There’s the very haute couture, luxury gowns and embellished dresses, which is always my first love. Then it came down to, ‘What do people need?’ We need quality clothes at affordable prices, we need them made with love, and we need them to be universal…I’m basically inspired by the people.”
Jill has a passion for working with people and growing with the community. “A majority of the products in the store are from the neighborhood, which is amazing. Local designers and artisans will come here and we’ll meet with them and try to support them growing with us, as we continue to grow ourselves.”
Jill Lindsey also sells sandals made by artisans in Nicaragua, with whom she collaborates. “The sandals have been one of our top-selling products,” says Jill. “It’s amazing because we started out with just a few people making them, and now we just keep giving them business and growing with them, which is really special.”
Collaboration and growth extends to every aspect of Jill’s store, including the café where she proudly serves Irving Farm’s Blackstrap Espresso. “It’s delicious! We’ve been serving it since we opened. We love Irving Farm,” raves Jill. “It is one of the most incredible companies that I have ever done business with, and I feel very fortunate. I really wanted to have a coffee that was stand-out and awesome, sustainable, and all that goodness."
The store also boasts a calendar chock full of events, which range from kid’s sing-alongs to crafting workshops and beauty bars. “I don’t know if there’s one that’s my favorite, because every single one is so special,” says Jill. The event calendar, like many of Jill’s endeavors, grew out of a passion for the Fort Greene community. “I wanted to be able to give this street some love…it’s just nice to give this community something to do, something that’s going to enrich their lives and give them an experience. And for the people that I’m working on the events with, it gives them the opportunity to make a dream come true, or do something they’ve always wanted to do.”
Jill Lindsey has continued to grow with the community, and will be growing even further to include a new location in Malibu, California at the end of June. “I think it’s been a true testament to following your dreams and doing something with passion and love, so we’re just gonna keep doing it!”
370 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205