“You get hired here based on happiness,” Jill Lindsey tells me as we sit at a picnic bench in the yard behind her eponymous Brooklyn shop on a truly glorious Saturday afternoon. In the four and a half years since she opened the shop, it has grown with the surrounding Fort Greene neighborhood and become a go-to destination for many in the area and beyond. Lindsey always knew that it wouldn’t be enough to create a pretty shop with beautiful things. “The whole store is wellness,” she explained. “It is what we put out into the universe, and how we want people to feel when they come in.”
From Spa Treatments to Graphic Tees and Tarot
Wellness here takes many forms. It can be the expected treatments, ranging from massage and facials to Reiki and meditation. Or Lindsey’s own line of natural bath and body products. But it can also be happy hour, from 6 to 8 p.m. from Monday through Friday, with $7 wine and $4 beer. And if you happen to fancy a graphic tee, shirtdress, pair of sandals, or cool sunglasses while in the light-filled space, you can indulge in some retail “wellness,” as well.
Success did not come overnight. “When we first opened, nobody was coming in. People were confused—you’re a store, but you’re also a bar and you do events?” admitted Lindsey, who has lived in the area for over a decade. “So I started doing activations specifically to bring people in. We did dating events, we did singalongs, and tonight we have a supper club. That was the only reason I started it—to bring people in—but now we have something every day.” The packed October calendar of offerings includes tarot and astrology readings, adult and kid yoga, a crystals 101 class, a clothing swap, and a fundraiser for a local women’s shelter.
Where it All Comes Together
Lindsey clearly has a lot on her plate. But that seems to be par for the course. The Kansas native studied psychology before putting herself through fashion school in Seattle. Every summer she interned in New York City, most notably with the British designer Alice Temperley, and was offered a job with Nordstrom before she even graduated. While she specialized in designing and hand making custom gowns for weddings and formal occasions for private clients, at Nordstrom she became an expert in knits. Ultimately, she found her way back to New York, where she completely redesigned Talbot’s sweater collection while the company was rebranding, while designing for four freelance clients at night and on weekends.
She had the proverbial “aha” moment while on a yarn sourcing trip in Italy. “I was sitting in a wine bar thinking that I wanted to do something more fulfilling with my life. I wanted to be able to make things that I want to make, and have a place to sell them, and support my friends’ brands, and have a place for people to come together,” she recalled. “And, no joke, I drew this very building on a piece of paper. And I gave myself a year to figure out how to do it.”
She cashed in her 401k, took all her savings, and did it (although it took a while for the building to materialize, but it really is exactly the building she sketched all those years ago).
Lindsey hasn’t looked back since and is currently scouting out locations for future stores on both coasts. “Last night, the bar was full, people were getting tarot readings, and a random guy who had no idea I was the owner said ‘the vibe here is so amazing, and this concept is so amazing, how many locations does this place have?’, “ she recounted, adding “My goal is to expand all over the place and do this for all people, because it is so uplifting.” jilllindsey.com