Meet The Maker: Apotheke

Meet The Maker is a series devoted to getting to know our makers, one-on-one. This week we talked to Chrissy of Apotheke. Her all natural apothecary line, fills our homes with effervescent candles like Bamboo, and her Charcoal bar and liquid hand soaps wash those nasty Subway germs away. 


How did you create Apotheke?

I started Apotheke as a hobby. I was making soap in my kitchen, and it turned out people liked it! So I started at a farmers market in the Hamptons, and kept growing for the past 4 years.


Is it hard to constantly come up with unique scents?

There are moments when we have to stop and really think about where we want the brand to develop. There are endless possibilities when it comes to development and picking new scents. The hardest part is being able to pick the right ones, and walk through the process without deterring. What we strive for is to keep it simple, yet interesting. We try not to go with the trendy scents – just beautiful, simple, yet life-long scents you want to fill your home.


What’s the best part of making your candles, soaps, and lotions?

Honestly, as much as I love seeing them from beginning to end, I love the creation and branding aspect. We’ve created a new line called BONTANIKA, and it was so fun to incorporate our traditional branding with a more upscale/new twist.


What’s something that you never thought would be a part of your job?

Owning a small business is an adventure. I was up for the challenge when I first started, and knew I would learn a lot, but I don’t think I quite knew HOW much. We still work every day, and it’s the little things that I always forget about. Like, how to fix a metal gate when your employee jams it. Sebastian [Chrissy’s husband and Apotheke co-owner] and I had a really late dinner that day!


You guys have previously set up shop at Brooklyn Flea. Do you see more pop-up shops and flea markets in Apotheke’s future?

Absolutely! I’ve always had a love for retail, and it won’t ever stop. We’ve set up a pop-up at Canvas Home in Manhattan, and have done the Holiday Fair at Grand Central for the past few years. There are a few exciting things in the works, so we’ll see where they take us!


What’s the best thing about living in Brooklyn?

Best thing would have to be the food and city views. We’ve traveled a bit and always realize we have it really good in New York with our food choices. Everyone is just so creative and delicious!  


Best place in Brooklyn to get a cup of coffee?

We work and live in Red Hook so we’re daily visitors at Baked. The coffee is great and the sweets are well… my weakness!


What’s your favorite Brooklyn sweet?

Liddabit Sweets’ Chocolate Dipped Sea Salt Caramels. They have a store in Industry City and I always stock up on boxes of caramels.


Have a guilty pleasure you can’t live without?

Facials. I love them!


Best piece of advice you’ve given or received?

Sebastian always says, “Happy wife, Happy life.” I have to agree with him!

Holiday Pop Up at the Marriott

The New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge has been committed to supporting local artisans ever since it opened in 1998, and in keeping with that goal, the property is partnering this holiday season with By Brooklyn, a store that exclusively sells Brooklyn-manufactured goods. Starting tomorrow, Dec. 3, through Dec. 20, By Brooklyn will set up a pop-up shop in the hotel’s second-floor lobby to introduce guests to crafts, goods and edibles produced in the borough. The shop will be overseen by Gaia DiLoreto, the founder and chief executive of By Brooklyn, who will educate shoppers about the products as well as Brooklyn’s thriving artistic culture. Items for sale include ornaments by Brooklyn Rehab, Brooklyn-themed tea towels by Three Legged Dog, hot sauce from Queen Majesty and T-shirts by Gnome Enterprises .

10 Perfect Holiday Gifts From Yours Truly

Present –wise, the holidays can tend to get a little confusing. Gift cards are all the rage for those you don’t know who to buy for, but why not get that person something truly unique, made by some cool Brooklyn people? Here are a few ideas to get your holiday juices flowing!


1.) Holiday Trio Salt Water Taffy & Snow Mint Salt Water Taffy by Salty Road

You’re last minute shopping for your company Christmas party and all of a sudden, you forgot you were the one responsible for dessert. Don’t fret; Salty Road is here to save the day! The handy Holiday Trio pack comes with our favorite holiday flavors – Eggnog, Peppermint, and Bergamot. And as if that weren’t enough, Salty Road truly outdid themselves with their Snow Mint Taffy as well. Your work friends will thank you for the sweet and salty goodness.


2.) Coal Bath Bombs by Lovewild Design


This set of bath bombs is perfect for your friends who have a toddler that never wants to take a bath. You know, the one that keep screaming every time they hear a drop of water. Luckily, these bath bombs from Lovewild Design don’t smell of coal – they’re actually lavender scented. Tell your friends to sit Mr. Naughty down in the tub, as he watches the cool bomb fizzle in the water.


3.) Christmas Tree and Spiked Apple Cider Candles by Brooklyn Candle Studio


So your partner couldn’t get a real Christmas tree this year because the people selling them on the sidewalk wanted $80-$100. We’ve got the solution for you with the Christmas Tree Candle from Brooklyn Candle Studio. Light this piney candle as you two trim your fake pink tree from Target and your studio apartment will have the holiday scent it’s been missing.


For an added bonus, burn the Spiked Apple Cider Candle from BCS with a cup of your own Sailor Jerry cider. You’re rockin’ the holidays, Brooklyn style.


4.) Water Tower, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and Brooklyn Bridge Ornaments by Brooklyn Rehab


If your family is like mine, your dad will save all the ornaments you made in elementary school. If you want to replace them with new memories, bring Brooklyn Rehab’s NY Landmark Ornaments home for the holidays. You and your fam can talk about the time you guys walked the Brooklyn Bridge, or went to the top of the Empire State building!


5.) Bitters Sampler by Cecil & Merl


If you have a regular bartender that you love, who also takes a drink or two off of your bill, send them a lil bit of love. This gift set of four bitters (Cucumber, Cherry, Apricot, Lemon Ginger) from Cecil & Merl is the perfect gift for them. Hey, maybe you guys can open them at the bar and test them out!


6.) Holiday Sweet Box by The Good Batch


If you’re not going home for the holidays, the worst thing you might be missing are your mom’s homemade cookies. To help ease the pain, The Good Batch has you covered. Dive into this pack of 20 hearty cookies, in GB’s signature flavors, Brown Butter Salty, Oat Chocolate Chunk, and Ginger Molasses plus two new flavors for the holidays - Double Chocolate Chunk and White Chocolate Almond Cranberry. Its totally acceptable to eat these as you play the burning Yule Log on your flat screen TV.


7.) Mini Pack of Caramels by Spoonable


The Spoonable Mini Pack is perfect for your foodie family member who watches endless episodes of Top Chef.  If you want to help them up their food game, send this sampler of six mini caramels their way. Some unique goodies in this bunch include the Flowery Lavender caramel, the Chewy Sesame caramel and the old-fashioned Brooklyn Butterscotch.


8.) Chestnut Fusilli by Sfoglini Pasta

Not all chestnuts are roasted on an open fire. Enter the Chestnut Fusilli from Sfoglini Pasta. This pasta is a great gift for your friend who wants to take the pasta making class at The Brooklyn Kitchen. When the Chestnut Fusilli is made to their liking, tell them to toss the pasta in some EVOO and shave some Parmigiano Reggiano on top. The shaved cheese will almost look like snow!


9.) Holiday Card Sets by Nic Studios, Pepper Press, and Papersheep 


Sending a holiday card has almost become an annual chore that I dread. If you’re like me and are tired of the boring “Happy Holidays!” cards with snowflakes scattered all over them, try something unique from Nic Studios, Pepper Press, and Papersheep. Each set of cards is distinctly made through eco-friendly letterpresses, with a rad design on the cover. Send your grandparents PP’s “Greetings From Brooklyn” featuring a textured map, or Nic’s “’Tis The Season” card.


10.) Cutting Boards, Bread Boards, Knife Racks, and Wooden Shot Glasses by Brooklyn Butcher Blocks


So you found yourself spending the holidays with a friend who just moved into a new apartment. Not only do you need the perfect housewarming gift, but you also need the perfect holiday gift. You’re in luck, because Brooklyn Butcher Blocks is here to the holiday rescue. Brooklyn Butcher Block’s Long Grain Cutting Boards and Bread Boards are perfect for future entertaining and cooking, and their wooden magnetic Knife Racks are both useful and stylish. And if you guys are looking to take shots of Jim Bean while sipping some carton eggnog from the local bodega, BBB’s wooden shot glasses are a great choice.



And one extra gift for good luck:


Humbug Candy Bar by Liddabit Sweets

If one of your friends/family/co-workers is a really big candy snob who loathes Reese’s Peanut Butter Christmas Trees, try pushing Liddabit Sweet’s Humbug Candy Bars their way. This cocoa sablé cookie is topped with creamy, pepperminty dark chocolate ganache, and the whole deal is sprinkled with crushed organic candy canes. Now let’s see your Grinchy candy bar lover put on a big smile!

Meet The Maker: Brand New Noise

Meet The Maker is a blog series devoted to getting to know our makers, one-on-one. This week we talked to Richard of Brand New Noise.  His handmade recorders alter your own voice, and leave the best 30-second messages for our loved ones!


How did you create Brand New Noise?

I was on vacation with my extended family - a whole mess of kids in tow. There were tons of plastic toys making sounds, all pre-recorded, predetermined noises that seemed boring. I thought, why not make something where you could make your own noise, and create a new experience each time you played with it? So I set out to build a sound gadget that was interesting and not made of plastic, and I built one for my nephew. He took it to show and tell, where his teachers asked if they could buy some. So I built 5. Then I built 10 for my first online store. And here I am still building them today!


What’s the best part of making your voice recorders?

I think the most rewarding part of making my gadgets is putting something out into the universe and seeing where they go. From being used on the Lego Movie soundtrack, families leaving each other silly and sweet messages, or someone like Samantha, one of our friends with special needs, who called us to share how much she loves her Lil’ Mib. I love knowing that Brand New Noise makes something that brings a little joy and laughter into the world.


You created a limited-edition recorder with Patrick Carney of The Black Keys. How was that experience?

Working with Pat was fantastic. We talked about synthesizers, music production and pretty much everything under the sun. If you follow him on Instagram, you know he has an eccentric sense of humor, which I find hilarious.  We were talking at some point and I said, “Hey, you and I got similar big nerd glasses. We should make a Pat Carney recorder." So, that's what we did! Then one night after a Black Keys' show, I met him at The Bowery Hotel, where he hand signed them all.  


BNN employs interns from NYC-based nonprofits that serve at-risk teens. What are some of the activities that the interns learn?

Our interns are an integral part of BNN. Since we do everything in house, the interns learn woodworking, how to install our electronics, quality control, packaging, and then they assist with shipping. Our studio is small so it’s important they understand group dynamics and working as a team. But most of all, I want them to be empowered by the feeling of, “Hey, I built that."


What’s your favorite Brooklyn neighborhood, and why?

Red Hook. It’s a magical, small community, where people say good morning on the street, and you won’t be a stranger for long. I ride my bike to the shop every day and think to myself how lucky I am to have been embraced by this place.


Which Brooklyn restaurant/bar are we most likely to see you at?

During the workday you can always find me at the Hope & Anchor, or as the BNN crew and I call it, "The Diner."  I order the same omelet every single day – creature of habit.

But when attempting to break out of Red Hook, I’ve been known to stop at Floyd on Atlantic for a beverage before devouring pizza at Sottocasa, where I’ve spotted members of the By Brooklyn team on more than one occasion!


Do you play any instruments?

I toured for 10 years playing guitar and singing, but I find that I’m better at hearing and producing sounds for other people, than I am as a performer. But if I were stranded on an island, I would take a guitar. 


What’s your favorite thing to do on a lazy Sunday?

Napping. It rarely happens these days, but isn’t the whole point of brunch the nap at the end?


What/who inspires you the most?

My team at BNN is so inspiring. I’m completely surrounded by the brightest, most talented humans on the planet, who have chosen to spend some of their time with me. I don’t have the space to write about each individual, but let me give you an example of how amazing they are. We have a budding pop star in our shop, and she recently needed some inspiration. We came up with the idea to each do a cover song each week. So the employees at BNN record a cover song, share it, and get to share talents with each other. What’s more inspiring than that?


Best piece of advice you’ve given or received?

A few years ago, in the middle of a personal crisis, I called my family and told them I wouldn't be coming home to Mississippi for the holidays. I boarded a plane and landed in Dublin the morning of December 24th. Long story short, I found myself in a pub, deep in conversation with an elderly couple over a few pints. At the end of the eve, we stand to say our goodbyes and I reach to shake the gentleman's hand. He takes hold with both of his hands, looks me dead in the eye and sings to me, "Row, row, row your boat, G-E-N-T-L-Y down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream.... Be gentle to yourself."

Meet The Maker: Natural Abstract

Meet The Maker is a blog series devoted to getting to know our makers, one-on-one. This week we talked to Andrea of Natural Abstract. We absolutely love her Brooklyn Bridge, Pigeon, and Water Tower necklaces that she exclusively designed for us!


How did you decide to create Natural Abstract?

Natural Abstract was the easy outgrowth of my love for sculpture, gemstones and personal freedom. Going to trade school for jewelry was mostly done on a whim, and it turned out to be an incredible avenue for me to make a living as a craftsperson.


Where do you draw inspiration?

I find most of my inspiration in nature, and I tailor it to what I see on the street.


How long is your jewelry making process?

Every piece starts as a sketch that then needs to be modeled three-dimensionally. Each model is then molded so that it can be replicated. Afterwards, it’s cast in metal, finished, polished, smoldered, and set with stones. Traditional metal smithing techniques are far more labor intensive than most people assume. The trick is to make it look effortless.


What’s your favorite piece that you’ve created?

The best pieces are the ones that are both simple and bold. I love making the complex ones, but the piece I wear the most is my two-finger ring.


What are the best/worst things about living in Brooklyn?

I love the diversity of experience, culture and people. But of course it’s all the people that make it the worst as well.


What’s the best place in Brooklyn for a casual date night?

I would say the Brooklyn Promenade. It's a nice place for a picnic.


Aside from Brooklyn, where would you love to live, and why?

I’ve lived in big cities my entire life and I don’t really think I could live in a different city after living in the best. At this point it has to be Brooklyn, or a farm in the country.


What’s the last great book you read?

Probably Charlotte’s Web, when my sweetie and I read it aloud to each other.


Have a guilty pleasure you can’t live without?



Best piece of advice you’ve given or received?

No one but you decides what you’re worth and what you can achieve.

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