This shop might be the cutest place in the entire world. It is simply incredible and if you are in New York or live here you must go check it out.
How did you start your business?
I had the idea for a Modern General Store for about 10 years before I pulled it all together. I always loved going into General Stores (still do)- and finding random, clever things—so I wanted to bring the same idea to Urbanites. Throughout the years I wrote tons of business plans, compiled notebooks & files of things to sell, collected inspirations for the look of the shop (magazine swipes, pictures, etcetera). The last corporate job I had, though, kind-of put me over the edge- so I diligently saved my $, and once it was bonus time…I cashed out. It was still another year before I got funding, found a spot to open, etc. It was always a work in progress, but the ideas and look never really changed throughout the years. We opened in October 2007 on a cozy little corner in Boerum Hill Brooklyn and launched our website June 2008.
What is your favorite line/ brand that you carry?
That is a tough one because I truly love everything in the shop!
We get new stuff in all the time too (I write about them all on my blog www.anniestreasuretrove.wordpress.com). The epitome of something you would expect to find at an "Urban General Store" though are these clever little laundry nuggets from a great company, Nellie's (they also make the famous Dryer balls too). They are (All Natural) Pre-measured laundry nuggets in a little pouch that disintegrates when they go in the washing machine, so you can pop some into your pocket rather than carrying a 5 gallon box of Tide to the laundry mat. Like all my favorite items- they are FUN and FUNCTIONAL.
How does your location affect what you put in your store?
We are in a very cool neighborhood in Brooklyn and our customers are very intelligent & well- travelled. So, I always want to make sure I am showing them something new (or something that they haven't seen in a long time- like Fruit Stripe gum or Colorforms). We also have a lot of kids in the hood, so we have a lot of toys & baby gifts- but I go out of my way to find new & clever items across all of our product categories.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to start a business?
Yes- my advice it to “Go For It”, but do a lot of planning. A business plan (particularly the financial part of the plan) is absolutely crucial to help guide you in the process- before and after you've opened.
Name of a few of your favorite stores/ restaurants? I was tremendously influenced by a great store in Sydney, Australia
Name of a few of your favorite stores/ restaurants?
I was tremendously influenced by a great store in Sydney, Australia(now online only), called Remo General Store. As for restaurants- I eat at the Iron Chef (Sushi, in Brooklyn Heights, near my apartment) at least once a week, and my new favorite spot is Building on Bond- 2 blocks away from the shop.
What is your signature dish that you make at home?
Macaroni and Cheese
If you could collaborate with one person who would it be?
Do you dream and if so do you have recurring themes?
I do not remember my dreams, but sometimes if something is bothering me or I am trying to figure something out- it will come to me as a picture while I am sleeping. Once (back in college) I couldn't find my sneakers after unpacking. Then, three weeks into the semester I dreamt that I had packed them in a side pocket of a big duffle and the next day I looked and they were there! (obviously, I don't exercise much if I didn't need my sneakers for 3 weeks!)
Currently reading/ Watching anything?
I just finished Malcom Gladwell's latest book- “Outliers: The Story of Success”. It was brilliant as was my other favorite book by him- The Tipping Point. I will not get into my TV habits as I like old sitcoms on Nick at Nite like “I Love Lucy” and “Bewitched” even though I have seen them all a hundred times.
Name the last 5 songs you listened to on your I pod?
Um, am I the only person on the planet that does not have an Ipod? (I still refer to my husband’s sometimes as his Walkman). We have an old MP3 player at the shop that my brother loaded with tunes from my "Annie Lo's Greatest Hits" cd’s I made over the years, but that is being fixed at the moment, so I have been listening to Sirius Radio’s “Coffeehouse” channel, all acoustic.
What could you not live without?
Love. and Pizza. And Books. Love, Pizza and Books.
5 words that describe yourself?
Realistic, Loving, Honest, Happy, Content...