The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

On My Soap Box - About Soap

It's easy to SAY Shop Local. We all get local businesses. But I recently got an email from a local entrepreneur that made me realize just how much creative energy people put into their businesses, and how worthy it is to support them...especially when they're our neighbors. More on her in a minute...

The Q will do one of his Shop Local posts soon and remind you just how many extraordinary options there are around here to buy gifts. Like the homemade hats and scarfs at Final Toush Accessories at 1129 Washington (tween Lefferts and Lincoln). Or the outrageous collection of worldwide goodies at Tafari Tribe. And everytime the Q grabs a gift at Play Kids I feel good that in a small way I'm helping to support Shelley and Carl's lovely family. And yes, it really does help to see and touch the things you're buying. Amazon is convenient...but it's cold. And the more you read about them, the more you may concede that it's just Wal Mart with "free" two-day shipping (with Prime, which when you think about it is not such an amazing deal after gets you to buy EVERYthing from them). Shopping local means creating a vibrant neighborhood, with cleaner streets and less crime. Strong businesses mean stronger merchant's associations, which in turn create greater civic involvement and coordination between the City, the Community Board and the citizenry. Oh, and the people. So many of them live right here or nearby. It's about supporting real people, not just behemoth bottom lines. And much of that profit lines the pockets of those with the most. But let's not get into that tit for tat on the merits of capitalism.

And so I'm more than happy to suggest this simple and elegant gift for a loved one.

That's right, folks. Natural handmade soap, crafted by a Lefferts neighbor named Shiuan Butler. The Taiwan native moved to the U.S. at the tender age of 6, and is now captivating thin-skinned Brooklynites with her skin-loving Savo Soap. Just check out the ingredients and fragrances here and you'll be ordering a gift set before the first night of Hanukkah. (Why the second K? Because you Kare.)

If you're an entrepreneur or shopkeep who'd like a plug on this humble blog, just shoot me a note like Shiuan did. I found out a lot about her as well...her tough start in life, a detour to Honolulu, and her new life in Brooklyn as a soap-making feminist. That's right. She wears the term proudly, just like most of the ladies I went to college with. It never seemed odd to me then, but I rarely hear the term anymore. I thought I'd share that and the fact that she wrote a book called Manifesto For Young Asian Women. Beat THAT, white dude.

From Simone de Beauvoir to Soap for le Salle de Bain, you can get it all from neighbor Shiuan Butler. All you gots to do is click. Though I'm pretty sure she doesn't offer two-day shipping, you could probably just go pick it up.


cheryl on parkside ave said...

Just ordered...

Shiuan said...

Aww, thanks Tim! What a sweet write up. All the best, Shiuan

shelley said...

Thank you for the mention & support! Carl and I love owning a store in the neighborhood. One of my favorite quotes regarding supporting small businesses is this, "for every $100 you spend at local, small businesses, $68 goes back into the community". I don't know if the numbers are exactly accurate, but I do know that on a daily basis I buy food from local establishments, MANY of the employees of the businesses in the neighborhood reside in the neighborhood, & it's awesome to know get to know the people/families you're buying from. Knowing the struggles of owning a small business I'm going to make sure that I, in turn, go the extra mile to support other small businesses. Clicking "buy" on your computer is so easy, but shopping local gives SO much back to your community.

Shiuan said...

Haha, actually I do ship normally within 1-2 days. Thanks again Tim-- have had some great referrals from your blog. Happy Holidays!