By Jen Hitchings
I locked my bike on one of those somewhat desolate, spacious street corners under the JMZ, at Broadway and Willoughby, to visit Jazzabelss, a very new boutique run by the Yazmin Colon. Yazmin was wearing a pink top and blue cardigan, and her enthusiasm and positive nature were gleaming just as bright as the parrot pendent dangling from her necklace. This is her first boutique, and you could never tell by the looks of the room.
“The most expensive things I have in here are those chains, they’re $30 each. A friend of mine saw those, and said ‘I just bought those somewhere else for $50!’ I don’t want to make a huge profit. I just want to cover my costs and then a little bit. I feel like we’re at a point right now where we are in a recession and rent is really high, but we still need to look good!”
Jazzabelss is tastefully organized and speckled with adorable, affordable jewelry and clothing for women and men of any age. Yazmin is in the process of acquiring plus-size clothing too.
Yazmin told me all about her 12 year old son Johnny, and how his classmates come into the boutique sometimes to hang out.
“I want the young kids around here to be doing something productive with their time, to keep them off the streets. I’ll tell some of them that if they finish school with A’s and B’s they’ll get a package of jewelry for free as a gift. And this collection here, these are little lady bells, for the younger girls. Sometimes I see them wearing jewelry or clothes that they’re just too young for, like huge hoop earrings, and I don’t like it. I want them to feel grown up and mature like their older sisters, but still look like the cute, young girls that they are.”
Aside from selling all kinds of jewelry that are stylish and will never go out of style, Yazmin told me about all of her huge plans to open up a storefront in Brooklyn, a shop in Florida for her sisters to run, the jewelry parties she already facilitates, events she wishes to hold like block parties, participation in flea markets, and donating jewelry and clothing to organizations benefiting women and under-privileged children.
“I want my boyfriend to get a permit, we want to shut the street down and have a block party. I’d love to do it one weekend from Broadway to Bushwick Ave., then the next weekend from Bushwick Ave. to Evergreen, then the next, Evergreen to Central. Just get everyone together so we can all meet each other and maybe help one another out.”
Community, not competition, seemed to be one of the most important things to Yazmin regarding her business. We spoke about how so many people in New York tend to compete with one another for profits and for reputability, but that’s not what Jazzabelss is about.
Jazzabelss Boutique is located at 1009 Broadway (at Willoughby) #203, is open from 1-7pm Tuesday-Sunday. The website was just launched at Jazzabelssboutique.com. You can friend Jazzabelss Boutique on facebook here, follow her on twitter here, and on instagram at @jazzabelssboutique.