If herbs and flowers in the gritty industrial Bushwick are a contradiction, then finding an herbal apothecary off Morgan L train stop may feel like a small miracle.
Herbalist Anit Hora founded her cosmetic brand Mullein and Sparrow from her apartment, and since then has created a beautiful line of handmade herbal products. She sells them on her website, in an Etsy shop and in several shops in Brooklyn (in Bushwick it’s Loom Yoga and Better Than Jam).
I gladly accepted the invitation to Anit’s apartment where all the magic happens. She transformed one room of her quiet apartment on Flushing Avenue into an herbology studio. As simple as it sounds, there is a solid wooden table in the middle of the room, a window that offers the cheap luxury of a royal view over several typical Brooklyn water towers and roofs; the walls are covered with shelves that carry neatly organized empty bottles and cans waiting to be filled and labeled. One section of the shelving is dedicated only to herbs that Anit needs at hand. “But there are way more herbs in the storage,” she smiles.
While serving a cup of a lovely ice-cold chamomile tea, Anit patiently pours an herbal mixture into empty cans.
“I used to work in fashion design,” Anit says. “It was so corporate that after some time I felt like my soul was slowly dying.” Anit founded Mullein and Sparrow in spring 2012, but the journey began much earlier. Five years ago she quit her fashion job and simply left. “I travelled in South America for a year and half,” Anit says.
It was around the time of her travels that she became interested in natural medicine and herbs. She didn’t want to rely on traditional artificial medicine, so she began to search for ways of making simple cures from herbs.
She points to the flasks filled with natural coughing syrup labeled Mullein and Sparrow and she smiles. After she returned to New York, she felt her calling stronger then ever. She would become an herbalist. “I signed up for a course, but they don’t really teach you how to make stuff. They teach you how to work in a spa, which is nice, but I needed to know how to make this…” Driven by pure passion (and you can call it an obsession if you like) she began to study everything she found online or offline. Herbology, mixtures, tinctures, herbs, flowers, roots, simply everything. “But above all I like it really girly,” says Anit about her lip glosses, dry shampoos and herbal water in a spray. Anit uses her skills from fashion design to create beautiful labels and to generally make her products look really pretty. “We get most of the herbs from a supplier from West Coast, ” says Anit; she also adds that she loves to collect them Upstate whenever she can, although that’s more for her own pleasure as the amounts are not sufficient.
While Anit sells her products online and supplies to several Brooklyn shops, her dream is to open an herbal shop in Bushwick. “For the moment it’s not possible,” says Anit, but you can feel the energy around her and the desire of her heart, and so one has to believe that what’s not possible today, can easily be reality tomorrow.
Also if you like Mullein and Sparrow products, we have some great news! Bushwick Daily readers receive 15% off any products purchased through their website of Etsy shop. Just use code: bushwickdaily 🙂