In a neighborhood that prizes the creative skills of its multi-hyphenate residents, the jack-of-all-trades mentality is no longer restricted just to individuals, businesses are catching on as well.
One is Edamama Cute Cuts and More.
And “More” being the operative words of course.
It’s not just the newest kiddy salon to line the ever-burgeoning retail market in Williamsburg. It’s also a kid’s bookshop, a toy store, and a coffee shop for the parents.
The concept comes from the genius of Eda Bilir-Messner, a former advertising executive, and a mother to three kids below 10 years of age.
Bilir-Messner found it increasingly frustrating taking her children for haircuts at places she found to be too crowded, not friendly either to children or adults, and for the most part an anxiety inducing experience for kids and their parents.
Her friends and fellow mothers concurred.
And Edamama was born soon after. This month the establishment is completing eight weeks in business.
“It is necessary to create a nice place where kids aren’t scared and parents can relax,” said Bilir-Messner. “When you have small kids running around, you don’t get too many chances, and this is a good opportunity for parents to take a breather while their kids are being looked after.”
While Bilir-Messner is a Fort Greene resident, she chose North Brooklyn due to its popularity with young and mobile families.
Her experience working in advertising, she said, is helping her manage a variety of businesses under the same roof.
She credits her husband for coming up with the name of the store – it’s an amalgam of her name, “Eda,” and her overarching role at home as “Mama,” hence the title Edamama.
“We thought people might get confused with edamame, but so far we’ve had a positive response to the name,” she said. “People really seem to get it.”
At present, the salon receives between 15 and 18 clients a day over the weekend and about 10 during weekdays, and Bilir-Messner is hoping her collaborative spirit will see those numbers soar.
She places a strong emphasis on it.
She said working with local parents over the past few weeks has been a continuous learning experience for refining and expanding her business.
Almost all the products at her store are locally sourced. The children’s books are almost always written or illustrated by writers and artists living in the neighborhood, many of whom frequently stop by for book reading sessions at the shop.
The coffee is provided Carroll Gardens-based coffee company, D’Amico Foods, the tea is provided by Harney & Sons, and the pastries are courtesy Le Petit Bakery in Fort Greene.
The walls of the store are decorated with colorful illustrations of fish, octopus, and mermaids, all crafted by local illustrator, Aaron Stewart.
Next up for Bilir-Messner are a series of summer workshops for kids in the neighborhood – a cooking class for toddlers organized by Starfish Chefs, art classes conducted by Brooklyn Doodles Art Class, and Yoga workshops led by Little Feet and Little Hand Yoga Class, all of which will be conducted at Edamama in month long series beginning this month.
“This is really all about teamwork,” said Bilir-Messner. “I couldn’t do these without my husband, the team of hairstylists I have working here and the people I have collaborated with. It is all about finding the right people.”
Edamama Cute Cuts and More, 568 Union Avenue, Unit B, Ph: 718-388-3663, to setup appointments and for more information on the summer classes call the store or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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