15  Oct

Campaigns to Love: Brooklyn Oenology Winery Tasting Room

Forget Bordeaux, did you know you can get incredible wines grown right her in New York state?  And you don’t need to head all the way out to the countryside to enjoy a wine tasting – you can do it right in Williamsburg at Alie Shaper’s cozy Brooklyn Oenology Winery Tasting Room.  Opened in 2006, this former warehouse space has been transformed into an adorable farmhouse and feels like you’re just steps from the vineyard.

Brooklyn Oneology, or BOE, stocks a variety of New York made wine, beer, cheese, charcuterie and other picnic items. They also hire Brooklyn artists to display their works of art on the peelable labels on bottles, and have an event space for musical guests.  

And the wine is no joke.  Alie gets her grapes out in the North Fork of Long Island and produce it in the neighboring town of Mattituck. Did you know Long Island is home to a vast number of vineyards, rivaling the Finger Lakes winescapes. New York state ranks third in wine production behind California (of course) and Washington.  

Brooklyn Oenology Winery is on Smallknot with a campaign to replace their broken down refrigerator — and they’re using this as an opportunity to offer you some awesome perks.   The little fridge that Alie bootstrapped when they opened the tasting room has gone to refrigerator heaven, and the new one will showcase more locally made goods for you to enjoy.    

There’s only a few weeks left, so invest in BOE today and enjoy a wine tasting class (or two) or even a wine country tour for up to 6 people! Through a little Smalknot magic you can get a great price on BOE’s offerings while helping to support a local business. Your investment will help this entrepreneur grow their small business and mission to bring amazing and locally sourced wine right into your neighborhood.

Indulge in some crisp wine, stay for the music and enjoy the slow ambience in the heart of Brooklyn.  

You can find the campaign here. 

Brooklyn Oenology Winery
209 Wythe Ave.
Brooklyn NY
Twitter: @bklynoenology 

29  Aug

Announcing the Smallknot/Accion Co-Funding Program

Smallknot is thrilled to announce today a new partnership program with Accion serving the East Coast and Online, a leader in U.S. microfinance.  The Smallknot/Accion East program is a revolutionary co-funding alternative for small business owners, blending crowdfunding and microlending.  Under the partnership, small businesses can leverage crowdfunded capital raised on Smallknot to unlock business loans from Accion.  Crowdfunded collateral raised via Smallknot will help small business owners get access to potentially larger loans than those for which they would otherwise qualify, while building meaningful business credit for the business owner. 

We couldn’t be more excited to combine forces with Accion in bringing this program to market.  Accion East and Online is part of the U.S. Accion network the largest microlending network in the U.S. With over $340 million lent since 1991, Accion is committed to bringing affordable microfinance solutions to small business owners nationwide and has helped thousands of small businesses grow and thrive. 

Our very first campaign in partnership with Accion launched yesterday: A7, makers of hand-crafted leather camera straps here in Brooklyn.  Co-owners Melissa Patenaude and Craig Hackney are seeking $7,500 to fund their new fall line and increase their distribution.  It’s a beautiful product, and their previous limited edition run received great reviews in magazines like GQ and across the internet.   

The Smallknot/Accion program is an innovative new way of leveraging the power of crowdfunding to bring increased access to capital for small businesses looking to expand and grow. In addition to building business credit and unlocking capital, the partnership will help promote the visibility of all our Smallknot campaigns.  

For more information about the Smallknot/Accion co-funding program, and to find out how to apply, click here. 

12  Jul

Smallknot Profiles: Spruce

Smallknot loves local business, and every week we’re profiling the people and places that make our neighborhood special.  Want to get covered in a Smallknot profile, or know someone who should be? Shoot us a message here

This week, we’re speaking to Gaige Clark, founder, owner, and creative director of Spruce, one of the most highly acclaimed flower boutiques in New York City. Spruce was founded in 1998 and is based on 8th Avenue in Chelsea, soon to expand to Los Angeles. Their storefront is one of the most high-tech, beautiful shops you’re likely to find anywhere — definitely worth a visit if you’ve never been! 

We caught up with Gaige earlier this week and talked about her passion for flowers, her signature style, and what it’s like running her own business. 

Why are you passionate about flowers?

Growing up, I was always helping my mother out in her garden, and I really loved that. My great grandmother also used to sell flowers and had a farm, so it was in the blood.
I read that you’re originally from New England, what brought you to New York?

I actually moved to the city to publish magazines; I didn’t plan to be a florist. The magazine I worked for was in the corporate event industry, and I was doing consulting on the side. I was doing consulting work for a floral designer and suggested that she purchase a flower shop. She didn’t want to, so I took the opportunity. I quit my job and purchased the shop, rebranded it, and turned over the existing clientele. I worked very hard to make it into what Spruce is today.
Do you have a signature style for your arrangements? 
My style is called the New England Garden, which I developed entirely by myself. It’s clean, fresh, and tailored. What sets this style apart is that the flowers look as if they’re growing out of the container. 

What is your favorite thing about having your own business? 
Autonomy. I’m able to basically spend my time exactly how I liked to spend it. This gives me a lot of creative freedom. 
What is the most challenging aspect? 

Managing employees!
Any advice for other small business owners?

Be true to your own visions; become clear on exactly what that is yourself. This is especially important in the creative business.  Yves Saint Laurent never waivered from his ideas, and that’s what made him successful.  I employ that with my design and creativity.  A great designer is true to herself. 
Spruce is located on 222 8th Ave. between 20th and 21st St. in Chelsea.