NEW YORK—Not many people in their early 20s are full-fledged entrepreneurs who own their own businesses, but Emily Hazlewood, together with her sister Elizabeth, are the owners, designers and visionaries of Urban Vintage Cafe in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.
Not far from the Pratt Institute, the cafe is a resting ground for students, locals, and an assortment of stuff—furniture, lampshade, ceramics, books and candles, to name a few—all for sale. On April 10, Urban Vintage Cafe will mark its one-year anniversary.
The Epoch Times: How did you come to own a cafe at the age of 23?
Ms. Emily Hazlewood: Before we opened we did a lot of research to understand the business. Most of the people we talked to were in the corporate world for a while and then decided to do something entrepreneurial. But at that point, it is an intense decision to make when you have three mouths to feed and a mortgage to pay.
At the stage of our lives, we don’t really have all that much to take care of, so we can be more adventurous.
We always wanted to do something entrepreneurial. The retail came first. We live across the street. The space was a bodega at first, and we were always in and out of this space. We also have been collecting things and furnishing places for a while as a hobby and we were thinking: ‘OK, What’s next?’ That is how we became interested in the retail aspect of it.
We have always been foodies, as well. It [the cafe] expressed all of our loves.
Epoch Times: Was it frightening?
Ms. Hazlewood: Yeah! But it is one of those things that you do not have the time to be too scared. It was very scary on that first day when all the food was ordered and everything was in place. At that point, it was one of the scariest moments. It was a year of work coming together in one day.
Epoch Times: What were the stages of opening up this place?
Ms. Hazlewood: The first step was collecting a lot of the things we wanted to sell, the tables, the chairs, and the others. Then we got the space and we started working on it and developing the atmosphere. [There was] a lot to tear down and a lot more to build up. We tried to figure out what we wanted to keep and what we didn’t want to keep. We did pretty much everything.
Epoch Times: How is it to work with family?
Ms. Hazlewood: Its good. I like it. We are rarely working at the same time. We don’t clash too much because we understand what needs to get done. We are very similar; we get a lot more done, because we are together.