Bulletin: Feminine Store Where Profits Come in the Form of Social Good
Updated: Dec 13, 2020
The pink-laden clothing and accessories store, Bulletin, has grown into a patriarchy-resisting powerhouse since its opening in 2017. The fuel running the company’s success is the brand’s two founders who defy what it means to be women in the workforce.
The inside of Bulletin’s flagship store located at 861 Broadway.
“What drew me in is that it’s fully about representing women and giving them the space to be themselves,” said flagship employee Tatiana Fenner. “It’s really fun how they can take any heavy political event and make light of it in a fun and inclusive way.”
The brand founded by Ali Kriegsman and Alana Branston started as a digital ventureback in 2015. Selling pieces by female artists in a flea-market fashion, the pair eventually created an in-store experience “for women, by women.” That’s when their Williamsburg storefront came about in 2016.There, the space would sell pieces from clothing items to jewelry created by female artists with 10 percent of proceeds being donated to Planned Parenthood.In a 2017 interview with the New York Times,one of the store’s founders, Ali Kriegsman, described the company’s storefront as a place where, “like-minded women can meet and create a small hub of resistance.”
The store’s eye-candy interior and product do not fall short of this mission. Inside, visitors get to indulge in an uplifting and fun shopping experience. This weekend, employees who were primarily women could be seen roaming the company’s flagship store engaging with customers. One employee wearing a tube top and cargo pants greeted customers as they came in with a hello that was nothing short of genuine. Three shoppers browsed the shelves full of colorful product to Drake’s “Passionfruit” playing from the overhead speaker on a quiet, rainy day.
“The environment is a lot killer than traditional retail,” said employee Serrena Roman in praising the flagship’s environment. “It’s such a small company and they really do care about you. They want to see you at your best.”
Contributing to the empowering aura Roman praised sits an array of product solely created by women, many of which are politically-charged. On a table located just before the cash register lies a Mother’s Day-themed table labeled, “Mommy Dearest.” Mugs of Elizabeth Warren and Michelle Obama sit on the table, alongside an assortment of candles for sale. Additionally, on the right wall of the store across from the register lies graphic tee shirts, one reading, “I Believe in Science,” subtly poking at current political debate surrounding climate change.
A shelf at Bulletin’s flagship location, featuring a politicized global warming shirt and stickers of artist Frida Kahlo.
In addition to their more politically-charged product, many of the items for-sale use sayings and song lyrics hailing from popular culture that align with the brand’s mission. One place card for sale writes, “don’t be a drag, just be a queen,” which is a line from Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way.” Similarly, rustic gold bangles are for sale, each inscribed with a different saying. One reads, “God is a Woman,” which serves as the title of one of Ariana Grande’s recently-released songs.
Across the river in Williamsburg, Brooklyn lies the company’s first location. Situated between the Bedford Avenue L-train station and the East River, the shop lies directly on the path many New Yorkers take to visit the nearby food market, Smorgasburg, that takes place during the fall and spring. With huge glass windows spanning across the entire storefront, sidewalk onlookers can see the store’s pink floor and yellow walls decorated with posters for-sale of famous, history-changing women like Michelle Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
With popular culture references and modern aesthetic appeal, the company has succeeded in drawing in female shoppers while simultaneously profiting in the form of social good. Since its start in Williamsburg, the company has opened two additional storefronts. One of the newly-opened stores now serves as the company’s flagship location, which fittingly lies in New York’s Ladies’ Mile Historic District. In the 19th century, this area served as a retail hub for women shoppers, being known as a popular spot where women were able to go shopping without the company of men.
In the midst of political uproar, Kriegsman and Branston have created a form of resistance that speaks to women hoping to right social wrongs. Through a brand created by women and employed by women, they have redefined the color pink.