Photo by Tyler Woods.
Droves of young feminists turned out for the launch party of Bulletin’s third location on Spring Street in downtown Manhattan Thursday night.
The venture-backed “WeWork for retail” startup’s new space was full to the gills, serving rosé and pizza to guests in the store’s tangerine, white and pink interior.
The evening marked a milestone for Brooklyn founders Ali Kriegsman and Alana Branston, who, just two years ago were working in sales for a content marketing company. In the last year, Kriegsman and Branston have raised more than $2.2 million, gone through Y Combinator, and hired seven full-time employees.
“We joke about how a year ago we were working out of Alana’s apartment in Williamsburg and eating bean burritos and hoping someone would take notice of what we were doing,” Kriegsman told Technical.ly at the event.
Bulletin’s model is that of a curated boutique store, but brands pay to have their products on the shelves, rather than the store buying the products at wholesale prices. Brands can rent as little as one shelf on a wall or as much as a corner of the store. In the same way that coworking streamlines office space by allowing entrepreneurs to leave their apartments or coffee shops and to rent only as much office space as they need and can afford, Bulletin offers brands that may have been online only to have a physical retail location. The setup also allows Bulletin to carry less in the way of overhead costs.
“We work with all different media partners and creators based in New York, and I think for some of these smaller brands, to be able to show in our space and have Refinery29 or Technical.ly come in and show off their products in this cool space is really special,” explained Branston, who is Bulletin’s CEO.
Shoppers and friends of the founders shopped and talked throughout the space, which is filled with shirts, hats, pins, and candles, many of which have feminist messages on them.
Emily Quinn came to like the company after coming across the store in Williamsburg.
“I came tonight because I think it’s wonderful that there’s a business supporting feminism and trying to remove the cliché around it,” she explained while looking at a print that read ‘Always Be Gentle’. “I think they’re trying to make it more mainstream, like feminism is cool.”
With a DJ playing in the packed store and trendy people hanging out on the sidewalk in the warm September night, there seemed to be no short supply of coolness.