“How Crown Heights Couple Yosef and Farah Rosenblat Rebranded and Rebuilt a Local Children’s Clothing Store”
When Yosef and Farah Rosenblat heard about an opportunity to purchase Simone’s Place, the venerable children’s clothing boutique on Kingston Avenue, they saw business opportunity that fit their experience and values. Both Farah and Yosef had worked in retail previously, and felt excited at the possibility of designing a store geared for young parents like themselves who wanted a well-organized store with fashion forward children’s clothing for both every day and yom tov at competitive prices.
The only question was how to raise enough capital to purchase the business. Like 75 percent of small business owners in the US, the Rosenblats used their savings, and asked family for financial help. Yet they still did not have quite enough money. That’s when they turned to Crown Heights Young Entrepreneurs for advice on how to move forward.
Rabbi Yehoshua Werde, director of CHYE, encouraged the Rosenblats to consult Yehuda Berg, the organization’s business coach. Yehuda Berg helped the Rosenblats secure a loan from the Jewish Federation for the rest of the funds they needed to launch the new store.
“Yehuda Berg was instrumental in getting us off the ground,” says Yosef. “He walked us through every step of the application process, including how to create a business plan.”
The loan came through and the Rosenblats began clearing out the old merchandise to make way for the new products they wished to carry, including stylish clothing from popular brands like Junee, Mimi’s, and Chi Chi’s. The goal was to update the inventory, reorganize the way the products were displayed and focus on customer service.
“My wife Farah keeps inventory moving,” says Yosef. “She stocks a limited number of each style and carries a variety of products for different tastes and price points.”
The store has so far focused on contemporary girls clothing from infants upward and boys from infant to size 10.
This summer, in honor of their first year in operation, the Rosenblats are re-branding the store—starting with a new name that will be announced before Tishrei. They just added a new department in the store’s basement dedicated to preteen and teenage girls. The full offering for teens will be available at the end of the summer.
“We hope to fill a gap that is often overlooked with our section for teens,” says Rosenblat. The couple put a lot of effort to create a space where the teens can find trendy clothing in a space geared especially for them.
While Farah runs the store, Yosef is involved mostly operations side, and has continued to gain insight and advice from CHYE. At a CHYE event for local retailers, Yosef met New York City officials who discussed rules and regulations, as well as other issues affecting storefronts. Another CHYE program that had a positive impact for the Rosenblats was a meetup where entrepreneurs were able to speak with experts in the field of their choice.
“We gained a lot of information from sitting one-on-one with someone who had been there,” says Yosef. “CHYE has made a tremendous difference in establishing our business, and has nurtured our ongoing success.”