Bessie Thompson, owner of , 373 Decatur Street between Stuyvesant and Malcolm X.
Open 4 years.
#1. What do you sell?
A: Antique furniture, art, home accessories, vintage and new clothing and accessories. My store more or less reflects my style of decorating: Afrocentric and antique designs. But really I cover the whole genre of interior designs.
#2. What sparked your interest in this particular field?
A: I’m not formally trained, but I’ve been designing from a young age, around 10 years old; it’s just my gift. I remember when I was little, one side of my room was mine and one side was my sister’s. Our sides looked totally different. I’m into art, so I designed posters and I also sew, so I made pillows that would coordinate with my bedspread and my curtains. This is what I’ve always loved to do.
#3. From a business owner’s perspective, what is your impression of Bedford-Stuyvesant?
A: I see the gentrification that has happened in the neighborhood, especially in the last three years, and I feel that it is a positive thing. I’m always welcoming new customers.
#4. Can you share something interesting about yourself?
I’m originally from Tuskegee, Alabama, but I moved to Bed-Stuy when I was nine years old. I’ve been married 24 years and I’ve been with the same man since I was 17 years old. I have 3 boys and one girl.