In Harlem — Women Are Doing It For Themselves. - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Thursday, September 1, 2022

In Harlem — Women Are Doing It For Themselves.


Arvililly (in Harlem) -  (Photo Margrira)

In Harlem — 

Women Are Doing It For Themselves.

Something amazing is happening in Harlem and I can only hope that this wave of positive change continues.  

COVID-19 was an unexpected pause in the lives of millions and for some, it was a devasting experience for others, it was that needed suspension of time and responsible that only something this huge could accomplish, which was a re-set. 

In my Harlem neighborhood, when I finally poked my head out, I discovered many businesses had closed but to my surprise, in their place, were new establishments being run by women of color. 

On Amsterdam Avenue, starting at 145th Street, there are three new establishments and one on Frederick Douglas Blvd.

The oma, shop

1707 Amsterdam Ave -

This brand new coffee and gift shop features coffee from Counter Culture along with assorted pastries from Colson Patisserie, and gourmet bagels from Blour Bagel by Catherine Yoo. Its a very small space but the vibe is pure despite the crack addicts loitering in front of the store. Owned and operated by an African American couple, whove been together since they were in their early teens, their space also offers unique gifts from local artists of color. 


1705 Amsterdam Ave 

646.418-7893 — Appointment Only

Dolled provides lash extension services and also offers certified lash classes and owned by Vevica (@lashbarbieee) who has been a licensed cosmetologist for 4 years; specializing in individual lash extensions and training.


1610 Amsterdam Ave -


Avril Lekic was born and raised in Harlems historical district, Hamilton Heights, so its only natural that she and her husband (Esad Lekic) open their first gelato shop in her own backyard. This family-friendly spot also offers an authentic specialty bakery and their small batch artisanal gelateria is made fresh, daily, using the finest ingredients available. Just six months old (January 29, 2022) this spot is quickly gaining the support of the community besides being delicious the vibe is uplifting and Harlem friendly, get me? This is a family space,” says Avril Lekic and we want everyone to feel welcome when they walk into our doors.”

All City Legends

2854 Frederick Douglass Blvd. -


This graffiti spot is owned by Jakee (Jakee & Crown) who has loved graffiti since she was 12 years old. There are not many women holding it down in the game but shes known and  “after years of thinking and procrastinating, on November 28, 2020, All City Legends was born. “ For a graffiti writer, walking into this space is sensory overload, like when you were a kid and you strolled inside a toy store. Its packed with a full-color assortment of spray paint, caps, markers inks, canvases, books, graffiti/art supplies, pins, and collectibles. Plus, they offer the largest assortment of art by some of the biggest names in graffiti, and they specialize in custom stickers, decal printing and we make pins. To keep the culture alive, if a store owner is looking for a talented artist to make their vision come alive, they do custom items. 

Muse — Modern Urban Sensory Experiences

212.283.5340 - Book Appointment -

Created and curated by the visionary creative director Kimberly Waters, in 2017, this is Harlem's first fragrance destination which specializes in exclusive and niche fragrances from global, independent, and emerging brands. More on this later, as I invite you to learn about the world of fragrance through Ms. Waters cultured eye and nose. 

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