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  • Writer's pictureHelaina Ferraioli

Yesterday's News is in the 21st Century (Finally)

This sunny May weekend has reminded all of us at Yesterday's News how dearly we miss opening our doors every morning and seeing all of you. Whether it be families coming home from Sunday brunches, children scooting by, tourists who are looking for one-of-a-kind souvenirs, those who stumble upon us by accident, or our beloved regulars – we long for the day that all of our customers are free to browse our shop's narrow aisles and share in the wonders of the past. But for now, the safety of every New Yorker is our top priority.

In light of entering our third month of closing due to COVID-19, which has slowed our regular means of doing business to a grinding halt, we want to update you all on some of the unbelievable milestones and new-found strengths we have achieved and discovered in these (yes, we know you've heard it a million times) uncertain times. We owe these small wins to the dedication of our family to the business, and most importantly, to our customers who have come together and supported us more than we could have expected.


Yesterday's News Turned 20!

For those of you who have been shopping with us from the get-go, you know that we originally opened up as Brownstone Treasures in Cobble Hill back in 2000. Soon after, in May 2001, we opened a second storefront, now our one and only storefront,Yesterday's News in Carroll Gardens. Having two shops proved challenging at times, but sitting just 10 blocks apart on Court Street, the bare-bones family operated stores became pillars of the neighborhoods they served. While we may have shut our doors at our original location, consolidating the business into one shop has become the biggest blessing. Twenty years later in 2020, original customers from our Cobble Hill location still make the trek toYesterday's News to find new treasures.

Our One Year Grand-Reopening Anniversary

From Left to Right: JP, Linda, Craig, and Colleen Celebrating Our Grand Re-opening

On March 17, 2019, Yesterday's News re-opened – doubling in size from one storefront to two! We spent months preparing, renovating, and redecorating, with no clue how things would go. Will we be able to fill the space? Will the new layout work? As soon as we opened that Sunday morning, our questions were all answered with a yes! The added square footage turned out to be big enough for all of the furniture and bric-a brac and our loving friends and customers found it much easier to browse and spend time picking through treasures! What wonderful, memorable year it was.

Exactly one year later, we received an Executive Order from Governor Cuomo to close the shop until further notice. Although our anniversary was far from what we expected, our new space has brought in more amazing customers and room for for incredible merchandise than we could ever imagine. Much of that novelty and excitement has spilled into our new online business model. We miss our shop terribly, as we're sure so many others do.

Major expansion of our online shopping presence

While Yesterday's News has had a presence on Instagram since late 2014, the past six years has seen a massive expansion in the use of online marketing, particularly the buying and selling of products on sites like Facebook and Instagram. Today, no major brand exists without a branch of e-commerce and virtual marketing. As our Instagram presence grew slowly over the years, it was staring into the face of adversity that allowed us to realize the true potential of the app, and to find our space in the online world. Out of necessity, we have rapidly expanded our online selling capabilities. While we still have much more to learn, and while it is far from perfect, we went from selling almost no items on Instagram to only selling items on Instagram in under a month. This has been a test of our creativity, our organization, and of everything we thought we knew about doing business. But it has catapulted us, or at least the business side of us, into the 21st-century.

Launch of the Yesterdays News Blog

Yesterday's News Blog was an idea in the making for many years. We've discussed the possibility of somehow sharing the stories of the incredible items that pass in and out of our shop every single day, but we never had the time or resources to take on such a grand storytelling task. As of March 2020, our family was stuck in the house with a lot of time, a lot of inspiration, and the new-found resource for content creation... me! If I haven't formerly introduced myself on the blog yet, my name is Helaina, daughter of store-owners JP and Colleen! This blog is a result of my parents hard work and extensive knowledge about the vintage and antique world, combined with my love for the business and degree in Media (I guess that counts as writing... right?). This blog will continue through the pandemic and beyond, and will continue to bring you weekly stories and histories about the sometimes mystical merchandise. We believe every object has a story, and finally we have a place to share them!

Our customers have rallied for us like never before!

A small glimpse of some of the support we've received on Instagram!

As a final "milestone", we would like to thank all of our friends and customers for your extraordinary commitment to supporting our business and others like us, and for continuing to shop small even when it is no longer convenient. We recognize that everyone's lives have been turned upside-down, and that many small businesses like ourselves are suffering around the city and the country. We have always advocated for shopping small and local, and our customers have really stepped up their game with ongoing and unconditional support of our shop, which has really become our home. Thank you all for your kind messages, all of your thoughtful comments, all of your shares and shoutouts, and for every single purchase made! We are keeping all of you in our thoughts, and we can't wait to see you soon. For those who have been personally affected by the virus, we're keeping you in our thoughts daily. Stay safe everyone <3

Wishing you all our best,

JP, Colleen, Craig, Linda, Eric and Helaina

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