This is the second installment of our new feature called “Top of the Shop”. It’s a weekly look at a shop in Brooklyn and its 2 top selling items and then my favorite 2 top items. I hope that you see some new shops to visit or old shops that you might have forgotten about. Let me know what you think.

Our second featured “Top of the Shop” is an eco-friendly supply store in Clinton Hill that is appropriately celebrating its 1 year birthday this Earth Day. The owner of Green in Bklyn, Elissa Olin, is a peaceful, yet enthusiastic proprietor, who listens carefully to customers and also imparts her wealth of eco-living information willingly. Her store is a one-stop shop for those interested in eco-friendly living. It’s become a sort of neighborhood hangout too as Elissa welcomes familiar faces, strikes up conversations and children fawn over her dog. You can find a ton of kids products from wooden rattles to natural rubber teethers and highly edited beauty products and some of the best cleaning supplies around.

To celebrate Earth Day and it’s 1 year birthday, Green in Bklyn, is having a slew of events on Thursday, April 22nd:
11:30am – 1:00pm
Brooklyn author, Leda Meredith, signs her book: The Locavore Handbook: The Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Local on a Budget.
1:30pm – 3:00pm
Clinton Hill-based Vandra Thorburn answers questions & speaks about EM Bokashi Composting.
3:30pm – 5:00pm
Brooklyn artist, Claudia Pearson, signs her children’s book: Tribal Alphabet.
5:30pm – 7:00pm
Green in BKLYN hosts its own First Birthday with an Organic Wine Reception.

But, on to our feature. Top of the Shop.

These are the 2 top selling items in Green in Bklyn

Charlie’s Laundry Soap

Elissa said, that without doubt, Charlie’s Soap is her top seller. This nontoxic, biodegradable soap is safe for kids, people with allergies and everyone in between.  It’s also super cheap as Elissa pointed out (and 2 other customers in the store chimed in to agree) as it costs about 7 cents a load. You don’t have to use much soap per load, which is why the bag is small.  Others have commented that’s it great for hand-washing because the soap comes out so cleanly and is also great for traveling because it’s compact. (2.64 lbs for $13.95)

Natural toys, teethers and rattles for baby

Elissa pointed out this group of best selling natural toys for kids.  The wooden baby rattle from Schoolhouse Naturals is made in Vermont and has a whey-based finish. It is $14.95.  I loved the cloth elephant doll ($14.95) with its broadly painted marks. The SugarBooger baby rattle (in the far back), made of Beechwood with water-based inks and a natural beeswax coating, has a bell in the middle that gently jingles. ($17.95) The magic wands for your rising wizard are $3.95 each. Apparently, those wands are a rather hot commodity for the 3 years and older set. On the far right are wooden teething rings that are $8.95 each.

These are my top 2 favorite items in the store


These cool wallets made from recycled tire tubes are just the thing when you feel like your wallet has been hit by a mack truck! The varied designs, ease of opening and closing and flatness of this wallet makes it a really good find. Elissa said that people buy one and then come back to buy a couple more of them for gifts. They’re that great. Pretty reasonably priced too at $31.95

Aminal Dolls (yes, I spelled that right!)

I have to admit, these dolls weren’t going to be my selection for Top of the Shop (a line of nail polish was), but I couldn’t ignore them after my daughter Willow dragged one around for the whole hour we were there. Every time we hid it, she went back for the SAME ONE. It was like she had some honing device for that boy (top left blue boy). It isn’t that these dolls are particularly plush. They’re just crazy doodle funny, soft and incredibly easy for a kid to grab a hold of with all those appendages.  The Aminal dolls (don’t email me- I spelled it right!) are made from organic cotton and colored with vegetable dyes are $23.95 each.

Green in Bklyn
432 Myrtle Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205 (between Clinton and Waverly)
OPEN: Tuesday – Friday 11am – 7pm, Saturday 10am – 7pm, Sunday 11am – 6pm, PHONE: 718 – 855 – 4383, E-MAIL:

Thanks to Elissa at Green in Bklyn for letting me stop by and barrage her with photographs and my rather noisy and octopus-like kids. Willow managed to throw a candle while there, and Birch just plopped himself down in the middle of the store with one of Elissa’s kids books. I said she was patient, right? And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!