The North Flatbush Business Improvement District is fortunate to house an abundant variety of women-owned businesses. In honor of Women’s History Month, we wanted to take the opportunity to showcase a few of these extraordinary female entrepreneurs over the course of the next few weeks.
Elizabeth Pongo of Pongo Power, Inc (350 Flatbush) started her business 12 years ago, after recognizing a need for health and wellness, without the gym. Her business model is inspired by her life’s journey as an athlete, and overcoming physical and mental challenges in order to achieve harmony and wellbeing through movement.
Says Pongo: “At Pongo Power, we have created a culture in which we can help each and every person who walks through the door, through neurolinguistics, education, and attention to detail. We are committed to ending the obesity epidemic; helping others beat their eating disorders; and sharing our love of movement with the world.”
Pongo Power has called North Flatbush one of its homes for 5 years now, and also has a location on 5th street in Park Slope. Pongo is inspired by Loren Michelle of Naturally Delicious, a Carroll Gardens based catering company focused on creating unique culinary experiences for their clients. Mermaid Garden on Vanderbilt Avenue is one of her favorite local women-owned businesses.
Entrepreneur Allyson King open the original Hair & Co BKLYN 4 years ago at 487 Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill, and added a second location in the North Flatbush district (477 Bergen street) in 2017. Hair & Co BKLYN is a solution-based company that trains stylists to master the art of the many hair textures that are as wonderfully unique as the community in Brooklyn. Hair & Co provides a personalized experience, delivering custom hair color, cuts, and styling with at-home maintenance lessons to be sure every guest is able to recreate their gorgeous new hairstyle every day of the week.
King left the corporate world to open her own business, with the goal of achieving greater flexibility and freedom, and repurposing what she’d learned in corporate America to build her own future for her family. While King admits that many of her influences were male, she says “Harriet Tubman is a bad ass.” Her favorite other woman-owned business in the North Flatbush BID is Esther Choi’s MokBar (212 Flatbush Ave), which opened on Flatbush Avenue in 2017 and offers specialty Korean cuisine.
Amanda Freeman’s SLT (short for Strengthen Lengthen Tone) opened at 289 Flatbush Ave in 2018. SLT was founded in 2011 by Amanda Freeman (a serial wellness entrepreneur), and was born from her desire for a workout that was all the things she was looking for in one — the studio advertises a “50-minute, muscle-quivering, heart-pumping, total body workout.”
With 25 studios (and counting) since 2011, the brand is growing rapidly! Freeman, a serial wellness entrepreneur, has been a business owner for 12 years, and was inspired to become an entrepreneur because of her passion for ideas. Freeman is inspired by Jane Buckingham, an American author and businesswoman who is founder and president of consumer insights firm Trendera. Her favorite woman owned business in the North Flatbush BID is Brooklyn Owl.