ML Dreams

JR Garden Babe, Judy Renee Bankman, Fort Greene, Brooklyn-Interview

JR Garden Babe, Judy Renee Bankman, Fort Greene, Brooklyn-Interview

ML Dreams: Judy Renee Bankman: Owner, JR Garden Babe, Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NYC

Made Lokal: What's your "day job" 
Judy Renee: horticultural sales associate & freelance writer

Made Lokal: Why did you start a hand salve line?
Judy Renee: I started my hand salve line because I'm fascinating with the healing power of herbs and I love making my own herbal concoctions. In today's world of processed food, health, and beauty products, my goal is to encourage the use of natural alternatives that are good for you.

Made Lokal: How did to have the courage to start your own company?
Judy Renee: I had been making herbal products for a few years and received great feedback from friends and family. I figured it was time to give it a shot - my investment costs were relatively low and I love the production process. It's stuff I would make on my own anyway. Since then, I've gotten into the creative process, from developing labels and a logo to marketing my products on social media.

Made Lokal: Who was your first customer?
Judy Renee: My partner's mom!

Made Lokal: What is the hardest part about being in business for yourself?
Judy Renee: Setting my own deadlines and self-motivating. It's a lot easier to lie around on the couch when you know you're the only one holding yourself accountable to make a batch of 30 hand salves!

Made Lokal: What is your motivation?
Judy Renee: I am motivated by my family and close friends who encourage me daily, by other Brooklyn-based makers, and the 12 amazing women I interned with at Herb Pharm in spring of 2011 :-)

Made Lokal: What is your dream for Garden Babe?
Judy Renee: I would love to expand into different herbal products such as tinctures and tea blends. I'd love to teach workshops and share with others how simple some of these recipes are. Ultimately I'd like to see Garden Babe become a gateway for people into the healing power of herbs. 

Follow Judy Renee on Instagram @mavijewel and LIKE her facebook page: JRGardenBabe
To purchase Garden Babe items, visit:

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