The Bronx Native takes over Bryant Park with their exclusive Pop-Up shop
You can travel anywhere in the world and with 100 percent certainty, you will find someone that will have pride in representing where they are from. Well if you are from the Bronx it would be easy to find some Bronx drip that you can rock from head to toe. Founded by siblings Amaurys and Roselyn Grullon, the Bronx Native shop was created as a sacred place to celebrate the Bronx through apparel, art, and media. The shop is located at 127 Lincoln Avenue in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx and you get more than just merchandise when you stop by. You get non-stop energy that is full of culture and positive vibes. The shop is not the only place where you can get the experience of being a full native. The Bronx Native is currently having a Pop-Up shop in Bryant Park and has partnered with New York Nico and Urban Space that will run from May 3rd to May 16th from 11 am to 8 pm. While there you will have an interactive experience where you can listen to legendary Bronx music while buying classic and exclusive merchandise. From the free stickers to the welcoming toy cat there is nothing not love about your experience. There is something for everyone. Thank you to co-founder Amaurys Grullon for speaking with us about the Bronx Native journey.
When did the Bronx Native start and how long has the shop been open?
The Bronx Native started at the end of 2015, early 2016. It started as an e-commerce brand where we were just selling things out of our home – our apartment in the South Bronx. We were doing a bunch of pop-ups here and there trying to engage as much as possible in promoting our brand and our mission, which is to change the narrative and represent our people the right way. We wanted to put the Bronx on the map, you know to show everyone what the Bronx truly has to offer which is a lot. We already have given a lot and we already have created a lot. Now it’s about ownership. Now it’s about representing expression, individuality, and all the things that Bronx Native does.
The shop came about in 2017. It started as a pop-up shop similar to this. We are here for 2 weeks and our pop-up shop started as a pop-up shop as well. In the South Bronx, Mott Haven 127 Lincoln Avenue the shop was about creating a cultural hub. It wasn’t necessarily only about selling merchandise. You know merchandise is important – merchandise that represents us that showcases who we are, that inspires, and that empowers us. We wanted to create this inclusive place – a platform for expression. A place where people can break bread together, where people can network, and where entrepreneurs and creators can come together and do their thing. The shop has been open for 4 years now that we are about to hit in October and it’s been beautiful. To have a shop that champions our people, that’s incredible and we are really happy about that.
Bronx Native was hit hard during the pandemic, what kept you motivated to keep pushing forward?
Covid was unpredictable for all of us. It reset everything and small businesses in communities like ours got hit harder than others because of the lack of resources and lack of knowledge. The question was what are we going to do? Honestly, what kept us moving was the Bronx – our people. This is our legacy and we are not going to stop. There is a quote that says, “only the strong survive”. That is a major fact and we are going to keep going until the legs fall off you already know. We kept our heads up and kept making it happen. From creating merch, to showcasing talent, to creating our GoFundMe campaign we didn’t stop. We were pushed kinda towards the edge. We didn’t know if we were going to say alive and the last result was to just go to our community. It was truly a humbling experience. Truly beautiful to see not only the Bronx and our people but also support from the whole world. We got donations and online orders from all over and it kept us alive and we saved the Bronx Native shop.
How important is collaborating for you and the Bronx Native as a brand?
As a small business and up incoming brand collaboration is essential. The ability to connect with others and merge ideas is important. That’s one big aspect of Bronx Native. Since we have started we have collaborated nonstop with schools to nonprofits. We have gotten to work with Netflix, Shake Shack, Viceland, and other huge platforms that have helped us showcase our mission and story. It’s essential – COLLABORATE, COLLABORATE!
Besides the Bronx Native shop, where is your favorite place to go in the Bronx?
OUTSIDE – anywhere in the Bronx, we outside, you already know. Any place is total bliss for me. When I get to walk down the Bronx streets and look at my people and experience my people it’s amazing. That’s what truly inspires my brand. The day-to-day people that live here, from the Bodega to the streets we are living it, every moment.
What is your favorite Bronx artist, local or mainstream?
Favorite Bronx artist, WOW, no one has asked me that question so thank you for that. I’m not going to pinpoint one person but I am surrounded by artist every day from the people that you see in front of us, Jouse a poet a writer, Jeremy a videographer and cinematography, and the person behind us Carmen she is a full-on beast and it’s a beautiful thing. I want to say collectively all of the people that we work with are all my favorite because they are right here.
In your opinion, what is one article of clothing that you think represents the Bronx?
I’m not going to do that because I see so many different people, so many different fashion statements, and so many different variations of what a Bronx person or a New York person is. We are definitely a melting pot. I remember when I went to school, I went to The School of Visual Arts, and I was like I’m from the Bronx and they were like you definitely don’t look like you are from the Bronx. For us, it’s changing because image and representation is for everyone you know what I mean. You could wear the usual White T, jeans, timbs, Yankee fitted and yes that is a BX/NY fit but everything is a NY fit and we are here for that!
Thank you to the team of Bronx Native for giving me an amazing experience during your pop-up shop. If you haven't stopped by yet don't worry you still have time!
To connect with the Bronx Native shop you can find them on IG: @thebronxnative
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Until next post… Coach Tay