This Bed-Stuy mom and entrepreneur may have taken a big risk — but so far, everything's coming up rosy.
Makini Regal Martin is the woman behind the recently-opened Blush at the Regal Suite, an all-pink content creation studio in a Bed-Stuy/Stuyvesant Heights brownstone.
The mom and entrepreneur says, like many, she had a tough year with the pandemic — she was sick, she wasn't able to run her Airbnb, and her wedding business "went down the drain."
So the Columbia University alumni went into "hustle mode" to figure out what to do next. That's when Martin came up with the idea to use the brownstone her and her husband used to rent on Airbnb, and transform it into a creator studio to be hired by the hour.
"I decided, why not take a chance and make something that not only fulfils my urge to create, but also brings in money for my family," she said.
Martin got to work designing her color palette, and then went out to find, buy and build her all-blush room. The design includes a lush velvet sofa, salmon light-fittings, candles, a hand-painted pink palm-leaves installation and neon sign glowing, "You're, like, really pretty."
"I was nervous," she said. "The space is all pink, and I love pink, but I didn't know for sure that it would be well received.
"But I decided to take a risk, followed my gut on it and hoped for the best."
She shouldn't have worried. In just three months of opening in late-March, the cotton-candy space with accents all hand-picked by Martin has been almost 95% booked.
"I am completely overwhelmed with the positive feedback," she told BK Reader. "I'm very, very blown away."
Since opening the Regal Suite, the room has attracted Instagram influencers fulfilling brand obligations, birthday celebrations, maternity shoots, a documentary and three music videos.
New York City rapper Princess Nokia has even done a shoot in the pink room, a promotion for superstar Rihanna's lingerie brand.
Martin said the majority of the booking she's had so far have been from Brooklyn, which she loves. The Trinidad-born, Brownsville raised entrepreneur said she she remembered a time where you would go to Manhattan for special occasions.
"The fact that Brooklyn has evolved to be a place where we have our own special hidden gems, and we don't have to travel to find them, also makes me feel proud. I'm proud to invest in my own community."
Recently, Martin launched a second space in the brownstone, a completely mint-colored room named "Mint to Be." She's also found time to write a children's book, after being inspired by a lack of books on flowers available for her baby girl Zuri Rose.
Martin — who also started a floral event and interior design company in 2011 — said her love of flowers was inspired by her two grandmothers, who used to garden together when she was a girl.
The book is set to launch presales in the coming months, and the Pink Parlor and Mint to Be rooms at the Regal Suite can be booked for $125 per hour, with a minimum of two hours through Peerspace.