Poppy's Founder Jamie Erickson On Beauty, Brows, & The Art Of Salting

We have a lot of favorite spots in our Cobble Hill neighborhood, but one that brings us a great deal of joy is Poppy's. Owner Jamie Erickson is a dear friend of Shen and her cafe is a bright spot that's a great place for a quick bite when you're in the mood for fresh, simple, yummy food (so, always).

Jamie is a fourth-generation New Yorker who grew up in the food industry. She named Poppy's after her grandfather, who worked at the B&H Dairy on the LES' 2nd Avenue for over 40 years. She grew up in a family that loved food and entertaining and she took that passion and translated it into a local spot where you can enjoy simple, seasonal, beautiful, and approachable food. As she says, "Starting a food business seemed like a natural extension of who I am."

Jamie is also a regular at Shen — "I describe myself as laidback and casual but classic. I gravitate to to all-natural beauty, thus Shen is my perfect go-to beauty store."

We asked Jamie to take a break from her hectic schedule at Poppy's to chat about her beauty routine, her best tips for at-home cooks, and what it's like to be the owner of a small business in Brooklyn right now. Keep reading for her story.

Jamie Erickson

Name: Jamie Erickson

Profession: Owner of Poppy's Catering & Cafe

Skin type: Normal - Dry skin

Hair type: Thick & wavy

Duration of beauty routine: Less than 5 minutes

Walk us through your daily beauty routine:
I'm a no muss, no fuss kind of gal. I wash my face with Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser once a day. If my skin is feeling super dry, I'll use the Dr. Barbara Sturm Facial Scrub. I have the Ursa Major Morning Mojo Bar Soap (I hate shower gels) and wash my hair only about once a week — it's so thick!

For moisturizer, at night I'll use the Ursa Major Golden Hour Recovery Cream and in the morning I use the EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Broad Spectrum SPF 40. I let my hair air dry most of the time, throw it up in a messy bun and call it a day.

What is your philosophy on beauty?
Do what make you feel great. When I have the time to actually get my hair blown out and put on a little makeup, I feel 100% more put together. But, most of the time that's not me at all. I have two young kids and a food business requiring schlepping and working in a basement more than taking client meetings and dressing up. But getting my eyebrows done with Josh at Shen and having some basic natural beauty products to pull from make me feel like myself.

What is your best beauty advice?
Ha! Don't come to me with that question. My sister would laugh at that — she could barely get me to shave my legs on my wedding day.

What is the best beauty advice you've ever been given?
Pluck your eyebrows and get keratin. I'm sure it was my sister — she's got a much better beauty routine than I do. But honestly, my hair is so thick I can barely blow dry it, let alone style it myself. Keratin was a lifesaver and it's my one major beauty vice.

Jamie Erickson

What are your three must have beauty products?
EltaMD UV Daily Tinted to give me that glow and keep me protected. I followed the advice from everyone at Shen on how great this brand was. Corpus Naturals deodorant because it smells amazing and comes in such great packaging. And, Ilia lipstick, which is the perfect pop of color on my lips. I like that it looks more like a tint than a harsh, matte color.

What is the biggest beauty mistake you've ever made?
Over plucking my eyebrows in high school.

What do you love most about your job?
Running my own business has ever felt like a job. These last few months have easily been the most challenging and emotionally draining time, but I am fighting so hard to keep Poppy's running. I absolutely love leading a team and nourishing customers. I love that we play a part in our customer's celebrations through catering. And we're a part of the fabric of this Brooklyn neighborhood and our neighbors weekly routines. I feel like Poppy's is completely an extension of me.

What's your favorite thing to cook?
My go-to meal that feeds both my husband and I and my kids would be spring pasta with broccoli, peas, Italian sausage and parmesan. Make sure to add lots of salt to your pasta water and reserve the starchy water to create a sauce with loads of freshly grated parmesan. I add a bit of chili flakes, but not too much because of the kids. Using a great quality pasta and fresh Italian sausage make all the difference in this simple dish.

What's a pro secret you have for home cooks?
I'm not a professional chef myself, but I would say a takeaway for great flavor that a lot of home cooks don't use enough of is salt. Salting things correctly brings out the best flavor in your food.

What is it like being the owner of a small business right now?
Next level scary. They don't write a rulebook for a pandemic. Constantly walking the line between right and wrong, not knowing what the future brings and if your company can make it. Trying to wear a brave face to employees and customers. The paperwork for these loans, the hiring, the firing...I pray this nightmare is over soon! 
 

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"Beauty is self care. And self care makes us feel beautiful."

-Athena Calderone