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Caribbean Business – These Caribbean American Designers Are Speaking Out Against Poverty In Brooklyn, NY


Malene Barnett of Malene B and Anishka Clarke & Niya Bascom of Ishka Designs are the among the 26 ambassadors for Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) ONE Brooklyn Community “Many Voices, Many Stories,” public service MTA subway poster campaign against poverty.

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 6, 2017: Two Caribbean-American interior designers are among many top Brooklynites creatively speaking out about the 23 percent of residents in the borough who are living in poverty.

Malene Barnett of Malene B and Anishka Clarke &  Niya Bascom of Ishka Designs are the among the 26 ambassadors for Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) ONE Brooklyn Community “Many Voices, Many Stories,” public service MTA subway poster campaign against poverty.

The interior designers join a diverse group of notable Brooklynites, ranging from children to adults in media, culture, entertainment, fashion, cuisine, education and social justice activism.

The BCS ONE Brooklyn Community ambassadors are speaking out about Brooklynites living in poverty and the impact of community engagement and taking action through volunteering, advocacy and philanthropy to make a positive difference.

“Don’t allow anyone to define you by your living situation,” said Bedford Stuyvesant resident Malene Barnett, Design Director at Malene B. “Dream big and remember you have a purpose.” Malene B is an award-winning design firm with a pulsating collection of bespoke carpets, fine art wall coverings and artisan tiles that have been featured in House Beautiful, New York Magazine and HGTV Magazine.

She grew up surrounded by Caribbean culture with her mother from St. Vincent and her father from Jamaica.

“Bright bold colors and patterns used in all my work are inspired by my Caribbean roots. I try to incorporate the color turquoise in everything,” she explained. “Plus I’m also inspired by the people, music, everyday life experiences like food markets, carnival and foods like breadfruit from the region too.”

Partners Anishka Clarke and Niya Bascom, founders of Ishka Designs, applaud the distinctive lifestyle of Brooklynites. “We must celebrate the vibrant, creative energy and the diversity that feeds into what makes Brooklyn so unique and special,” stated the stylish couple.  At Ishka Designs, the Crown Heights residents have created designs from the Hamptons to France to the Caribbean, but they specialize in elevating and reimagining Brooklyn homes, restaurants, schools, and businesses. They have flair in bringing a new style to enhance each neighborhood through maintaining the integrity of Brooklyn’s local spaces.  Ishka Design’s creations have been featured in New York Spaces, Anthropology, New York magazine and NBC Open House.

Clarke was born in Jamaica and both she and Bascom have parents who are Jamaican and Guyanese. “Our Caribbean upbringing has influenced a waste-not attitude and instilled a need to be resourceful,” explains Clarke.  “We demonstrate these characteristics not only in the design outcome but into our design approach as well.”

Sponsored by Investors Bank, the ONE Brooklyn Community “Many Voices, Many Stories” poster campaign will be on view through October 12th in 36 Brooklyn subway stations.

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