[Editor’s note 6/18/2022: This location closed indefinitely.]
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Hardware has always been a part of life for Jitu Maat.
“About 30 years ago, my dad was renovating rooms on Clinton Hill, and he realized there weren’t any black hardware stores, so he opened his own,” he said.
As a child, Jitu would spend days between rounds of cleaning supplies and plumbing tools.
“I was just running around playing with sharp objects that I shouldn’t be playing with,” he said.
Now 30, he’s taken over his father’s business, Hardware 2.0, which sits on the border of Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights in Brooklyn.
The shop sells gardening tools, chop wood and stock a wide range of DIY tools.
Jitu puts his own spin on the family business, trying to increase the amount of eco-friendly products in the store, keeping the store active on social media and filling the entryway with unusual and eye-catching potted plants.
“I don’t have enough time for boring plants,” he said.
For him, houseplants and DIY projects offer the same sense of empowerment and accomplishment.
“What you put in, you get right back,” he said.
He prides himself on helping his customers get it right.
“We won’t let you go until you figure out your project,” he said. “Just because it’s called ‘do-it-yourself’ doesn’t mean you have to learn it yourself.”
In return, he is grateful for the patience and encouragement shown by his clients in developing the business.
“They really let us know we’re doing the right thing and constantly remind me it was so worth it,” he said.
At Hardware 2.0, Jitu strives to create a bright, welcoming space that feels like a community center, a destination not just for tools but for conversation and connection. He knows that a neighborhood hardware store can often serve as an unofficial welcoming committee for new residents.
“If you move somewhere, you’ll always find the hardware store,” he said.
He keeps this in mind and looks forward to building relationships with clients.
“Growing up, I knew all of my neighbors on the block, and I still want to maintain that sense of community no matter who moves in or out to have a connection to where you live,” he said.
860 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
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