An Exploration of the Flowers, Art + Business Local to Essex, New York
As of this Saturday, August 1, Kit+Syl Studio will be calling 2748 Essex Rd home for the remainder of the season. I can’t wait to set up shop in this inspiring space! What will this look like? The storefront will be an expanded version of the pop-up gift shop I have been running on Sundays out of The Essex Inn. I plan to sell my handmade jewelry, locally grown flowers, as well as work by other local artisans. Most notably, I will be installing my design studio practice in the space.
Vision for the Storefront
For some time now, I have seen the brick and mortar business model as far more than a retail opportunity. In this day and age retailers thrive online with far less overhead than those who own or rent physical storefronts. With this in mind, I believe the role of the storefront is to provide the consumer with an experience rather than simply an opportunity to shop. I am interested in how this space can be adapted in order to maintain its relevance in the age of the internet.
That being said, Kit+Syl Studio will continue to operate as a retail business, but most importantly it is a way to showcase local talent and educate the consumer on what goes into making the goods that they take home and love. Kit+Syl will continue to be about quality, transparency, customer relationships, education, and shining a light on the art process.
Down the road, I would like my storefront to be a place to attend classes, lectures, and community art events. I want it to be a gathering space, which is a dicey vision right now, but far from impossible. Small business owners around the world have proven that adapting to the need for social distancing is a challenge, but not a blockade. I will keep thinking and writing about how I plan to accomplish these goals. For now, I hope that patrons enjoy shopping in the space while witnessing my studio practice. I will be in the space Wednesday-Sunday making jewelry and designing floral arrangements. Questions are welcome and encouraged!
View from the Studio
When you visit the shop you will more than likely see me wearing the bracelet pictured below. This sterling silver cuff is a recent acquisition. Previously, whenever someone asked if I was wearing my own jewelry the answer was always yes. The way I see it, not wearing my own work is missing out on a great marketing opportunity. As of late, I have been breaking my own rule.
The other day a good friend brought me a bag of mixed jewelry that one of his family members was giving away. We spent some time sorting through it, and I came across the engraved cuff. The words on the front read “Courage is grace under pressure- Ernest Hemingway.” These words could not have been more timely. Not only am I a Hemingway fan, but I’ve been needing quite a bit of courage and grace as of late.
Over the past month, I have been hit with opportunities and challenges that all exist outside my comfort zone. The opportunity to open this storefront has happened fast. Renting a space for my business has always been the dream, but dreams are far less scary than reality. I push past the fear with the confidence that now is the time to act. I have been doing my best to move forward with grace. This bracelet has served as an often needed reminder to continue to do so.
This week’s flower selection will feature the following stems. As always, these focal flowers will be complemented by seasonal foliage and unique accents foraged dry or dried in the studio. Order your flowers today!
GROWN BY LITTLE FARMHOUSE FLOWERS:
GROWN BY KIRSTEN LIEBL AT ECHO FARM:
As of this Saturday, August 1, you will be able to shop Kit+Syl Studio goods and flowers at its new location, 2748 Essex Rd!
Shop Hours: August 1- October 31
Monday: By appointment only
Tuesday: By appointment only
Wednesday: 10 AM-6 PM
Thursday: 11 AM-7 PM
Friday: 11 AM-7 PM
Saturday: 11 AM-7 PM
Sunday: 9 AM-2 PM at 2748 Essex Rd 3-7 PM at
The Essex Inn
Did you know that Kit+Syl Studio hosts a weekly pop-up shop every Sunday at The Essex Inn?
This pop-up is part of The Essex Inn Sunday Summer Series. Come on over to the beautiful back patio area of the Inn, and enjoy great food, refreshing drinks, live music, and the Kit+Syl Pop-Up Gift Shop. The shop is stocked each week with fresh, locally grown flowers, Kit+Syl handmade jewelry, and a curated assortment of goods made by local artisans! The patio offers ample room for socially distanced, picnic-style dining. Masks are required when entering the shop and walking around the lawn area. The festivities start at 3 PM, and the music starts at 5 PM. See my post Locally Made Gifts in Essex for more information. I hope you can make it!
Thank you for reading! Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any jewelry, floral, Essex-related, or personal questions, or just to introduce yourself! I love to meet members of my community, and I welcome feedback about how I can reciprocate value to this place that has made my own life so rich.
Also, every Wednesday I publish a new blog post where I share my writings about building the next evolution of Kit+Syl Studio. These posts center on interesting information about the floral, jewelry, and small business world. Additionally, I will conduct regular interviews featuring the talented local makers that I am stocking in my shop. You can check out my complete posts here.