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Stayin’ Alive

Change is good for local businesses



“What makes us different from every other gift store is that no one else has our pieces,” says Yanish of the unique inventory she and Yeshoua sell at Offerings Gallery in Katonah.

Photos by Rana Faure

Mindy Yanish has seen mostly good times since she moved her Offerings Gallery from Park Slope, Brooklyn, to Katonah 25 years ago. Today, staying in the business of selling all-American handmade goods means embracing change.

“Many of our longtime customers are moving away,” explains Rina Yeshoua, a co-owner and also Yanish’s wife. “And several of our artisans are pulling back on the life and taking second jobs.” 

Creating their own inventory began organically for the couple. Yanish, who has a master’s degree in fine art, began teaching herself to build things as a child when she discovered that Mattel didn’t make golf clubs for Barbie. She crafted them herself. 

Yeshoua, an antiques dealer who also has a degree in art, is a stone carver as well as a professional photographer. They say their YY Designs are “ego-less collaborations between two strong-headed and talented women.” 

The couple’s first date was at a flea market, where they discovered their shared love of discarded and overlooked old things. Over the years, they hunted for antique objects, and their finds became the seeds for YY Designs. The very first piece was a gladiolas table.

 “It started with a broken antique shipping crate buried in a friend’s barn,” says Yanish. Yeshoua placed it on an interesting set of antique legs, and Yanish turned it into a structurally sound piece of furniture. She lined it with mahogany, and Yeshoua added antique tassels and a mirror. It sold almost immediately.

 “Eighty percent of our current customers are new to the store,” Yeshoua says. “Last Christmas we sold ten of our original works,” Yanish adds. “Our souls are in the store with us now.”

Down the street in Katonah, Viktoria Fisch opened Ebba right as the recession hit. What began as a home store with candles, fragrances, and tabletop soon evolved as a few clothing styles were added to the mix. “After that, I noticed a spike in sales,” says Fisch.

“I’ve learned that what helps me stay vital is buying small amounts of inventory frequently. It encourages people to drop by more often to check in.” 

Bart and Diana Tyler (pictured left) of Kelloggs & Lawrence can relate to the success of adding apparel. Following the renovation of their hundred-year-old hardware store, they experienced “a phenomenal response” to the addition of clothing.

“Sales of luxury goods—lawn furniture and barbecue grills—were hit during the recession, but the new business more than compensated for the drop in other departments,” says Bart. “It’s a nice synergy,” says Diana, describing how one customer came in for a plumbing part and purchased something to wear.

“She tells everyone she buys her clothes at the hardware store!” 

Alex Walsh and Debbie Franzese relocated Bedford Gourmet, their shop and catering business, because clients demanded it. With twice the selection of foods and plenty of parking, they “catch the Armonk crowd and people headed to Pound Ridge who were not going to turn into the village to find us before.” Parking makes all the difference.

Storefront exposure is one thing Charlie and Kristin Allen say keeps them vital in the retail game at Avantgarden in Pound Ridge. “Coming out of the recession, we do work harder but also we can innovate more,” says Kristin. After 14 years, they’ve shifted their focus from reselling modernist, mid-century garden ornaments to designing new custom light fixtures. “Lighting falls under a ‘need’ category for most people—unlike a table or a garden bench,” says Kristin. 

The couple has assembled a group of American craftsman who make Avantgarden’s original fixtures. One of their first designs—a wooden chandelier—appeared in Architectural Digest. “You don’t have to be a vegan or live in Brooklyn to design cool lighting,” says Charlie, who loves the entrepreneurial nature of their business.

“So much of our worldwide business happens online. And sometimes it gets lonely in the shop. But if you don’t have a storefront, people trust you less.” T

he Allens love the Pound Ridge vibe and say there’s no desire to relocate. “But I think I’d go to Brooklyn before I’d become a vegan,” Kristin adds with a laugh. 

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September 2018

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

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Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

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Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
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Website »

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On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

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Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

MARGARITAS FOR MOCKINGBIRDS A Bedford Audubon Fundraiser Bedford Audubon Society will host its first annual fundraising event at TRUCK Restaurant on September 24, 2018 from 6-8pm.  Tickets are...

Cost: $125.00

Where:
Truck Restaurant
391 Old Post Rd
Bedford, NY
View map »


Sponsor: Truck Restaurant

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Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT is pleased to welcome back literary scholar Mark Scarbrough as he leads a five week course The Soul Ajar: An Emily Dickinson Literature Course.  The classes...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
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More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

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This presentation, led by Martin House member Bryan Stern, will help small business owners understand key tax law changes that may affect their 2018 business tax returns so that they can plan ahead...

Cost: Free

Where:
Martin House Workspace
69 Westchester Ave.
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
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Sponsor: Martin House Workspace
Telephone: 914-764-3128
Contact Name: Erin Trostle
Website »

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Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Facilitated by Nina Bertolino This program will meet every other Wednesday from 10:30 - 12:30 on the following dates: September 12th & 26th, October 10th & 24th, November 7th & 21st, December 5th...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

On Thursday, September 27, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich will host its first-ever Oktoberfest celebration. Featuring German beer from Paulaner USA, Oktoberfest at the Bruce...

Cost: $30 for Bruce Museum members, $40 non-members

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Hospice of Westchester (HOW) will host its annual “In Celebration” Gala Cocktail Reception on Thursday, September 27, 2018. This year’s event will honor Joan and Michael...

Cost: $300

Where:
Westchester Country Club
99 Biltmore Avenue
Rye, NY  10580
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Sponsor: Hospice of Westchester
Telephone: 914-682-1484
Website »

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On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Friday mornings from 10:30 to 12:30. Free, no registration. Open to adults and older teens. Participants are asked to bring their own supplies in, but some basic supplies will be provided by the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Something special is scheduled to happen at Conant Hall, 257 Westchester Avenue, Pound Ridge, NY 10576, on Friday September 28 from 3:00 to 6:00 PM and Saturday September 29, 2018 from 11:00 AM to...

Cost: free

Where:
Conant Hall
257 Westchester Ave.
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Garden Club
Telephone: 914-64-3074
Contact Name: Peggy Kerner
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

The 57th Annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show is September 29-30  10am-5-pm, Rain or Shine Newly Ranked #2 Best Fine Art and Design Show in the Country! (Sunshine Artist, 8/2018) 185...

Cost: $12 General, $10 Seniors, 18 and under: Free

Where:
Community Park
205 Business Park Drive
Armonk, NY  10504
View map »


Sponsor: Friends of NCPL
Telephone: 914-629-7529
Contact Name: Anne Curran
Website »

More information

Something special is scheduled to happen at Conant Hall, 257 Westchester Avenue, Pound Ridge, NY 10576, on Friday September 28 from 3:00 to 6:00 PM and Saturday September 29, 2018 from 11:00 AM to...

Cost: free

Where:
Conant Hall
257 Westchester Ave.
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Garden Club
Telephone: 914-64-3074
Contact Name: Peggy Kerner
Website »

More information

Laura from Olive My Skin will be joining us to talk about her lovely natural soaps, wood wick soy candles and skin care line, all proudly made in Connecticut. All Fair Trade, paraben free,...

Cost: free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
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Sponsor: The Smithy
Telephone: (860)868-9003
Contact Name: susan
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Looking for a new lampshade? Interested in a free office supplies? How about a Lego set? It's all here for the taking at Bedford 2020's Take It Or Leave It Shed! If the thought of more...

Cost: 0

Where:
Take it or Leave it Shed
Bedford Hills Train Station Parking Lot
Bedford Hills, NY
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Sponsor: Energize Bedford
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Evocation of light is ever present in the romantic and experiential landscapes of Ira Barkoff. His recent works convey the spontaneity and the maturity of the artist’s hand and dedication to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: 1953
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

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On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
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