Schenectady, N.Y. – Schenectady’s newest retail space, Jay St. Collective, celebrated its official grand opening today at 135 Jay Street with a ceremonial ribbon cutting hosted by the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation (DSIC). The new shop is an indoor, year-round maker’s market featuring the work of emerging artists and entrepreneurs from the local area and adds to the unique and vibrant retail community along the pedestrian-only Jay Street Marketplace.
Erin Eckler, owner and operator of Jay St. Collective, said, “Whenever I imagined opening a brick-and-mortar business, I envisioned it in Schenectady and on Jay Street. I feel so lucky to have this space and the warm, welcoming business community it comes with.” She added, “The local small business community in Schenectady is a wealth of talent and a tremendous source of support and encouragement.”
Jim Salengo, executive director of the DSIC, said, “Erin has proven herself to be a creative force on the Schenectady art scene with her previous role at the Electric City Barn and her participation in numerous Schenectady art events. This new business spotlighting local makers is a wonderful extension of Erin’s talents and a welcome addition to downtown’s varied retail scene.”
Jay St. Collective features the work of 19 local artists and makers. Vendors specialize in fiber such as knits, quilts, totes, and bags; leather goods; decorative and practical ceramics and pottery; digital design prints, glassware, mugs, and stickers; fine art; home decor; jewelry; and candles. All items are hand-made by the Jay St. Collective’s resident artists, including Eckler herself.
Eckler took inspiration for the Jay St. Collective from her experience as a vendor at the Clinton Street Mercantile, noting, “Michelle and Brandon Whittall at the Mercantile provided such a unique opportunity for learning and growth for creative entrepreneurs. I look forward to continuing their model, offering those same opportunities to emerging artists and makers in the area.”
Jay St. Collective will be open Wednesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Items available in the shop and profiles of local makers can be found on Facebook or Instagram at @jaystcollective. For more information, visit jaystcollective.com.