“I have a loyal local following,” said Katz, describing the reception the business has had. “I’ve always had more local customers than tourists.”
She also said that she received strong support from local artists.
“People did come in out of the woodwork,” said Katz. “Once it (the business) started it was easy to fill up the space.”
Katz said that the holiday market is the beginning of a partnership with the Smithy, and that she plans to move into a permanent space there sometime in the spring of 2014, although where in the building the shop would be located is still being discussed and negotiations are ongoing.
“I am so pleased to be collaborating with the Smithy,” said Katz, who also praised the Smithy’s executive director, Danielle Newell. “Everyone has been ... just wanting to make things happen.”
“I am so so happy to be working with Karen,” said Newell, who said that she was excited by the potential opportunity. “We’re seeing this really as a collaboration.”
Newell said that the new shop, which she expects to open in May, will be a full part of the Smithy organization.
“The shop will be the Smithy shop curated by Karen,” said Newell, who said that negotiations about the exact details of the agreement are still in progress. “It opens up the possibility of Karen’s wonderful eye.”
She also expressed a preference in having the name of the shop be The Shop at the Smithy, to emphasize that the shop was part of a not-for profit, and was fully in keeping with the Smithy’s mission and values
“The Shop at the Smithy would be perfect,” said Katz, when asked about the name.
She also said that even though such a shop would be part of the Smithy, much of what defines Artists off Main at the Smithy would be a part of the new store.
“It’s going to be the same concept of local art, local gifts, vintage finds,” said Katz.
One thing that customers of the new shop will likely have to deal with this summer is paid parking, which was not an issue for customers of the shop in the Cooperstown Commons. Katz, however, is not phased by this prospect.
“I’m not worried about it because downtown is where the people are,” said Katz.