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December 6, 2012

Shop offers locally homemade goods

Three local artists have set up shop and named their business Artists Off Main.

It got its name because it is not located on Cooperstown’s Main Street, according to one of the artists, Karen Katz.

The handcrafted goods are actually not even being sold in the village at all. Artists Off Main can be found nestled between the liquor store and Subway in the Hartwick Commons, about 4 miles away.

The idea to open a shop came about, Katz said, when getting her hair done at the neighboring salon, Shortcuts. Shortcuts used to be in the location where the shop is and the property manager came into the hair salon to talk to the owner about not having rented the space and possible solutions to do so. 

“She was considering doing a short-term seasonal rental,” Katz said. “That sounded perfect to me, and all of the sudden that was like a puzzle piece fitting together.”

Katz said everything happened rather quickly. 

“We peeled wallpaper, painted and moved in,” she said. 

A preview was held on Nov. 16 and a grand opening on Nov. 17.

“From the first day we moved everything in it seemed right. The three of us each brought in our own furniture and our own pieces, and everything seemed to fit perfectly,” Katz said.

Artists and business partner Tracy Helgeson said the women have always talked about one day opening their own shop, especially whenever a business would go out of business. 

“We would always tell one another, ‘oh, that space would be perfect for us to open our own shop,’” she said. 

Originally, business partners Katz of Karen Katz Studio, Mary Dohner, of Mary Phyllis Handknits, and Helgeson, of The Painter’s Farm, wanted to create just a pop-up shop for the holidays. However, they said they have been greatly encouraged by the support and enthusiasm received from friends and members of the community that they are thinking about continuing their business through 2013.

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