May 7, 2013
Trio opens arts and crafts gallery
Cinch Art Space in former Cortland Corset building sells only locally made items
Tired of commercialism, three local women have banded together to create a business to bring functional art into the lives of shoppers — Cinch Art Space.
The women had a vision to create an artspace where shoppers could meet the artists they buy work from and learn how to create art themselves, said Tammie Whitson, of Freetown, one of the gallery’s three owners.
Customers will find pottery, jewelry and bright clothing, among other local products at the store.
They held their grand opening Friday night at their space in the former Cortland Corset building at 75 E. Court St.
Before Cinch Art Space was formed, two holiday gift bazaars held in the building featuring about 40 local vendors were swamped with shoppers, said Brenda D’Angelo, of Homer, an owner.
“That kind of gelled the idea that there is a demand,” D’Angelo said.
D’Angelo thinks that people want to get away from commercial shopping in malls, but most of the options for buying thoughtful, artistic gifts are in Ithaca and Syracuse and are expensive, she said.
“For most people in the Cortland area, that’s beyond their means to afford,” D’Angelo said.
Therefore, products in the store have an emphasis on beauty, functionality and affordability, D’Angelo said.
Cinch Art Space has squeezed a community of artists and producers under one roof.
“Our cap is around 30,” said Kristin Avery, of Cortland, the third owner.
The women had considered opening the business for a while, and when space opened up in the corset building, they decided the time was right.
“We’ve been talking about this for over a year,” said Avery, who also owns Lime Hollow Naturals, a natural soap and cleaning products company.
“We made the decision in January,” said Whitson, who also owns Cold Brook Farm which produces bath and beauty products, “so we’ve been hauling.”
When shoppers purchase goods from Cinch Art Space, they are strengthening their community, Avery said.
“There’s a lot of feminine creative energy in this building,” said D’Angelo, remembering the hundreds of women workers who used to sew corsets in the building.
Cinch Art Space’s location needed very little alterations to fit the store’s needs.
“We just really spruced up the paint,” Avery said.
New floors and lighting were also added.
Cinch Art Space will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
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