Crafted by Neighbors

Beacon boutique specializes in handmade and local

By Alison Rooney

ReMade is itself a remake of sorts.

Residing in the Main Street space in Beacon occupied until 18 months ago by Clay, Wood and Cotton, the boutique specializes in goods crafted in the region. Its proprietor, Liz Ferrara, stocks the work of about 30 designers who create everything from greeting cards to wood benches. Ferrara sold her handmade jewelry at Clay, Wood and Cotton and so was familiar with the space when it became available.

Liz Ferrara, proprietor of reMade (Photo by A. Rooney)

The shared DNA of the items on display is that they were handmade by artisans working between upper Westchester and Albany, on both sides of the river. Artists usually find her through a recommendation or at craft fairs, or occasionally they will pop in to talk about their work.

“I love it when people come in and tell me their stories,” she says. “It’s encouraging to hear that all of this is out there and going on.”

She says locals often say things like, “You had a thing in your window two weeks ago and I didn’t get a chance to come by then.” They also purchase a lot of the cards. By contrast, visitors are pleased to learn that many of the items for sale were made in Beacon. “The people visiting from the city tend to look at the furniture, lighting and ceramics, and often mention how much less expensive they are than in the city,” she says.

Ceramic bowls by Andrew Rouse of Beacon and wooden spoons by Robert Powchik of Peekskill (Photo by A. Rooney)

When something sells out, the artists bring in something new, so the stock is ever-changing. On a recent visit, there were driftwood wall hangings and clocks; walnut candle holders; a wool weaving framed in antique oak; a vintage soda crate repurposed for display; cards made from collages of fabric and paper; hand-knit stuffed animals; and “beard oil” for bewhiskered millennials. There was also a bench made by Keith Decent with wood salvaged during the restoration of the sloop Woody Guthrie.

Ferrara said she was inspired to focus on local crafts in part due to her disappointment when traveling and “finding things which were imported which didn’t represent the area; it just didn’t feel right. Here it’s all things that have been loved, made with love.”

The Orange County native started designing jewelry in high school, then studied art education at SUNY New Paltz.

At left, a vintage soda crate repurposed by Keith Decent as a display cabinet (Photo by A. Rooney)

“I decided I didn’t want to teach, so I became a bookkeeper, which has helped me with the business side of things,” she says. After co-founding a photography business, she took “a long time coming back to jewelry. I gave myself a lot of space to exercise my creative juices.”

ReMade will participate in Windows on Main, which runs from Sept. 22 to Nov. 12.  The theme this year is “Art and Commerce” and the boutique will reflect it by showing large objects from an experienced maker at fixed prices in one window, and, in another, smaller objects made by someone who has never sold them commercially, priced at whatever you want to pay. “We’ll explore the idea of how people value art,” Ferrara explains.

ReMade, at 133 Main St., is open Thursday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. Visit remadehandmade.com.

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