This essay was contributed by our Luminary Silda Wall Spitzer.
Facing an historic number of retail shopping offerings, consumers today have begun to purchase more consciously with respect to quality, value and, for a number, sustainability. Artisanal, handcrafted, locally designed and/or sourced are the buzz…and the heart of New York Makers Marketplace and Magazine, a passion project of mine that has been a joy and delight (along with much hard work!) to bring to life.
When I had the honor of serving as First Lady of New York, I spent time in all 62 counties, simultaneously appreciating both the untapped economic potential of local makers and wishing all New Yorkers (and others!) could know about and appreciate fully the state’s remarkable richness and opportunities for culture, adventure, and excitement. What many of us seek in world travel can be found right in our own backyard. As the Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy learned, “There’s no place like home” — Coincidentally (or not?), the Wizard’s author, L. Frank Baum [www.allthingsoz.org] was born in Chittenango, New York, which features a yellow brick road or two, the All Things Oz Museum and a (Wizard of) Oz Fest.
That there does not ever seem to have been a private (or public) magazine for New York struck me as emblematic of the atomization of the state into its parts at the expense of its even greater potential as a whole and sparked the inspiration for the combined magazine and marketplace.
New York Makers Marketplace is the first of its kind to offer discerning “New York enthusiast” shoppers a dedicated statewide digital platform to explore and purchase curated products (at a range of price points) created by some of New York State’s finest artisans, designers and craftspeople.
It builds on the incomparable draw of New York, with many Americans feeling a special affinity towards to Empire State wherever they live — and for good reason. In addition to the bright lights of the Big Apple, New York State offers a treasure trove of hidden gems. For example, keep an eye out for our DIY fly-tying kits (coming soon) to inspire your next escape to one of the many prized New York fishing spots.
We curate by selecting only those items we would want to buy for ourselves or give as a gift. Since I enjoy eating my own cooking, I have much fun shopping the site — much to the pleasure of my family, friends and colleagues.
For graduations this year, I just gave Jay Teske’s brown leather portfolio, hiker’s bell, card case and wallet, along with “Happy Graduation” letterpress cards and gift wrapped in Smock’s “Ferns” paper. (The recipients loved them!)
I also enjoyed sending Tom Stoenner’s Handblown Champagne Glasses as a wedding gift — perfect for toasting a special union, a sweet and tangy Grapefruit-scented Trim Candle to my mom for Mother’s Day (a friend just sent this to thank a business partner, who lit it at the office and had her whole staff stop by to enjoy it) and (shhhh until Sunday!) Grade A, Amber Color Crown Maple Syrup to my dad for Father’s Day.
With not just wedding season (and Father’s Day) upon us, but also summer stays with friends in the Hamptons, Finger Lakes, Thousand Islands, Adirondacks, Hudson Valley, Catskills and elsewhere, the Fourth of July, and all the other celebrations and activities to be marked by the perfect special gift — We have just the thing! If you need suggestions, feel free to email us at Info@NewYorkStatesofMind.com And the best part — shipping is included in the price on all items!
The Marketplace’s companion New York Makers Magazine highlights the inspiring stories of our makers, along with New York destinations, experiences and ideas that excite us every day to share with our readers. Each month we feature a thematic New York State of Mind, such as “Blooming”, “R&R”, and “Independent”– because it’s fun to explore the many facets that set us New Yorkers apart. For sure, we could never agree on just one!
Our Editor in Chief, Amanda DiRobella, enjoys putting together free-to-you music playlists in celebration of our different themes. Just click here for her June selections, featuring singers and bands born or having lived in New York whose melodies will enhance this month’s New York R&R State of Mind.
Our team, based in NYC and Saratoga Springs, crisscrosses the miles to uncover what might captivate, delight and inspire our shoppers and our readers: the artists and creatives, the foodies and entertainers, the pioneers and entrepreneurs who weave their unique New York state of mind into their products, endeavors and achievements. We are constantly adding new makers and new product and new content, so best check out our site every week.
We welcome ideas for products to carry or stories to tell, as well as feedback from visiting the site. A beautiful part of this project is that you can be a part of shaping it!
Now, no matter where you are, you can bring a taste of New York into your life and your style.
Silda Wall Spitzer, Co-Founder and CEO of New York Makers, the first private digital magazine and marketplace for the state, is an American businesswoman, lawyer, and former First Lady of New York State. Currently also Senior Advisor at NewWorld Capital Group, a private equity firm investing in growth equity and infrastructure project finance within the Environmental Opportunities sector, Ms. Wall Spitzer has worked in the private, nonprofit and public sectors as to advance the New York economy and to promote progress on environmental/sustainability issues, youth service/education, and human rights/women’s empowerment.
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