Quick Changes: Boutique is closing

So for a while now, I’ve been looking at downtown locations for the Advokate Office and The Advokate Boutique, wanting to take things to the next level. I’ve got some irons in the fire and have had some really good conversations, but have no solid plans just yet.

My lease at The Shirt Factory is up on July 31, and I was notified yesterday that it will not be renewed, so I’ve had to think fast.

A month isn’t enough time to make a sensible, sustainable plan, so for now I am closing The Advokate Boutique and moving my office home, where the business started and thrived for three years before I moved it to The Shirt Factory.

I know from experience that a home office is more productive for my work style, so this is actually very good for the business, but I’m extremely sad for the Boutique artists and the customer base I had built. I love the bright sunshiney space that I created. I love the good colleagues and friends I have at the Shirt Factory. I won’t be losing those wonderful relationships, but we won’t be as close by. But everything in life is ephemeral, and so it goes. This is an opportunity to save on overhead for a minute while I form a good plan.

Advokate’s Lemonade Stand sale will be moved up to this Saturday, June 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. I hope you will come out and bid a fond farewell to the shop as we know it!

For the time being, I’ll meet clients at Rock Hill Bakehouse Café, my favorite meeting spot downtown, or will visit you at your store or office (no home visits as a policy; weird things have happened). For now, Amity meetings can still be done at your store or office, or on laptops at Rock Hill.

What is laying heavily on my heart is the thought that folks will lump the Advokate Boutique into the “retailers that didn’t make it” category and that it reflects negatively on Glens Falls and its upward climb. I don’t want to be that delicate. I don’t want to contribute to that dark thought that people have. I believe in Glens Falls. So let’s not categorize this situation that way, because it ain’t over yet. 

I also worry that it’s a reflection on working moms. I’m concerned that being less visible will make folks think I’m a part-time freelancer instead of a serious businesswoman. Not the case, friends. I want to be an awesome mama and take good care of my family, but I’m no barefoot housewife. Advokate’s stronger than ever, finding new and crazy ways to stick up for the little guy, for arts, nonprofits, startups and small business (stay tuned for info about this major Creative Economy thing I’m a part of, for example) — I’ve got big plans, friends.

I would love your input and your help as I discover what the right next step will be. If you know of the perfect downtown location, some real estate for sale, a good landlord to talk to, and especially if you have a clever scheme to generate income from a downtown storefront that is based on more than just daydreams of big art sales, please let me know!

I’m trusting in this magical city to guide me toward the right place to take Advokate to the next level. I know it’s going to be good.

Kate Austin-Avon

Kate Austin-Avon is the owner and founder of Advokate, LLC. She lives in Glens Falls, New York, with her husband Cory (Vice President of Advokate!) and their three children.