PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- When you don't find smiling Jeorjia Shea busy with customers in her funky and fun Peekskill shop -- Quirkshop -- you'll probably find her in the back room behind the sewing machine whipping up one of her many wearable creations.
Celebrating a year in business this month, Quirkshop is one of those places that shoppers walk into and immediately say "I love this place."
Full of handmade clothes, jewelry, shoes, soaps and lotions, much of it made from recycled items, the shop offers a dazzling array of items all made by more than 50 local artists.
An artist for years, Shea said when she moved to Peekskill she met this amazing group of artists who had no where to sell their wares besides craft and art shows.
"I pour every bit of my heart and soul into the place and I have been rewarded by seeing the ways it has affected people and the community," Shea said. " It not only brings the clients great joy, but another sales channel and direct customer connection to over 50 local artists /small businesses who sell here."
Named the "best speciality store" by Westchester magazine, this year, Quirkshop is all consuming for Shea who says she has no life, except for the store.
"My mind is always going about what I can do next, such as the online store I'm starting later this year," she said with a laugh. "I did take a hike with my dog this morning, does that count as something else?"Known for her cashmere and cotton handmade, and often hand-painted clothes, Shea also hopes that her store brings others to the downtown area of Peekskill that is trying to reinvent itself.
To draw attention to the area she is holding a large party to celebrate her first year on Saturday, Aug. 20.
"The party will be in honor of all my amazing customers who voted us "best specialty store " in Westchester magazine. We will be having a big sale on all up-cycled cotton skirts and dresses as well as select jewelry," she said.
In addition, Shea will host a special raffle to win a gift certificate and a quirky contest where customers will come wearing something they have acquired from the shop. She and the other artists will also unveil their new fall collection including lots of cashmere.
Although the first year has been tough at times with only a few customers on some days, Shea said it brings such joy to her heart when she sees customers faces light up when they walk in the door.
"I'm also proud that I can offer other artists a venue to sell their own creations and wares. It's hard to make it as an artist or designer, so every little bit helps," she added.
One thing she doesn't like: People who procrastinate.
"Come on people, let's get things done," she laughs.
Shea is getting it done, even if it is taking up a large part of her life right now. But, she says, that's okay with her. She's having the time of her life at Quirkshop.
The anniversary party will kick off at 11 a.m. and run all day. The store is at 23 N. Division St. Visit her Facebook page here.
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