Laurie Arnheiter and daughter Megan Rein Shuman remove the “for sale” sign after buying the building next to the Hudson River Trading Company in North Creek on Sept. 13, 2011. The new building is now the home to the Outlet Store.
A broken leg wasn’t going to stop Laurie Arnheiter from expanding her shop, the Hudson River Trading Company. Not now, with big plans for the future.
It was Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011 and the sun was shining on Main Street. Laurie and her daughter, Megan Rein Shuman, walked next door to the vacant building she’d just bought, Laurie on crutches with a cast on her right leg and Megan in flip-flops, both smiling for the camera. With the removal of a “for sale by owner” sign on the window, history changed in an instant for the small resort community of North Creek.
Two seasons later, the Hudson River Trading Company at 292 Main St. has a new sister business, the Main Street Outlet Store, located at 290 Main St. Eventually the two stores will be connected by a breezeway, but for now it is the land underneath that’s giving Laurie a chance to move forward with her master plan for expansion.
“This building possesses a tremendous back yard, so when I bought this building, which had sat vacant for six years ... it gave me the back yard,” Laurie said.
It also gives her a chance to install a new septic system for the building she wants to construct behind the Hudson River Trading Company.
“The problem is the septic for this new building in back,” Laurie said.
The health department did not approve the septic system she had proposed for the new building, which will go up once the barn in the back is torn down. Yet the Outlet Store’s back yard is ideal for the new septic.
“I had to go sideways to go back,” she said. “Now that gives me a design center, a great new tenant in the back, and it gives me an outlet center.”
With the new shop, Laurie now has three business locations, including the Hudson River Trading Company store on Route 9 in Queensbury, which specializes in fabric with fabric professional Dana Carvajal. The Outlet Store gives her a chance to move seasonal items out of storage.
“Instead of packing away things to pull out for next season, I can put them on sale,” Laurie said. “I can create another shopping opportunity on Main Street.”
The Outlet Store features men’s, women’s and kids’ clothing for all seasons, plus footwear and furniture.
“What I brought over here is beautiful clothing — ISIS, Royal Robbins, ExOfficio, Woolrich — really tremendous lines, but I don’t have a full size run in them,” she said. “This is like a scavenger hunt. This is fun. Let’s see if I can find something that is really spectacular at a really great price.”
The building is partially renovated already, including the apartment above the store, which will be rented out seasonally to visitors. The apartment will give Laurie an opportunity to show off designs — from fabric to furniture, fixtures and accessories — that work well in an Adirondack home. And it won’t be rustic. They do that next door.
“When people come into Hudson River Trading Company, what they see predominantly is rustic, and rustic is a lot of what I sell,” Laurie said. “But I want them to see that we’re more than that.”
The new design center helps Laurie achieve that goal, strategically placing new, unusual and unique things that fit into an Adirondack lifestyle.
“A lot of people in this town come in and say, ‘Laurie, we really want to support local business, we really want to support you, but we don’t want twigs in our house,’” she said. “I have an alternative. I can share something with you that’s vintage, that’s Stickley-like, that’s Arts & Crafts ... that really works in an Adirondack home.”
The fabric center in Queensbury can create whatever people need: window treatments, bedding, pillows and upholstery.
As for the new building in the back of the Hudson River Trading Company, that’s where people will see the biggest change.
The barn will come down, and a cafe/art gallery and garden center will be built in its place. There will even be room to park a motorcoach.
“They’re going to be able to walk from a motorcoach in to my cafe, get a tray, and go sit in the garden surrounded by birdfeeders and chimes and plants,” Laurie said. “And I’ll have a vegetable garden stand down there where I’ll be able to sell local produce all summer long.”
There’s still plenty of work to be done — with approvals, renovations and construction — but for now, Laurie is well on her way to expanding the Hudson River Trading Company, for her family and her hometown of North Creek.
“This is exciting for me, and what’s even more exciting is where I’m going,” Laurie said. “I’m trying to build something that my daughters will be excited to come home to and take over.”
For more information about the Hudson River Trading Company and the Outlet Center, call 251-4461 or visit online at www.hudsonrivertradingco.com. The stores are open at 9:30 a.m. daily.