Weekly Feature

2017-07-12 / Business

Village Artisans to celebrate 10th anniversary

by HOLLY N. LIPKA Reporter

Debbie Steinbruckner, owner of Village Artisans, at 5560 Main St., Williamsville, checks out a bracelet display in her store. 
Photo by Jim SmerecakPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Debbie Steinbruckner, owner of Village Artisans, at 5560 Main St., Williamsville, checks out a bracelet display in her store. Photo by Jim SmerecakPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Village Artisans in Williamsville will celebrate its 10th year in business in August, or as owner Debbie Steinbruckner likes to call it, the store’s 10th birthday. Located at 5560 Main St., the store features the handcrafted works of dozens of Western New York artists.

A celebration of the anniversary will take place during Music on Main from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug, 17. There will be cake, refreshments, drawings for prizes and music from the Stonehouse Rock and Blues Band.

“I was and am the only store in Western New York that is all local and handmade,” said Steinbruckner. “I always thought how great it would be to have a store with all things Buffalo and created by Buffalo artists.”

The store has unique gifts for everyone, including jewelry, accessories, home decor, etchings, photography, greetings cards, soap and more that symbolize Buffalo.

For example, two artists who sell their work in the store take old Buffalo postcards and remake them. A lot of the remakes include a description of the original postcard with its picture.

Other artists create baby items such as little Buffalo onesies and baby quilts.

“I couldn’t even guess how many products we have,” said Steinbruckner.

Steinbruckner graduated from Alfred State University with a degree in retail management and spent more than 20 years in corporate retail- ing. She opened the store in 2007, even though she didn’t plan to.

“I went to see a rented space available and signed the lease the next day with no plan, no nothing,” said Steinbruckner. “I was sort of in the cloud, and I had to scramble to get some artists by going to some shows. It was the dumbest way to open a business.”

Steinbruckner also met a lot of artists when painting furniture.

“I had this icky table in my basement when we first moved in, and I was bored, had some acrylic paint laying around the house and just decided to paint it, and it actually turned out great,” she said.

After painting the first table, Steinbruckner would garbage pick and visit flea markets often for more furniture to paint. Some of the tables she painted are used in the store to hold merchandise.

When Steinbruckner first opened her store she had around 30 artists contributing their work. Today, she has more than 100.

“Just because you make the stuff doesn’t mean you have the personality to sell it,” she said. “That’s why it’s nice for some of these artists because we do the selling, we do the advertising and artists tend to like that.”

The store also highlights where in the world its items have gone, with a map and more than 80 pins marking six continents.

Steinbruckner said some of the items were bought before visitors returned home or when exchange students bought gifts for their host families. Pins mark places such as New Zealand, Australia, Greenland, Iceland, Alaska and all across Europe. One pin is placed in Washington, D.C., where an item from the store was given to a president.

“Someone from around the area worked in President Obama’s office, and when she found out she was being promoted, she wanted to bring him something from Buffalo as a thank you. It was a Buffalo golf towel,” she said.

To shop at the store, visit during its opening hours, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

“My goal with this store is for customers to look at all of our merchandise and go ‘Wow! What great gifts,’” said Steinbruckner.

For more information about the business, call 633-2384. More details about Village Artisans is also available on Facebook.

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