OUR STORY: WHAT DOES SJ VINTAGE 1923 MEAN?
So many times through out the day we get curious questions about how we came up with our store name. SJ stands for Sentimental Journies which was a past life for us.
Vintage...well who doesn't love a vintage inspired life style. The 1923 is the most
special. 1923 was the year our Grandmother was born. One of the women in our lives
who gave us our appreciation for family, tradition, love of simple things and showed
We are two sisters who grew up in the beautiful Hudson Valley in the town of Newburgh. If you have never had the opportunity to visit the Hudson Valley you should definitely put it on your bucket list. It is so rich in history, architecture and culture. These things and our deep sense of family is what inspires us every day. Growing up, our love of creativity, our sense of independence and our can do spirit came directly from our Mom and our Grandmother. We remember and talk frequently about our lake adventures at our Grandmas, Sunday family dinners, taking our grandmas jewelry apart to bedazzle everything before bedazzling was cool, glittering everything humanly possible, loving Woolworths for fun funky finds, our Mom doing home improvements all by herself, watching our mom painting ceramics and to help make those burlap flowers till our fingers fell off.
The journey we traveled that led us to this place in time was not a separate journey. As far back as we can remember the one rule we insisted on was birthday, Christmas or any other holiday where a gift was given, was handmade. Once our Mom started showing our handmade gifts to friends and other family members, we had requests for pieces. We loved what we did so much we were thrilled to accept orders. We had such great feedback we decided to do an open house twice a year and so Sentimental Journies was born. The Spring Soiree and The Winter Gala became annual events. With such a tremendous outpouring of support, we expanded the two events to include local artists. We believe every artist should have a platform to show their work more than a few times a year which is why we currently show 22 artists in our shop.
Coming from corporate careers we felt unfulfilled and decided to take another path. Over a cup of coffee we decided it was time to take leap of faith. It was now or never. So the hunt for the perfect studio space began. We know having a creative outlet in your life is critical for your mental health & well being. Having time to decompress and do something that makes you happy in this fast paced life is so important to us. When looking for our space, we knew having a workshop studio area was a must. On our checklist was first and foremost a comfortable size studio area then enough retail space for our upcycled furniture, home décor, vintage wares and handmade artist goods.
What sets us apart is our ability to provide a unique gift, an artisan handmade gift or taking studio time and making your very own to give. The workshops we teach weekly in the studio have cultivated a creative atmosphere. People stop in and call with questions such as is this for beginners, can I do this, I’m not crafty or I can’t paint. We always say you absolutely can do this. We will teach you. We give encouragement, the space, the tools and direction to complete the project in a way that expresses their individuality. Art is in the eye of the beholder. There is no wrong way.
So many of our business choices involve the word community. When the idea of DIY studio projects came about we immediately thought how great would it be to teach people weekly. We have 8 participants that start off coming to the studio individually, bring a friend or family member and at the end of 2 hours have chatted enough they leave friends and sometimes say see you next week! It amazes us every time how many know each other and wind up reconnecting or reminiscing around the table while being creative.
Hence our hash tag #getaseatatthebigtable
While the workshops were definitely a part of the big picture we have evolved in how we offer them. We offer classes weekly, by special request we have added kids DIY studio time, host your own workshop night and team building projects for any group. While the planning, prep work & supply gathering is hard work...we love it! Our classes consist of, mixed media, needle felting, wood projects, painting techniques and altered art.