Different handmade clothes and ceramics from local artists are at Win/Win.
Reminder Publishing photo by Ryan Feyre

EASTHAMPTON — A new retail shop that benefits local and regional artists and makers, especially those who are typically underrepresented, is now cemented in the Easthampton community.

Win/Win officially opened at 2 Pine St. on April 14, offering a carefully curated collection of gifts and goods ranging from jewelry and ceramics, to handmade clothing, vintage wares, home décor, candles, locally-authored books and more.

“It’s mostly a commission of different local and regional artists, and there’s also vintage stuff from local people,” said Win/Win owner and founder Jay Weingarten, when talking about what the shop offers. “It’s local people with taste who are reasonably pricing their personal treasures. It’s more personal here than a traditional store.”

According to Weingarten, the store is a platform for unique products that one would rarely find in a traditional brick-and-mortar establishments.

“The stuff that is being sold here is normally in the nooks of the internet or at pop-up makers markets,” Weingarten said. “We’re a haven for people’s weird wares.”

A brief peruse through the store corroborates Weingarten’s vision. Some of the objects currently offered in the shop are luck-themed to reflect the store’s name and ethos, like keychains, crystals, home-made pants that are called “luckies” instead of “Dickies” and a “Winning” herbal spray, which Weingarten created to give users an extra bit of serendipity.

There are also ceramics, locally-made jewelry, plushies of stuffed creatures, items from children artists handwoven water bottle holders, hand-beaded earrings, handmade clothing, books, zines and other eccentric pieces like purses made out of stuffed animals that the artist’s children used to play with.

“What’s special about this place is people specifically made stuff for this store,” Weingarten said. “That’s what it’s all about for me is getting people to make weird things and have a place to sell them.”

Aside from the retail aspect of the shop, Weingarten also offers free consultations for all participating artists seeking to take their businesses to the next level.

“I work for several different types of programs that helps artists with the business aspect of their art stuff, so, helping them with figuring out how to do the financial aspect of their business … but also marketing themselves or how to kind of like upscale their projects if they’reinterested in doing that,” Weingarten said.

With that background at hand, Weingarten decided that the store would be a perfect haven for participating artists to talk about their business and where they are currently at in their journey.

“A lot of these people are in different stages of their artistic journey,” Weingarten said. “A lot of these artists are marginalized people, so helping them get connected to these systems that are really complicated and inaccessible is important to me.”

Another component of “Win/Win” is a monthly raffle event where patrons have an opportunity to donate to the mutual aid effort that the store chooses that month.

For example, Weingarten said the store is trying to accrue donations to support queer and trans Ugandans who are moving to the states because they are facing persecution in their home country.

Weingarten said when somebody donates, they will then spin a wheel to see how many raffle tickets they receive. The customers will then use those tickets to try and win a raffle basket full of locally crafted items from the store.

“Every month there’s going to be a different cause that we’re supporting and a different set of prizes,” said Weingarten. “So, there’s always a chance to win and support mutual aid efforts.”

Readers can learn more about Win/Win by visiting the website: https://winwinwinwin.online/. Weingarten said there will eventually be a sign-up form on the website for artists who want their work sold at the shop.

“We’re here to get a little weird and provide the unexpected,” Weingarten said. “We encourage our participating artists to experiment with their crafts, knowing they’ll have a space to showcase their new creations.”

rfeyre@thereminder.com | + posts