Explore the Shirt Factory in Glens Falls NY

by Cie McCullough Buschle on June 15, 2012

in Arts and Culture

Ever wonder what happens when factories stop being factories? Drive up to Glens Falls this weekend and find out!

Back in 1902 the McMullen-Leavens Company constructed a building on the side streets of Glens Falls for the purposes of making shirts. This factory, later part of the Troy Shirt Makers Guild, closed in 1996, but was reborn a mere three years later as The Shirt Factory of Glens Falls.

Only now, it is no longer a place where shirts are made. Instead this old building has been given new life as a home to artists, artisans, and other small businesses.

Along the First Floor, The Shirt Factory in Glens Falls, NY

Inside the Shirt Factory are places that are part store, part art gallery, part classroom, part artist’s loft. It is a haven for the young, the artistic, the talented, but also the unique. Here you will find yoga instruction as well as pottery classes, massage and acupuncture, garden consultation, photographers, graphic designers, even a Kung Fu academy.

Sea of Tea at SensibiliTeas, The Shirt Factory, Glens Falls, NY

My first stop is always SensibiliTeas , for a nice cup of iced teas. Owner Donnalynn is brilliant in blending tea, matching the perfect tea for any food, and figuring out what flavor you might like based solely on your favorite color.

Next door is the amazing Moss and Friends: Fiber Arts Plus. Guaranteed you’ve never seen quilting like this before! This is textile art that literally stands in a class by itself.

Flux silver gallery, the next shop in this hallway, is home to the work of three young female silversmiths. Their elegant, sculptural art jewelry is unique and individual. Girard Stoneware offers a touch of Parisian style with Potter Patrick Girard’s stoneware and other unique gifts.

Girard Stoneware, First Floor, The Shirt Factory in Glens Falls, NY

These are just four stops on the first floor I always make, to browse and explore what is new. I encourage you to explore the many hallways of this old factory and find your own favorites, like Kate Austin-Avon Art which is worth a hike up to the third floor just to see what Kate is up to next, or The Adirondack Chandler, who hand dips candles down in the Garden Level.

Don’t just shop – Create!

Don’t think for a second that The Shirt Factory is just about shopping and drinking tea! As much as each artist and artisan loves to exhibit their work, they also like to show others how to create on their own. The Teachers of The Shirt Factory will help you explore your creative side in mediums such as clay, glass, metal, fabric and beads. Improve – or find! – your photography and painting skills. Learn more about the herbs in your garden, or the spiritual side of your own body.

Go See It!

The Shirt Factory in Glens Falls, NY (photo courtesy of Kate Austin-Avon)

One of the best times to visit this amazing place is this weekend! The Shirt Factory is having an Open House, which means the hallways will be packed with even more talented people vending their wares. Studios will be open throughout the building. Get there early and get a free tote bag! The Open House runs on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

The Shirt Factory is located at the corner of Lawrence and Cooper Streets in Glens Falls. It has three main floors and one Garden Level, plus two parking lots. All of the over 75 shops and business are accessible from either parking lot, or from one of the two street entrances.

Know that the stores, studios and galleries of The Shirt Factory are individually owned, and as such their hours are set by the individual owners. If you want to stop by one shop in particular, check the hours out on their website or give them a call.

(photo of the outside of the Shirt Factory courtesy of Kate Austin-Avon)

While you’re in the area…

Chocolate On My Mind – A visit to the Chocolate Mill Café in downtown Glens Falls

| Cie McCullough Buschle lives with her dog Einstein and a cat named Burton Guster. She is a lifelong traveler and enjoys researching history through holidays, toys, and everyday objects. Cie is a sculptor and co-owns The Creative Chameleon, a place where kids and adults can create, paint, celebrate, and just have a lot of fun. Sometimes you can find her time traveling back to the Middle Ages as part of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

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