Dear Clay Pot Family,
It is with much heartache that I announce that I am permanently closing our Spring Street store as of May 31st.
Like all the non-essential businesses that were shut down in March, we have struggled to find a way to survive. Unfortunately, the almost total loss of revenue, combined with a rent that has escalated well beyond what most businesses could bear, leads us to this difficult decision.
When the pandemic hit, I approached my landlord to see if we could figure out a solution to go forward, but the only solution he could come up with was that I continue to pay the rent. To do so, with little revenue and no certainties about the future for a business that relies on face to face interaction, did not seem like a tenable plan.
The Clay Pot has a strong history of reinvention, and so I have had to reimagine the Clay Pot yet again. Working mostly out of my home, my trusty side-kick Faran is here and we are running the best e-commerce site on the planet. We are now offering one on one shopping consults, by appointment, virtually of course! Check the home page for more details.
We are creating The Clay Pot Market Place - which will feature emerging jewelry designers, pottery, and other crafts. More details on that to come soon. We are very excited about the possibilities this brings.
Over the past few months, I co-founded We Built This, a grassroots coalition of small businesses in NYC. What started as a text thread is now a powerhouse of a coalition, with regular meetings with the city council, state assembly, and members of congress. We are collecting signatures for a petition to Albany that demands 90-day rent relief on commercial leases to help small businesses survive. We need to find more ways as a community to support independent businesses, so storefronts don’t remain empty at the end of this. Steve Levin and Brad Lander have co-sponsored a Commercial Rent Relief bill that could put an end to some of the predatory lease practices that define commercial real estate in NYC.
If you have an idea of how you can help, know another small business that is struggling or assistance to offer we would love to talk to you. Click here
The Clay Pot opened 51 years ago in a very different Brooklyn and a simpler time for a small business. The rent was $125 a month. The last rent check I wrote was 160x that. Closing our store is not the end of our journey - we are WAY to scrappy for that, but rather a new beginning, and I hope that you will join us in our new adventures.
Lastly, please be in touch! I have really enjoyed hearing from those that have sent notes or just called to say hi. We're in this together and sometimes a bit of normalcy really helps.
With Friendship and Solidarity,