New Paltz’s Rock Candy Vintage offers eclectic clothing and home goods

Owner Candace Schuster is pictured with her daughters Genevieve and Victoria. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

The village of New Paltz will soon have an eclectic new shop at 77 Main Street: Rock Candy Vintage. The store will feature vintage and new apparel and home goods along with handmade items sewn locally and art by local talent. The grand opening this Saturday, April 7 from noon to 5 p.m. promises “prizes, coupons, goodies and more,” and five percent of sales that day will be donated to the New York chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Rider Painting of Highland, who painted the outside of the building for the new shopkeepers, will match the donation.

Giving back to those in need is going to be an important part of the business, says proprietor Candace Schuster. “I’m running this business with my family, and social responsibility is a very important tenet for us. We really love the idea of making the effort to do this, because it’s about more than us.”

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Selling vintage items speaks to recycling and reusing, she notes, but they also have products in the store that give back a share of profits to charitable causes such as women surviving domestic abuse and animal rescue organizations. 

This is the first time Schuster has had a retail shop, although she says it has always been in the back of her mind to open a store like this since the time many years ago when she managed a small antique shop and art gallery in Highland, before moving on to utilize her degree in museum studies in the textile conservation field. “This is something I’ve always been drawn to doing, and it feels great to be doing it now,” she says. “It’s going to be a fun, funky little shop!”

Schuster says she plans to offer merchandise from small vendors and local artists and sewers as much as possible. 

Daughter Victoria Schuster is the buyer for Rock Candy Vintage. “She has an incredibly cool aesthetic,” says Candace, “so it was natural to go to her. She finds pieces that just feel right for the store. Some things will be vintage or antique, some will not, but all of it will feel like it flows in the store. Anything we feel is really cool and belongs in the shop.”

Candace’s other daughter, Genevieve Schuster, is the general manager and is also in charge of the art end of things, finding the local artists whose work they’ll carry on commission.

Husband, Rich, won’t be involved in the day-to-day operations, but he, too, has been involved with renovations to the shop.

Rock Candy Vintage is opening in the space that used to house Aphrodite’s Antiques (that business now moved to the hamlet of Highland). The Schusters closed out the store in its final days mid-March. “A lot of people stopped in,” says Candace. “We met a lot of people and a few that have some really impressive artwork.”

The Schusters have lived in Clintondale for more than 20 years, but “New Paltz has been the town we’ve always shopped in, and my daughters are SUNY New Paltz alums. Seeing it from the other side of the counter now, it’s been incredible how welcoming and friendly everyone in New Paltz is. We’re excited about being here.”

Shop hours are, for the moment, noon to 5 p.m. six days a week (closed on Wednesdays). The store will likely remain open until 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, but all of the hours remain flexible right now until the business is up and running and the Schusters can see what’s called for.

More information is available by calling (845) 255-1090 or visit Rock Candy Vintage on Facebook.

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