For the Love of It

I am raising money to get through the remainder of our 8 week lease at our studio in midtown Manhattan. That is the short story, for more, please read on.

 My husband and I have been on a 20 year small business journey, and now we need your help.  We have risked everything to keep our creative loft going - for the love of it - and for the community we've built and continue to nurture.  A creative haven; our world is FASHION - ART(s) & BEAUTY. We established our concept space on the Upper East Side and relocated here in mid-town west, ten years ago. 20 all together. Our lease is set to expire March 31st at 10am - yes, the lease actually says that. We are a salon/gallery/boutique who has had artists go from our wall to the walls at the Brooklyn Museum and the  gift shop at MOMA. Our patrons include grad students, professors, authors, screen-writers, musicians, actors, some of which are best-sellers, award nominees and winners, on Broadway or Broadway-bound, we even have a women's fencing champion! What a journey it has been thus far.

All in all, we will walk away with nothing to show for it by most people’s standards, but oh my goodness the people we have met, worked along side of, promoted and represented. It has been such an honor. We will be walking away with approximately $150,000 in debt, nothing in the bank and no retirement funds. We didn’t expect this, but when you love something as much as we have loved our space, everyone and everything coming through it, well, any creative lover would have done the same thing I suppose. Life in this moment, is extremely stressful. I am asking for help so that we can float in a calmer state to the end of our lease. Financial institutions have harmed more than helped us along the way, and we just want to stay in good standing until our next chapter presents itself. Achieving our goal will enable us to do that. April 1st, we will continue on in some capacity, sourcing talent and representing them without the enormous overhead it has taken thus far. It was tough enough starting out, but has gotten even worse over the last 5-6 years. We aren’t quitters, and asking for help means I am just about at the end of my rope. 

I understand many people and businesses are in the same boat, and some of us here on this platform  give to causes that speak to us, giving those in the boat a little bit of hope. It’s an opportunity for those in the boat to feel that our sacrifices over the years meant something. That our community will come together and pitch in because we truly need you - and for those of you who can give - giving feels good, and we thank you.

A quick summary of examples out of our control: Rent is 40% more than when we moved into this location - Real Estate Taxes went from app $100/month to app $1,000/month - Our trash pick-up went from $35/month to over $80/month - product tubes we use in our color department more than doubled. I don’t own a cell phone, don’t have a gym membership, haven’t been on a vacation since 2014, before that was 2006 - and am overdue for all my exams; no health insurance, and yes, there have been issues in that department. 

This is just one hard working American’s story. I know this. I’m not unique in the category. I am not the only one who’s showing up and not able to get by - so please, give if you can, if you understand, if you’ve been there. Please know that my goal will be; to be able to do the same for someone else when I am once again stable on my own two feet.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; It is the courage to continue that counts." -Winston Churchill
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Marianna Ranieri-Schwarzer 
New York, NY
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