Jay Gurewitsch (that’s me writing this and everything else on this site) created Arcadia in November of 2000 in a tiny little space on West 19th Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Famous for the rock garden/candle department in the back of the store and the “found object” displays throughout, it was fun, funky, and got overcrowded if more than 5 people were in the store at once.
In 2006, Arcadia moved around the corner to perhaps the most famous location in all of Chelsea, the former Big Cup location on Eighth Avenue off 22nd Street. A gloriously huge, two floor location with 14’ ceilings, eight full sized manzanita trees inside the store and a Dr. Hauschka spa, it was an incredibly beautiful space – but it foundered on the rocks of the Great Recession.
In 2013, I decided to stop waiting for the old economy to return and moved again to a mid-sized, much more affordable space around the corner on West 23rd Street off 8th Avenue, but I gradually reached a tipping point where my online business was more profitable than the “brick and mortar” business. Combined with getting married and the skyrocketing prices of real estate in NYC, leaving NYC entirely gradually became the logical next step.
After many years of vacationing in Provincetown, Massachusetts at the very tip of Cape Cod and loving it in every season and all weather, my husband and I decided that Provincetown was where we wanted to start fresh, set new roots, live out our sustainability values and begin a new life together. In the time since moving from NYC in 2015, we have renovated a house, planted a huge vegetable garden and a small fruit orchard (20 trees and counting), and become a part of this wonderful and unique community. Famous as the oldest artist colony in the United States and the original landing site of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, Provincetown is an incredibly beautiful town with almost daily spectacular sunrises and sunsets over water – one of many things that makes Provincetown so unique and special.
The next incarnation of Arcadia at 131 Commercial was a tiny little lily pad of a space, smaller even than our first location on West 19th Street, but it gave me a great sense of the possibilities of Arcadia succeeding in Provincetown. Unfortunately, the building was put up for sale shortly before my 2 year initial lease was up and I was given 30 days notice to move out. Thankfully, a much larger space, just 185 feet further west at 131 Commercial Street, became available at the same time so I jumped at the chance for a larger space on two floors.
As has been the case since the founding of Arcadia in 2000, I maintain my core values:
- Old school customer service, including complimentary gift boxing and FREE SHIPPING within the United States via USPS Priority Mail.
- An extraordinary level of product knowledge – Arcadia has become famous for the depth of my product knowledge including techniques used, materials sourcing and artist history.
- A firm commitment to ethical sourcing of all products. Wherever possible, I purchase directly from the artists who hand make the items I sell. Products purchased from the developing world are purchased from members of the Fair Trade Federation. This ensures that the people who make our products are the people who profit from your purchase, and that it is made in an environmentally responsible way. For more information about the Fair Trade Federation and the important work they do, go to https://www.fairtradefederation.org/
- A firm commitment to protecting the environment. All my packaging materials are 100% recycled and recyclable, including our tissue paper, gift boxes, shipping boxes, and shopping bags. I purchase supplies made in the USA, from as close as possible to Provincetown to reduce their footprint further. 100% of our lighting is LED, dramatically reducing our electrical usage.
I look forward to seeing you at my store at 131 Commercial Street in Provincetown, MA. We are open year round on weekends, open seven days a week from Memorial Day to New Years. For store hours, I suggest calling ahead and checking our answering machine or just contacting me via email.