Sarah Krinsky has the brains of a dynamic fashion-focused business woman, the soul of an artist, and the heart of a community connector. Imagine starting a brick-and-mortar retail business while you also work another full-time job during a global pandemic. That’s exactly what Sarah did.
Sarah’s background and business
Sarah owns the W. Collective located on Main Street in Bennington with her business partner, Bri, and also works full-time at Bennington College in career development. She has a Masters Degree in arts administration and is fully committed to higher education. She also loves her store, W. Collective.
W. Collective is Sarah’s “passion project” and she lights up talking about not just the variety of vintage fashion and curated products from local women artists showcased there, but also the very strong community engagement focus of the store. Regular gatherings include author-led book readings, make-your-own floral arrangement workshops, tarot readings, local wine tasting and Yoga practices. Sarah describes the store as “a curated retail and café space that offers products that are ethically sourced and highlights women+ vendors and designers. Shop vintage clothing, accessories, home decor, plants and more while enjoying coffee and tea from our cafe.”
The business evolution
Sarah and Bri met for the first time just six months before the pandemic and still managed to hatch this unique, collaborative and connecting business which opened in July 2021. Presently open 4 days a week, Sarah looks forward to growing the business, possibly hiring on more help and being open 6 days a week. She sees this business model as scalable and and envisions many more collective shops with a local business, community engagement focus.
Her WBON Experience
If connecting Bennington College undergraduates with career-oriented internships and running W. Collective weren’t enough for this Staten Island raised cellist, Sarah serves as the co-coordinator of the Burlington chapter of WBON and is focused on growing WBON in Southern Vermont. As she said, “I would like to discover more ways to engage, collaborate, and network with fellow women-owned businesses in the southern region of Vermont.” I asked Sarah what she would say to a woman just starting her business and joining WBON. She got a bit philosophical and reflected ideas about exploring every possible resource and connecting with others who understand your vision and the viability of your business. She talked about challenges as “speed bumps” due to their ubiquitous nature but she was clear: they only slow us down momentarily. “Roll with them” she said, “take the shot.” She certainly has. Sarah comes across with an intelligence and grace wrapped inside tenacity, courage and remarkable energy. She’s well worth knowing and we are lucky to have her among us in WBON.
WBON members represent a diversity of industries, perspectives, and experiences. Be inspired by our Member Spotlight posts, an intimate look at one member, written by another WBON member. This month’s Member Spotlight was written by WBON member Heather Main, owner of Main Wellness Works.