New Spot, Same Old Soul
How One Entrepreneur Continues to Grow
The ink had barely dried on Kt Teaney’s lease for her downtown Plattsburgh store when she decided Old Soul had outgrown the space.
The Plattsburgh artisan and businesswoman relocated a stone’s throw away, trading in her shop on City Hall Place for one more than six times its size at 124 Margaret St. Old Soul opened at its former location in August 2020, and with upwards of 50 artisans’ work, plus Teaney’s, there wasn’t room for much else.
The Margaret Street shop has two distinct sides: one for artisans to rent booths and shelf space, the other a bar and seating area where customers can relax among a jungle of plants, dark brick walls and furniture Teaney has transformed.
“Think of this side as my booth: the bar, the furniture I flip and the plants,” Teaney said.
The rented space affords an opportunity for artisans to be their own bosses, promoting and selling their products. The space can also be rented for classes in yoga, macramé, painting and anything else that inspires creativity.
The addition of a bar, seating area and a stage, which will host performances by local musicians, encourages an inclusive, relaxing hang-out space for customers. Teaney’s flipped furniture creates a warm, comfortable atmosphere and customers can buy the items if they desire.
Since the expansion, Teaney is yet to give herself a paycheck. Her first priority is to create an environment for people to be themselves and get inspired. The vintage-filled space has an individualistic character that blends with the artisan’s work to bring a fresh, lively feel.
Despite not having taken any business classes, Teaney’s spontaneous and varied background made this collaborative operation an ideal endeavor. As a SUNY Plattsburgh student, she changed her major five times and graduated in 2014 with an individualized studies degree. She studied teaching, music, women’s studies and sociology.
The up-and-coming entrepreneur worked 75 to 100 hours a week at Oval Craft Brewing Co. and the Monopole where she began developing a relationship with the people of Plattsburgh.
In her twenties, Teaney moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she worked as a nanny. She also solo traveled with her dog, Arnold, to California and other parts of the country for about a year, immersing herself in many different business styles, experiencing culture outside of upstate New York.
In 2016, the 24-year-old traveler decided to move back to Plattsburgh because she missed the Monopole and her home. However, once the pandemic took over in March of 2020, Teaney began feeling restless and was looking for a way to implement her ideas.
“I felt like I was hitting a ceiling,” she said. “I really had nothing to lose.”
Teaney opened the City Hall Place store in August 2020. She continued to work at a local bar, but wanted more room to put certain ideas into motion.
“I was either going to be the change I wanted to see, or I was going somewhere where that was,” Teaney said.
Now, with room to feature products of local artisans and Nintendo 64s available to play at the bar, Teaney created a space for her own old soul, a space where she doesn’t feel pressure to fit in the mindset of people her own age and a space where community members can relax or socialize and view the works of local artisans as well as her own featured products. Despite all of the changes, the creative heart of Old Soul remains.
story by Johanna Weeks