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Jane's Exchange

Jane's Exchange 1 Childrens Clothing Consignment For Kids Alphabet City East Village Loisaida

“The store is so important and a big part of the community. We didn’t want to lose it,” explained Yelena Ferrer, who owns Jane’s Exchange together with her husband, Rodney, and Jane, the daughter of the shop’s founder.

Eva Dorsey, a single mom-to-be, was seeking a consignment store for young mothers and children that was closer to her East Village home. Unable to find one, she took it upon herself to open Jane’s Exchange — named after her daughter — on Avenue A and East 7th. She sold her concept door to door, drumming up excitement from other moms at local daycares, parks, and schools. Over the years, it became a neighborhood fixture, offering maternity and kids’ clothing, baby gear, and toys “from books to bicycles.”

In 2018, Yelena and Rodney, parents to four children and frequent visitors to the store, learned that Eva was struggling to keep Jane’s Exchange open. They felt compelled to save the beloved business and became its new owners. When the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic hit and Eva chose to fully retire, Jane Dorsey joined the store as the third partner.

Today, Jane’s Exchange continues to be a whimsical space where everyone can stop by and browse its selection of specialty toys, check the donation bin, or read one’s child a story in the cozy library. “We created a place that people are always welcome to walk into with their family.”

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Jane's Exchange 1 Childrens Clothing Consignment For Kids Alphabet City East Village Loisaida
Jane's Exchange 2 Childrens Clothing Consignment For Kids Alphabet City East Village Loisaida
Jane's Exchange 3 Childrens Clothing Consignment For Kids Alphabet City East Village Loisaida
Jane's Exchange 4 Childrens Clothing Consignment For Kids Alphabet City East Village Loisaida
Jane's Exchange 5 Childrens Clothing Consignment For Kids Alphabet City East Village Loisaida

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The Book Club

Book Club isn’t just for the suburbs anymore — as a new bookshop, bar and coffeehouse gives East Village denizens and beyond a new place to pore over and pour over their favorite reads. Married proprietors Erin Neary and Nat Esten, East Village residents themselves, had longed for an independent bookstore to serve the Alphabet City area, they told the Manhattan Sideways team when we popped in to see dozens of happy customers enjoying a read and a latte one sunny Friday morning. “We always thought that the neighborhood needed another bookstore, ” said Erin, “and we also kept wondering, ‘Wouldn't it be so cool if you could drink wine while you were shopping for books? ’” They decided not only to open a bookstore and bar, but to additionally add in the day-to-night-element of coffee into the mix. While both Erin and Nat had worked in hospitality before, bookselling was new to them. “I started doing research in 2017 and worked with the American Booksellers Association’s consulting program to help new bookstores get off the ground, ” said Erin. “I met with them as well as other bar owners and bookstore owners in the neighborhood and did as much research as I could without actually doing it. ” The duo launched Book Club in November 2019, enjoying an enthusiastic community reception until COVID-19 forced them to pivot. “Nate started doing bike deliveries — as many as 20 miles a day! ” Erin told us. “He’d go out to Harlem to drop off books and then all the way out to Bushwick — so a lot of people learned about the store that way. ”Once they were able to reopen to the public, Book Club forged full steam ahead in engaging the community in “book club”-esque events — from author talks to poetry readings to creative writing workshops, with additional unique offerings like an adult spelling bee and a “drink and draw” sketching class. They’ve also recently received their full liquor license, and plan to roll out literary-themed cocktails like an In Cold Bloody Mary or the Murder on the Orient Espresso Martini, Erin told us. More than anything, she added, she enjoyed having customers back in the store to guide them toward their next favorite book. “Our staff are not just really good baristas, but they’re avid readers as well. So between myself and the rest of the team, we have a really good handle on the books here — it’s fun to be able to curate not just what we stock, but to get the right book into someone’s hands. ”