What was the inspiration behind Stomping Grounds?
Stomping Grounds emerged from my career as a seller of used and rare books. About 15 years ago, as part of my work, I purchased a large collection of antique Geneva postcards. I thought the scenes shown on the postcards would make beautiful wall art, which, eventually, led to investing in a large format scanner, a fine art printer, and custom framing equipment. We started off reproducing scenes from old photos, vintage postcards, and antique maps sourced from old books. New books, special gifts, greeting cards and additional framing services were added over time. The store was named “Stomping Grounds” because much of what we do celebrates Finger Lakes culture and local history.
What is the mission and focus of your shop?
To curate a selection of beautiful gifts and interesting books, to celebrate the history and culture of the Finger Lakes, and to provide high quality custom framing services to protect and display our customers’ art and mementos.
What do you enjoy most about running your business?
The surprised ‘OOOOOOH’ sound customers make when they see the store for the first time, and the fact that there is no other store exactly like Stomping Grounds.
What is the best part about owning and operating a brick and mortar location in the Finger Lakes Region?
The very best part is the relationships we form with customers and other local business owners. People in the Finger Lakes tend to be collaborative and supportive of each other. The tourist traffic in the Finger Lakes is also great for us. It supplements business in the summer and fall.
Where do you see your business in the next 10 years?
My plan is to continue sourcing great merchandise, making the store even more fun and beautiful, and refining our skills and systems. In ten years I expect I’ll be stepping back and, hopefully, transitioning Stomping Grounds into the hands of a new owner who wants to continue helping the store grow and thrive.
What are some of your favorite ways that you enjoy the Finger Lakes Region?
In Geneva, where I live, there is always a lot going on. I’m grateful that we have so many wineries, restaurants, and event venues like the Smith Center for the Arts and the Cracker Factory. For quiet time I like to take photos, so getting out into our parks to see the seasons changing or walking neighborhood streets looking at old architecture is especially fun for me.