â€œHope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.â€
â€” Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese monk and activist
â€“ Suzanne and Mark Winkelman
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We are so happy to welcome Rust and Shine as our new next door neighbor. They house a collection of vendor shops in 12,000 square feet of space. The front retail space showcases jewelry, pottery, maple syrup, CBD oils, blown glass, cookies, handmade soaps, clothing, and much more. Adjoining that space are two floors of additional vendor space set up as co-ops, much like an indoor flea market. Thirty-five vendors currently occupy booths selling a variety of itemsâ€”mostly antiques and collectibles.
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In the tradition of years past, we had a busy 2019 at the Pajama Factory with a wide range of events, classes, and fundraisers.
With a full calendar of community meals, performances, gallery openings, pop-up dinners, drag shows, anniversaries, weddings, concerts, and of course open studios, there was something for everyone.
Our artists-in-residence this past year
Our big annual events Green-o-Ree, Octofest, the Holiday Market, and our New Years Eve Eve Blues Bash were a huge success.
Holiday Market sing along
Annual Blues Bash
We also hosted our first every TEDx and a blacklight yoga sound bath event (which Mark and I unfortunately missed!).
Blacklight yoga soundbath
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We were THRILLED when the state of Pennsylvania officially recognized the growing importance of the Pajama Factory as a burgeoning social and economic pillar within the Williamsport and Lycoming County with the approval of a $2,000,000 grant (yes that’s million!)
We will be using the money to pave our parking lots, put on new roofs, install new heating and air conditioners throughout the complex, and hopefully build a kitchen for a farm-to-table restaurant. In order to leverage the grant to its fullest potential we will need to match the stateâ€™s investment with our own funds. If you or anyone you know would be interested in supporting this project, please let us know.
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Over the past year we built and rented another 18 studios on the 3rd floor including 4 residential studio lofts â€” two of which are now operating Airbnb units (please come visit when traveling again). We now have 133 studio spaces rented to over 120 different tenants!
We are currently working on completing another 18 studios on the 4th floor. While the construction is about 50% completed with 8 studios pre-leased, we have had to pause all further construction as dictated by the governor in an effort to flatten the curve. We will restart this effort as soon as it is safe to do so.
Before the construction pause, we were also in the midst of building out a sandwich shop and are actively looking for someone to run it. If you know of anyone who may be interested, please send them our way.
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After 10 years in the works it is finally done!
The elevator passed the state inspection on Thursday March 19th.
The passenger elevator is truly a standout symbol of the continued growth and vitality of the Pajama Factory. One of our artist tenants painted the entire shaft in blacklight fluorescent paint making the trip to our planned beer garden on the roof (someday) a real trip!
A â€˜Grand Openingâ€™ celebration will be scheduled sometime in the future. Most importantly, however, the elevator will allow complete access throughout the building for anyone with limited mobility We are now working on an appropriate elevator music track â€” stay tuned!
Take a mini-tour!
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Greetings to our Pajama Factory community,
Given the extraordinary circumstances facing all of us right now, we felt it was important to reach out to our community.
These past weeks have been a massive readjustment for all of us and it is becoming clear that we may not all be back to normal for some time to come.
During this difficult period, the well-being of our tenants, visitors and employees is of utmost importance. We are closely monitoring the latest developments and following the necessary guidelines set by the CDC, the World Health Organization and our state and local government agencies. As a result, for the immediate future, we are operating with a skeleton building crew to assure the building is clean and operational for all our tenants.
However, we continue to welcome all of our tenants seeking a break from home as the privacy of each studio allows for tenants to keep safe and maintain social distancing.
In the midst of this COVID-19 news, there have been some positive developments at the factory that we felt was worth sharing so as to offer a break from the virus updates.
Wishing health to our community—both near and far!!
Suzanne and Mark
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Our courtyard: a place of gathering, community, inspiration, seasons, change, laughter, reflection and so much more!
Top: Gateway designed by Mark; inspired by his time living in Japan.
Bottom: Mural by LA artist Jesse Draxler
â€“ Suzanne and Mark Winkelman
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We started the AIR program about 10 years ago and are excited that we are able to continue to support such an important initiative for our arts community. The residency will be from June 7th – August 2nd and include a final exhibition for the community in the Factory Works gallery space. AIR recipients will receive furnished housing, studio space and access to a clay studio, photo lab, woodshop, printmaking studio and fiber arts studio- all available on site.
The deadline for applications is April 15th. You can get more information and apply to the program online at the AIR website.
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Although we were sad to have Val Beggs move back to Maine last year we are equally excited to have Leslie Smith take over the Fiber Arts Studio, now called â€˜The Pajama Factory Sewcial Circle.â€™ Leslie facilitates many classes, for both beginners and experts, which are a great way to meet new people and design challenging pieces. Mark and I were the lucky recipients of one of her beautiful woven containers which came filled with Christmas cookies during the holidays!
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