Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
My name is Ariane Krenichyn and I'm the owner of Abode, a vintage mid-century furniture and home goods store in the Swillburg neighborhood. I also have a full-time career working as a focus group moderator (which I love) and am on the Advisory Council at Neighborworks Rochester. I live in Perinton with my partner, Derek and our grumpy old French Bulldog, Lucy. On the rare occasion that I have free time, you can usually find me playing volleyball or hiking.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
A zookeeper! If you have ever seen me around literally any animal, this will make total sense. Animals create an immediate sense of joy in me that's hard to replicate. Animals melt my brain.
How did you get started? What were some of the difficulties you faced in starting?
I started the business with a friend (shout out to Amanda Smythe) out of a shared love of finding treasures among things people were discarding. I love the idea of finding all the amazing pieces that already exist but aren't being showcased to their best advantage. It's still my favorite part of the business to this day, though it's rarely what I have time for anymore.
Oddly, starting the business was never a problem - it's keeping it going that takes grit. The excitement of a new venture can be an incredible motivator and in Abode's case, everything went almost suspiciously smoothly. It's been maintaining that's difficult - keeping stock, managing administrative tasks, balancing high and low seasons, etc.
In moments of self-doubt, hardships or failure, how do you build yourself back up?
My first line of defense is - with all seriousness - a good night's sleep. Everything always seems better with a little time and a new day. The second strategy I use is to focus on everything that's going RIGHT... whether in my business, my personal life, or just who I am and how I live my life. I live a charmed life for sure, though it can be easy to forget in a rough patch. It doesn't take too much reflection to realize how small a failure is in the greater realm of all the years behind and in front of me.
What is your best advice to someone just starting out? What advice do you wish someone had said to you?
Know what success is to you, what you want or need from the business in order to find joy in it. Also, be really clear about what defines failure for you. I think that you need to be prepared to walk away from a business if you need to, and having a clear picture of what that means can help you know when to push forward and when to forgive or let go.
What inspires you?
It may be weird coming from someone who collects things as a livelihood, but I am really inspired by minimalism. While I'm far from practicing it myself, I think there is something so wonderful in living with intention - from the clothes you wear to the items in your home to how you spend your time. Being intentional and limited in what I have and how I spend my energy always seems to result in an increase in my personal happiness and satisfaction.
What is your favorite part of what you do?
I still love the hunt most of all. Discovering something really beautiful or remarkable (even when it's just remarkably kitschy or ridiculous) makes me so, so happy. The idea that all these amazing things are just out there, waiting for the right person to discover them, keeps life full of a delightful sense of anticipation.
What do you find most challenging?
Personally, just finding enough time for it all. I love my life (and everything in it) but it often feels like it's completely maxed out. It's hard for me to do everything that I love and dedicate enough time to each thing to do it in the way it deserves. I definitely struggle with balance and saying no.
Name some local creatives that you really admire.
I'm more of a curator than a creator, which I think is a result of my pragmatist heart. Because of that, I find myself really admiring the people in our community who not only create something impressive, but do it in a way that clearly shows how hard they work and what a great head for business they have. I think some impressive examples of those who are both remarkable artists and business people are Laura Seymour (Hitch + Cord), Chuck Cerankosky (Good Luck, Radio Social, Cure, Bar Bantam), Tanvi Asher (Peppermint) and Seth Eschelman (Staach).