Pin It

Art of Business: Catskill Art & Office Supply 

click to enlarge art-of-biz_catskill_pencils.jpg

Art of Listening

Catskill Art and Office Supply has been the Hudson Valley's go-to for over three decades, offering framing, copying, and graphic design services along with about 30,000 different products for makers of all persuasions, from kids working on school projects to prominent artists, from lovers seeking a greeting card to business-folk putting together presentations. We spoke with founder and owner Paul Solis-Cohen about his success story and the reasons behind it.

So your first location was Woodstock?

Yes, in 1978. It's a real artist's town. Lots of artists, musicians, writers, and people who love them, and people who may not identify as any of the above but just love to create. We didn't have a clue about building inventory; we asked customers what they wanted and went and got it. Today, we have the largest inventory, in terms of scope and breadth, of any store I've ever seen—and I've checked them out worldwide. Everything imaginable in the realm of art, we stock. These are old forms of expression constantly being reimagined, especially out on the fringes—things like fabric arts, calligraphy, origami, digital art. We carry every kind of sculpture tool, everything for people who want to carve or etch or do silkscreen. If people want to explore the periphery, we're the supplier and the guide. Our staff are artists themselves. They listen to needs, they get excited, they're eager to interact in a way that goes beyond the typical retail experience.

And you've done well with office supplies, which seem like a related but very different world.

Commercial office supplies were a means to an end. We got into that in Poughkeepsie 20 years ago. We had contracts with the state, the colleges, the hospitals—we bid on and won the New York State supply contract year after year. We serviced those customers to such a high degree that we became top choice. That division was purchased by Staples in 2006, though we still carry retail office supplies. Bottom line, it's all about listening to and keeping an eye on your community and customers—if your eye is really on the ball, you'll play well.

Speaking of...

  • Tinker Street
  • Tinker Street

    The first series of readings out of Tinker Street will be on May 28 at 3pm.
    • Apr 14, 2017
  • GARNER Arts Festival –  May 20/21 – 11am – 6pm, Rain or Shine
  • GARNER Arts Festival – May 20/21 – 11am – 6pm, Rain or Shine

    GARNER Arts Festival celebrates art with exhibitions, performances, open studios, workshops and demonstrations throughout 14 acres of pre-Civil War industrial spaces. Food trucks, kids’ art workshops, and on on-site craft brewery round out the weekend. Kids under 14 free!
    • Apr 13, 2017
  • Woodstock Bookfest
  • Woodstock Bookfest

    In its 8th year, the formerly named Woodstock Writers Festival has announced its lineup of panels, keynote speakers, and workshops for 2017.
    • Apr 13, 2017
  • More »
  • Owner, Paul Solis-Cohen, speaks to over three decades of success for Catskill Art & Office Supply.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Close Look: Artist Meleko Mokgosi in Conversation @ The Williams College Museum of Art

Close Look: Artist Meleko Mokgosi in Conversation

Thu., April 27, 4 p.m. — Curator of Contemporary Art, Lisa Dorin and Artist Meleko Mokgosi discuss process...
Glass Bending Workshop with Suzanne McClelland and Dorie Guthrie @ The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Glass Bending Workshop with Suzanne McClelland and Dorie Guthrie

Thu., April 27, 6-8 p.m. — Ages 14 and up (participants under 18 must be accompanied by an...

View all of today's events

Latest in Visual Art

  • GARNER Arts Festival –  May 20/21 – 11am – 6pm, Rain or Shine
  • GARNER Arts Festival – May 20/21 – 11am – 6pm, Rain or Shine

    GARNER Arts Festival celebrates art with exhibitions, performances, open studios, workshops and demonstrations throughout 14 acres of pre-Civil War industrial spaces. Food trucks, kids’ art workshops, and on on-site craft brewery round out the weekend. Kids under 14 free!
    • Apr 13, 2017
  • On The Cover: John Fallon
  • On The Cover: John Fallon

    "Performance: Paintings by John Fallon" are on exhibit through May 31 at Gillette's FRG Objects & Design/ Art gallery, on the second floor at 217 Warren Street in Hudson.
    • Apr 1, 2017
  • Engage Film Series at Upstate Films
  • Engage Film Series at Upstate Films

    Upstate Films will be kicking off their Engage Film Series with I Am Not Your Negro on April 1.
    • Apr 1, 2017
  • More »

Related to Visual Art

More by Anne Pyburn Craig

  • On The Cover: John Fallon

    "Performance: Paintings by John Fallon" are on exhibit through May 31 at Gillette's FRG Objects & Design/ Art gallery, on the second floor at 217 Warren Street in Hudson.
    • Apr 1, 2017
  • Art of Business: Paving The Way

    Lorne Browe, proprietor of L. Browe Asphalt, discusses how paving is a craft that takes years to master.
    • Apr 1, 2017
  • Art of Business: My Analyst Told Me...

    Barbara Boris discusses how Woodstock yoga studios came to be.
    • Apr 1, 2017
  • More »

Hudson Valley Tweets