Raised into an entrepreneurial family, I (Mandy) conceived the concept of Emma Downtown, named after my loving little 13lb Chinese Pug dog Emma, with my parents Eric & Peggy, and husband Matt (then fiancé). Dreaming of a little shop to fill with beautiful clothing, and whimsical things, I convinced my family to start an adventure that would take us all on the ride of our lives. Started March 17th, 2000, on Washington Street in Albany, Emma Downtown was our family’s second business. Soon after opening Emma Downtown, our family decided to close our first business 'Hatchards Antiques' to focus on the clothing shop that had proven to our family that we didn't have to work 7 days a week, 365 days a year, to be in business for ourselves! After hanging in through a rocky September 11th, economy crash, and an unstable nation, an opportunity came knocking at our door. Our old friend John Boock (our landlord at Hatchards) offered us to move back into our old building (422 First Ave. West), and expand our family business. After 3 months of grueling remodeling work for Eric and Matt, to make sure Emma Downtown didn't look like the once upon a time 'Hatchards,' we opened with a Grand Re-Opening party celebration September 9th 2004! We kicked the re-opening off with live jazz music, delectable treats, and shopping and visiting with all of our wonderful customers, our good friends.
Here we are 8 years after opening. Larger than we really ever set out to be, but still owned and operated by family, and our wonderful staff, Lila Graves, Lori Semmel, Barbara Grossman, Sarah Neuschwander, & Dani Lack, for whom we could never do it all without. We have three generations of girls working side by side each day, my mom Peggy, myself, and (Grand) daughters Isabella and Meritt Rose. We have more fun than mothers and daughters really should be able to have together. From our shopping excursions to fill our now 2000 sq foot shop, to our day to day, day-dreaming adventures, and the chaos that comes from having an toddler and a baby at work each day, we truly feel blessed to run our business in the charming and quaint Historic Downtown Albany.
As you walk through the doors of Emma Downtown, you will be enchanted by the ambiance. The graphic black and white checkered floors, jazzy music, and billowing scents of yummy fragrances will truly entice. Emma Downtown is a store dedicated to the special touches that make our customers feel special, from each package leaving the shop perfectly wrapped, to our beautiful merchandise that we hand pick with our wonderful customers in mind. Our goal is for our customers to have a one of a kind shopping experience. We want beauty to surround you as you browse, and shop, without the pressures of day to day shopping. Always willing to help, our family of staff is dedicated to helping each customer have a great experience! We try to have a wide selection of items to reach and satisfy all of our customers. Over the years our selections have expanded to include clothing, furniture (vintage and new), home decor, linens, soaps and scents, baby gifts and useful items, candles, ribbons, jewelry, scarves, night ware, handbags, wall art, lamps, dishware, seasonal gifts and decorative items, and anything else that tickles our fancy. Our displays are always changing, our selection of merchandise is always coming in the door, and we are always working towards making every season to come, as wonderful as the one we're in at the moment!