We talked to: ASSEMBLE

We talked to ASSEMBLE

Before the pandemic hit and life as we know it was greatly altered, we sat down with Justin Brown from Assemble for a chat. We love his creativity, motivation, and dedication to our community! We wanted to share this interview and also remind everyone that you can shop Justin’s fantastic store online! Treat yourself and others, and support our local businesses! https://www.assemblenorthampton.com/

Tell us the story of ASSEMBLE and how long the store has been open.

May will mark our third anniversary here. Before I opened this shop, I was working with Liz from Sticks and Bricks on Market Street for years. There came a time when I felt ready to follow my dream of opening my own store, and this space in Thornes--that was once The Artisan Gallery--became available. It seemed like the ideal location and timing, so I eagerly moved in and opened up shop.

What do you love/appreciate most about the business community in Northampton?

I grew up in Westfield, but have spent the majority of my adult life here in Northampton, which speaks to how I feel about this city. There’s such a sense of community and support--we all truly want to see each other succeed. We are all willing to help each other out when needed, and willing to collaborate on events when possible, such as on our yearly holiday open house.  We are fortunate to have a community that supports people doing their own unique things, and truly embraces/showcases artists and makers.

What do you love/appreciate most about Northampton in general?

Diversity, support, vibrant arts community. While some businesses have closed, new ones are opening and adding layers to the fabric of the community. There’s still a sense of growth and change, even in difficult times, and people reaching out to each other to check in.

What positive things do you see happening in Northampton?

New businesses continue to open, and there is an energy and enthusiasm that comes with such growth and change. The Parlor Room has great events, and the Academy of Music has really upped their game. More people from out of town (such as from NYC) travel here and regard Northampton as a destination spot. The train has really helped folks from neighboring towns and out of state make visiting downtown a hassle-free trip. There is an ever-growing sense of vibrancy, diversity, and hope in Northampton, which is why I love living and working here so much.

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