Impressions of Saratoga on Broadway adheres to the thought process of “the everything Saratoga store,” according to co-owner Maddy Zanetti and the sign outside the front door.
“Saratoga is a lifestyle that people who live here and visit really embrace,” Zanetti said. “So we have things that celebrate Saratoga’s history with ‘health, history, horses.’”
In addition to horse-based gifts, Impressions has general gifts as well. As Zanetti put it, they have things “for people who are visiting and people who live here year round and may be looking for a birthday gift, anniversary gift or something for their house or friends.”
One aspect of Impressions that sets it apart from many of the other stores on Broadway is the complete acceptance of dogs in and around the store.
“We have a sign in our window that says ‘dogs and their humans are welcome,’” She said. “We have a dog wall, we take their pictures when they come in and we have treats and water for them.”
Both Zanetti and Impressions’s other co-owner, Marianne Barker, also bring their own dogs, Smitty, Cookie, Pupa and Smalls, collectively known as the Impressions Pups, into the store.
Zanetti said that the current stance of allowing dogs into the store has always been in place, but for the Pups, it started with “Smitty was coming in every day, and then Cookie and Pupa started coming in every day and finally Smalls just started coming every day about a year and a half ago. We just keep adding to the collection.”
In addition to the dogs, Zanetti said “we also have a mini horse who comes to the store for special events called Upset.”
She continued by saying that Upset will be at the store this coming Friday, Aug. 9, and that “he does sometimes come into the store, but most of the time he’s outside.”
In addition to the main store, in June 2018 Zanetti and Barker opened up another store called Dark Horse Mercantile next to Coffee Traders, also on Broadway.
Zanetti said “we were walking by the space, we saw that it was available, and we said ‘we should open a store there,’ and we did. And we did it in about three weeks.”
She thanked both the store’s employees and her and Barker’s families for helping with starting up the new store, saying that both of their families had woodworkers and other such handypeople to assist.
She said that the main store currently has about 14 employees, many in high school and college, and four employees that stay for the full year, with the increase being due to more traffic from the racing season.
“This week is one of the busiest weeks, with the Fasig- Tipton Sales,” Zanetti said. “We are always very busy the entire sales week, and of course August and July are the busiest times of the year for us, with all of the people in town for racing.”
She added that the increased traffic has also changed their hours of operation, and that now “we’re open to 10 or 11 every night.”
She also said that the change in racing schedule and resultant extra Dark Day on Mondays has led to a change in traffic flow into the store, but not necessarily a change in overall customers.
“We’re seeing foot traffic at a time when there used to be less, and then we’re also seeing less foot traffic on the Mondays and Tuesdays than we used to have,” she said. “So it’s just an adjustment of when we’re busier. We’re still busy, it’s just a matter of at what times and days. Of course Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days.”
For future plans, Zanetti said that “we try to plan, but also we just do. We’re already receiving our Christmas things and getting ready for the holiday season and our trade show season, which starts in September, we go to shows and buy for next year. And we’re always trying to come up with new fun things that make us unique and bring people back to the store.”
In the search for new inventory, she said that “we have a little bit of everything and we try to find products that are unique. As many as we can, we try to find handmade or made in America, and then we do a lot of the pieces and garments ourselves. We design them if we’re in love with the product and have them custom made for us.”
For more information, visit Impressions at 368 Broadway, or the store’s website at www. impressionssaratoga.com.