The Maiden is officially open. To inquire about accommodations email us.
WE DID IT!
These past few years have been filled with many indescribably odd moments. These years have been long and the easiest of tasks have been hard to maneuver and accomplish. For some of us, 2019 in Kingston was a crazy year. Things were changing at a very rapid pace. Buildings were being bought and sold like a Monopoly game. The building on Fair Street where Le Shag is located was about to be sold out from under us and so I had to quickly position myself to hang in, or get out. It was an event that I knew would (or will) happen eventually but it was a wild ride. I decided it was time that I figure out how to purchase a building of my own, since renting was clearly going to become an issue in this area in the future.
Fortunately, Ilissa Duffy mentioned to Erica Valencia that I was interested in purchasing my own spot so that Le Shag wouldn’t face the same fears of being without a home. Erica brought me to 44 Maiden Lane, an insurance & doctors office just a few blocks from our current location. Shortly after this, the world shut down as we knew it and all of my fears heightened (along with everyone else’s). I wanted to protect the establishment I built, I wanted to keep all of my colleagues safe & healthy, I wanted to keep the community happy & engaged with us- it felt like a whirlwind of anxiety. On top of that, add staying home during shutdown with two children and a husband who was used to being on the road touring and all the rest that goes along with what we each experienced… 44 Maiden was filled with charm and potential- the owners, John & Joann Guerin are locals who’s kids I went to school with (john was also my CCD teacher in high school) I decided I loved it and we began a long drawn out process (that I won’t bore you with all of the details involved here) folks- purchasing commercial real estate, ESPECIALLY during a pandemic, is not an easy feat! This process included a business plan, flow charts, future predictions… work…. Money… lots of time….Money!
After a long 9 month period of this process, we were finally at the moment to nail things down and get our closing date. I was doing the final steps to close and handed in the required loan business plan to Kingston’s zoning board and then BOOM! Turned down! (Yes, that’s right).
What I didn’t realize was that despite it being a current business, with a parking lot, in a commercial area, and a mixed use building, it was NOT zoned for a beauty salon?!? Yeah, I know!
Anyhoo- I had 24hrs to pivot. Either walk away from the entire deal and face disappointment (and other emotions) from my seller OR come up with a new plan… I quickly educated myself on what I could do there, what the outlook for Kingston could be in terms of other project developments, what zoning would look like in a few years, etc. I attended meetings and zoom calls and oh yeah, the world opened back up fully, and I had to go back to my normal routines and craziness… but in that initial 24hrs I never lost faith that the universe was handing me something new- it was pushing me toward an opportunity that I couldn’t see just yet. And with these quick moments of thought, I developed a new business plan and without further ado I give you The Maiden, a Boutique Inn!
It will provide housing for our Le Shag Academy patrons as well as for any community guests looking for upscale accommodations and concierge. We will be working with local businesses to get their products and services out there. It will house artwork curated by Kara Eletto that will be sold to visitors…. The Maiden will also provide jobs to locals that will include hospitality, food services, management services and more.
We foresee this business working alongside our others with the Academy, providing housing for guest speakers, retreat space and opportunities for relaxing. We will provide commissions to those helping us book reservations and credits to Le Shag and so much more! Follow us @themaiden_Kingston and @BeyondTheShag to stay tuned with our calendar, job opportunities and ways to participate with us!
I could never do this without the unwavering support of my family: my husband Sean and my two beautiful boys, my parents, sister & brother, my aunts, grandmother and cousins, my die hard team at Le Shag, my right hand kick-ass Director of Operations Ilissa Viviani, my incredibly encouraging financial team Frank Flynn & his crew, Evan Rothfuss and the crew at Rondout Savings, Maria Phillipis who’s inspired and encouraged me to push through, and all of my friends and contractors who have quickly debriefed me, caught me up to speed and helped me educate myself on the language surrounding commercial properties, and building maintenance I now need to know: Joe O’Connor, Vincent Bradley, Steve Noble, Greg Berardi. My consultants and builders: Amanda Rehbein, AJ UHL, Steve Baulk, Jorge Aguayo, Ron Augustine.
And, of course, I couldn’t do it without you- our community (the ones still reading this) the individuals who have helped encourage creativity, who have believed in my vision and have helped to build on to my dreams and have kept me going now for the last 17 years! YES! 17!!!!!! I opened as a college student from New Paltz University and have grown up being a business owner in my hometown. I’ve done my best to include you all in everything that I do while providing creative services, job security to the ones with me that actually provide a healthy working environment and incredible salaries for amazing humans and futures for students from KHS & BOCES.
I plan to continue on this path of success not just for myself but for the future of the locals-the individuals who have made the Hudson Valley such a special place to reside. I hope to educate and inspire everyone. Success is not easy, it’s incredibly challenging, there are a lot of screw ups and self doubts- stay true to who you are and believe in what you’re doing. Admit when you’re wrong and ask for help from others. You’ll get there by surrounding yourself with support and just a sprinkle of haters (haha) and no matter what, keep plugging along…. Pay attention to the signs leading your way.
What’s that saying? when life hands you lemons it puts a duck on a pond …. You know what I mean? Kara Eletto gets it….
I love you all! Thank you & goodnight (I’ll be asleep in the king suite)