The next time that you’re downtown along Main Street, be sure to head to the Market Arcade to check out a new women’s clothing boutique called Sasmita Batik. Owner/operator Novi Paluch got her start on Grant Street at the West Side Bazaar (see here), where she operated a small shop for a little over a year.
After the bazaar busted a move to a new location just down the street, Novi decided that it was time for a change.. a bold and innovative change. She decided that she wanted to relocate her boutique to the Market Arcade building. “When I first moved to Buffalo two years ago, my husband told me that he loved The Market Arcade. It was a dream to come to this location. I want to show others that this building can be a great place to shop. There are a few other businesses in the building and there’s opportunity to make this into a retail environment.”
Novi is right. The Market Arcade is the perfect retail environment, and should be positioned as such from now on. Along with Sasmita Batik the arcade also has Perfetto Restaurant, J. Christian Fashion Boutique, Buffalo Visitor Center (great Buffalo gifts) and Queen City Gallery. The bones are in place to create a unique shopping destination in downtown Buffalo. If a few more shops could open in the building, and a coffee shop were to move in, the potential would be fantastic.
In her previous life in Indonesia, Novi began her career in media (TV and journalism), before she became a stock trader at the Jakarta Indonesian stock exchange.
In her new life here in Buffalo, she is hoping to forge ahead with similar business acumen that she has developed in her home country. “When I first came to Buffalo I worked at the International Institute as a coordinator and interpreter,” she expressed to me. “Then I decided that I would open up my own business using the connections that I had back in Indonesia, along with what I had learned since moving to Buffalo. The holiday season was so busy at The Market Arcade. Now I want people to know that there are retailers in the building that are here year ’round, and we’re here to offer a shopping experience in Downtown Buffalo. It may be a few businesses, but it’s a good start.”
Sasmita Batik carries goods form Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, etc. Handmade items include jewelry, dresses, carvings, bags, scarves, tablecloths, hats, tapestries, bed covers, and some traditional games such as Congklok. “Over the holidays the jewelry and the dresses were the best sellers. My jewelry is made from recycled wood and leather. Or from coconut root and bamboo… all sorts of of wood and shell products. The dresses are mostly Batik (wax and candle) mixed with cotton fabric. My prices are very reasonable – from $2 to $150 – and there’s something for everyone at all price points.”
The Market Arcade building is truly a treasure in Downtown Buffalo and deserves to be filled with these types of shops. The rents are very reasonable, but there needs to be more storefronts available to create a critical mass of stores and boutiques. That means that it’s time to move some of the businesses that depend on foot traffic off of the first floor in order to attract more shopping destinations. Sasmita Batik could be a catalyst for this appeal for change. We need to offer support for the small businesses that are making a go of it in the building. Management needs to evaluate what it will take to make that happen… sooner rather than later. This building should be run on a retail cooperative model.
Sasmita Batik – Facebook
The Market Arcade
617 Main Street – Entrances on both Main and Washington
Suite M 103-C
Buffalo NY 14203
Business hours: Mon-Fri 11am – 6pm, Saturday 11am – 4:30pm, Sunday by appointment
Get 10% off on all merchandise before March. Novi is trying to drum up visitors to the Market Market post holidays and she is doing it with the help of other businesses already located within The Market Arcade.