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Schenectady woman seeks to boost Goose Hill neighborhood with shop

Schenectady woman seeks to boost Goose Hill neighborhood with shop

Van Vranken Avenue secondhand shop is means for educator to reach out, connect community
Schenectady woman seeks to boost Goose Hill neighborhood with shop
Kristine Moore is shown in her store, Goose Hill Good Finds, on Thursday.
Photographer: John Cropley/Gazette Business Editor

SCHENECTADY — When Kristine Moore turns on the lights and opens the door at Goose Hill Good Finds, she’s hoping to do more than make a sale.

The longtime Goose Hill neighborhood resident said her eclectic array of secondhand items is designed to supply needed items to a community with few retail options, where many residents don’t have cars or a lot of money. 

But Moore also hopes it will serve as a resource for residents of Van Vranken Avenue and surrounding areas to learn and network.

“This was an opportunity to do something in my community that felt good and was meaningful to my family and the neighborhood,” she said. “It’s to bring something different on the avenue. That’s a big part of it, too.”

Most of Moore’s career so far and much of her future plans involve education — she previously worked in administration and teaching for the University at Albany, SUNY Schenectady and SUNY Adirondack; teaches young adults part-time at the SEAT Center, an alternative education program in downtown Schenectady; is pursuing a doctorate in education leadership and policy; and is a self-employed education consultant.

Moore plans to discuss entrepreneurship with her younger neighbors when they visit her store and hopes they’ll find her a more credible voice because she’s a familiar face from the neighborhood.

While Moore opened for business three months ago, she won’t formally cut the ribbon until Sept. 10. The summer slipped past as she worked in Schenectady’s third-grade enrichment program and operated the store on a limited schedule.

There are, she admits, a lot of demands on her time as a teacher, student, entrepreneur and mother of four sons, ages 8 to 15.

On top of that, the building that houses her storefront at 2155 Van Vranken Ave. is for sale; she’s hoping to buy it, but if she’s unsuccessful, a new owner might offer the space she renovated to someone else.

Moore acknowledges these challenges but remains confident in the venture, taking inspiration from other for-profit businesses that have additional purposes beyond money. 

Also, it’s a new retail presence in a neighborhood that even Family Dollar pulled out of and Rite Aid will soon vacate; her neighbors have responded appreciatively to that, she said.

“I think there’s people who are interested in education, I think there are people interested in investing in the neighborhood. So I do think it’s sustainable,” Moore said.

Goose Hill Good Finds, she said, is an “authentic bridge to the community.”

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