Lifelong thrifters open Cat & Crow in Shelburne Falls

  • Cat & Crow at 1 Deerfield Ave. in Shelburne Falls is the village’s newest curated and vintage home, garden and thrift store. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Cat & Crow at 1 Deerfield Ave. in Shelburne Falls is the village’s newest curated and vintage home, garden and thrift store. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • What began as a relationship of admiration for each other’s vintage finds became a partnership and business for Kate Winans and Amelia Doneilo Maloney, who recently opened Cat & Crow in Shelburne Falls. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Cat & Crow at 1 Deerfield Ave. in Shelburne Falls is the village’s newest curated and vintage home, garden and thrift store. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

For the Recorder
Published: 8/5/2021 4:02:43 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS — “Look at what the cat dragged in!”

Amelia Doneilo Maloney and Kate Winans laugh as they remember their favorite phrase once upon a time, around the time they first met in May 2019 at their respective antique booths at Innovintage Place in Greenfield.

What began as a relationship of admiration for each other’s vintage finds became a partnership and business. Cat & Crow on 1 Deerfield Ave., the village’s newest curated and vintage home, garden and thrift store, has been open for thre weeks, and the business owners could not be enjoying themselves more.

Doneilo Maloney and Winans have been from spot to spot around Franklin County, ultimately moving their individual vintage finds from Innovintage Place, to Catamount Traders, and now to their own store in Shelburne Falls.

The collaboration between the two friends stems from their desire to find valuable, useful and beautiful things, and to share them with others. The cat portion of the name stems from Doneilo Maloney’s old store called Alley Cat, while the crow is symbolic of Winans’ leap of faith and past rejection that has allowed her to be at this place in her life.

Winans describes the growth of her own taste and background as an evolution that is essential to Cat & Crow — that buying what she likes, as opposed to buying what she thinks others will like, is what she has learned will sustain not only a business, but her fulfillment. This is a quality she has also found in Doneilo Maloney.

“What Amelia was and has been doing all along, is buying the things that she likes, her taste, and you know, that’s why I was drawn to her,” Winans explained. “And now, we buy the things that we love and that we would want as well.”

Cat & Crow came together in a fairly short amount of time. A total of four days passed from the time Doneilo Maloney and Winans saw the space on Deerfield Avenue to their signing of the lease.

All hesitation ceased, Doneilo Maloney remembers, upon receiving a text from Winans: “I think we just have to hold hands and jump.”

And so they did.

“Everything kept falling into place,” Winans said. “There’s something here,” she continued, referring to the feeling of their space, street and town itself.

The same feeling has been built in terms of the balance they’ve struck in their partnership. With the shop open four days a week, they each then spend two additional days in the vintage world, finding pieces to bring back to their shop.

It’s working, Doneilo Maloney said, not only because people seem to be liking their finds, but because of the positive attitude and tremendous amount of teamwork they bring to their business.

“We came to each other with a maturity about our values,” Doneilo Maloney said. “It was more important that we remain friends through this as opposed to somebody trying to, in some way, make a lot of money or dominate in the market.”

They’re delighted to call Franklin County home to their store, which, according to Doneilo Maloney, is becoming a destination for vintage and thrift shopping. It’s a place where someone like Doneilo Maloney, who remembers creating an antique stand at the age of 7, and someone like Winans, who is known to rarely wear non-thrifted clothing, could thrive in their love for this world.

Doneilo Maloney noted that Cat & Crow is featured on VintageValleyTrail.com, a new website highlighting the vintage-related businesses in Franklin County that was launched by the Chamber of Commerce. That extensive, creative community is also what helps provide Doneilo Maloney and Winans with such joy and support in their new business and the purpose they feel behind every find.

“We’re in physical bodies, we’re in physical space, we can have beautiful things around us,” Doneilo Maloney said. “That’s our intention in many ways — sharing things we find, because I just want to share the things that I still am finding out in the world.”

Being able to promote reuse also resonates with Doneilo Maloney and Winans. As lifelong thrifters, they are cognizant of the carbon footprint that gets left behind every time a brand new item is made and purchased. Cat & Crow gives them the chance to combat that footprint.

“It’s the foundation of all of it. I think that we want to be a big part of recycle, reuse, off-cycling,” Winans said. “This stuff will be here forever, and most of it has been loved already, but we want it to continue to be loved.”

Cat & Crow at 1 Deerfield Ave. in Shelburne Falls is open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find Cat & Crow on Facebook at facebook.com/catandcrowshelburnefalls.


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