CREATIVITY LOVES COMPANY
Inspired by the Hudson River’s history of bringing together people, ideas and commerce, Hudson River Exchange is building an economic ecosystem for the community of Hudson Valley creative entrepreneurs. Based in Hudson, NY, Hudson River Exchange offers an online shop where local makers sell their wares, as well as a microloan program that gives them the financial support that is crucial to the growth of their businesses. 5% of all online sales are contributed to the fund, allowing it to become self-sustaining as it grows.
Hudson River Exchange was created in 2013 as a response to a now-familiar paradox: the collective feeling of isolation. The Hudson Valley was teeming with artists, collectors, makers and designers - most of whom worked from home, sold their goods online, and needed opportunities to connect with one another and to showcase their talents in front of a greater audience.
Out of this distanced community, the founders of HRE coalesced to host the first Hudson River Exchange Summer Market, which brought 80+ vendors together for a wildly successful weekend of sales and idea exchange. The momentum from this event inspired HRE’s year-round programming, now helmed by Co-Founder and Director Stella Yoon.
Programming has included annual markets, a retail space and de facto community center, arts-focused business workshops, pop-ups, trunk shows and more - giving the makers of the Valley the opportunity for collaboration, support, and access to a broader market. HRE is proud to play an integral role in Hudson’s diverse creative economy, and thrilled to see so many indie businesses flourishing outside of an urban center.
In 2020, collective isolation returned as a way of life, causing much of HRE’s in-person programming to pause for the time being. The online shop and microloan program provide makers with a new platform to sell handmade goods and tap into the support of fellow makers. Hudson River Exchange continues to strengthen the community by providing benefits that encourage resilience to last through these hard times and into a brighter future.