Cauz for Pawz holds animal art show

Artist Mary Alice Orito with Cathryn Duhigg, founder of Cauz for Pawz (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, November 12, Cauz for Pawz, a thrift shop that benefits animals, held its first art exhibition/benefit, showcasing animal-themed works by Mary Alice Orito.

Collages made from different kinds of paper ranging from the shredded insides of securitized envelopes to slick catalogues for furniture created fur, feathers and whiskers on portraits of dogs, cats and birds.

Digital paintings of cats were also on display along with throw pillows with images printed on them from the original pieces. While some of the art came down following the opening, other works from the show, “My Menagerie,” remain available for purchase at the shop.

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Cauz for Pawz holds costume parade for pooches

On Sunday, Cauz for Pawz held a Halloween parade and costume contest for dogs at the thrift store’s new location on First Avenue opposite Stuyvesant Town.

Contestants’ owners showed plenty of creativity with their furry friends’ costumes, like with Jax, the pooch that won first place, dressed up as the “Breaking Bad” RV. Jax’s owners, Morgan and Jack, won brunch at Bluebell café on Third Avenue. The second place winner was Milan, who was dressed up as a U.S. Marine. Third place winner was Kurtis, who was wearing lederhosen. Other costumes included French maid and Mardi Gras participant.

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Cauz for Pawz leaving Thrift Shop Row, moving to First Avenue

The former Frenchmen shop on First Avenue (photo by Sabina Mollot)

The former Frenchmen shop on First Avenue (photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Cauz for Pawz thrift shop, which was recently ousted from its space of four years on East 23rd Street in order to make room for a new urgent care center, is moving to the First Avenue storefront formerly occupied by The Frenchmen.

The former air conditioner and electronics shop’s founder, William Koniuk, died late last month. His son, Glenn, still runs the business out of his Williamsburg warehouse, and owns the First Avenue store’s building. It had remained empty for the past three years after his father’s retirement, and was recently renovated, though Glenn recently stressed he wanted to be picky about any future tenant. For one thing, he knew he didn’t want a food-oriented business.

The old Frenchmen space is at 333 First Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets, across from Stuyvesant Town, while the current Cauz for Pawz space, at 212 East 23rd Street between Second and Third Avenues, is going to have its last day of business on August 28. To avoid having to move everything to the new place, there’s now a sale of 25 percent off all pieces of artwork and 50 percent off everything else. A wedding/fundraiser for the store’s mascot pooch, Shorty, has been postponed from September 20 to October 18, Cathryn Duhigg, director of the nonprofit Cauz for Pawz, said.

Cathryn Duhigg, director of Cauz for Pawz at the store (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Cathryn Duhigg, director of Cauz for Pawz at the store (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

She admitted being nervous about transitioning to a much smaller space (one floor versus two) but said the business would adapt by focusing on what sells the most, which are bags, jewelry and clothing for men and women as opposed to houseware items.

“You have to move things much faster, your display changes quicker,” Duhigg said, “but I don’t think it’ll be a problem.”

She also called her future landlord “a nice guy ― I can’t believe how nice he is,” and said she suspected his father somehow helped the deal along from beyond. As of Monday, the lease hadn’t been signed, according to Glenn, but he said he wasn’t anticipating any problems.

“She’s moving in her stuff already,” he said of Duhigg.

“I think it’s a better place for us,” said Duhigg. “People in Stuy Town are so happy.”

Thrift Shop Row is thriving

Customers continue to rely on rock-bottom prices

A selection of women’s clothes at the Salvation Army, one of the shops along East 23rd Street’s Thrift Shop Row (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

A selection of women’s clothes at the Salvation Army, one of the shops along East 23rd Street’s Thrift Shop Row (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

To some they’re places to dig for hidden treasures at a cheap price, while to others, unable to turn elsewhere for the things they need, they’re a lifeline. They’re also the foot soldiers of the nonprofit world, positioned at street level for anyone to breeze on in, and, depending on their needs that day, contribute by leaving the unwanted contents of their closets behind, or by spending a few bucks.

Local bargain hunters are especially fortunate, considering that a two-block stretch on East 23rd Street, between Second Avenue and Lexington, is home to half a dozen thrift shops. They are Cauz for Pawz, Goodwill, Salvation Army, Vintage Thrift, Housing Works and City Opera. At the beginning of the recession, in 2008, these shops were busier than ever, at the time reporting to Town & Village that they were doing well in sales as many more people came to rely on their rock bottom prices. However, they noted that donations had fallen, with many of those same people opting to hold onto the things they had.

Recently, T&V caught up with representatives from a few of the stores that make up Thrift Shop Row to ask how things were going these days, and everyone we spoke with said their organizations were faring well, thanks to a continued reliance on their low priced goods, but also generous people donating.

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Cauz for Pawz to move after losing lease

Cathryn Duhigg, director of Cauz for Pawz at the store (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Cathryn Duhigg, director of Cauz for Pawz at the store (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

East 23rd Street thrift shop Cauz for Pawz will be moving to make way for a new urgent care center, Town & Village has learned. The store’s director Cathryn Duhigg had sent an emailed newsletter to customers on Monday announcing that the store had lost its lease but was looking for a new shop nearby.

Reached on the phone, Duhigg said she was recently told that the store, which had been on a month-to-month lease for the past five months, would need to be out by the end of August to make room for the urgent care center. The medical center will also occupy space that was last home to a pharmacy next door to Cauz for Pawz, after the owner breaks through the shops’ walls.

Meanwhile, as of Wednesday, Duhigg said there were two nearby stores she was looking at for a new home for the thrift store, and that she’d know within the week if either works out.

“Everything is fine,” she said. “We are staying in the community. Some people have given us places to look at. The community has been amazing.”

A canine wedding for the store’s mascot dog Shorty to another neighborhood pooch named Riley, that had been scheduled for September 20, is also still on, though of course the location will be different. Additionally, the price of admission for the event, which is a fundraiser for the store, has been lowered from $100 to $50.

Based on the spaces Duhigg has been checking out, which are within a few blocks from the store’s current address, the new store will be smaller.

However, Duhigg said this isn’t a problem because the store doesn’t need the two floors it has currently. Prior to the move, there will be a big blowout sale, and Duhigg said the plan is to have the new shop open even before the current one, which has been open since 2011, closes.

Cauz for Pawz raises money for animal-related causes and pet owners in need.

Two Gramercy dogs will say ‘I do’

Shorty (left) and Riley at the store where Shorty has become the official mascot (Photo courtesy of Cauz for Pawz)

Shorty (left) and Riley at the store where Shorty has become the official mascot (Photo courtesy of Cauz for Pawz)

By Sabina Mollot

The concept of a dog wedding is hardly anything new. Passionate pet owners who’ve gotten Fido hitched in fancy ceremonies have even include Grammy-winner John Legend as well as numerous owners who’ve reportedly spent six figures for lavish puptials. And there’s another thing that’s not new. Articles on the subject of canine coupling dripping with shameless — albeit admittedly clever — pooch puns ranging from “puppy love” to “muttrimony.”

So why, you may be asking, is Town & Village writing about it now? Because at Cauz for Pawz, a Gramercy thrift shop, a dog wedding will be taking place in September — and we’re all invited. The bride and groom are both seniors at 14 years old and rescues. The bride, Shorty, was adopted by the nonprofit shop’s director, Cathryn Duhigg, at an adoption event that was held at Cauz for Pawz. Due to Shorty’s being a bit on the barky side, “no one else wanted her,” said Duhigg. But Duhigg said she was able to get past the chihuaha terrier mix’s annoying habit. This was after realizing that as a result of Shorty’s having been given up by her last owner who she lived with for 13 years, and then being fostered for a while, “she was destroyed.” The formerly lonely Shorty has since become the East 23rd store’s mascot, working alongside her owner. She still barks a lot at just about everyone.

That is, until the day that Riley came along. Duhigg said she knew he was the one when Shorty met him and didn’t start yapping.

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