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Shelby Przybylek

On a Tuesday night at Little Button Craft

Interview No. 66

1- Intro1- Intro

We’re both in love and in hate with Rochester. There’s this vibe, all the time, of “It sucks but I love it.”

Where are you originally from?

I’m from Rochester—I grew up in Gates. I went to Gates Chili, then Geneseo for my undergrad, and completed the APNN program at the University of Rochester.

What was your favorite part of living in Rochester?

Its heart—Rochester’s got the sweetest people—though we do have some grumps. I remember seeing the Format years ago, and Nate making the comment that Rochester has heart. It’s so true. We’re all about community.

Do you have a favorite neighborhood?

The Wedge—I lived in Park Ave before and have been in the Wedge for about four years now. It actually feels like a neighborhood here. People will walk out to the bars when it’s cold out. At Lux especially you can sense the neighborhood vibe—there are regulars during the week, just hanging out during happy hour. It’s really chill..

What’s the most interesting or unique event you’ve ever attended in Rochester?

I used to partake in bearding, so the Northeast Regional Beard & Mustache Championships were pretty cool. I used to travel all over for it—it was so much fun! Fun fact: you can catch me in the background of an episode of Whisker Wars on Netflix.

Describe your dream Rochester day.

I’d grab coffee and a doughnut from Fuego, then take my dogs on a walk through Mt. Hope. After that, I’d hang out at Little Button, knitting and crafting. In the evening, I’d go grab a beer at Lux or Tap & Mallet, and then head home to watch a movie. On my ideal Rochester day, I’d get to be social with everyone in the Wedge.

On my ideal Rochester day, I’d get to be social with everyone in the Wedge.

Do you have any favorite/secret Rochester spots?

There’s a windy staircase/ramp at U of R near the auditorium that I like to ride my bike up and down. The top of Rush Rhees Library is great too, particularly the graffiti in the stacks.

What is your personal coping mechanism for cold/gray weather?

Knitting—I’ve been knitting for about 15 years. That’s more than half my life!

Do you have a favorite local nonprofit/charity you like to support?

Verona Street—I got one of my dogs there!

What makes Rochester unique?

We’re both in love and in hate with Rochester. There’s this vibe, all the time, of “It sucks but I love it.”

What do you think could be improved?

I think we need to get our priorities straight. We need to focus on community and not competition. Sometimes, great ideas struggle to get off the ground because of various roadblocks. If we improve our teamwork and work together more, it benefits everyone.

What is your favorite Rochester memory?

I was walking on the pier in Charlotte with my then-boyfriend, and we saw in big writing on the lighthouse at the end that read, “Will you marry me, Shelby?” Someone else had written it, and we laughed so hard. We took joke proposal pictures in front of it and we still laugh about it now.

If Rochester were an inanimate object, what would it be?

That drunk text from your ex—you’re constantly thinking about it, but you don’t want to admit it.

What made you decide to start a business in Rochester versus somewhere else?

I’ve always being involved with teaching knitting and crafting. I worked with Maddie at the hospital (we’re both nurses), so I had that connection from the start. I’ve always wanted to run a craft shop in retirement, but the timing just worked out right. Maddie’s letterpress business was taking off, and I was in the right place at the right time. So I’ve owned a craft shop for four months now!

What is the best part of owning a business in Rochester?

The people—both the customers and the network of artists I get to work with. I consider craft to be anything you do with your hands. I love to be able to say, “Someone made this and they live here” about so many of the items in my shop. By 2018, the shop will be 100% local. There are so many talented people in our area, and I love meeting all these people who make amazing things.

What are some of the challenges you face?

I’m new at this—I’ve never owned a business before. I’m flying by the seat of my pants. But I’m young and I’m taking chances!

Do you have any advice for up and coming entrepreneurs in the Rochester area?

Say yes. Follow your gut. If it feels right, do it. Just do it! If you fail, it’s a great story.

Shelby Przybylek is the new owner of Little Button Craft in the South Wedge and an avid knitter. Check out more of Shelby's perspective on our Instagram.