Anyone familiar with the Ithaca area knows it’s filled with many talented artisans who double as business folks.
Among them is Robbie Dein, founder and owner of American Crafts by Robbie Dein, who grew as an artist and entrepreneur while living in this artsy community.
Robbie, a southern Florida native, is an extremely talented potter who first came to Ithaca in 1972. During that time, Robbie-a new graduate from Purdue University, planned a three-day trip to visit friends living here, he says. However, once he saw the abundance of activity in the community, he simply fell in love with it.
“Between Cornell University and Ithaca College, there were so many students and recent college graduates, such as myself, around. I thought to myself, this is certainly the place to be,” says Robbie.
Robbie quickly made a name for himself in the community by launching a business called People’s Pottery where he sold his handcrafted creations in a gallery connected to his residence. Eventually, his outstanding craftsmanship caught the eye of Stuart Lewis, who was the owner of Irv Lewis: The Store for Men and Boys located on the Ithaca Commons. Mr. Lewis encouraged Robbie to set up a shop on the Commons.
People’s Pottery was a huge hit in the community and beyond. Between 1972 and 1996, the store became known as one of America’s finest ‘Hand Made in America’ specialty stores. Then, in 1996, Robbie sold People’s Pottery and completely separated from business after the 9/11 crisis in 2001 and reopened his original store as American Crafts by Robbie Dein.
At American Crafts, you’ll find a remarkable selection of quality made pottery, a collection of chic home decor, colorful glassware, stylish jewelry, and other accessories along with many more items all handcrafted by masterful artisans from across the country.
“All of the items in this store are stunning. Every time I look around the shop, I am in awe of the magnificent craftsmanship used to create each of the items that we sell,” says Robbie, who now resides with his family in Hawaii but often returns to Ithaca to visit his shop and explore the community. “It’s the perfect place for visitors to find a beautiful, quality made American craft that is sure to last a lifetime.”
You can find more information about Robbie Dein and American Crafts by stopping into the shop at 151 E. M.L.K Jr/E. State St., the Commons. You can find a sampling of American Crafts high-quality merchandise at myamericancrafts.com.