Alon Koppel and his wife Melissa, photographers and graphic designers, had traveled back and forth from their Manhattan studio to rental houses in Columbia County in an effort to balance city life and working with country living an weekend getaways.
One day, Koppel had an epiphany: "Our bigger clients never came to our office. We always went to them." With this in mind, Koppel thought why not move the business north?
Due to the nature of their work, they were able to continue to conduct their business from Red Hook in Dutchess County to later their Catskill location in January of 2016.
Originally from Israel, Koppel moved to Manhattan in 1999 where he met and married his wife, Melissa. Then in 2008, moved their business into a former chocolate factory in Red Hook, fixing up a wooden Victorian home nearby.
Due to the old home's inadequate heating system with major renovations, the couple decided to move themselves and their business across the river to Catskill, NY. “We craved the solid feeling of living in brick buildings heated with radiators from our days in the city, so we began to look at places that could offer that,” Koppel says. Plus, they wanted to “spend more quality time doing what we love: photography and art.”
With Hudson being too pricey with it's increased demand, Catskill seemed like the perfect fit. “[We] ended up walking around Catskill with a friend,” he says. “That’s when I spotted a for-sale-by-owner sign on a lovely brick building on Main Street.”
The 1890s building included a ground floor apartment which was perfect for the couple's studios. They moved their home to the top floor where they can look out onto Main Street on one side and the Catskill Creek on the other.
While renovations to the bathroom, kitchen and plumbing have taken place since the move, the couple was able to rent out the second floor apartment to transplants from Queens, and owners of the HiLo Cafe.
Koppel says Catskill gives him a feeling of home with the quirky, creative, and fun vibe it gives off.
“My wife and I honed what we needed in our lives and found what we were looking for in Catskill,” Koppel says. “We continue to make great connections here. We don’t miss living in the city at all, but if we ever need a quick city fix, it’s only a lovely two-hour train ride away.”
Adapted from a story from Upstater.com