by Thomas Dimopolous
After traveling across the world, Chelsie Henderson thought the village of Schuylerville, located near her native Easton in Washington County, was an unlikely place for her to open a business and organize community-wide events.
“It’s about starting a community and making a community our children will come back to,” said Henderson, whose background is in classic voice and piano (despite the occasional live performance, she considers herself more teacher than performer). “I love teaching and where I’m most comfortable is transferring that knowledge,” she said.
Her business, Rural Soul Studio, originally opened in Greenwich in 2012 and expanded to include the Broad Street space in Schuylerville in 2013. The studio regularly hosts teachers instructing on a variety of instruments, such as voice, piano, strings, woodwind, brass, and African drumming, among them, as well as staging master classes and workshops for visiting teachers.
Henderson also organizes and collaborates with other businesses. When she saw the number of independent ventures growing in the village, Henderson began coordinating what has become the Schuylerville Small Business Association. The association’s monthly meetings are attended by dozens of local business owners, and the association has grown to organize collaborative, community-wide events. Schuylerville’s first-ever Fall Festival, held in October 2016, incorporated local businesses, street vendors, fun and instructive games, and local foods.
“I didn’t intend to be running a business. I thought I would be teaching, but I just jumped into it. I’d like to collaborate with other businesses even more. No one place can do it all, but when we band together we can cover a lot of ground,” Henderson said. “I’m starting to feel that surge of pride of people coming together and seeing them in all their beauty.”
Rural Soul Studio, 90 Broad Street, Schuylerville
(518) 852-1329 // Rural Soul Studio Website