Jane's Exchange is a true community store in every sense of the word. The store itself is a warehouse of community donated items and services. Purple lounge chairs, a gift from the trendy Hotel Gansevoort, are dotted throughout the store for weary shoppers and nursing moms. There is a great play space complete with train tracks and kitchen for kids to play while adults shop. A new music system might be playing Edith Piaf, the Buena Vista Social Club or the Beatles. NPR is also a favorite! The store is cozy and welcoming and fun!
Lest you think that Jane’s Exchange is a store only, be forewarned. Kevin Miceli, father and owner of Ciao for Now, a popular East Village cafe, describes the store as "a vital, if not essential, component in the lives of not only local families but families from all over the greater New York City area." In addition to consigning and selling affordable clothing and children's gear, Jane's Exchange has become a place where parents come for events, referrals, and support for the numerous challenges facing today's urban families. In a letter to the community board when Jane's Exchange was seeking their help, Lise Engel, then mother of 12-year-old twins, wrote in her support: "It is not often that a store moves beyond the basic requirements of selling goods and making a profit to serving some very fundamental needs of a community." Writer and mother Jayme Adachi concured, "It is more than a store. It is there that I learned the best way to burp my baby, there that I found out about local babysitters, there that I found students when I began teaching a neighborhood baby-and-me yoga classes, there that I made tentative inquiries into the neighborhood schools."
Dorsey looks forward to another 25 years! “I’ve seen several generations go thru the store and I’m aiming for a few more!” Ferrer, the mother of a growing family (three children and a fourth on the way) was a customer of Jane’s Exchange for years before becoming co-owner. “I have always loved the store and can’t believe that I’m working here. I am co-owner of a neighborhood institution. Really a dream come true.”