By Jennifer Farnsworth
Most people who have gone to Saratoga Race Course have probably taken a moment to see the vibrant patterns worn by the jockeys.
Vickie Rehberg, who spent years working as a grant writer for museums, looked at those outfits and immediately saw a work of art. She has since transformed that vision into a successful online store She also had a shop under the chandelier tent at the race track’s paddock,
Now she has a store in downtown Saratoga Springs.
“People would ask me why I didn’t have an actual location, and I thought it was time,” said Rehberg.
She began SaratogaRocks as a boutique at the Saratoga Race Course in 2013. It was there that she started selling her Winning Silks collection, an exclusive brand of jewelry, art, home decor, apparel and gifts, all inspired by the colors of horse racing. Now, her custom designs can be found at 376 Broadway, across from the Adelphi Hotel.
“We have a great space with lots of light and windows. It is perfect,” said Rehberg.
The shop is about about 400 square feet. Rehberg said it is nice to have a base location in addition to her online store and paddock tent in the clubhouse location. She does custom orders with an average production time of five days. Any custom product within the Winning Silks collection can be customized with original artwork from jockey silks, stables or a horse or race name.
“The colors and patterns worn by the jockeys are so beautiful and so alive, people love them,” said Rehberg.
Rehberg’s online store is through Amazon.com. She said after several years of selling her popular jockey-themed charms and jewelry at Saratoga Race Course she received an email from Amazon. They encouraged her to consider selling her charms on Amazon Handmade, a site that caters to selling handcrafted items such as silks, table runners, placemats, and of course, charms.
Rehberg felt it would be a good move based on her success and loyal following at the track. Her success through Amazon led her to the decision to open up a store in Saratoga.
Her handmade pieces can be found at www.amazon.com/handmade/SaratogaRocks.