When you meet Zoya Geacintov for the first time you might not immediately catch on to the playful, ironic, and offbeat soul peering out from under that genteel surface. You might not guess, for example, that she imagines her old age as a time in which she looks forward to wearing the fanciest clown shoes as her daily footwear and not care what anyone says. Or that her senior thesis at SUNY New Paltz Ceramics Program was a series of miniature teapots arranged on the wall as if they were a school of fish. Raised by her grandparents in Vermont, "taking tea was a twice daily activity. I felt it was an endangered practice, a rare and calm moment. When snorkeling over Christmas breaks the peace and beauty I felt when I put my face in the water reminded me of those times. And the connection was the loss of odd beauty... It makes sense in my head."
After studying Ceramics at SUNY New Paltz she worked throwing pots for local pottery studios including Westcote Bell here in High Falls. She bought a house on Bruceville Road, but in one of life's odd twists she detoured to California for four years, enjoying the sun and doing a variety of temp jobs which included modeling at Disney Animation Studios. Her most enjoyable experience was teaching ceramics at a studio in Santa Monica. “If you’ve ever pulled a handle, try teaching that to a roomful of grown men. A memorable day. ‘Keep it moist and pull with firm steady movements.’ Lots of snickering 30 to 50 year old men. You sort of can’t help yourself."
After returning to the Hudson Valley she rejoined the community. How did she come to work at Green Cottage? "I live just down the road, and my ceramics teacher, who’s a good friend of Dennis and David, suggested I ask Dennis for a job and not to take no for an answer. She said, “Honey, you will be so good for them!” Did she have to listen to no for an answer at first? "Not exactly. He put me off a couple times, but Mary convinced him that he really needed me. So here I am, and I've been here ever since, with a short break to have my daughter Harriett. I took to arranging flowers right away, and I love working in the store. I’ve always been a shopper. I like figuring out what’s going to make things stand out, what’s going to make them appealing, and what people would want to have. I really just try to assist Dennis’ amazing eye."
Zoya also loves working in her studio, and often collaborates on projects with her beautiful eleven-year-old daughter Harriett. They've made tea lights to raise money for Syrian refugees, and canopic jars filled with faux organs for Harriett's Egyptian history project. “I love Green Cottage, being in my studio, my family and all the fabulous customers. Its a wonderful life!"