A local psychiatrist is taking broken stone and using them to mend people.
Martin Korn, M.D., of Larchmont has set up a business in a former marble shop at 517 5th Avenue in New Rochelle to give people a second chance.
The 30-year veteran psychiatrist set up the social enterprise business Stones on 5th as a labor of love.
“This is a place that will offer people a structure in which they can try again until they are back on their feet,” said Korn.
For Korn and his employees, the venture is used as a way to help spur people into action and provide them with an outlet to express themselves through art.
All products are manufactured from “rescued stones” left over from regular high quality marble and granite companies. Many times during production a vein in a counter top will cause it to break often leading to the costly product being discarded.
Instead of having to pay to have the now “broken” pieces trucked away, many local manufactures allow Korn to wade through the stone and select pieces for use at no cost.
“It’s like recycling. You take one person’s garbage and turn it into a beautiful planter or table,” said David Greenberg of Mamaroneck, the company’s director of marketing.
The company’s tag line is “The Beauty is in the Break,” but for Korn it is more than just a tagline. It is a way of helping people understands that breaks in careers, life and anything else they do can often lead to a beautiful and rewarding venture.
“Often the fracture is the most magnificent part of the stone where unique crystals emerge. Even the smallest most fractured stone can be placed in a mosaic—making for the most beautiful and valuable designs of all,” said Korn.
The shop is for those down on their luck or who yearn to find a place to be themselves. Korn does not rent space. He allows people to come and go as they please as long as they help move the business forward.
“I’m not in this for the money. I’m in this to help people. I won’t take a dime for myself. If I do make a profit, it will be used to help hire another person that needs a hand to help make their lives better,” said Korn.
The shop also lets teens from the area come and enjoys themselves in a safe environment.
“I came here and didn’t know very much. I wasn’t that artistically active. But I came here and I just want to try and make things. I want to try and carve something out of marble,” said Sam Saideman of Mamaroneck.
A group of teens often uses the shop to play a guitar made of stone or paint wooden pieces or even use grinders to make pieces of art that could be used to form a line that will eventually help someone who is down on their luck.
Another teen, Spencer Greenberg was helping his brother David in the shop when one day he was hit with inspiration.
“Dr. Korn and I were talking about something when suddenly we heard the grinder. We poked our heads in and there was Spencer grinding away,” said David Greenberg.
His little brother was making an ashtray as a father’s day present. Currently he is inlaying the stone with others to make it more ornate. The ashtrays are now being developed into a line that can lead to more hires within the shop.
But Korn wants more people to come and help bolster the shop’s sales. It is through sales that he can hire more people and help make a bigger difference in lives.
“This is a business for other people,” said Korn, adding, “In the same way we often toss aside people or find that they don’t fit into specific norms; we often try to fit them into a standard formula of disability and the like.
“But not here. Like the stone, we need to use it in its natural form and find its beauty,” he said.