When touched by the world’s refugee crisis, a local Miami University professor was inspired to open her own store selling Fair Trade items from makers around the globe.
Cincy Chic: What is SoulCraft Middletown?
Lauren Matus, Owner of SoulCraft Middletown: SoulCraft is a fair trade store location in revitalizing downtown Middletown. We sell only fair-trade verified, handmade products from artisans across the world.
Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind the store?
Matus: The recent refugee crisis was the inspiration for opening SoulCraft. I had been teaching a course on nonprofits and NGOs at Miami University and the topic of fair trade came up. My students suggested that I open a store, so I did! Really, the store is a way to encourage conscientious consumerism and to education customers about a fair trade standards. Every item in the store tells a story, and preserves the cultural heritage of the artists who handcraft it.
Cincy Chic: Who’s behind SoulCraft Middletown?
Matus: I am the sole owner of the shop. I am a former writing instructor-turned-entrepreneur. I moved to Middletown about four years ago and was excited for the opportunity to be a part of the positive changes in downtown.
Cincy Chic: When did you open SoulCraft Middletown?
Matus: SoulCraft opened on November 26, 2016 – Small Business Saturday
Cincy Chic: What makes SoulCraft unique?
Matus: SoulCraft’s name reflects the spirit of the store – the artists who make the items I sell have perfected their craft and put their souls into creating beautiful pieces.
Cincy Chic: What types of items do you carry in-store?
Matus: We sell jewelry, clothing, home decor, and unique gifts.
Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Matus: We haven’t launched our website yet, but readers can follow us on Facebook!