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Two sisters opened a fashion boutique in Oxford to emphasize creativity and community. Read on to learn about the shop, what they carry, and the fun DIY events they host.

Lane & Kate is located in Oxford and offers
Lane & Kate is located in Oxford and offers fashion, gifts, and home decor.

Nestled on High Street in Oxford, there’s a beautiful little shop full of sparkling trinkets, jewels, home goods and positive energy. What was once a store under a different name, two sisters purchased and rebranded it. Today, it’s Lane and Kate, a shop that specializes in fashion, gifts and home decor, with an emphasis on shopping local, creativity and community.

Rachel Pfeiffer was an associate at Collected Works, the store that previously called this space home, while she was studying at Miami University. Since she was local, she stuck around after graduation for seasonal shifts. The opportunity then arose to purchase the store. That’s when Pfeiffer and her sister Jessica Greene jumped at the opportunity because it was the perfect fit for their personal and professional passions.

“We love the Oxford community and really had a long-term vision for how we wanted the store to evolve – it was and still is a very exciting time,” Pfeiffer says. “The name change to Lane & Kate reflects mine and my sister’s middle names, Rachel Lane and Jessica Katherine.”

Lane & Kate is located on High Street in Oxford.
Lane & Kate is located on High Street in Oxford.

With no expertise as business owners, the two have grown together, hand-in-hand, discovering new things about each other and the business world. “When we first started working together, we honestly weren’t sure how it was going to play out,” Pfeiffer says. “But, it’s made our bond even stronger as we’ve weathered this challenging, rewarding, crazy, amazing, fun chapter in our lives.”

Shopping local and supporting the local creative community has become truly important to the sisterly duo.

“We’ve learned so much as both business owners and members of our community,” Pfeiffer says. “In terms of people, we’ve become much more privy to what goes on behind the scenes of our vendors and artists and just how much work goes into what they do, so definitely gaining appreciation for that group. We have such a great appreciation for our customers because we do know they are actively seeking to support our artists and lines, our store, and the local economy.”

With two different sisters, come two different personalities in the store reflected in their merchandise. “Lane is our music festival girl, our nature lover with perpetual wanderlust – she’s where we get our inspiration for a lot of the raw and natural pieces and lines that we carry like Efflorescent Metals, Old Hills Design Co., Aspen Bay, Emily Amey, and Gentle Fawn,” Pfeiffer says. “Kate is our polished fashionista who never misses Sunday brunch, always sends a ‘Thank You’ note on impeccable stationery, and looks for more classic and feminine pieces – lines like Rifle Paper Co., Katie Waltman, Rachael Ryen, English Factory and Olivia Burton are inspired by her.”

Staffed mostly by students, Lane & Kate works to engage a younger audience through social media and buying decisions. “When we hire new associates, we not only look for kind hearts and a good work ethic, we look for people who really identify with our brand,” Pfeiffer says. “In turn, we have a team who is very excited about not only our inventory, but our emphasis on creative expression – so everyone is really on the same page when it comes to crafting a thoughtful post.”

Aside from the beautiful items sold in the store, Lane & Kate offer signature workshops that have become a huge part of the soul of their business. Just about once a month, Lane & Kate bring in local artists to teach everything from floral design to calligraphy. “We love these classes so much because they blend community and creativity together in such a lovely way,” Pfeiffer says.

“There is no greater compliment than when someone walks in and says they want to stay here forever,” Pfeiffer says. “The atmosphere that we strive to create absolutely stems from the dynamic personalities and talents of our team.”

Lane & Kate is located at 29 East High Street in Oxford, Ohio. If you’re looking for like more information, visit their website at http://www.laneandkate.com.

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A UC graduate recently opened up a “Bazaar Concept Shop in OTR.” Read on to learn more about it.

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Continuum Boutique sells apparel, accessories and hand-crafted home decor items.

When walking in the doors of Continuum Boutique in OTR, you’ll be greeted with flowy fabrics, simplistic accessories and hand-crafted home décor hanging from the walls as natural light pours in the store-front windows and the faint aroma of naturally scented candles fills the air.

According to owner Ericka Leighton-Spradlin, Continuum is not just a boutique or a retail store, it is a “eclectic bazaar art and concept shop” that sells art, jewelry, fashion and accessories from independent artists and designers. Leighton-Spradlin says she carefully chooses a wide array and assortment of merchandise that speaks to the bohemian, creative mind by reaching out to independent artists and designers from across the country herself.

“I like to support artists and designers out in the world making something unique– I strive to support creativity,” Leighton-Spradlin explains. “This is what I enjoy being able to share with the customer, introducing them to a product with a person and/or story behind it. To me, it makes the whole shopping experience more personal, and that’s extremely important to me.”

Leighton-Spradlin says she’s very selective when merchandising for her store. “I like to choose my merchandise with my customer’s personal shopping experiences in mind. I want them to have something that is unique, timeless and artistic,” she adds.

According to Leighton-Spradlin, fashion should be an extension of who you are as an individual. That’s why it is so important to her to sell brands and pieces that you can’t just find elsewhere.

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“I want my customers to know that I take pride in the Continuum brand, giving them something special, with choosing apparel that uses ethically sourced materials and jewelry that was hand crafted by the actual designer,” she says. “My goal is to stay away from mass produced merchandise, as apparel from independent designers can embody more uniqueness and have the upmost quality.”

While shopping around the store, you will find several rare brands. For example, she says, the line Osei Duro. This line is based in L.A. and their textiles are dyed and produced in Ghana. All of their fabrics are hand dyed and woven in both large and small scale quantities utilizing Ghana’s traditional textile techniques that are sustainably produced while emphasizing the culture of Africa.

Continuum also carries jewelry by designer Sophie Monet, a jewelry architect that makes all jewelry by hand. She uses recycled material from the scraps of wood from her father’s artistry to create the jewelry and is based out of Venice Beach, California. According to Leighton-Spradlin, this jewelry line takes a modern approach on accessory trends using exotic wood and producing it here in the U.S. using sustainable materials whenever possible.

“I love being a woman. I embrace my womanhood and I want to express that freedom and liberation with the world throughout my store,” Leighton-Spradlin says, referring to some unique items she sells, like a planter the shape of women’s bare torso and a rug with the design of a woman’s breasts.

Leighton-Spradlin considers her concept shop as selling more than just clothes, but wearable art. It has been a goal of hers to contribute to Cincinnati’s growing city giving an emphasis on art as she is an art student herself graduating from UC’s DAAP Fine Arts Program in 2013.

When picking a space for her store, which was her biggest challenge prior to opening, she had her heart set on wanting to be located in OTR on Vine St. “This area of Cincinnati is flourishing right now with young entrepreneurs,” she says. “With starting your own business, there will be many challenges, but they are nothing you can’t get through.”

While the store is still young, just opening two months ago, Leighton-Spradlin has big plans to grow her store even more since she just hired her first sales associate employee earlier this month.

Future plans include bringing in new merchandise for the fall and soon offering ceramic classes taught by Leighton-Spradlin herself. To learn more about Continuum, visit their Tumblr page or like them on Facebook.

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