Positive Change

Positive Change

1252 Williamson St.
237-2707, changeboutique.com

It’s a simple word with a big impact: Change. Willy Street’s newest boutique embodies this simple six-letter word from the ground up—literally. Owner Nikki Anderson wants to impact how people shop for clothing.

First is the merchandise: fair-trade women’s clothing and accessories from Uganda, Cambodia, Bolivia and elsewhere. And the brand-new Baldwin Corners space was designed with environmental friendliness in mind, with polished concrete floors, eco-friendly paint and entirely refurbished fixtures.

“I live in this neighborhood. So I made a commitment to myself to have my needs achieved within walking distance. And there was a gap for women’s clothing,” explains Anderson. “I shop at the [Willy Street] Co-op, and I noticed they started carrying more handbags and jewelry, so I figured customers must have been asking for it.”

The airy, open space carries ten fair-trade brands, including Mata Traders, One Mango Tree and Greenola. If you haven’t heard of these, Anderson is happy to explain the companies’ backgrounds and why she chose to carry their goods. The bright, patterned tops and dresses are right on-trend; the basics like T-shirt dresses and cardigans are comfy and fashion-forward, and accessories are statement pieces (and hot sellers, notes Anderson).

“I’m here to learn as well. I want Change to be more accessible—that was my goal,” says Anderson. “And I’m helping the economic situations and quality of life of these people in these developing countries.”

Clockwise from top right:

We love Indian brand Mehera Shaw’s quilted jacket made with artisan textiles. Don it on a crisp fall day as your topper, or it’s perfect as the showpiece of a cozy winter outfit. $185

This entire look retails for under $100: The $48 bold blue Greenola puff-sleeve dress is made out of organic cotton; the recycled paper Fair Earth necklaces are $22 each.

Complete your look with jewelry from Mata Traders and Fair Earth. The statement earrings and pendants are shockingly affordable. $11–$90

Anderson’s quirky touches, like chairs hanging above racks and displays using old crates and scrap metal, fuse down-home accents with a modern aesthetic. Also pleasing? Her prices, which are all under $200.

Laptop bags, messengers and pouches by five ACCESSORIES are made out of recycled motorcycle seats, netting and plastic bags ($20–$80). As display pieces, Anderson uses handmade drums (they’re also for sale!) by Djam Vivie, an artist from Ghana who lives in the neighborhood.

Anderson worked with Argentinian industrial designer Adrian Pereyra to design the space. Shelving is made with salvaged wood from curbsides, nails are from Habitat ReStore, hangers are handmade from scrap wood and bicycle spokes, and the circular dressing room divider was achieved using bed sheets from St. Vinny’s.

Contact Shayna Miller at windowshoppingmadmag@gmail.com.