From inspiration to sales
Creative entrepreneurs on the move, literally
As a consumer and as a writer slash cheerleader for small business, I’m so happy about all the retail options in town to highlight each month. Over the last two years, Fort Wayne has had a bevy of boutiques opening up, each one unique in its own way. Foreveresta is another fab boutique in town, but this one is on wheels. Yes, a 1976-vintage camper has been transformed into Fort Wayne’s first-ever mobile retail shop. And, man, is it keyooote! I’ve seen the trailer around town at some events and collabs with other boutiques, but recently Foreveresta has carved out regular shopping hours in the ’05 neighborhood, just off East State Boulevard. The mobile shop is stocked with on-trend graphic T-shirts, totes and pouches, MudLove bracelets, Safe Camp Coffee Company beans, wall art, greeting cards, small leather goods and more. The shop works with indie artisans and makers and “mission-driven organizations” that help support economic development to line its shelves with inventory that “fills your home with inspiration while making a difference with every purchase.” And if you’re wondering about the name, the story is just as cute as the shop. In the words of owner Alexandria Bing, “Originally as a hashtag on my personal account @foreverest where I began to share our story. Because everything I have done and will do is FOR Everest (her son). The A was added for my name, Alli.” Shop Foreveresta at 2329 Crescent Ave. by appointment Wed.-Fri. or at special events. Keep tabs on Foreveresta via Facebook or Instagram for new inventory as well as upcoming events. To learn more, ask a question or to schedule an event, email email@example.com or visit foreveresta.com.
When I was a young teenager, I enjoyed drinking weird beverages, simply to freak out family members. I was quick to embrace spirulina-based drinks because the green hue drew disgusted looks from my parents and siblings. This was sustained behavior only because I actually enjoyed the drinks and still do today. One of the semi-recent additions to my alternative beverage game is kombucha, a fermented, effervescent tea drink. I’ve always purchased kombucha of a particular national brand carried in various health food chain stores, so imagine my delight when I found Crossroads Kombucha, a brand made right here in Fort Wayne. Richard Johnson started making his own kombucha tea in 2015 after discovering how great drinking it made him feel. What he didn’t enjoy so much was the harsh vinegar taste, so he decided to play around with a recipe of his own. Kombucha’s health claims include “its ability to aid digestion and increase gut health due to the good bacteria and probiotics present in the drink,” Johnson said. “Since we’re using a combination of matcha and green tea as its base ingredient, all of our kombucha is also high in antioxidants, which help boost immunity and increase energy naturally.” Crossroads Kombucha currently offers seven different flavors, including Blackberry Mint, Blueberry Sage and Strawberry Basil, which is the most popular among kombucha newbies. Crossroads Kombucha is currently carried at a few spots around town, including Ted’s Market, Health Food Shoppe, 3 Rivers Co-op and Joseph’s Vitamins and Herbs, adding more in the region and beyond as the brand quickly grows. “Like” Crossroads Kombucha’s Facebook page to stay in the loop about new flavors, added retailers and events.
Front Room Stitches
In 2013, Brittany Vanover started her first cross stitch project with a pattern purchased online. Halfway through, she realized she’d rather cross stitch her own, unique designs, so she started making patterns using a graph pad, colored pencils and favorite quotes. Cross stitch gave way to other needlework, which gave way to her newfound hobby becoming a burgeoning side business. Front Room Stitches specializes in custom embroidery artwork, and I have become crazy impressed with the level of detail and complexity of the pieces. Some of the most popular custom orders are of children’s artwork pieces or those based on inside family jokes. Vanover posts images of works in progress as well as finished pieces on her Instagram page, which is where I found her. I particularly love the non-traditional, modern embroidery pieces she creates such as cheeky movie quotes, the cover of a Nancy Drew book or an image of Beyonce, flipping double birds. If you’re a DIY-er, Front Room Stitches also sells downloadable patterns for $3. Follow @frontroomstitches on Instagram and shop the current selection on Etsy.com/shop/FrontRoomStitches.
First appeared in the October 2016 issue of Fort Wayne Magazine.