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I'm the Local Gal in Richmond, Indiana, exploring my hometown and heart. I write about all thing local, sometimes global. It's a small world after all.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Richmond, Indiana's Shanie and Sallie: A Local-Lady Interview

visit shanieandsallie.com
Is baby shower shopping on your To-Do List? Is your darling little stinker turning two? Shop no further for gifts than this store! Shanie and Sallie uses only organic cotton and non toxic dyes. With that assurance, you can be sure your little ones will look adorable while playing in these safe retro-adorable prints!

There are so many ways to shop local!

I love to visit brick and mortar mom and pop shops, but the attraction
of on-line shopping can be great. Shanie and Sallie offer both options. Indiana parents don't have to sacrifice their shop local ethic, when they order from Shanie and Sallie a locally owned, environmentally conscious apparel store for children.

For those of us not into the click and pay, they're also available around town. Savvy shop owner, Ali Rivera agreed to talk shop with the Local Gal in an interview! Thanks, Ali!


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Here we go:

What inspired you to use only Organic Cotton and non-toxic dyes?

 "After having my first child in 2007, we quickly learned she had allergic reactions to a lot of the clothes she was wearing. She would even get a rash where the printed hang tag was laying on her neck. We quickly turned to all organic garments, and her skin irritations quickly diminished. 

I have always been environmentally conscious. I, along with 2 friends started an environmental group in High School in 1990, which started recycling programs in schools and planting trees everywhere. When I decided to start a children’s art tee shirt business, I knew exactly what materials I wanted to use: non toxic, water based dyes. It was extremely important for me to offer an organic and non toxic product.  My shirts are for children that suffer from skin allergies, as well as for promoting sustainability and environmental awareness."

What's the story behind Shanie and Sallie?

"My grandfather told my sister and I stories about the adventures of two little girls named Shanie and Sallie. I realized when I was older that he was switching my sister Aimee, and my name, Ali around. 
In 2008, my sister and I were looking through my mother’s hope chest and came across her childhood drawings from the early 1950’s. We thought they would be cool prints on kids clothes. I knew Shanie and Sallie would be the perfect name for us. 

In January 2010, Shanie and Sallie was born.  Four generations are all wrapped up in Shanie and Sallie: Grandpa coined our business name, my Mother drew the art, and we're two sisters running the business with my daughter as the inspiration. 

I drew up our logo as two backwards S’s that form a heart- for the love of our family. It just fits.  Shanie and Sallie is driven by our desire to help children with skin allergies and our environment."

Any quick tips for an aspiring entrepreneur interested in opening their own shop?

"Research, research, research. I spent almost 2 years just researching the industry, and am still learning. And of course you need a business plan.  I struggled with that the most. Even though I  ran a business prior for over 9 years, I had some aversion to them.  I had everything in my head and had a difficult time putting it all down on paper. However, I strongly suggest having one. I still put off the plan until later. I wish now that I had completed it in the beginning.  

It was overwhelming at first, although I was so passionate about what I was doing. I quickly learned I had a lot to learn: everything from copyright and trademark laws to manufacturing. I thought I would be able to just order size 12 month and send an image over. That's not exactly the case. I had to develop patterns and send exact colors. Not to mention, I was determined to use local companies, then national. Then I opened up to global. 

I realized that it was much more difficult to find companies that can not only produce organic products but to also use water based dyes. I was concerned about my footprint, and with my analysis for using up to 4 different companies in the states just to produce one shirt, the cost was impossible to resell. So I went global and found a wonderful Fair trade company that has been green since 1991. It's also GOTS Certified (Global Organic Textile Standard)."

Where can we find Shanie and Sallie items?

"Currently Shanie and Sallie can be purchased locally at the Earlham Bookstore,  the Shanie and Sallie website, Etsy and in select boutique stores around the country. We just did a Zulily sale too! We debuted last October in Louisville at the ABC Kids Expo, where we were able to get some global exposure. We're also excited to be a featured artist for two months at the Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway Visitors Center in Metamora starting in September. 

We have 5 prints in our first line called Around the Barnyard. Watch for our second line "Around the Water" coming out next summer!"


Thank you, Ali! Your shop has a great story & you have got some great business advice! Thank you so much for sharing!

Next time you're looking for something special for the little ones in your life, consider supporting a local family & Hoosier owned business, Shanie and Sallie!


<3 the Local Gal

All Images above (in this post) were provided by the interviewee & belong to Shanie & Sallie.


PS

Ali would like to give special kudos to John Aiken at Web Canopy Studio, a Richmond based web design and marketing business, for doing Shanie and Sallie's website. Kudos!

Shopping local keeps dollars in our community! It just makes cents!

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