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Global jewelry adds flair

By Ashley VanBuskirk
On September 18, 2012

The Green Door has been selling unique, handmade jewelry and other crafts to the community since it opened in late 2008. Located at 33 W. High St., The Green Door sells everything from beaded bracelets to Nicaraguan pottery.

According to John Malan, the store's owner, the eclectic assortment of bracelets account for 90 percent of his sales.

"We do a lot of beaded jewelry," said Malan. "I switched to cords [with beading] which is very low tech stuff that I like and apparently a lot of people here like it too."

This unique style of jewelry grabbed the interest of sophomore Lauren Delk.

"I appreciate how John uses interesting materials to create and sell eclectic pieces," Delk said.

The store focuses on goods that encourage social and environmental responsibility worldwide, emphasizing the theme, "Think global, shop local."

"We first started as a basic jewelry line but added fair trade products," said Malan.

One of the fair trade products includes pottery from the San Juan de Oriente village in Nicaragua. The village is known for its decorative ceramics, accounting for the majority of the village's economy, according to Malan.

The store also sells fair trade scarves that are recycled from used saris. Norma Pili, who lives in Majorca, Spain, makes and sells the scarves. Malan located and contacted Pili through the Internet after seeing her work on the online marketplace,

The Internet, according to Malan, has been a timesaving resource.

"I used to go to craft shows," Malan said. "Now I can just go online."

Utilizing the Internet has helped bring new and different things to the store according to Malan.

He also uses the Internet as a marketing strategy, creating Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts to share about the store's products online. Still, Malan said he has realized that the best marketing strategies are word of mouth and a little curb appeal.

This second strategy caught the attention of sophomore Jaclyn Deutsch.

"The outside table was what really drew me into the store," Deutsch said. Deutsch, who has bought several bracelets from the store, also mentioned how much she appreciated the cultural elements of all of the pieces in the store.

Looking toward the future, Malan said he hopes to get into a more wholesale market so that he can sell his jewelry all throughout the country. Currently, he said that he has stores selling his products in Dayton, Fort Lauderdale and Chicago.

The store is open 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday and 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday.

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