What's in Store: Spend money, help others

Ethtique Van Interior.jpg
Ethtique Van Interior.jpg

Purchasing power that improves our local economy, helps local charities, and brightens the outlook of those around the world is increasing in popularity.

One store that's focused on local artisans — and the store inside it, focused on fair trade — is celebrating an anniversary. A new boutique focused on ethical fashions will be ready to roll around town very soon.

On June 18, Eth'tique will be holding its grand opening in the parking lot of Forager Brewery . The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eth'tique is a boutique on wheels focused on fair trade and made-in-the-U.S.A. apparel and accessories.

"My store essentially is in the back of a van," said Christine Ries, owner of Eth'tique. The van has been dry-walled, has wood flooring, and is equipped with a dressing room. "My dad did the remodel for me," Ries said.

Given the popularity of food trucks, Ries may be on to something.


Ries, mother of six, wanted to help women and children caught in less fortunate situations around the world improve their lives.

"I just kind of look back and I think of how fortunate I am," said Ries. "I have all of these jobs available to me. There are all of these places where there are no jobs. Or they might have a job, the kids are still unsafe, and there still isn't enough to eat."

One of the many fun finds Ries has is the kissing elephants scarf by Symbology. Symbology is a company focused on empowering craftswomen with the goal of making ethical fashion the norm.

In addition to helping women around the world, Ries is looking to benefit local charities. "I can take the store to the customers if they want to have private parties," said Ries. "When somebody has a party, they can have 10 percent off or they can donate 10 percent to a charity of their choice such as Mission 21 ."

On her website, , there is a "find the truck" tab. Ries is hoping to find some regular places to park. She also plans to be at some local festivals and carnivals.

Anniversary celebration

Freedom Boutique , located within Dwell Local in the heart of Rochester's Design District , has four new lines arriving: jewelry from Mata Traders, children's toys and accessories from Swahili imports, Freeset bags, and STOPstart recycled rice bag totes and purses.

"They should be here right in time for Dwell Local's second anniversary party on Friday, June 17," said Patty Brown, owner of Freedom Boutique.


Several of the lines Brown carries help women escape sex trafficking. Freeset, one of the new returning lines to Freedom Boutique, is unique.

"They stay in the area that the women had been trafficked in, so that they can speak with the women who are still in," Brown said.

Freeset is located in Kolkata, India. There are 10,000 sex workers in the neighborhood the business is located in. Its goal is to empower as many of them as possible to leave the sex trade. The Freeset bag pictured is made of Jute and recycled sari.

Dwell Local's Second Anniversary Celebration will be from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 17. Brown plans to be there during a portion of the day.

"I'll be available to talk to people about the product lines and the artists," she said.

Eth'tique Symbology Scarf Kissing Elephants

What To Read Next
Get Local