Sun in Leo may be astrological, but now the phrase becomes a storefront gracing Acorn Alley in Kent, OH. Justine Gallows, a fashion graduate from Kent, recently opened her doors starting in February.
The storefront was once home to Kent’s own witchy store but has now been revamped to offer second-hand pieces a new life. Gallows graduated in May 2022 with a degree in fashion and sustainability. She continued her pursuit of sharing her creativity by having booths at craft shows after she graduated. Her decision to put town store roots in Kent ultimately came down to how well-receptive the Kent audience was.
“I started meeting other vendors and realized Kent is the perfect town for my ideas. Hippie culture and how active downtown is [the main reason] why I stayed,” said Gallows.
Some new shoppers may be hesitant to enter a new store in Kent, but Gallows assures customers are able to find something for anyone. Gallows offers unisex clothing ranging from Dickies and more contemporary brands like Ann Taylor with an added twist that brings new life back into old clothing. Gallows also works within the community, taking donations from any patron to up-cycle, resell or recycle.
You can find Gallows dressed comfortably but elegant. Her clothes also range in sizes offering a piece for any body type. Her store differs from regular thrift stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army. While you may find a pair of pink Dickies, they will be sure to have an upcycled design by Gallows, like adding patches and buttons or ultimately creating a jumpsuit from an old blanket.
“I think Y2K has a large influence on what I choose to source but I also keep in mind timeless pieces that you can wear forever and are flattering! Grandma sweaters, mom jeans, turtlenecks, long skirts, things that can be added easily to your closet,” Gallows said.
The once seemingly small store has now been transformed into an open space to shop and chat with Justine herself. Aside from clothes, Sun In Leo offers candles, watches, sunglasses and other accessories that won’t break the bank. Sun In Leo ranges in price, but most pieces are affordable, ranging from $10-50. Thrifty shoppers can’t pass up that good of a deal, especially since recycled clothing brands tend to be for luxurious shoppers and not the average college student.
Sustainability practices by Gallows are reinforced throughout her pieces with her unique price tags. Each price tag, usually made out of plastic, now features a compostable seed that can be planted after removal. Rings made by Gallows herself feature thrifted spoons and vintage gems. The word sustainability gets thrown out a lot, but Sun In Leo features a truly sustainable store that shoppers can peruse guilt free of their carbon footprint.
A new store means changes, but Kent has eased the transition period for Gallows and her up-and-coming business. Whether you’ve had your eyes peeled for a silk button-down or a fun jumpsuit, Sun In Leo will surely be in your most fashionable friend’s closet.