Fair Trade Store to Open in Arts District


Coco Libre believes in fair trade.

The vintage store, opening near the Lustine Center on Baltimore Avenue Oct. 1, plans to sell everything from tea and coffee to earrings and bracelets, as long as it’s from producers who can make a living wage from their work.

The Hyattsville Wire spoke with manager Ongisa Mckenzie.

Why Hyattsville?

Because we live nearby and it seemed like it was a burgeoning arts area. It’s a style we’re into, so it was optimal for us to do that there.

The location of the store has been sort of cursed. It started out as a frame store and then as a physical therapy locale. What makes your store different?

We’re going to be doing a lot of outreach. … We met a lot of cool people at the Hyattsville Art Festival that want to contribute. It contributes to the local economy and local arts. We think the message behind the retail makes us different. But it is a retail store like any other.

What percentage do you expect to sell in-store vs. the online shop?

We’re hoping that it turns out to be 70 percent in store and 30 percent online. A lot of our stuff is vintage clothing; we’re thinking a lot of the sales will be from [that]. Vintage sizes are not the same as modern sizes, so a lot of trying on will happen in the store. People do buy vintage clothing online, too. It’s also going to be like a dry goods store. Everything is certified, and we’ll also sell artifacts and jewelry. We’re working with local artisans and that’s where the homemade goods come in.

Why do you think your store will become a staple shop on Route 1?

I think if people come, they’ll have a lot to look at. The sitting room, the counter tops, the shelves—it’s all refurbished. It’s a nifty store.

You can follow Coco Libre on Twitter at @shopcocolibre.

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One Response to Fair Trade Store to Open in Arts District

  1. Rachel says:

    Sounds awesome!

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