Community is important for Julie McClymonds.
As a small business owner in downtown Meadville, she participates in events.
“Any event downtown that brings people to our community we support,” the secretary for the Meadville Independent Business Alliance Group said.
Coming up, the Green Shoppe on Chestnut Street will participate in the Catwalk on Chestnut on Friday, it will be a stop on the Wine & Brew Walk Sept. 14, a stop on the 0.5K on Oct. 4 and will be involved in Ladies Day Out in November.
“We are looking forward to the waterfowl event in Linesville, as well as the tractor parade,” she said. She recently opened a second location in Linesville.
Q: You did not grow up in Meadville but had family here, who were also business owners. What brought you to the area?
A: I was adopted and grew up in Butler. My mom was born and raised in Meadville, and I would visit my grandmother Kate Latsko on the weekends. My grandfather, George Latsko, was the district manager for Isaly’s and was the first owner to the Isaly’s on North Street. The sense of business and community was instilled in me at very early age. Meadville has always had strong focus for communities and small business. We reside in my grandmother’s home. I moved to the area after living in Southern California for college and work. The cost of living with three small children was what brought us back to Pennsylvania and to be closer to my parents.
Q: How did the Green Shoppe come to be and what is the idea behind it?
A: The Green Shoppe first started as a home-based business of selling air purifiers and laundry systems. I was passionate about these products because it helped people think about the environment around them. I would go over to homes, and people would share health concerns based off their environments. I would share personal experiences of “going green” with my own kids and why having a healthy environment was important. Along with the products I sold, I would share other great lines I used and why. The act of sharing my passion of health, environmental concerns and environmental impacts helped me build my business into a retail space that I could share more and more products with others. Sharing my passion for good green products helped me build the Green Shoppe.
Q: What do you think are the benefits of running a small business in Meadville?
A: Community. In Meadville we have a great understanding of helping each other and most in our area want to see Meadville succeed. I feel that offering unique and diverse things in Meadville helps us all create a sense of community we all want. I saw a need in Meadville for bringing something that was not being focused on in our area but was happening well in other places. The Green Shoppe was the first eco-friendly focused retail space in the area. Now, we have several other businesses with similar ideas.
Q: Tell readers about your expansion into Linesville. Why did you decide to open a second location?
A: We are very excited about our opportunity to expand into Linesville. We found a location that was perfect for a retail space, and our landlord has been very supportive. He, too, is invested in seeing the area grow. We have expanded our business Linesville because we notice many coming from the area, visiting from out of town and wanting a unique shopping experience. With our second location, we added Tattered Corners New & Used Books, Kilted Klin Paint Your Own Ceramics and Meadville Fine Arts to have space within our location. It’s great because they help us fill needs that we saw in Linesville. Like Meadville, Linesville has a wonderful community that wants new opportunities to shop local and have something to do. … We are very happy to be there.