When Laurel Lautensack was planning her new Clintonville store Fernbird, her mind kept going back to something her parents always told her.
“My parents really taught me to be the change you want to see,” Lautensack said. “You cannot complain unless you’re doing something actively.”
Lautensack will donate around 10 percent of every sale made at the shop to organizations that work to stop human sex trafficking in Central Ohio.
“It just seems like the right thing to do,” said Lautensack, a 26-year-old New York native.
Fernbird carries women’s clothing, accessories, art and decor. Lautensack selects many of the items at the store because of their thoughtful backstories — jewelry made in America, all-natural cleaning products, art made by recovering addicts.
The most expensive item in the store is a $595 custom Drexel hutch cabinet. The most expensive clothing item is a $45 jacket.
Speaking of clothing, “Fernbird loves dresses,” Lautensack said. The store carries several of the same designers as ModCloth.com; average price, $30 to $34 each.
Shoes, such as mint and coral flats by Wanted, are on their way to the store this month.
Fernbird is in part of the space that used to be Central City Recording, next door to Virtue Vegan Salon. Lautensack and her staff make most of the three-room shop’s quirky decor. Part of that design includes a chalkboard behind the checkout counter where Lautensack writes a question each month to be answered by her customers.
February’s query: “What would your super power be?”
“To live forever,” Lautensack said, laughing.
She’s more realistic about the power she hopes her business can hold.
“I hope we do a good enough of a job,” Lautensack said, “that we can help women.”