EBENSBURG – Simple, quality, American-made products with a coastal vibe are the focus of a lifestyle boutique that recently opened in the Ebensburg Mini Mall.
Sandy Johns started as an online store in March, but owner Becky Bodenschatz said that, as interest increased, she began seeking out a space where her customers could try things on, smell candles and test bath products.
Bodenschatz and her husband, Drew, of Summerhill, opened the store last week and plan to use some of their new space for their small business, Dare Trail Media, which offers photography, videography, web and graphic design for other small businesses.
“So far, I’ve been really overwhelmed by the support of the community,” she said.
Becky Bodenschatz said she also plans to use space in the store to host crafting classes for local entrepreneurs.
“I have a creative mindset and want to help people in other ways in our community,” Becky Bodenschatz said.
As a former employee at FCI Loretto, Becky Bodenschatz said she decided to make the shift to small business. Sandy Johns was inspired by Becky Bodenschatz’s late aunt and uncle, Sandy and John Borsato, of Portage, who enjoyed camping at the beach for years.
The Bodenschatz family, including their sons, Grant, 5, and Wyatt, 6, regularly take trips to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
“We just cherish that kind of time,” Becky Bodenschatz said.
Traveling to the Carolinas has allowed Becky Bodenschatz to visit with vendors she has an interest in and network with new ones she wants to purchase from to provide simple, warm vibes that are consistent with the Sandy Johns store.
“I just really dove in,” she said.
Becky Bodenschatz said she tries to choose clothing that will be affordable for her customers, with most items selling for $20 to $55. She also sells men’s and children’s T-shirts, a variety of jewelry handmade in the Outer Banks and soaps, lotions and bath bombs from Old Whaling Co., of Charleston, South Carolina.
“Our bath products have been flying off the shelves,” she said.
Along with candles from The Outer Banks Candle Company and sea salts from Hatteras Saltworks, Sandy Johns offers local products as well, such as plants from Deep Rooted Co. of Bedford and handmade dresses for girls from The Sheet Shop, which are made by Lorraine Adams of Richland.
Sandy Johns customers can shop online at www.sandyjohns.com and pick up products at the Ebensburg store.
The store also offers weekly specials and promotes new products on its social media pages, including Facebook and on Instagram at @shopsandyjohns.
Store hours are typically 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Check social media pages for changes in hours.