CEDAR CITY — Two locally-owned businesses opened in Cedar City in May, offering more diversity along the city’s historic Main Street.
Heather Young opened Front Porch Twang, a women’s clothing store offering sizes small through 3XL, May 16. Young told Cedar City News she opened a clothing store to help women express self-confidence through style.
“I love helping women find confidence within themselves,” Young said. “A big part of opening this shop was helping women of all sizes be able to find that self-confidence and outwardly express it.”
Young said clothing can also help women boost their mental health in a positive way.
“Sometimes we sacrifice style because we’re busy moms and we feel like it’s just not practical for us or because we can’t find anything that fits us, and I feel like you kind of lose yourself,” she said. “It’s not superficial to want to look nice and feel good. When we look good, it can help us feel good.”
Young said the store has received a lot of positive feedback from the community in the few weeks since she’s opened it.
“The locals have been coming out and supporting us — they’ve been really vocal about coming out and supporting small business,” Young said. “It means so much to us because without that support we can’t survive, small businesses can’t survive — especially right now.”
A portion of sales at Fronch Porch Twang are donated to Camp Kesem, an organization that sponsors free summer events for kids whose parents have cancer, in honor of Young’s father who died from cancer.
“Twang was my dad’s nickname in high school, and the front porch is kind of like the gathering place where everyone can feel welcome,” Young said. “We wanted everyone to know that they’re always welcome on the porch.”
Young said she hopes to be involved in the community and events through her store as well.
“We love getting involved in the community events,” she said. “We want to be a name in the community, a name of positivity.”
Front Porch Twang is located at 5 N. Main St. in Cedar City, Suite 207, and is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Navaja Crafting Co., a store featuring hand-made Navajo jewelry and southwestern-themed baby items, also opened on May 16.
Owner Rebekah Nielsen said she opened the store in part due to her mother, who handcrafts all the jewelry in traditional Navajo style.
“She’s been doing the sterling silver and turquoise jewelry since I was little,” Nielsen said. “She kind of set it aside for the last 20 years, but she would always say ‘if I was young again, I’d have my own little shop.’ She creates all the pieces from scratch — all the flowers, feathers, every detail — it’s not prefabricated, she does it all.”
Nielsen said the baby items, like blankets, bibs and teething rings, are her creations.
“I love to sew, so when I had my second boy I kind of got the idea, ‘I want to sew southwestern themed baby items,’” she said.
Nielsen said although she did not grow up in a traditional Navajo household, she feels her store is a connection to her heritage.
“Growing up, my mom would always make fry bread and Navajo tacos and tortillas instead of dinner rolls,” she said. “The handcrafted jewelry is the way that she is connected, and I just think it’s kind of a way to carry on tradition.”
Since she opened, Nielsen said she has seen support from the community.
“It’s been a good, steady trickle of people that have come in,” Nielsen said. “I’m hoping between online and customers here that it’ll be sustainable until tourism is opened back up.”
Nielsen said she has always loved Main Street and hopes her store aids in attracting tourism.
“When people come to visit Cedar City, they are looking to shop for things that are unique and local to the area, and Navajo jewelry is definitely unique to Southern Utah,” she said. “I think we will contribute to the community that way, with tourism and having something unique and local.”
Nielsen added that the store is “a family affair.”
“My husband helps with building things for me when we need stuff for the shop. My little boys are here with me during the day,” she said. “They make sure to flip the open and close sign every day and Tucker stocks the soap for me.”
Nielsen said she would like to eventually support more local artists by carrying other handmade items in her store as well.
Navajo Crafting Co. is located at 5 N. Main St. in Cedar City, and is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
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