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    Monday, January 30, 2023

    Hang the Moon brings empowering, eco-friendly gifts to Mystic

    Display of household items at Hang the Moon Thursday, March 5, 2020 in downtown Mystic. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Mystic — Downtown Mystic has a lot of shopping options, but longtime business owner Stephanie Marshall felt like it needed something more.

    Marshall, who runs Tidal River Clothing, said she had been going to trade shows for items for Trove, her husband's store for men, but a lot of the items she found interesting didn't really fit in there. They would, however, fit into a women's gift store, something she thought downtown was lacking.

    Thus, Hang the Moon was born, opening in September with items made by and for women, with a focus on items that are empowering, environmentally friendly and socially responsible.

    "Just about everything in the store has a story to it, it's not just stuff on a shelf," she said. She said that while she didn't intend to open the store during a time when the political landscape is highlighting and challenging those ideals, that conflict makes the store resonate more with shoppers.

    She described the store as a Trove-like experience for women, with a little bit of everything and something for any budget. The space on West Main Street is set up in sections based on a theme like gardening, self-care, feminism or pop culture. She said the CBD section, which includes tinctures, lotions and even dog treats, has been especially popular as public attitudes about marijuana and cannabinoids have changed.

    In selecting her stock, Marshall said she wants to sell things that will help others — Connecticut-based Bridgewater Candles, for example, donates three meals to children in need for every candle sold — and many small businesses and women-owned companies have similar missions.

    Hang the Moon also carries items by local artisans; the store's mugs are handmade by Lyndsay Dean of The Vegan Potter, featuring the store's logo, which was designed by Adrienne Pratt of Porkchopstick Studios.

    Pratt, who lives in Old Mystic, said she's been shopping at Tidal River for years, and Marshall has carried some of her artwork in that store. She went with Marshall on one of the trade show trips before Hang the Moon opened and was asked to design the logo for the store.

    "I love working in a collaborative effort, having what someone sees in their mind, creating it and bringing it to fruition," she said.

    In addition to the logo, Pratt also sells stationery and stickers in the store, as many of her original designs fit in with the store's themes of empowerment and environmental awareness. She said Marshall has been consistently supportive of her as an artist and small business owner.

    Dean, whose studio and retail shop Glaze Handmade is in Stonington, said she connected with Marshall through Pratt, who had spoken highly of her, and she hoped Marshall would want pottery for the store. They met last summer to design items for the store, including the mugs as well as ornaments.

    "I'm very honored to be part of the shop," she said. "I think her vision for the shop, bringing together handmade crafts and supporting small businesses and in particular women, is a really needed thing in the area."

    Marshall said she's proud that the store can support other local businesses and happy that she can do it in her hometown.

    "We try to connect the items with the creators, with the artists, so people aren't just taking something home, they have a story to go along with it," she said.

    Natalia Wiese, left, of Niantic, and her cousin Cayla Fresquez, of Norwich, spend time shopping at Hang the Moon Thursday, March 5, 2020, in downtown Mystic. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Sales Associate Dana Hambridge, left, helps customer Margaret Donabed, of Hingham, Mass. at Hang the Moon Thursday, March 5, 2020 in downtown Mystic. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    August Wolf, left, of Norwich and Bettyann Peck, of Seymour, leave Hang the Moon Thursday, March 5, 2020 while shopping in downtown Mystic. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Business Spotlight

    Name: Hang the Moon

    Owner: Stephanie Marshall

    Address: 31 West Main St., Mystic

    Hours: Currently closed due to the coronavirus; regular hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Fri-Sat.; hours to expand during the summer.

    Phone: (860) 980-0986

    Website: www.hangthemoonmystic.com

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