Ecology will come first at couple's planned Champaign store
CHAMPAIGN – Wendi and Bart Lindsay started their own eco-lifestyle at home.
Now they plan to open a store in downtown Champaign that will help other people find products – from baby diapers to housewares – that are earth-friendly.
The new store, to be called B. Lime, is set to open in November in a redeveloped building – which itself is undergoing a green construction makeover – at the northwest corner of Hickory and Washington streets.
B. Lime will be the inaugural retail tenant in that building, which has store space on the ground floor and apartments above.
B. Lime will carry items for the home, personal care and gifts, and the merchandise must be made by an eco-conscious company committed to using recycled, nontoxic, sustainable or organic materials, Wendi Lindsay said.
And if the item is locally made, so much the better, she said.
"That's the ultimate eco-friendly, because there's no transportation waste involved," she added.
Some of the items she and her husband plan to stock: pure cosmetics made without byproducts, organic cotton T-shirts and baby blankets, reusable baby diapers, laptop bags made out of recycled materials, teas and snack foods, pet products, cleaning and laundry products and jewelry.
The sign out front will be made from recycled materials, Lindsay said, and the floor inside will be made from bamboo.
The store "sort of fit our niche," she said.
Both she and her husband are in the health and wellness field, with Wendi Lindsay a nutritionist and wellness coach who manages nutrition and wellness education for Matzner Chiropractic and has a retail background with Bath & Body Works and Winding Way Farms Health Foods in Indianapolis. Her husband has a background in ecology and works as a personal training coordinator at the Mettler Center.
She and her husband are longtime recyclers at home, Wendi Lindsay said, but some time ago decided to take their efforts a step further by choosing the products they buy more carefully in terms of what they're made of and how environmentally friendly the company making them is.
"We try to limit our impact as much as possible, and that's kind of how this (store) came about," she added.
Lindsay said she and her husband believe making one small change in life for a better environment can inspire a wave of better choices.
"The idea is to change our line of thinking," she said. "We've all got to start thinking differently these days."
Michael Markstahler, who with partner Janice Juraska redeveloped the building and renamed it The Hickory, said B. Lime will take up 1,535 square feet of the west half of the building's Washington Street frontage.
And for him, it couldn't be a better first tenant for the space.
"We are trying to move the project along very fast because we want to have them open Nov. 1 for Christmas shopping," he said.
Markstahler said he still has 10,000 square feet of commercial space left to lease on the ground floor of the building, and all 11 apartments upstairs are leased.