After 15 years in downtown Birmingham, Sojourns-Fair Trade, the first wholly fair trade store in the state of Alabama, is moving to the Crestwood neighborhood.
Melissa Kendrick, owner of the popular independent store announced the move to 5520 Crestwood Boulevard in an email to her customers last week.
Fair Trade is About Changing Communities
“I’m really sad to be leaving downtown,” Kendrick told Bham Now. “We purposely opened in downtown because it was just beginning to look like Birmingham was about to revitalize and come back to life, and we wanted to be part of the change. Fair trade is about changing communities, so we wanted to do it in our own community as well.”
Kendrick said she began looking for a new location when the building Sojourns was occupying was sold. The decision was not an easy one.
Parking & Women-Owned Neighbors
When Kendrick talked to customers and supporters about a potential move, parking was the primary request.
“Everybody over and over kept saying please find a place where there is parking,” added Kendrick. “So that drove my decision, plus the energy at Crestwood Village. All these great women owned businesses, Thank You Books, Crestwood Coffee and Crestwood Tavern, that are very community-centric. I knew it would be a good fit for us.”
Along with the move, Sojourns is adding some new products including glassware from Morocco, sculptural pieces from South Africa and clothing items from Kashmir.
“It will be like a whole new store. But it will be the same old store that you know and love with more products and more parking.” concluded Kendrick.
Reopening in October
Sojourn’s last day downtown will likely be October 10. It plans to reopen at the new location October 20. Kendrick is also considering opening the store to seven days a week.