Bethany Clough

Body positivity and scrunchies: Millennial-owned store opening downtown has a purpose

A little corner of downtown is getting an infusion of hipster energy.

A new boutique in the recently renovated Peerless building at Broadway and Amador streets opens with a party Friday night that will shut down the street.

The Shop at KLSD is essentially a clothing and home goods store. But there’s a lot more going on here, including a booming internet business with a production center and six employees in the back of the building. More on that in a moment.

KLSD stands for Keep Life Simple Design.

At the 600-square-foot store that faces the Broadway, there are T-shirts that say “Be a good human” and “Love starts with you.”

There are also dresses, candles, bath bombs, and the popular Gigi Pip brand of felt fedoras. There’s lots of “Millennial pink” (that shade of pink that was called dusty rose in the 1980s) and hair scrunchies – another 1980s fad making a comeback.

Customers can take their picture at a selfie wall that says “You are magic.”

But no, you don’t have to be a hipster or a Millennial to shop here. The company has a much broader customer base than that.

Many of the items in the shop are part of owner Alexandra Register’s KLSD line of clothing.

That “Be a good human” T-shirt she designed is the No. 1 seller. Others say things like “Love starts with you.”

Those messages of kindness, self love and body positivity are deliberate. They’re part of the company’s mission, Register said.

“It’s to cultivate positive thought and change through our apparel and content in our community,” she said.

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Merchandise is displayed at The Shop at KLSD, located in the Peerless Building in downtown Fresno on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. CRAIG KOHLRUSS ckohlruss@fresnobee.com

You’ll find lots of items that are locally made or made by women-owned businesses, who Register likes to support.

That includes the embroidery hoop with the words “Empowered women empower women” for sale from Fresnan Chloe Quesada at online shop Holy Stitch Balls.

Most items range from $20 to $60.

KLSD

The store is new, but the KLSD brand is not. Register started it five years ago when she was home with her newborn baby.

What started as a hobby selling various printed items on Etsy.com turned into a full-fledged business.

Now, she’s got six employees who ship out around 400 packages a week.

Sold via Etsy or the KLSD website, a big portion of the company’s business is making personalized items for weddings and bachelorette parties. There are customizable T-shirts with sayings like “Groomsman Daniel” and hats that say “Mrs. Smith,” for example.

KLSD also does various kinds of printing – much of it personalized with names or initials – on T-shirts, wine glasses and door mats (like the one that says “Fresyes Proud”). With about 3,000 square feet total, much of the work happens out of sight from the store, in the back of the building.

There’s also studio for photos and videos.

KLSD has a YouTube channel that includes weekly videos about motherhood, style and “Monday Mom Meal” recipes.

Downtown Fresno

Anytime a new business, especially a retail store, opens downtown, a debate starts somewhere about whether it can survive.

KLSD is a little different in that it doesn’t need to bring in tons of foot traffic to the store to make it. The business is thriving without it.

A brick-and-mortar store would be an add-on, Register said.

“It wouldn’t be something I needed to rely on for the stability of the company,” she said.

It’s a business model that we’re seeing more of in downtown. The store Root, for example, has a design/print studio that takes orders for T-shirts for outside customers. Chef Paul’s Cafe also has a catering business.

Register looked at spaces in Old Town Clovis, but decided to move downtown.

“I love it here and I really wanted to be part of the growth and development of downtown,” she said. “The energy is so amazing. There’s a lot of creative people in this building.”

Expect even more events, including in-store workshops, fitness classes and Art Hop nights.

The grand opening is from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16. The street will be blocked off and the family-friendly event will include food trucks, music, cocktails and coffee.

Details: The Shop at KLSD is at 1755 Broadway St., suite 105. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays. (559) 478-5501.

Bethany Clough: (559) 441-6431, @BethanyClough

Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A reporter for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.
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