Spotlight on “The Foundrie”

At a time when justice and human rights are at risk with free trade agreements, there is a growing need to support your local economy and fair production practices.

‘Buying local’ has become a nationwide trend, and with good reason. Communities are give and take, and if you are giving back to yours then you will get even more in return. By showing your community how important your local economy is, before you know it, community gardens and apparel and products made within your own neighborhoods could start appearing.

There are several places here in St. Louis that have local produce and apparel available. One in particular is “The Foundrie”.

The Foundrie was started up by two St. Louisians: Shelah McClymont and Elizabeth Hahn-Lawrence. Shelah receive her Degree in Fashion Merchandising and has her own jewelry line called ‘Destroyed by Design’. Elizabeth studied Design and Advertising at Southern Illinois University and has her own clothing and accessory line called ‘Just Liv’. They are now celebrating The Foundrie’s second anniversary in their current location at Chesterfield Mall. And, they have many reasons to celebrate!

When walking into their store, not only will you find apparel handmade here in St. Louis, but products that have been ‘upcycled’ or ‘revived’. Upcycling is an awesome way to make use out of unwanted clothes and products. Instead of buying apparel or home décor items, you can take what you already have and make into something new!

The store is divided up by designers, so you can take a look at their products as well as learn a little bit about them. You will find everything from jewelry to body butter to home décor. The Foundrie is also hosting some fun events in-store such as once-a-month B.O.Y.C (bring your own craft) nights where you can bring in a craft you are working on as well as your own drinks or food to share. The Foundrie also offers their own supplies to the guests if you are fresh out of ideas. It’s an interesting way to make crafty friends, take away new ideas and hang out in a really cool setting! Take a look at their website: and learn more about Shelah and Elizabeth, the work they are doing in their store and a description of the events they are hosting in-store. There is also a page on their website where you can find all of the designers they are currently featuring.

For an opportunity to meet the ladies of The Foundrie as well as participate in a community event, check out Swap-O-Rama-Rama at the Missouri History Museum tomorrow from 12:00-4:00pm. Swap-O-Rama-Rama is a national event hosted by Creative Commons, a non-profit agency. The idea is to bring a bag of your own fabrics or apparel items and learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle them. There is also a community table where you can swap out your clothing for other items and create something with them. You can take the items you want to keep home or to the sewing rooms that will be set up where volunteers will help you create and alter your materials! Visit for more information.

Posted by Kara Sheehan