CHILLICOTHE – When Glitter Mom co-owners Mid Bowdle and Nypashia Dyre started a fundraiser for a softball league, neither owner imagined the success it would eventually lead to as they opened a second store in Chillicothe.
At the time, Dyre’s husband was working with Bowdle to get the league up and running, and the pair started working together to make glitter shirts as a fundraiser.
“When the fundraiser was over, we kept getting calls and messages for people trying to order, and so we made the decision to make it into a business,” said Dyre.
“She’s a former teacher, I’m an X-ray tech, I never thought I’d make shirts in my life, and here we are,” said Bowdle.
After two years of making shirts out of their own houses, the pair purchased a storefront in Frankfort in 2016.
During the pandemic, the Frankfort-based business blossomed, Dyre said. “We’ve always been busy, but during COVID, our online sales really took off. I think people were at home, they were bored, and they were trying to support local, so we reached a whole new following of people while everyone was quarantined that we didn’t really have before,” she said.
This led to a large demand from clients in Chillicothe and in Jackson County, who might not want to drive all the way to Chillicothe to pick things up, so the duo ramped up shipping and porch pickup from a deck box at Dyre’s Chillicothe residence.
Eventually, the two reached the conclusion that it made sense to open their new North Paint Street location as a central location, and cut the ribbon at 90 North Paint Street on March 13.
“It’s exciting and scary at the same time,” said Bowdle. “To make that leap to a second location, you’re like, what if we lose everything, you know? I think we’ve seen so far that’s it’s been good”
With silver deer heads hanging on the exposed brick walls, the Chillicothe location offers a rustic vibe with a low price point – usually, no more than $20, although customs might be just a bit more, according to the owners.
“My husband calls us a blue-collar boutique because we’re very down-to-earth-small hometown with small hometown prices,” said Dyer. “We’re not trying to be high-end and overprice everything. I’m a bargain shopper and we’re very frugal ourselves in how we spend money to stock the store, and we want our shoppers to be able to shop frugally as well.”
The store also specializes in custom jobs for almost any event as well as sportswear for local teams such as Chillicothe, Adena, and Huntington.
While the store ironically doesn’t do much glitter anymore, the store very much caters to sports moms, said the two. “It’s literally moms buying the shirts,” said Bowdle. “they’ll get them for their kids but they’re in here like I want a new shirt to wear for the game, so it’s based on moms wanting gear.”
The onus behind the original store started as a fundraiser, and that’s still a core part of what Glitter Mom does, according to the two.
One such charity was a shirt drive to help with expenses for local athlete Eli Kunkel, who passed away in June 2019 from a rare brain disease.
For Kunkel’s cause, the business donated all of its time and resources, giving 100% of the profits from the drive to the cause. Normally, the given fundraiser gets about 25% of the profits, said Bowdle.
“Anything as small as around Christmas time, some Adena kids had Adena gear on their Christmas list and wanted to know if they could get a discount, and we said, no, you can just have it, to huge fundraisers like the Kunkel thing,” said Dyer.
The pair have participated in many smaller charities like that, she said.
The business also participated in raising money for Brandon and Jacob Smith, who were badly injured in a car accident in early 2020.
“All of Ross County came together, basically every SVC school ordered shirts … it said #SmittyStrong on the front and it had his basketball number on the back,” said Dyer.
“When (Adena) would play (Other SVC schools) the other team wore them during warmups,” said Bowdle.
Both described charity as a very important aspect of what they do.
“We got started through a fundraiser and giving back, that’s kind of been a basis through every year. We’re hometown Frankfort, small village to small little community, and when something happens, everybody comes together,” said Dyer.
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