Wear Your Spirit for Humanity, a New Shop Ower Says
Inspirational clothing for the masses fill Wear Your Spirit for Humanity in Haddonfield.
Lu Hanessian likes the concept of wearing your heart on your sleeve, but she'd like it better if the emotion is embroidered on a T-shirt from her East Kings Highway shop.
Open only since early November, Hanessian's 600-square-foot store, Wear Your Spirit for Humanity, neatly displays garments that carry a message. Some make you laugh. All make you think.
Decorated simply with several antique trunks and tables, banners hand-painted and lettered by her husband, and solid wood stools that look like molars, Hanessian's shop encourages visitors to sit and rest a bit.
Most of them talk about the what the one-word banners bring to their minds: Empathy, Inspiration, Empowerment, Freedom, Respect are just some of the directives. “People come in and read them out loud. They nod their heads and begin to talk,” said Hanessian.
While you're chatting, you're drawn to handle the soft cotton shirts. From onesies for newborns to XXL, the shirts range in color from white and the palest pink to deep purple and brown.
If the shirt you want doesn't carry the message you want to project, you can just order it and it will be ready for pickup within a week. Prices range from $21 for child's to $26 for adult sizes.
“Put yourself in my booties,” suggests one. “Maybe I just need a hug,” says another. “Once Upon a Time You Were Me” encourages adults to enjoy both special and everyday moments in children's lives. “This Two Shall Pass” doesn't need to be explained to any parent of a toddler.
Some messages are appropriate for children and adults. Don't Squash My Spirit, Hard at Play, or Fearless.
Her market, says Hanessian, is infants to octogenarians.
Hanessian began her clothing line for children and adults on line and still sells through the Internet. “I'd display the shirts at conferences and found I as getting orders from Guam to Australia. That's the power of social media,” she said.
A resident of Cherry Hill since 2004, she and her husband discovered the shop during a sidewalk stroll. She was born in Michigan, raised in Montreal, graduated from McGill University where she studied psychology and music and holds a teaching certificate in music.
Starting to work in the advertising department of a radio station in Montreal, she began doing voice-overs and eventually hosted radio shows and also was an anchor on NBC and Discovery channels. She's also a columnist for the Courier-Post, has written books on “learning to trust my gut,” and a children's book that is the focus of occasional post-dinner pajama parties at the shop. That book, Picnic in a Cloud, now is in its fifth printing.
“People don't call this a store. It's a place, a studio,” she said.
“Words are powerful,” she said. Her clothing line “doesn't reflect something cute, but something meaningful.”
In January, calendars will be posted in the window with schedules of parent education sessions.
Stock at the shop goes beyond t-shirts and sweatshirts. There are several sizes of messenger and computer bags, bracelets designed by Kelly Rae Roberts that are tempting for girls from pre-teen to college ages.
Wear Your Spirit for Humanity (WYSH) is at 111 Kings Highway East. The shop is open Monday though Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The shop phone is 856-857-4356.
The website for the business is wearyourspirit.com