Sunflower Shoppe celebrates its new location

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul cuts the ribbon during the opening of the SunFlower Shoppe’s new location at 26 West Main St. in Johnstown on Monday. Surrounded by Hochul are incorporators, officers, board members, The Sunflower Shoppe workers and other supporters. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

JOHNSTOWN — Elizabeth Cady Stanton continues to be an influence for the women’s rights movement as The Sunflower Shoppe opened its new location at 26 W. Main St. in Johnstown on Monday. There to cut the ribbon for the the opening ceremony was Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul who also donated clothing to the shop.

The Sunflower Shoppe is a community-outreach project of The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown Association.

“We are just so excited because we knew that we had the support of all the people who volunteer to work here, but to see so many other partners come out and people who we have reached out to come out to join in this; it’s really rewarding,” said Jennifer Gardella, co-owner. “We really want to serve the women in this county, in this town.”

The first Sunflower Shoppe opened in Sept. 2016 at 37 W. Main St. “Our donated professional ware for women returning to the workforce has grown so much that’s why we relocated to a new location,” said Nancy Brown, co-owner.

The Sunflower Shoppe accepts donated career clothing and including jeans to assist women returning to the workforce from any circumstance with clothing for interviews to help launch their careers. They have huge selection of women’s career clothing in a variety of sizes. They also offer a 75 percent discount off of their inventory to help build their work wardrobes.

The Sunflower Shoppe is also the seasonal home to Elizabeth and Eileen’s Prom Dress Closet, which is another outreach project of ECSHA. They are accepting donated prom dresses that can be rented for $30 or purchased for $50. Prom dresses will be available from February through May.

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown Association was incorporated in June 2008 with intentions to honor the life legacy of Elizabeth Cady Stanton through community service and activities, and building a membership who will support the organization’s goals, objectives and bylaws.

According to the association’s website, the objectives of the association include to offer a venue in the historical setting of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s hometown as a focal point for learning about her life; provide a hometown forum for speakers and conferences related to the Stanton’s life work; provide a forum to engage in discussions about suffrage and democratic principles advocating equal rights; encourage discussion and research related to the historical work of suffragists; promote an understanding of the 19th century life of Stanton; foster charitable outreach on behalf of women of all ages; and promote ad hoc discussions of the literary merit and rhetorical style of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s writings.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was an American social activist, abolitionist and leading figure of the early women’s movement. The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown association chose the sunflower because “Sunflower” was the pseudonym Stanton used to write articles for The Lily, the first newspaper for women. The paper was issued from 1849 until 1853. It was edited by Amelia Bloomer, of “Bloomer costume” fame. Stanton wrote articles about temperance, child bearing, education, women’s rights and laws unfair to women.

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