Hosful Collective gives space to designers and fashion designers in Ohio
For many new business owners, the pandemic represented a chance to do something they had wanted for a long time or to turn a hobby into a full-fledged business.
But for Lindsey Drahos, the pandemic has led to a desire to lend a helping hand to small retailers facing challenges.
She opened Hosful Collective on Parsons Avenue in Olde Towne East in August 2020, just as other businesses were closing. It was an uncertain time, but it became an opportunity for Drahos to provide an accessible path for small businesses to showcase.
“We created a space to give other entrepreneurs a chance to have a brick and mortar and a storefront, without the overhead of a storefront,” Drahos said. “So when all these stores maybe closed, they could take their brand and put it in a space without having to pay the full rent.”
Most Hosful Collective vendors are black, female, and minority. They include clothing and jewelry brands, artists and artisans, and creative sellers.
“The idea was basically to come together and give other people the opportunity to be entrepreneurs,” Drahos said, adding that Hosful is always accepting new suppliers.
Drahos has long had an affection for fashion. She has a background in high-end fashion and retail at Saks Fifth Avenue, working for the retailer in style construction and personal shopping. She is currently a style consultant by appointment for the company.
The motivation to stock small businesses in her shop, she said, is partly driven by her feeling that there should be a balance between production and sourcing by high-end retailers.
The store hosts a weekly Wind Down Wednesday and in February the store partnered with creative and lifestyle director Bobby Couch to showcase local black businesses and talent, including brands By the People, Love Savage and the vintage clothing store North Tact Luxe shorts.
For March, the shop did something similar for Women’s History Month, showcasing women-owned businesses and women making a difference in the community.
In addition to the weekly event, which gives creators and sellers the opportunity to mingle with customers, the shop business model also allows sellers stocked in the shop to work inside the store to meet customers.
One such provider is Intaglio Home, owned by Leyla Inceoglu. Inceoglu, who moved to Columbus from Manhattan three years ago, sells vintage and globetrotting items in the store.
Inceoglu has retail experience herself and helps run the store. What drew her to selling her wares at Hosful, however, was the community that was fostered there.
“My stuff is very global, collected from around the world, and very unique and different,” she said. “I’m just glad it’s in a store that people love it and appreciate it and support it.”
Drahos said it is not easy to start a business,
but the boutique has been fortunate to have received so much support from the local creative community, which she says has “become a family”.
“Without the people who are there every day, without the vendors and the talents of the community, there would be no Hosful,” she said.