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For years, Ironton natives Abby Kuehne and Amanda Cleary envisioned a greener Tri-State - one that could support and promote sustainable living.

So they did their part to make it happen.

The Vault Market, located in downtown Ironton, unites some of the Tri-State's most unique artisans into one convenient, classy space. It's one of many new businesses that have initiated a renaissance for the historic town.

From reusable food storage options to vintage skirts and unique houseplants, The Vault Market aims to make healthy foods, secondhand fashion and handmade jewelry easily accessible to their community.

Their vision, Kuehne says, is to share their success by "incubating" smaller local businesses through The Vault Market so that other local business owners can get established and, eventually, have their own storefronts.

"Our goal is to attempt to build the local economy one purchase at a time," she says. "We're doing that by featuring only USA-made gifts, and we sprinkle in antiques and vintage. We're hoping to plant seeds of sustainability to be able to help create a green region for our area."

Since they opened at the end of January, Kuehne says, she and Cleary have added in a variety of artisans whose works fit in with the quirky space. The store itself is complete with its original vault, pink marble flooring and arched ceilings.

"We hope this is the start of people being more [aware] in their shopping," Kuehne says.

For now, the store offers a limited supply of vegan, sugar-free and other health and food allergy-conscious food items, but that could change in the near future based on demand.

The shop also carries resuable paper towel alternatives, natural beard oil made in Columbus, Ohio, and hand-pressed cards from Canton, Ohio.

"We have one [artisan] who does hand-carved wooden bowls," Kuehne says. "He finds the wood locally and tags where he found them. We want people to buy something that has a story."

It's the details that matter for Kuehne, who personally hand-wraps and ties tiny bouquets of dried flowers onto each gift.

"Collectively, we have the most amazing region," Kuehne says. "We want people to think more regionally than town and state."


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