RESPECT for all, at Healthy Hippie Trading Co.
Health Hippie Trading Co.
May 14, 2022
When she opened Healthy Hippie Trading Co. last September, creating a space where all would feel welcome and safe was not owner Sarah Rose's main thought.
"I wanted to create a space where everyone would enjoy shopping, of course," she says, "but the thought of creating a 'safe' space really wasn't top of mind for me. The concept was quite foreign to me."
What exactly does she mean by a "safe" space?
"A 'safe' space is a place where all, regardless of their religious persuasion, gender, sexual orientation or political affiliation can feel welcome. A place where everyone will feel seen, safe and respected," Sarah explains.
While this may seem like a common- sense concept, it was not something she had given much thought.
"I consider myself a pretty good hostess and business owner. I give a lot of time and attention to creating a welcoming atmosphere for my customers but the idea of my store being safe only involved things like avoiding tripping hazards and having enough fire extinguishers. I wasn't aware that there are people in our community who don't feel safe from harassment in certain places in our town due to things like their religious beliefs, gender or sexuality. My response to learning this was a naïve, 'In OUR town? In Tehachapi?' I was sick at heart to learn that, yes indeed, in our town."
With this realization in mind, Sarah was determined to create a space for all and particularly those who may not feel welcome in other places.
"It's definitely a juggling act when it comes to creating a safe space for some while not offending others. I am well aware that my store is not going to be for everyone and I respect that. All I ask in return is that those in my store respect that it is my prerogative, as the owner, to carry what I want to carry. They have the power to express their opinion by withholding their dollars and not shopping with us. I'm very pleased to say, that overall we've experienced a very positive reception from the community."
The Healthy Hippie is honored that they have been invited to attend a local pride event that will be held in the empty lot next to Starbucks on Saturday, June 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
"All they asked for was our support by being present. We have decided to put together a raffle basket to raise funds for the Bakersfield Aids Project, an organization that does a lot for our local LGBTQ community. It's completely donation based, no purchase necessary to enter," she said.
Healthy Hippie Trading Co. is located at 20418 Brian Way, across from Kelley's Chuckwagon Café in Old Town. Hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They invite you to check them out on Facebook and Instagram.