No, customers cannot feed unicorns at the Unicorn Feed & Supply store in Ypsilanti, but they can expect to find novelty gifts and an atmosphere of fun.
Jen Eastridge opened Unicorn Feed & Supply in 2018 during a “transitional period” in her life. While moving during this time, Eastridge sold and donated most of her belongings; one of the few items she kept was a childhood sticker collection.
During a conversation with a friend, Eastridge was asked about the collection. While explaining the album’s significance, Eastridge decided her next endeavor was to open a small sticker shop at 114 W. Michigan Avenue.
“It feeds my happy place,“ Eastridge said. “I realized that’s what I need to do...I need to start a shop that sells stickers that just makes people happy.”
Eastridge focuses on offering a wide array of products, including LGBTQ+ pride-themed merchandise. The store also sells many princess, mermaid, and fairy-themed items, which are often represented by animals. Eastridge only includes products that are inclusive and diverse.
“I have been very intentional in not bringing all of that kind of stereotypical ‘society’s definition of beautiful’ [into the store],” Eastridge said. “We have started carrying occasional mermaids and princesses from companies who are representing mermaids and princesses in different colors and different sizes and different abilities.”
Last fall, Eastridge opened Stone & Spoon two doors away from Unicorn Feed & Supply. The store offers home, kitchen, and garden items, while keeping the same “cozy” atmosphere.
“We’re in a time where we need to create spaces, and we’re spending more time in our own spaces, especially in the last year and a half,” Eastridge said. “[We have] things that can feed your heart in other ways. It’s like, ‘home, kitchen, garden, and heart’ is what we say, so we do everything from house plants to local maker pop-up shops within the store.”
The additional space at Stone & Spoon offers Eastridge a place to hold workshops and events, including an upcoming art gallery highlighting Ypsilanti artists and musicians.
“It’s just another way to bring people out and to help another group of people, artists and musicians, who have really been feeling the brunt of this past year and a half,” Eastridge said.
Eastridge said Ypsilanti has been “wonderfully receptive” of her shops, and she looks forward to interacting more with the community.
“I have had an amazing experience with Ypsi,” Eastridge said. “I love the community, I live in the community, so I knew that this was where I needed to be and where I wanted my shops to be.”
Eastridge welcomes local artists and musicians who are interested in submitting their work to the gallery at Stone and Spoon to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first Friday of every month, Ypsilanti hosts the “First Fridays” event, a self-guided art and culture walk downtown. The next event is Friday, Oct. 1, and Unicorn Feed & Supply will be hosting a Halloween Maker Pop-up.