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The Eastern Echo Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

Unicorn Feed and Supply relocates online but still intends to “feed your happy place”

Downtown Ypsilanti's Unicorn Feed and Supply to operate fully online

After five years of business Unicorn Feed and Supply switch to e-commerce on Dec. 24

Unicorn Feed and Supply will move fully online at the beginning of January 2024, the shop's last physical day open will be Dec. 24.

Jennifer Eastridge, owner of Unicorn Feed and Supply, opened the store in 2018 to spread joy and feed each customer's 'inner child.' The shop displays an array of products that are intentionally animal-centric. 

"I was adamant on changing the paradigm of how young people were represented," Eastridge said. "I wanted to make that shift where kids can see themselves in a unicorn, a dragon, or a little bunny carrying a messenger bag."

The decision to move to Unicorn Feed and Supply to e-commerce is not a new concept for Eastridge. In the past, there were efforts moving into a digital space, but there were issues that arose during the process.

“We had already started building an e-commerce site for Unicorn Feed and Supply. After three years of struggling with what it was…[we decided] to scrap it and start over. It was the best decision. It kind of made the decision for us,” Eastridge said. 

In the coming weeks, a new feature will be added to the website. Customers will have the ability to craft a wish list for special occasions such as birthdays, Halloween and Christmas. Regardless of the items you select for your wish list, Eastridge chooses products for the store with a purpose behind them.

“We are super intentional about the work that we do and what we sell," Eastridge said. "That’s the difference when you support local businesses -- we can tell you about the company and we can tell you about the people. It is a whole different ballgame.”

Because Eastridge wanted her ideas and message to reach further, she commissioned friend and artist, Amy Balzer-Pemberton, to create an eclectic crew of best friends called 'The Framily!' for Unicorn Feed and Supply. After ordering the products through the e-commerce platform, customers packages will then be sealed with unique packaging tape with designs of the 'Framily' on it.

With nine characters, each animal has detailed characteristics. One of the animals is a pink unicorn, inspired by a six-year-old customer who came in during the shop's first year of opening. She was dressed in all pink and her favorite color was “rainbow and sparkle." The characters can be further explored on the Meet the Framily's website

Although the physical location will no longer be there in 2024, Eastridge is planning to keep the shop active in the community during the coming months.

“We have so much planned for the next three months including pajama dance parties, magical workshops, and groovy giveaways! So, come and hold our hand as we begin our next chapter online. Change can be scary, but it will be fun because we're doing it together," Unicorn Feed and Supply’s Facebook page announced.

After the store's closure, Eastridge intends to have Unicorn Feed and Supply participate in pop-up events, the Unicorn Festival in April, and a Pride tour next summer. 

“We’ve got these different things [events] that I am excited about because we can do them in a new way that will generate community excitement,” Eastridge said.

While customers are possibly disappointed by the relocation, they are still able to support Eastridge through her other downtown businesses, Stone & Spoon and The Gallery at Stone & Spoon, which also supports local artists.

Eastridge hopes Unicorn Feed and Supply's customer base realizes the community created by the storefront is still strong and will continue to grow. In addition, the gift shops move to its e-commerce platform allows customers access their 'happy place' from anywhere and anytime. 

“We are more than one physical space, we are bigger," Eastridge said. "Now we can spread that life, that air, and that energy again in different directions and in new and exciting ways. I want people to round the bend of sadness and see that there are exciting things ahead. Now it is limitless. We are just getting started."