Shopping: Substance Lofts

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Four fledgling businesses run by local artists have begun selling their products in Substance for Fashion Conscious People's upstairs space.

The mezzanine has transformed into "a fashion incubator," said owner Christina Getachew, helping creatives get their brands off the ground and eventually into their own stores while giving Substance's shoppers more variety.

Getachew nailed down the final renters this month. The picks, she said, were people who "couldn't yet afford their own store - great artists who were spilling out of their living room making things."

The artists' work also complements everything the boutique strives for downstairs.

"They're products that create a cleaner environment, a better economy," Getachew said. "And I want to help people appreciate the value of owning something handmade."

Two designers have set up in Substance Lofts. At one end is Isolda Couture. It sells high-fashion pieces created by Isolda Marie Meade, who once worked for Betsey Johnson's New York design firm and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade costume crew.

On the opposite side is Elizabeth Ashleigh Designs. Owner Betsy Stevenson, who studied at universities in Columbus and London, creates customized dresses that she assures are "just as beautiful inside as they are outside." The focus is on craftsmanship, and the dresses come fully lined in silk.

Stevenson, a 27-year-old who used to be a Substance employee, said her aesthetic is "vintage inspired and very couture." She offers tailoring and re-styling services, and frequently creates wedding gowns.

Two smaller spaces in Substance Lofts offer vintage and sustainable jewelry by Carissa Badgley, and candle and bath products by J Squared Organics, including $5 soaps, $12 fair-trade shea butter and organic pet shampoo for $12.

The artists are already selling some of their wares and will be at full product capacity by the April Gallery Hop.

"I'm amped," Getachew said. "There are really talented people in Columbus, and it's exciting to show them."

Substance Lofts

783 N. High St., Short North


Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 12-5 p.m. Sunday