GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., (WOOD) — A new LGBTQ-owned business is now open in downtown Grand Rapids.
The 12th House opened on Jefferson Avenue on June 2nd. The store owner, Sarah Cash, describes her business as a “hippie, bohemian” store that sells locally handmade art.
“I wanted to support the people that I love and the products that I love in Grand Rapids. I have a lot of Grand Rapids artists (featured in store),” said Cash.
Outside of the front of the store, patrons will find a large pride flag. There are also pride flags inside and several items that cater specifically to people who identify as LGBTQ like wedding cards and magnets.
Cash says she wanted to make the store a safe space for people who may not feel welcome in West Michigan.
“I’m a part of the community and I always had felt that the queer artist community in Grand Rapids wasn’t really featured until recently but it needs to be featured and loved all year round,” she said.
The store sells things like candles, t-shirts and locally made art. They also offer tarot card readings and henna tattoos.
Cash says she started working to open her store after she lost a second job to the pandemic and lost her father to cancer last September. Cash says her dad battled cancer for nine years. They were both artists.
“Our dream was always to have our own storefront and to help support us as a family,” said Cash. “We’re the quintessential starving artists but we also wanted to have our favorite things and our favorite artists to have them sell their stuff.”
Cash says she wants her business to remind young LGBTQ people that the possibilities are endless and that they have a community of people supporting them.
“I want them to feel that it’s okay to come here and they will not be judged by anybody. I’m a bi woman and I’m married to man but that doesn’t invalidate my queer-ness,” said Cash.” I just wanted to make sure that people know it’s okay to be who they are, here we celebrate that.”
The 12th house will be hosting tarot card readings Wednesday, June 9 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. They will also host readings throughout the rest of the week.