New business, EarthWest, fosters creativity


EarthWest, a new business welcoming artisans and vendors, had its grand opening Saturday, welcoming the Slippery Rock Community into its doors on Main Street.

Ranging from vintage to home decor, Janet and John Stalnaker, owners of EarthWest, said that the focus is on craftsmanship.

With the idea starting in San Francisco, where Janet and John used to live, EarthWest is an opportunity to introduce the Slippery Rock community to artisans and other makers.

“We have traveled a lot, and through that time it’s a natural instinct to collect things,” Janet said. “We wanted to be the curators for people who may not be able to travel as we did.”

One aspect that EarthWest focuses on with their vendors, is the story or what motivated the creation of the product. A majority of the product vendors at EarthWest are small batch, only making so many products at a time or per order.

“We want to stay a small store conceptually because the inventory will be ever changing,” Janet said. “For us to be able to share that with other people, you know you are getting something unique.”

The journey across the country has been exciting and scary at the same time for Janet and John. Living in Slippery Rock for three years, they always talked about opening a store.

John said that the opening of EarthWest is a part of building and supporting the Slippery Rock community and have talked about having local artists, such as those from the university.

“We met in the process so many different people that build and make things in the community,” John said. “Having the opportunity for those people to have a venue and to display and sell their work and discover those made by the local community provides the availability to have everyone come together in a central place.”

Janet and John have talked with the university about doing gallery openings and working with people who want to expand business experience.

Not only do the Stalnakers want to work with the university, but they want to support the existing events happening or that will happen in the community.

EarthWest acts as a launchpad for people, but also as one for the owners Janet and John.

“It’s a combination of our life,” John said.

Janet said that the store received good responses in regards to the general idea of the store, encouraging those who seemed interested to interact with herself and John.

“We are not this corporation that is untouchable,” Janet said. “We are approachable, when you interact with us, the most important thing is that you are having fun while you’re doing it.”

Janet and John encourage members of the community and those who may be visiting to stop by the store.

“Being in this community and celebrating it is what it’s about,” John said. “The whole community of Slippery Rock, how do we foster it and build it, and celebrate that.”

More information about EarthWest can be found on their Facebook page.

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Hope is a senior converged journalism major entering her third year on The Rocket staff and her second year as campus life editor. Previously, she served as assistant campus life editor after contributing to the campus life section her freshman year. After graduation, she hopes to report for a paper either in local journalism or city news. Outside of The Rocket, Hope is also part of the JumpStart Mentor Program, the Student Organization of Latinos Hispanics and Allies (SOL) and Lambda Pi Eta.


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