Earlier this year, Short North welcomed a new social enterprise in the form of boutique Just Cause. Populating the space once home to Roots Records at 1357 N. High St., Kelli Beightler’s storefront is bringing in shoppers for a cause.
During her time serving as an outreach director for several local churches, Beightler noticed a disturbing trend. More and more women were falling into cycles of addiction, prostitution and homelessness. It sparked in her a drive to bring about social change. She started moving away from mission-mindedness – feeding, serving, to ministry – her avenue to results.
In 2015 Beightler launched Let Her Rest Ministries, a drop-in center on Sullivant Avenue where women could come to rest, change and get a meal.
“Bringing that humanism back to them opened up their hearts and they began to share their stories,” Beightler says.
Many followed a pattern: what started with drugs, led to prostitution, which ultimately led to homelessness.
“That inspired me to come up with something holistically for detox,” Beightler says. She created her own holistic program for detoxing women from opioid addition, also working on her trauma counseling certification.
Through the ministries and churches she’s partnered with, Beightler put avenues in place for women in recovery – options for sober living, job placement, etc.
However she faced a problem many cause-based organizations do. Supporters are excited and giving at first, but dollars wane for a number of reasons.
“It was important and imperative that we were self-supportive,” Beightler says.
It inspired her to open the first iteration of Just Cause in Bexley during the summer of 2017. The gift shop quickly outgrew its 280 square feet of space. When it came time to find a new location, the Short North provided the ideal spot for a number of reasons. Beightler was intrigued by the nonprofits already in the area. She could also draw customers from a wide array of surrounding neighborhoods.
Just Cause’s inventory has a little something for nearly everyone, with appeals to infants to adults. The boutique stocks women’s apparel, graphic t-shirts, and a line of men, women and children’s clothing that Beightler distresses herself. Along with women’s accessories, Just Cause is growing its product line for men, including underwear to shaving accessories.
The boutique also carries a number of giftable items including children’s clothing and toys, teas, coffees, raw honey, soaps, a DIY sugar scrub bar and more. Other artisans will also rotate through the space with pop-ups.
The upstairs of the shop contains a small room which Beightler will use for different workshops aimed at recovery, support and mentorship.
After business expenses, all proceeds from Just Cause go to funding the recovery process. Beightler also supports a hotline for resource recovery at 614-648-3178.
For more information, visit Just Cause on Facebook.
All photos by Susan Post.