Honey's co-owner previously worked at one of the stores affected by the Union Street fire. 

A new business has risen from the ashes of November’s fire on West Union Street.

Meredith Allen, who previously worked at Kismet, chose to start a “new chapter in her life” after the fire by opening her own business: Honey, a lingerie and adult store.

The store, which she co-owns with her boyfriend, Wes Thompson, opened three weeks ago on West Union Street. The bulk of the store’s walls are lined with lingerie and also offers jewelry and adult toys. Allen said she wanted to create a positive atmosphere for women to shop.

“It’s nice to shop in a place that promotes a female friendly environment,” Allen said. “It’s not always about sex, it’s about confidence. It’s nice to have a place that’s comfortable and not overly sexual.”

While planning out the store, Allen said she had women foremost in mind. Her products, while sexual in nature, don’t necessarily have to be about sex. Allan believes her items are an avenue of confidence for women of all types.

“I want it to be about female empowerment,” Allen said. “You don’t need a boyfriend to wear lingerie. Whether you’re going out at night or to a business meeting, it’s about loving your body. We’ve got a college kid on a budget, and the professor who goes out.”

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Allen said she wants Honey to be a “classy” place, one where the sexual nature of her products isn’t the main focus point. One way she went about this was removing any packaging with graphic pictures in order to shy away from negative portrayals of women.

She also keeps the adult toys behind a wooden partition out of respect for customers. While she doesn’t display these toys up front, she is upfront about her thoughts on them.

“It should be something that you can shop for and not feel shameful,” said Allen. “Every girl should own a vibrator.”

Forty percent of the items and products in Honey are either fair trade or made in the United States. Selling a wide variety of sizes is also a significant goal for Allen.

“Models in general are smaller, and I think that sends the wrong message,” Allen said. “You should be able to decorate your body, no matter what size you are.”

Students who have yet to go visit Honey are intrigued in what the store has to offer.

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“It’s good for the girls to be able to get cute things,” Camille Deville said, a sophomore studying speech pathology.

Students are also glad to have a place where they are able to shop for feminine-related merchandise near campus.

“College students need sexy clothes,” Baileigh LaRue said, a sophomore studying fashion merchandising.  “It’s inconvenient because you usually have to order things online, and I prefer to get a better feel of what I’m buying.”

LaRue and Allan both said there weren’t many options close by to buy lingerie, which was one of the reasons Allen decided to open up a lingerie store in the first place.

“There’s nothing like it here,” Allen said. “It’s important to have something like this on campus where it feels safe and comfortable. A place you can ask questions, and it’s not weird.”



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