By Hailea Boykin | Photos by Evermore Photo Co.
Sustainable living can seem like a daunting lifestyle to pull off successfully. So much of our daily lives involve creating and leaving waste in our wake, but even the smallest considerations can help minimize our effects on the planet.
While it’s hard to dive headfirst into a new lifestyle concept, Totally Taylored has you covered with fresh alternatives that can be reused in place of single use products. Taylor Ooley began selling her upcycled fabric reusable “paper” towels, “cotton” rounds and duster pads at the local farmers market and realized that there were a good amount of people wanting to make sustainable changes in their lives, but didn’t know where to begin.
“What I’ve learned is that people want to reduce their waste, use less chemicals and support small businesses, especially in Athens,” says Ooley. “My main goal is to make [sustainable living] accessible to everyone.” On her website you can find other zero waste items such as bamboo dish scrubbers, solid dish soap, bee’s wax wrap, wool dyer balls and more.
While that may seem like a lot, Ooley felt she needed to bring the next level of sustainability to Athens. To elevate and create accessibility to sustainable lifestyle changes, she knew that opening a retail store could benefit Athenians in more ways than one. She started renting in Bottleworks off Prince Avenue and began personalizing the space with her mom, partner and girlfriends, hard work that is no stranger to many of us. “The shelves aren’t perfectly straight, I didn’t use a ruler, but that’s what gives the shop it’s personality.” At the end of July she officially opened Athens’ first refillery, Totally Taylored Refillery and Sustainable Shop.
Ooley stresses her shop is a welcoming and encouraging place to all people. “I hope it shows that sustainable living isn’t a super expensive thing and that it continues to create a community of people that cheer each other on,” she says. The store will sport local goods, like candles from Athens’ own Little Light Co., as well as the items Ooley has always made by hand and carried on her website.
Since the shop is a refillery, customers can also buy dish soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion bars, makeup remover and other environmentally friendly products — just bring (or purchase) reusable containers! She also plans to slowly bring back her affordable custom clothing using upcycled fabrics.
Stepping into the world of sustainability can be tricky, but Ooley is determined to make the experience great for everyone whether they’re new or knowledgeable. “My heart is in the face to face with customers,” she says. “The shop is something that everyone can share.”