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Posted: July 1, 2020 DECI Member Feature: Odd Humyns

Generally, being labeled ‘odd’ is not a compliment. It’s a step down from your mother’s review of your new haircut as ‘interesting’.

But the crew at Odd Humyns doesn’t see it that way.

Serena Wagner and Sarah Johnson have been building a business that embraces the odd, the different, the unique; because, as the rainbow-colored mural behind the register reads – “you’re a lil weird.”

Starting as a brand-strategy business in 2016, Odd Humyns has vastly expanded, adding what was primarily an art supply store in 2019 at 209 N Barstow and growing that to a shop that now offers a wide variety of goods. Disco ball tumblers? Check. A button that reads ‘Soft Butch’? Yep. Sheet masks, tinctures, birthday cards, care packages, lemongrass incense? Ab.so.lutely.

It’s a place you feel comfortable exploring, in large part because this femme-owned business prioritizes inclusion.

“60% of our products are made by people of color or queer folks,” says Sarah. “We made it a point to seek out more diverse makers.”

“We wanted to bring a different voice to downtown,” Serena adds. “We wanted to be a part of the growth and change, and lend a unique perspective to that.”

Their commitment to diversity and justice stretches beyond their business to advocacy for the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBTQIA+ rights. Most recently, while simultaneously adjusting their business to the challenges brought by the pandemic, they helped organize the Chippewa Valley United Relief Efforts (CVURE) - a grassroots supply donation organization that has been delivering as many as six carloads a day of supplies and basic care items to neighborhoods most affected by the Minneapolis riots.

They’re not just selling things, they’re selling a mantra: All are welcome – the odder, the better.

Embracing and celebrating the unexpected is the name of the game here, so Odd Humyns seems particularly equipped to handle all that 2020 has wrought. When asked how they’re getting through the pandemic, they appear to be taking it in stride.

“The store looked like a shipping center last week,” said Sarah; sharing that the closures prompted them to dive headfirst into the world of online retail, curbside pickup, and product delivery. They moved from a small offering of online merchandise to making 95% of their items available for purchase on their web store. 

“We’re figuring out how to move forward, there isn’t really a chance to go backward,” says Serena.  

Odd Humyns is moving forward indeed, and they’re bringing the rest of Downtown Eau Claire with them.

You can shop their web store 24/7 at oddhumyns.com. They have also re-opened their physical store at 209 N Barstow Street with limited hours this summer. See their website and social media for updated opening hours and information on how to safely visit their store. https://www.facebook.com/oddhumyns/; https://www.instagram.com/oddhumyns/

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