Hamiltonian store in city’s downtown now open

Monthly magazine’s online store becomes physical location for Hamilton T-shirts, bags, glassware and more.

The sign above the counter at The Hamiltonan’s retail store “says it all,” said Mayor Pat Moeller: Our Town, Our Stories, Our Pride.

The Hamiltonian, the monthly magazine that focuses exclusively on Butler County’s capital city, opened its new location ― moving from 131 N. 3rd St. to 224 High St. ― and offered a retail shop.

“Thank you for the investment,” said the mayor during the ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon. “This just yells ‘local,’ it yells ‘proud.’”

Moeller said the magazine, from his perspective, is a hot commodity, he told the owners, Trace Fowler and Shaun Spurlock. He recounted a time he had a copy of the magazine in his law office, but someone took it.

“That made me a happy guy,” said the mayor. He came in to get another one, and hopefully, someone takes that copy, too.

“As long as they keep taking the magazine from my office, that’s great,” Moeller said.

ExplorePHOTOS: The Hamiltonian opens a High Street retail shop

Fowler and Spurlock founded the magazine five years ago with the dream of one day having a physical retail store (they have an online store at www.justhamilton.com). They found a spot in front of the city’s namesake, Alexander Hamilton.

“It took a lot of people to believe in us and get it off the ground,” he said. “It’s not like we had a bunch of money sitting around, let’s print it for months and see if people like it. We went around to ask businesses to support us before we even got it off the ground, and they believed in us to show what we wanted to do.”

It worked, but not without sacrifice.

“It’s taken our family to sacrifice for us, it’s taken our friends to sacrifice for us, it’s taken us to put in long and probably a ridiculous amount of hours to do all the things that we’ve done and continue to do,” Fowler said.

“It’s really not about us. Genuinely speaking, there’s a lot of great people in this community, and yes it’s had peaks and it’s had valleys, but more importantly it’s had great people throughout its entire history, and we’re just hopeful we can continue to tell that story.”

Though Fowler admits he’s not a prognosticator, he does believe the future success of Hamilton involves a lot of commitment, which has happened, and “a lot more people starting to take in the things many Hamiltonians have come to enjoy.”

Maybe in a decade from now, Hamilton could be “flooded with people,” both living in its downtown and visiting “a thriving downtown/Main Street scene.”

“It’s a very, very niche community, and you really root for each other, and you really try to promote the things that are going on,” said Fowler, saying it may not necessarily be southern hospitality but agreed it could be Hamilton hospitality.

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