“We blame society, but we are society.”
That’s one of Lydia Montgomery’s favorite quotes, so when she and her husband opened a variety store in downtown, they named it Society.
“We are society,” Montgomery said. “We are community driven and we want to be a part of the revitalization.”
Lydia and Richard “Taylor” Montgomery recently opened Society, a new twist on a general store, at 1626 Central Ave. Downtown Middletown Inc. held a ribbon-cutting last week and several city leaders who attended the event said they were impressed by the store’s unique selection.
The store offers men’s and women’s clothing, household items and collectibles, Middletown items, and artisan candles. There are metal dice, hot air balloons made out of recycled aluminum cans and key chains with kissing timers. Montgomery said the inventory will constantly change.
“It’s completely different,” said Mallory D. Greenham, executive director of DMI and Lydia’s sister.
Greenham said she’s excited the store has opened in a downtown block that hasn’t seen much commercial development recently. She hopes it spurs additional business in the area.
“This is something that was needed here,” Greenham said. “People drive to Dayton and Cincinnati for these items. Now the money can stay local.”
The couple purchased the retail building, a loft space and a four-apartment building for $50,000 last year, Lydia Montgomery said. She said the apartments are all rented and they have spent several months renovating the property.
“We feel in love with the building,” she said during her ribbon-cutting. “This is my dream.”
She said her husband, 27, owns a Hinkle Electrical Co. that was operated for years by his grandfather. She said her husband is “a self-made entrepreneur” and was the inspiration behind the business.
The 26-year-old Madison High School graduate, a former dental assistant, said when she drives down Central Avenue she sees “opportunity and growth” instead of vacant buildings
Then she added: “We want to be part of the success.”
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