spruce & adore owner Jenifer Schweitzer.

    spruce & adore owner Jenifer Schweitzer.

    Right from the start, it should be clarified that spruce & adorn™ is more than just a shop and small business located in Lawrenceville, on the outskirts of the Strip District—it is a movement. This movement is a direct result of its founding principles of mindfulness and giving positive energy back to the local community and the world at large. One glance at the storefront’s bright yellow façade instills a sense of warmth and welcome for any who enter—like passing through arches comprised of a midsummer day’s sunlight.

    That feeling is only reinforced by Jenifer Schweitzer’s (the business’s “Strategic Visual Design Consultant and Good Vibes Generator”) open invitation to think about the meaning behind every carefully chosen item available within. According to Schweitzer, spruce & adorn “by one girl’s graphics” is a spinoff of her 20-year-old visual communications, design, and consulting firm. “It is my living portfolio, intended to be a marketplace for the kinds of unique creations I might curate for my clients.”

    Health and societal upheavals during the past year related to the pandemic and the re-examination of racial issues within our country were strong influences on the formation of spruce & adorn. “A collection of tragic events in 2020 brought all of this to the forefront of conversation, and last year we began to see how important it is that we love one another. This is the service the store has sustained—to ‘keep on keeping on’ during these times,” explains Schweitzer.

    Her original business formula envisioned what life could look like if artificial intelligence took over the job market and how society could learn to come together when we are living in such polarizing times. “This is coupled with the fact that I am very passionate about design and design innovation and the way the arts help us to transition from one state of being to the next.” Schweitzer also believes that the arts bridge communities through language and cultural barriers: “So I chose to open a storefront before a web store in order to create a space of curiosity and discovery as well as community and celebration.” The entire store can easily be described as an installation art space focused on inspiring mindfulness about social causes and a greater understanding of the human condition.

    In other words, spruce & adorn invites people to become more curious about social-impact causes that we may not typically think about during our daily secular lives. “So we curate goods that are thought-provoking, peak curiosity, invite self-reflection, and inspire forgiveness and love in order to best honor and love thy neighbor,” says Schweitzer.

    In fact, everything in the store is curated off the idea that they offer good vibes, great intentions, and functionality. “As long as I can remember, I have been recruited by clients and friends alike to locate unique goods based on my own personal style. I’ve always been an artist and have had an esthetic for style—and I’ve wanted to use my art for the advancement of the better good,” she adds.

    spruce & adorn

    Some striking highlights of Schweitzer’s “curated” philosophy are the “goods for good” collections, which are featured items in the store that “vibrate goodwill initiatives back out into the globe.” Each purchase of these products raises consciousness of social-impact causes. “They provide us with an opportunity to be part of a global great good while investing in items we need and want,” further explains Schweitzer.

    One example of the “goods for good” approach is the spruce & adorn line of protective serape face masks, jewelry, bags, and ornaments that have Navajo-inspired styling. For every item Schweitzer sells out of this collection, she makes a personal donation to the Navajo Water Project, which is committed to getting clean running water to the Navajo people.

    Another is a line of square mugs by the Square Cafe, which is dedicated to hiring people in need of second chances in life. “They are in the practice of working with many organizations around the city to be a good advocate for our community,” notes Schweitzer.

    Other popular and unique spruce & adorn items include signature lotion candles with a mind/body component (in 18 scents); organic edible 24-karat-gold rock candy that resembles beautiful agate crystals; hand-rolled “smudge” blessing kits; unique storage furnishings; metaphysical and self-care items; and mindful gifts.

    Although spruce & adorn truly has a mission of promoting mindfulness on a global scale, Schweitzer appreciates and is dedicated to its locale. “Over a span of 20-plus years, the Strip District has always been a highlight of my Pittsburgh-living experience. It is so exciting to see real life filling the streets of the Strip again, and I am very gratified to be in an area that celebrates what attracted me to Pittsburgh in the first place—all of the uniquely owned, small mom-and-pop shops that give Pittsburgh a very eclectic feel.”

    As a passionately creative entrepreneur, Schweitzer concludes that spruce & adorn encompasses her artist’s call to action, and she invites everyone to visit the store (at 3609 Butler St.) in person. You can also schedule a one-on-one, 30-minute virtual shopping tour (from the safety of your own home) by clicking the “Book Now” button on the spruce & adorn Instagram page (@spruceandadorn).

    Christopher Cussat is a Pittsburgh-based freelance writer who sincerely believes in the power and importance of language and the dissemination of knowledge through words, “because words can and do affect life and the world as we know it.” Read more of his writing at cussat.com.