Local designer uses messages in clothes to spread kindness

LORAIN, Ohio – In Lorain, right on the Black River, you’ll hear music, smell delicious food, and find plenty of shopping as the town kicks off its summer market for the 17th year.

But in that mix, you’ll spot a little lady named Vicki Billow, stitching the words “Be Kind” onto a piece of clothing.

“That’s my mantra, it started when I was just thinking about what I could do to spread kindness and kindness. So I had the idea, I printed it out so that when people get dressed in the morning, I hope that’s my way of spreading kindness,” Billow said.

Billow started 2119 Rebirth over 7 years ago.

“I just started playing and made patches, and I collected all the textiles for 30 years and just started sewing. The renaissance was born,” Billow said.

And now here she is at the summer market spreading that same love, but she’s not the only one sharing the kindness.

“We started the Summer Market as a fundraiser for the Thomas Folger House in Avon,” said Erin Stack, Founder of the Summer Market.

The market started 17 years ago to help preserve a home that was due to be demolished, and well, the gift of a home has never stopped since then.

“We just turned into several home projects where we renovated the homes of large local families in need,” Stack said.

So every year more than 120 vendors come out, selling anything and everything by hand.

“We have vintage collectors; we have craft artists, we have a farmer’s market, we have food trucks, we have candy trucks,” Stack said.

While helping people in need.

“It makes me think there are other people out there trying to spread kindness and Erin is definitely a shining example of that,” Billow said.

So today is the last day.

“Start saving your money because you’re literally going to want everything here,” Stack said.

He stays next year.

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