homepage logo

Not horsin’ around: The Good Shop expands merchandise, continues to do good

By Tabitha Johnston - Chronicle Staff | Jul 9, 2021

The Good Shop's home goods section was opened earlier this year. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — The Good Shop, located at 123 East German Street, has become one Shepherdstown’s staple businesses. While many other shops have come and gone in town over the past 16 years, since the shop’s original opening in a location on New Street, The Good Shop has remained as a go-to location for women’s cotton and linen clothing, accessories, shoes, scarves, hats, winter gloves, socks and bags.

However, as the shop most often draws tourists within its doors, many community members are unaware of the main reason for its existence.

“My typical customers are usually from D.C. or Baltimore. Not many locals,” said The Good Shop owner Gina Franklyn last Saturday afternoon.

Customers may get their first glimpse of The Good Shop’s purpose, when they check out at the front counter — a clear plastic donation box sits on the left side of the counter, displaying a sign on its front, explaining the store’s proceeds’ and donations’ purpose.

According to Franklyn’s sign, donations are dedicated to “the cost of feeding the remaining nine rescued horses at my farm. All proceeds from my store, The Good Shop, go to the care of these horses, but unfortunately it is never enough. . . . These horses are available for adoption to approved homes, but, given their age and lack of training, [are] only [suitable] as companion animals or pets.”

Janet Retter, of Philadelphia, Penn., takes her purchase from The Good Shop owner Gina Franklyn last Saturday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

“Every extra penny we make here goes to them. One of the horses just had to have eye surgery — an eye removed at the farm. She had pretty intense post-operative care, so that was quite a lot to deal with,” Franklyn said, mentioning she works 60 hour weeks, and is the only person working at the farm and store. “It’s getting to be really, really a challenge to continue taking care of them and running a business.”

The nine remaining horses on Franklyn’s farm, which is mortgaged, are only some of the many Franklyn has rescued from abusive situations and the Pregnant Mare Urine Industry. Prior to the Great Recession in 2008, Franklyn had been able to adopt out 12 horses. But horse adoption has remained stagnant since then, leaving the 77-year-old with the burden of caring for aging horses with increasingly demanding care and medical needs in the midst of a pandemic.

“One horse is lame; another has to wear expensive shoes. The youngest horses are 13 and 14,” Franklyn said. “I hope to outlive them all, or goodness knows what is going to happen to them!”

Making it through the COVID-19 Pandemic has been particularly challenging for The Good Shop. With a major decrease in her clientele, due to a lack of tourists visiting the area over the past year, she decided to try attracting a wider customer base in February, by dedicating a section of her store to new and upcycled home goods products.

“I just added that because of the pandemic,” Franklyn said. “Everybody was staying home, so I said, ‘Why don’t I sell a few things for the home?’

The Good Shop is located at 123 East German Street. Tabitha Johnston

“I’m kind of enjoying it, I must say! It makes a nice change,” Franklyn said.

To learn more, visit the shop or email Franklyn at thegoodshop@frontiernet.net.

Some of the home goods items on sale at The Good Shop are upcycled, while others are new. Tabitha Johnston

The donation box for the rescue horses sits on the left of The Good Shop’s counter. Tabitha Johnston