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Retail therapy takes a new dimension at the Amerie boutique in Newburgh, Indiana. Owner Gina Mullis offers a variety of domestic and imported men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, plus the chance to help a good cause, offering customers a chance to lift their spirits and exercise a social conscience at the same time.

The store, located at 10 W. Jennings St., carries a number of fair trade products designed to encourage environmental sustainability and promote economic fairness, particularly in developing countries. Labels advise customers how their purchase helps a grassroots entrepreneur or artisan, or supports community projects.

Mullis also donates a portion of her profits during special sales events to local charities. She opened Amerie in November 2015 and a couple months later held her first “Cause-A-Palooza.” A second event was held in the spring and plans for another before the end of the year are in the works.

The combined local and global contributions from Amerie sales so far this year are about $8,500, says Mullis. Her goal is $15,000 in 2016.

A graduate of the University of Southern Indiana, with a master’s degree from Walden University, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mullis taught English at Martinsville West Middle School, Martinsville, Indiana, and at Henderson County School, Henderson, Kentucky, until she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

She knew she had to be able to control the stress in her life, and she decided retail was the way to go.

“My husband encouraged it,” she says.

She and a friend, Brynn Howell, worked out the name for her new venture, combining “amity,” meaning friendship and goodwill, with “reverie,” a dream.

Among the local organizations that have benefited so far are the Parenting Time Center, Mesker Park Zoo, the Vanderburgh Humane Society, and the Tri-State MS Association.

“I hope to educate consumers about the importance of ethical shopping and how one little purchase can truly make a life-changing impact,” says Mullis.

For more information on Amerie, visit

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