LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The first and only gender-neutral store in Louisville comes with more than soft fabrics and price tags.
Each item in BloFish on Market Street has a message.
A Louisville designer opened BloFish Clothing Co. three years ago to create an open space for all identities.
Local shopper Kasen Meek, 34, was in kindergarten when he knew he was a different gender. He said shopping at BloFish during his gender transition made him feel safe in his skin.
"If you have never not felt at home in your own body then that is so lucky,” Meek said.
Kasen transitioned socially and physically two years ago.
"As soon as I realized it was time to start living for me and not the expectations of other people,” Meek said.
As a child, Kasen saw clothes as a form of punishment.
“It took an emotional hit,” Meek said. “It was emotionally abusive on lots of levels.”
Now, after discovering BloFish, Kasen sees clothes as a form of healing.
“We believe everyone should have the same opportunities in life,” Logan Manford, founder of BloFish Clothing Co., said.
You won’t find sections, labels or sizes in Manford’s store. Instead everyone is either one through five fishes.
"Someone who’s never met a transgender before they come into BloFish, they interact, they’re hanging out,” Manford said.
The store creates a space, brings connections and shares a message with each hanger and shelf.
“Before [it] was very much like okay where’s the men’s section” Meek said. “Here It’s like okay what do I like.”
Now Meek and others can look in the mirror and see the person they always felt like inside.
"Can’t put a price or value on living for you and feeling at home,” Meek said.
Ten percent of everything sold at BloFish goes back to local social charities. The company can also make custom sizes for all shapes.
It hopes to compete with major companies. Some of its items are also made locally in Louisville.