HEATH – Carri Luden recalls struggling to know what to do when she grew up.
“I remember flying on an airplane for the first time,” she said, “and seeing the flight attendants and how beautiful they all were – and that’s when I thought I would like to be a flight attendant. There were strict rules then with how you looked etc. etc. I thought ‘Wow! I would love to look so beautiful, travel the world and see things!’ I never dreamed in a million years I would be selling clothing!”
“I think,” she added, “that’s kind of when I started noticing fashion and beauty but never delved into the fashion I liked or thought was cool until into my late 20s, early 30s.”
Now in her 40s, Luden owns and operates Urban Threads.
“I found the boho style and loved it!” she declared. “I love things that are unique. I never wanted to be or look like anyone else but loved the hippie style. I love the comfort and how inclusive it is. You don’t have to be a size zero to rock it. You can be any size and find what feels good and looks good on you.”
Luden grew up in a small town in western New York called Westfield. She graduated from high school there in 1994 and, with her husband, moved to Newark in 1999 to open a division of his company.
Once here, she decided to go to COTC to study radiology. She became a radiographic technologist and worked at Licking Memorial Health Systems for 12 years.
She stepped away for personal reasons, then volunteered at the Vertical 196 Hope Center, a local daytime shelter for the homeless “with Scott Hayes and his wife Bernice and many other volunteers.”
“My husband and I have huge hearts for Vertical 196 and jail ministries,” Luden said. “It was amazing, heartbreaking, eye opening, so many emotions. I loved it there. There’s no judgement and it gives people a safe place to go, to get fed a meal, a spiritual meal if desired, and to see friendly faces. It was very hard work! I loved serving there! It made my problems seem laughable and made my heart happy to be a part of something bigger!”
Still, in time she decided she wanted to open a boutique offering the boho styles.
There isn’t anywhere here local that offers it,” she said. “I thought, ‘Okay, I’m going to do this!’ Things all fell into place and it happened – in the middle of a pandemic, no less!”
Urban Threads opened in the beginning of December 2020.
“It’s been amazing, and I am so very thankful!” she stated. “I’ve met so many awesome people! Every week I see new faces and have return customers. I love it!”
“Carri is one of the sweetest, most genuine people I know,” assessed friend and customer Beth VanOstran. “She truly cares about the quality of her clothing and how it will make her customers feel. She’s introduced a new clothing vibe in this area that’s quirky, fun and comfortable. It’s pretty amazing watching her bring what she loves to life!”
“I love fashion, I love to help people think outside the box,” Urban responded. “I love to serve the community in this way. Will I become a millionaire selling clothing? Probably not, but I sure do love what I do! Not too many people can say that!”
Urban Threads is located at 533 Franklin Ave. (above J Winston Salon) in Heath. For more information, call 740-334-1952 or log on Facebook.
Aces of Trades is a weekly series focusing on people and their jobs – whether they’re unusual jobs, fun jobs or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-328-8821.