Kim Murray came to the United States in 2006 to get married, and as soon as she had her work papers, she started selling her handmade jewelry at the Brattleboro Farmers’ Market. She then began featuring her wares at some of the biggest craft shows in the Northeast. During that time, she transformed her small studio into a full-fledged boutique, and opened Malisun in June 2007, featuring gifts hand-picked from Thailand by Murray herself.
Today, the boutique is transforming once again into a 4,000-square-foot retail store, located in the new Vermont Marketplace.
Malisun offers a wide variety of fair trade, handmade products, women’s clothing, T-shirts, home goods and Vermont specialty products, such as maple syrup. Malisun’s own brands — “Malisun” and “Harmony 44” — feature comfortable, versatile clothing that is affordable and always fair trade. Both lines are available at Malisun’s online store, its brick and mortar store, all three Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters stores, as well as Lahout’s Country Store in Littleton and Lincoln, N.H. locations.
“I personally have bought several pieces from her line, which reminds me there is a cute top downstairs I need to get,” says Althaea Carroll, Sam’s adverting manager and proud Malisun customer.
Murray says she feels fortunate to be part of the Brattleboro community.
“Without their support, we never would have made it. Over the past 15 years, we’ve been through a Great Recession, a flood, a fire, followed by years of construction, and through it all, the support from the community never wavered,” says Murray. “I’m so happy that, even though I’m expanding, I’m staying in the town I love — the one and only Brattleboro.”
She continues, “It means the world to me when a new customer tells me their friend or family member said, ‘Just go see Kim’ when they’re having a wardrobe crisis. Since the beginning, my business has always been about relationships. It is my main goal to make sure that level of excellent customer service carries over to the new, much larger space.”
One thing that is unique about Malisun is that with every purchase, the business automatically pays for the planting of one tree.
Malisun is located at The Vermont Marketplace, 580 Canal St., Brattleboro. It has temporary hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and is closed Sundays and Mondays. On July 9, Malisun will host its grand opening.