Just a few steps away from Eli’s Bookstore downtown sits a Greencastle staple: Conspire. Offering local, handmade, and recycled products and gifts, the store continues to be a space for students and community members to get off campus, shop, hang out, and create art. 

Owner J.D. Grove has settled on her family’s farmland which they have owned for almost two centuries now. After moving from Florida to Greencastle in 2002, she began making skincare and soap products from the farm’s ingredients in 2009. She traveled throughout the Midwest and participated in art festivals. She knew she wanted to bring the work of the many artists she met along the way to Greencastle. In 2015, Conspire began in a small space across from Scoops and then settled into its current location after much growth. On March 5, Conspire celebrated its eighth birthday. It started out supporting only 35 artists and now represents almost 150 Midwest creators.

On top of a plethora of handmade items, Conspire offers a large collection of art supplies, as well as free drinks and snacks in their community center. Free wifi is a given, and visitors are sure to be greeted by the shop cats Reda, Baby Taz, and Dance-A-Lot, who love attention. Monthly Cat Cafes showcase adoptable kittens and sell boba tea, espresso drinks, and more. Conspire hosts a free event for LGBTQ+ folks every Friday and a Youth Open Mic on the last Friday of each month from 6 - 8 p.m. Gaysgiving, Grove’s favorite event, celebrates her chosen family in the community over a shared meal. Conspire is proud of being the first to start the Little Free Pantry boxes that are seen around town to help combat Greencastle’s food insecurity. Grove has offered free clothes and food, pet food, and assistance to those unhoused or starving. 

As a queer business owner, Grove wants to promote an accepting space to everyone in the community, especially youth. “As part of a marginalized community in an area that can feel hostile to people like me, it's very important to me to organize with other people who are in the minority here - religious minorities, people of color, neurodivergent folks, and others. We are connected and need to have each other's backs. It's also wonderful to be in a small town and working together with so many people who are different from me, because we all care about our town so much. It helps me to remember to listen to other perspectives,” says Grove. 

Conspire is open 11 - 6 p.m. from Tuesday - Friday and 10 - 5 p.m. on Saturday, just a few doors down from Starbucks. Follow @conspireindiana for more updates on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. Shop online at www.conspireindiana.com