Give Local · Uncategorized

21 Days to Shop Locally and Give Back

Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll share “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about shopping at independent retailers, art galleries, craft fairs, coop and specialty markets, wine and bottle shops all around the Triangle.

EV Gifts

When you make a purchase at a locally owned, independent retailer, or from a local artist and crafts person, you’re lending your support to your community. To paraphrase a John Kinsman quote, every time you spend your money at an independent shop, you are voting for the community you want. That choice to spend your cash locally is a worthy one. When that purchase supports the employment of individuals with developmental disabilities, the value of your choice increases twice over, at least. 

Chapel Hill based Extraordinary Ventures (EV) started in 2007 to address an issue, how to train and employ the increasing number of young adults with autism and developmental disabilities who are “aging out” of public school and are no longer able to access existing services.  Today the 501(c) (3) non-profit organization creates and nurtures self-sustaining small businesses designed around the skills of their workforce. EV operates five ventures:  a laundry service, an office services company,  a business that produces and markets premium candles, a bus cleaning and maintenance service and an events center that rents space for meetings and conferences.

One of those ventures is EV Gifts, a line of scented, double wick, soy candles (scents include Birthday Cake, Red Hot Cinnamon, Vanilla, Green Tea, Fresh Cut Grass, Sweet Tea, Honeysuckle, Fresh Fig, Hazelnut Coffee, Hot Apple Cider, Sweet Potato Pie, and Christmas Tree). An EV employee hand pours each candle, following a recipe – measuring ingredients, stirring and cooking the wax and fragrance, adding the wick, filling the container to the desired level, trimming the wick when the candle has cooled and finally, adding a colorful label. The candles are truly hand crafted, by very special hands.

I’ve sort of made a tradition (for the last couple of years) of buying the special holiday scented candles for family (shipping some all the way to California). You can shop online or find a them at local area gift shops like Cameron’s in Carrboro, Morgan Imports in Durham or Deco in Raleigh. I hope you’ll try one (or three) for yourself (or to give as gifts) this year. 

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