Ready to make the holidays less about commercialism and more about spreading love? These local businesses can help! In fact, they are all about helping—in every possible way. Come along as we stroll through conversations with Bend’s social entrepreneurs. Better yet, plan a visit of your own. If you do, chances are you’ll find these hands-on, hard-working, heart-involved business owners/managers on site. They’ll love hearing your story as much as you’ll love learning theirs.
Each featured product is not only a great gift to give, but also a fantastic way to give back to a cause—local or international—that might just help you show your support in a way that’s meaningful for you.
STORE: Forge Humanity
126 NW Minnesota Avenue
OWNERS: Amy Farkas and Tiphane Townley
CAUSE: Reforestation. Every watch purchase plants a tree somewhere around the world—including several thousand so far in Oregon.
INSPIRATION: “I love to research and find these amazing products that give back,” says Farkas. “All products in the store benefit a cause.” She’s passionate about every aspect of the business, from selecting products to choosing recycled materials for the displays, to engaging with customers. Enter as a curious stranger and exit as an informed friend.
STORE: Brave Collective
133 SW Century Drive
OWNERS: Jennifer and Jay Riker
CAUSE: Ending the tragedy of modern day sex slavery in India. The Sudara Punjammies collection is inspired by and crafted by women in India who have escaped human trafficking.
INSPIRATION: The word ‘brave’ rings out from every corner of the shop. You see it in the carefully chosen clothing lines that include something for everyone. You feel its fierceness in the hand-crafted-by-brave-women products they carry. There are housewares and antiques, books and decorations, clothing and jewelry. Riker shares stories of rightfully-titled Badass Brave Women on her website blog. She confirms this feeling by saying, “I wanted the shop to be more than just about selling clothes. I want to support and encourage courageous women.” Look for the Brave Collective Holiday Party December 1, benefitting local Mothers with Cancer.
STORE: Sara Bella Upcycled
Located inside Wabi Sabi
830 NW Wall Street
OWNER: Sara Wiener
CAUSE: All Sara Bella Upcycled products are made from plastic products, otherwise destined for the landfill.
INSPIRATION: “I am inspired by this mix of doing art and helping the environment at the same time,” says Weiner. “With these products, we save hundreds of thousands of bags and hundreds of yards of oxygen tubing from the landfill.”
The giving back doesn’t stop there—Sara Bella employs workers from local nonprofit, Abilitree. In addition, she donates products, funding and instruction time to a large number of other nonprofits. Weiner also serves on the Sport Product Management Industry Advisory Board for the University of Oregon, alongside those from the likes of Marmot, Patagonia and Nike and is proud to report that one of the students is designing a shoe using her fused fabric.
Glitter Edition Brut Sparkling Wine
FOUNDING LEADER: Brook Visser
CAUSE: WhyHunger – a leader in building the movement to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious, affordable food and by supporting grassroots solutions that inspire self-reliance and community empowerment.
INSPIRATION: Visser recently moved to Bend with her family and plans to put down roots and become involved in the community. “I love that it’s not too big and not too small here,” she says. One Hope sells many different wines, each earmarked for a cause, such as breast cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. They also let buyers choose local charities to benefit from their “case for a cause” sales at tasting parties, hosted by “Cause Entrepreneurs” like Visser.
Snow Cap Wheat Beer
STORE: Craft Kitchen & Brewery
803 SW Industrial Way #202
OWNERS: Courtney Stevens and Jon Calvin
CAUSE: Bend’s Family Resource Center – Strengthening and supporting family relationships by serving as the Central Oregon source for parenting education, information and resources.
INSPIRATION: Stevens volunteered for hospice for seven years before a growing family and Craft Kitchen & Brewery came along and eliminated any free time once saved for such endeavors. “The goal of our business is to remain a local brew pub that both attracts and helps the local community, so choosing a monthly ‘give-back’ beer was a great way to keep that volunteer spirit going,” says Stevens.
Anabelle and Grace Necklaces
661 SW Powerhouse Drive #1301
OWNER: Heather Nashelle
CAUSE: The profits look to cover medical costs for local children facing life-threatening illness; such as a five-year-old diagnosed with Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, or a four-year-old diagnosed with stage four high-risk Neuroblastoma.
INSPIRATION: Nashelle knows first-hand how overwhelming it can be to focus on your sick child while navigating the medical system and watching the bills pile up. After finding the solution for her son’s illness, Nashelle was told on the eve of the surgery that insurance coverage was denied. “To date, we’ve helped nine families through an impossibly difficult time,” she says. “I’m so glad we can give back in this way.”