When Rebecca Costa-Smith took a church trip to Haiti, she never dreamed it would change her life. Edhat.com reports that Costa was deeply moved by the destitution she witnessed among the Haitian youth, and knew it was her fate to make a difference. Less than a year later, she returned with her best friend Lindsey Connolly. It was on that trip that the duo formulated the Destined for Grace concept. Destined for Grace is a non-profit organization that provides food and education for more than 125 grade-school children in poverty-stricken Haiti. As part of this continued effort, Rebecca and Lindsey established the Destined for Grace Thrift Stores, whose profits are used solely to fund their humanitarian efforts.
The swimwear savants at Bikini Factory outfit a wide variety of body types in more than a hundred one- and two-piece suits, many sporting size D or DD cups. Mix and match bottoms ($36+) and tops ($44+) from more than 35 brands including Trina Turk, Vix, Sofia, and O'Neill to find a flattering fit for your body or your robotic surrogate's body. Alternately, protect a tender torso from belly-flop fallout with one of more than a dozen one-pieces ($38+). Bikini Factory also cossets beachgoers with accessories such as flip-flops, cover-ups, towels ($18+), and pocket-size steel-drum bands.
The fashion finders at Lola Boutique sheathe torsos in gently or never-worn upscale attire; new clothing and accessories from local, emerging designers; and items from popular brands such as Rebecca Taylor, J Brand, and Gucci. Pair summer T-shirts ($12+) with colorful scarves ($38) or handmade feather earrings ($38). Bags and clutches by JadeTribe ($54+) add a colorful bohemian touch to outfits or lamentably under-accessorized hamster habitats; earrings by Hammered Hoops ($44) accessorize earlobes with effortless style. Keep knee tattoos under wraps with a pair of linen pants ($38) or cover up birthday suits with one of the many consignment items available for $40 or less.
The talented floral designers at Island View Nursery craft exquisite displays of foliage from a landscaping reservoir of nearly 10 acres. Arrangements meld together colorful flowers and lush plants in containers to give as gifts or to act as natural band-aids for wallpaper eyesores ($12.50+). Succulents ($3.25/4" pot), bromeliads ($8.50/4" pot), tillandsias ($3.50+), and orchids ($15+/4"–6" pot) supply photogenic photosynthesis, and interior plants such as palms, dracaena, and ficus give kids new places to build Lego treehouses ($2.75+/4" pot). An assortment of terra-cotta ($.59+) and ceramic pots ($5.50+) warmly coddles exterior plants such as bamboo, grasses, and trees ($2.99+/4" pot).
Nestled near Rincon Beach and stocked with gear from makers such as Volcom, Billabong, and Dakine, A-Frame Surf’s modest shop could never host a reunion for its surfing lessons’ alumni. They wouldn’t fit inside—more than 10,000 surfers have honed their craft with the shop’s CPR- and first-aid-certified instructors during both private and public lessons. Each session is held on a surfboard or a standup paddleboard and has a customizable curriculum that covers topics such as transitioning from paddling to standing and surf etiquette, which mandates that you write a thank-you card to every wave you surf.