The base of the Santa Rita Mountains swims with lavender. Luckily, Cheryl Andre-Wagner is right there to harvest it. At the Andre Organic Lavender Farm, she grows the plant, which she then uses to make more than 25 organic products in-house. Cheryl—who works alongside her parents Ralph and Ruth—stocks her shop with lavender-infused sea salt, facial scrubs, oils, and other products for personal-care and culinary uses.
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 seasoned craftsmen and designers at Santa Barbara Frame Shop & Gallery take pride in preserving and enhancing memories in all of their forms—from artworks and diplomas to posters and dog-eared time-share brochures. They draw on a selection of hundreds of frames, selecting one to match your keepsake before enhancing it with a precision-cut mat and non-glare glass. As a testament to the framers’ acumen, walls throughout the shop showcase local artists' paintings, serigraphs, and photos, each fitted within its own regal frame.
At Futon Place, a showroom of classic wooden futons and beds invites visitors to settle in and imagine their guest room, studio apartment, or living room reinvented. As the name suggests, the shop specializes in futons, each crafted from hardwoods, such as oak, mahogany, and teak, and available in styles ranging from modern to rustic. Pillows and futon covers also accommodate almost any home decor, encompassing chic solid hues, ornate paisley patterns, bold animal prints, and preppy checks. Futon Place takes pride in its easy-assembly system, which comes with clear instructions and requires only everyday tools such as screwdrivers and bulldozers.
The Vita Art Center engages children, teens, and adults in creative expression with visual arts classes and monthly exhibits at their gallery. Capping head counts at 10 students or fewer, instructors work to keep classes welcoming for both beginning artists and those who have already painted a replica of the Sistine Chapel on their living-room ceiling. Young fingers pinch and coil clay and daub acrylic paints, and adolescents delve into more complex skills such as collage-making and printmaking. Adults may twist copper wire into handmade jewelry or learn how to enliven tax returns with stippling, cross-hatching, and other drawing techniques.