Recently, I’ve begun working for a local media company called Where By Us as an Engagement Producer. A part of my work at Pulptown, the local email newsletter distribution covering local news and events that I directly work on, is to build partnerships with the many creators, business owners, and entrepreneurs that make Orlando the vibrant city it is.
This past Saturday was Small Business Saturday, a nation-wide shopping holiday designated to promote small businesses and their local communities. I was looking forward to my work bringing me over to connect with business owner’s participating in College Park’s Sip & Stroll event as this neighborhood has been one of my favorites in Orlando for over a decade.
Shortly after high school, three of my friends and I rented a pre-war home in College Park where we shared a rose garden, a den with huge windows that was later turned into my bedroom, and many meals together. I lived with a law student, a missionary, an artist, and a teacher. It was a sweet time in my life characterized by an amalgamation of youthful intimacy and unbridled optimism. We are all in different parts of the country and long past the days of sharing beds with our girlfriends or staying up late sharing prayer requests while sitting on an old mattress in the garage, but I still cherish those memories.
As I shared coquito with the dynamic women who own Naked Bar Soap Co. across from Infusion Tea and later caught up with Sarah, the owner of Good Crowd Shop, I was reminded that community is integral to the flourishing of not only our local marketplace but our own sense of creativity and connection as well.
I hope to share more about the inception and ethos of these female-owned businesses in the days to come but for now, suffice it to say that I couldn’t help but bring home a few tokens of this reminder.
It’s not that I necessarily needed a new pouch but more that I could not resist keeping this unusually-patterned beauty in my purse. You can’t tell in the photo below but the thick fabric has an iridescent quality while still being lightweight that caught my eye and kept it since.
I’m using it as a lipstick pouch now.
These days, I’ve been stuck on wearing an Isabel Marant shade in La Seine Shadow. One of my best friends, G, introduced me to it when she gave it to me as a gift and it’s one of those magical pink shades that looks good on fair and darker skin alike. I’m also obsessing over Glossier’s Generation G formula since it’s the most lightweight lipstick I’ve ever tried and the formula has a buildable quality to it that lets you determine the pigmentation. I’ve also been carrying around this beautiful Givenchy lipstick that R’s mom gave to me over the summer because the packaging is delightful but I haven’t found a reason to wear this dramatic oxblood color out yet.
In the interest of sharing, I also purchased the beaded earrings you see below which Sarah had curated from Ink+Alloy. After my first wear, I learned I was unfortunately allergic to the metal that but have since sealed it with a clear nail polish to make them less irritable.
The winking earrings you see are an old favorite from local designer, Lene Makes. Another favorite daily piece to wear is the gold knot necklace you see on the right is from Kate Spade; there’s something about the significance of (promise) knots that I’ve been attracted to for years now.
I’ve also been rotating these promise knot pearls and a chunky silver ring I found online. The size and weight of the silver is comforting to me and since I usually put it on when I start my work day it’s become a signal to focus on #SeriousBusiness in its own right. I like my jewelry to be simple but carry meaning to me personally, secrets worn in plain sight.
Finally, I’ve been loving a recent gift from the Artifact Candle Foundry in Thornton Park.
They sell soy candles and provide an opportunity to create your own with friends. When they opened up a short walk away from my home, I was skeptical — could they be worth the price of a luxury candle or was it just hype? But Lily of the Valley, seen below, has won me over. It’s clean, floral, and burns evenly filling up the whole house with a floral fragrance that is rich yet not overpowering. While I was wandering their store, I noticed they have over 40 scents ranging from Santa’s Pipe to Fresh Cut Grass to Patchouli to Autumn Leaves and truly everything you could imagine in between. Even their Cannabis scent had a delightful quality to it.
I’m also loving these buttons given to customers for free from Rifle Paper Co. in Winter Park where I found a couple of Christmas presents for friends.
I suppose this is a good time to plug that if you’re local to Orlando, I’ve collaborated with many of the businesses mentioned here to secure gifts for readers that become Pulptown members this month. The exclusives and terms of these giveaways are outlined in each newsletter distribution scheduled up to January so do subscribe if you’re interested.
Pulptown itself is free, but running it isn’t.
There are three of us on the local team making videos, writing fresh content Monday – Friday, curating events throughout the city we would attend ourselves, organizing panel discussions that deal with local issues like affordable housing, and securing incentives for members like discounts and free gifts. Pulptown’s slogan is #livelikeyoulivehere and in 2020, you’re invited to do just that.