I love Valentine's Day because it's the one day of the year that people freely share and express their love with people in their lives. There's something about celebrating LOVE that rejuvenates my belief that deep down humans are driven by their desire to be loved and love others. It's the one day of the year when people consciously share words of kindness, admiration and respect with the intention of causing a smile. Gifts or no gifts, Valentine's Day is a great time to simply let your family and friends know that they're in your heart and on your mind. If you're the kind of person who expresses their love and gratitude with meaningful gifts, here are a few shops I recommend you visit while you search for the perfect item:
1. Epona & Oak
As soon as you step foot in Epona & Oak you'll start feeling better. Epona & Oak is a specialty boutique in downtown Raleigh that takes the concept of wellness and shopping to another level. The boutique offers a variety of products from local and independent makers including: apparel, jewelry, handbags & wallets, kid stuff, bath & body, home decor & ceramics, and paper goods. Epona & Oak also has a wellness studio offering massage therapy, face & body rituals, spa packages, Reiki, waxing, and flow & restore yoga sessions. I highly recommend Epona & Oak for the yogi / yogini in your life.
Feelgoodz is a conscious footwear company that is currently available at Whole Foods and various independent shops across the country. They also have a great store in downtown Raleigh called the Treehouse, offering a variety of footwear such as their many flip-flops, softsockz, and Symbology apparel and accessories. What I love most about Feelgoodz is their employees who are world travelers with a mission to empower others by working with them to produce conscious products. Highly recommended for the world traveler in your life!
3. Escazu Artisan Chocolates
Chocolate in all of its forms puts a smile on my face, and Escazu knows their chocolate! Escazu sources organic chocolate beans from Central and South America, and then goes to work on making all things chocolate. From bars and truffles to baked desserts and hot chocolate, Escazu WILL satisfy the wants and needs of any chocolate-lover! Here's a video showing you how they make their chocolates:
4. The Wine Feed
A bottle of wine goes well with any occasion, but especially Valentine's Day! I celebrate holidays and festivities with a bottle of champagne, and the men of The Wine Feed have introduced me to a number of my favorite champagnes. The owners of the store love to educate people about wine, and they always have somethings special for you to taste. Especially if you're not sure what you're looking for, stop by The Wine Feed and they'll help you pair wine with dinner, dessert, or even a personality!
The Lumina men continue to impress me with their quality goods and determination to manufacture in the United States and North Carolina. I'm also head-over-heels for their sense of style that is polished yet rugged at the same time -- the truly perfect combination for any man. In their store, you'll find all things manly including: apparel, accessories, shaving gear, and paper goods. They'll also put a smile on your face and give you some suggestions on the best bourbons to go along with the items you just picked up.
That concludes my Valentine's Day special! In case I don't get to say this on the actual day:
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! You're awesome! You are loved and cared for by many people, and your smile brings sunshine to those around you!