Local artist Victoria York makes doing all she can to help others a priority in her life as well as her business, Good World Goods. Opened about a year ago, the Hixson shop features hand-painted furniture, fair-trade gifts and other items which benefit a variety of charitable organizations.
"The store is focused on high-quality, handmade goods, whether fair trade or locally produced," said York. "If people are going to shop anyway, I think it's a great thing to shop where your money goes back to the community."
She is planning an event to kick off a food drive she is holding at the store until Christmas. The event, featuring live music and free fair-trade tea and coffee, is set for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Customers who bring in a nonperishable food item for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank will receive a 15 percent discount on their purchase. York said her goal is to fill the store's giant donation bin twice before Christmas.
With the myriad of gift options available in the store, it is sure to be an attraction for shoppers looking for that perfect something for all the people on their list. Customer Dreema Adkins said she has done a lot of her holiday shopping at the store.
"You can get something for everyone," she said. "You'll never know what you'll find, and you'll feel better buying it knowing you're doing something good."
Animal lovers can choose a piece of jewelry from a particular rack knowing a portion of proceeds will be donated to McKamey Animal Center. Environmentalists can help preserve the Florida Everglades by purchasing a stick of alligator jerky, and humanitarians can purchase soapstone vases to help Haitians still recovering from the devastating earthquake that hit the country in 2010.
The store is also an outlet for York and husband Brad Tomlinson to express their own creativity. Both hand-paint furniture in a range of styles and finishes; a book is available in the store that allows customers to browse options. Photos of already completed pieces are shown (not all items fit in the small store), as well as the couple's selection of custom finishes and photos of pieces already sold, to provide the customer with inspiration for their own custom furniture.