Sometimes we come across a company or brand that represents something truly exceptional. Extraordinary Ventures called up the shop a few weeks ago and we have never been the same!
Based in the university town of Chapel Hill, NC, Extraordinary Ventures, Inc. (EV) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that creates and nurtures self-sustaining small businesses designed around the skills of the young adults with autism and developmental disabilities that serve as its workforce.
Extraordinary Ventures (EV) is in the process of expanding their gift program to other states, as a result they randomly called Louette Boutique to inquire about us possibly carrying their line of candles. Ironically, this is a cause that hits extremely close to home at Louette Boutique. Our store manager’s son, Austin has Autism. An extremely hard-worker and eager to make his way in the world, Austin has struggled since graduating from high school to find employment beyond his current part-time job.
Austin is not alone. According to US News and World Reports, 35% of young adults with Autism have no paid employment or education beyond high school. It is extremely difficult for people with Autism and other developmental disabilities to find consistent work, therefore leaving most completely dependent upon family without the hope of ever becoming independent and self sufficient.
Non-profits such as EV are extremely important and revolutionary. Creating jobs and giving adults with developmental disabilities purpose is an important cause for all of us. Without the ability to work, many adults with developmental disabilities can find themselves in hopeless situations such as poverty and homelessness.
EV Gifts is a division of Extraordinary Ventures that creates premium soy based candles–each candle is made by an adult with Autism or another developmental disability. The process of making 1 candle provides at least 3 hrs. to each employee!
After hearing about EV’s amazing mission we decided to delve in a little further. Before signing on to carry these candles we needed to ensure that they past the test. THE AUSTIN TEST! Austin was given a sample of each candle. Thirteen total. He took it upon himself to survey his family. After about 1 week and lots of candle smelling Austin had his results. Our buyer consulted with Austin and the final decision was made!
We are thrilled to be carrying EV Gifts Soy Candles in Green Tea and Sweet Tea. Not only are they amazing candles but truly represent “gifts that give”. Come on in this week and check them out.
An update on Austin…well, maybe the responsibility of choosing a candle line for the shop gave him a jolt of confidence because he is the newest addition to the amazing Team at A Lowcountry Backyard. Congrats Austin! We are super proud of you.