Written by Taylor Roberts
Businesses, brands, and individuals around the world have continued to offer their resources and give back to others during the COVID-19 pandemic. While we have all been isolated away from each other, these initiatives have undoubtedly brought us closer together. Here are some of our local favorites that have been spreading positivity during the pandemic.
A Helping Hand
Many distilleries have converted their efforts from producing spirits to producing hand sanitizer. Santa Barbara-based companies that have joined this initiative include Krobar Craft Distillery and Calwise Spirits Co. Who would have thought our new normal would include Krobar’s Americana Bourbon Whiskey or Calwise’s Big Sur Gin paired with hand sanitizer? However, if you are looking for a more kid-friendly pairing, Surfs Up Bath Co. is now selling aloe vera and jojoba ester-infused hand sanitizer, in addition to their eco-friendly bath products.
Building a Stronger Community
Allen Construction has launched a new initiative to give back to their neighbors, offering their expertise and time to take on small renovation projects for local Santa Barbara businesses. As many businesses are preparing to reopen, the Allen Construction team hopes to help ease the implementation of new social distancing and sanitary guidelines. They are reaching out to members of the community to nominate businesses to receive their services free of charge.
Hotels with Heart
While Hotel Californian suspended regular operations in March, they continued to keep in touch with their community and offer additional online resources. Their instagram has featured “Saturday Sessions” and “Tuesdays with Travis.” The “Saturday Sessions” include workouts with fitness instructor, Tori Simeone, in-line with the hotel’s Majorelle Spa. In addition, Chef Travis, the Chef at Goat Tree, has hosted virtual “Tuesdays with Travis” to share recipes and kitchen tips. These resources are still available on Hotel Californian’s Instagram, where you can learn how to prepare zesty hummus, how to sharpen knives, or how to get the perfect sear. During the pandemic, Rosewood Miramar Beach also took advantage of their culinary resources to serve the local Santa Barbara community. Juan Cabrera, the Chef de Cuisine of Caruso’s and Miramar Club, along with his team at Rosewood Miramar Beach prepared and delivered meals to people in need. The Miramar food truck visited fire and police departments, supermarkets, post offices, and pharmacies to feed delicious food to our essential workers.
Wine, Not Whine
The owner of Westerly Wines, Michael Speakman has always rooted his winemaking in quality and giving back. Westerly Wine is known for its partnerships with Wine To Water as well as providing business internships for local students. During the pandemic, Michael led a movement throughout Santa Barbara County to donate care packages to Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Orange County healthcare workers as a token of appreciation. The Santa Barbara Wine Country was able to donate over 500 cases of wine from over 50 local vinters.
More Behind the Masks
Two of our favorite clothing brands have added protective face masks to their list of fashionable clothing, shoes, and handbags. Onzie, pronounced own-zee, is an LA-based clothing brand that is manufacturing “Onzie Mindful Masks” made from their yoga clothing fabrics. Joining in on what seems like one of the season’s biggest fashion trends, their non-medical face masks have also been donated to hospitals with proceeds from sales going to healthcare workers throughout the United States. Another upscale West Coast brand, STAUD, has been selling sets of face masks featuring their fun-patterned fabrics. For every set of 3 masks sold, STAUD will also donate a set to the Los Angeles Downtown Women’s Center. STAUD can be shopped locally at Jake and Jones in Santa Barbara.