In The Spirit of Giving
Give gifts with a purpose & give back to the community this holiday season
Written by Alexandra Lee
Allora by Laura
Designer boutique Allora by Laura presents a wardrobe especially curated for the modern and inspiring woman. There’s something for every style, understated or bold, within their collection of cashmere sweaters, fringe-lined pants, and chic accessories. “From the moment one walks in, we want our customer to have an immediate connection to what is offered,” owner Laura Dinning says. "Selecting a gift without the worry of fit is always a sure bet that your gift will be perfect,” she advises. Perhaps something from their collection of crystal-embellished shawls and scarves, or cases of Kai Linz Jewelry. Allora by Laura celebrates community this season, showcasing local artists and connecting with charities including Heal the Ocean and Angels Foster Care. The Montecito boutique strives to bring “fashion and purpose to both our customer and the community at large.”
Laykin et Cie
For a simply transportive scent experience, luxury jeweler Laykin et Cie offers a hint of Santa Barbara with its fragrance “Montecito.” With top notes of Amalfi lemon, Sicilian tangerine, and African mystery flowers, base hints of cedarwood and musk balance the fragrance towards a genderless scent. The fragrance is inspired by Montecito’s wonderful topography of rich gardens, oak woodlands, and citrus trees—one spritz is reminiscent of sun-dappled afternoons at Butterfly Beach and breezy morning strolls down Coast Village Road. “Montecito” is just one of Laykin’s destination-based fragrances, which are produced by France’s oldest perfumer. Quality, timelessness, and distinctiveness have been fundamental pillars of the Laykin ethos since 1932, when the line was born out of Los Angeles’s Sunset Strip. Distinguished for its whimsical gemstone craftsmanship and attention to detail, Laykin’s expansion into a perfume line was only natural—and Montecito is the gem of the bunch.
Vintage lovers and eclectic style enthusiasts alike will be ecstatic to unwrap a gift from Montecito’s Juniper boutique. Carrying everything from edgy crystal handbags and funky flare pants to sweet ribbon-tie dresses and pearl necklaces, Juniper is a treasure trove of glamor for fashion lovers to unearth precious discoveries. Owner Marie Ferris captures Santa Barbara’s laid-back beach-chic aesthetic with her curation of pieces, offering delicate lace, edgy denim, crystal-embellished leather, silky slips, and, of course, lots of gold and diamond jewelry. It’s like vintage shopping, but on a luxury kick: one-of-a-kind Louis Vuitton handbags lie in wait to be whisked away to their newfound owners. For the fearlessly chic and bold fashionista on your gift list, Juniper is a one-stop-shop.
If you’re fortunate enough to cozy up by the fireplace, consider aiding those without a place to call home. ShelterBox USA strives to supply shelter to those facing emergency displacement, by delivering live-saving tents and equipment including water filters, mosquito nets, blankets, and cooking sets. Over 300 countries, 100 disasters, and 2 million people have been aided. “We’re kind of like Doctors Without Borders, but for shelter,” says President Kerri Murray, providing a sense of safety “for the most vulnerable and the poorest people on the planet.” Currently responding in Ukraine, ShelterBox works heavily with conflict zones, yet Kerri emphasizes the uptick in natural disasters as a consequence of climate change. Flooding in Pakistan, typhoons in the Philippines, and hurricanes in Honduras are only becoming more catastrophic. Especially after the devastating Montecito mudslides of 2018, the Santa Barbara community resonates with ShelterBox’s mission of providing a home.
Making time count is paramount to Dream Foundation, which enables terminally-ill adults to achieve once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Founded in 1994, Dream Foundation was the first in the U.S. to provide end-of-life Dreams to adults, and now has fulfilled over 33,000 nationwide. “Your gift can reunite a family for a final goodbye, allow a veteran to honor their fallen comrades at a memorial, or give a mother and her children an opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime on a trip together,” says CEO Kisa Heyer. Dreams provide a beneficial sense of psychological comfort and closure, and they can be as simple as a family reunion. The Dream Toy Program also collects toys for children of Dream recipients. When gifting this season, Kisa urges you to keep in mind that “a Dream is never forgotten.”
Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation
While many families are preparing to gift loved ones, others are struggling to make ends meet while supporting a child with cancer. The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation provides financial stability, education services, and emotional support for moderate-to-low income families with a sick child throughout the Central Coast. Their mission is to establish “some normalcy and a glimpse of stability,” says Executive Director Corey Pahanish. “We’re helping them avoid foreclosing a home or being evicted from an apartment,” Corey adds. Tutoring is available for siblings who may be falling behind in school, while emotional support aids families in processing trauma. Much of the staff have had a personal experience with cancer, meaning their work is purely empathetic. TBCF offers its annual campaign “Project Christmas” to sponsor an entire family’s gifts, as well as a toy drive, in which anyone can participate.