what I’m loving this week: when shopping does good + the annual pumpkin candle search

it’s that time of year again — when all things turn magically pumpkin — which means my annual search for the perfect candle of the same variety is on. the perfect pumpkin candle, much like many other pumpkin-flavored or -scented products, should be seemingly easy to find since they’re everywhere. but, let me tell you my friends, just because the label says pumpkin or pumpkin-spice, it does not guarantee a win. there are many out there who attempt to jump on that bandwagon and fail miserably. MISERABLY. (I’m looking at you, Starbucks. #PSLnothankyou)

on a related note, remember the whole pumpkin-spice scented condom rumor a few years back? I’m still thanking Durex for not making that a thing. pumpkin products deserve more dignity than that, IMHO. but, I digress.

so, back to the search. admittedly, I tend to be a bit picky. okay, a lot picky (yes, I know this is a shocking revelation for those who know me well), which creates a bit of a challenge each year. and, I also don’t want the same candle I’ve chosen in previous years because, that would be too easy. I welcome the challenge and make it a little competition with prior-year self (yes, it’s a self-made challenge for really no reason. yes, I like challenges even if I’m the only one involved. this will also alarm my friends).

FullSizeRenderthis year’s candle quest, however, provided no challenge as it began and ended within the same day. but, I’m actually really okay with it — really okay — because of where I made the purchase: Hope Tank.

wow. just wow. this store and its mission are highly commendable. the business is based on the social-enterprise model and doesn’t just talk the talk. hope tank features gifts that give back.

“Hope Tank opened in February of 2012, and we started off selling handmade products by local artists who donated a portion of their sales to a charity of their choosing. We have expanded our inventory to include products from all over the world from companies that are philanthropic and environmentally responsible. Every purchase in the shop will have impact in the world and we want that impact to inspire people to action.” ~The Story, HopeTank.org

I had walked by the store on South Broadway a number of times as it’s just a few doors down from the ale house my boyfriend manages. and, each time I passed, I would peer inside curiously, wondering what it was all about (and coveting their awesome S’well selection). last week, I finally made it inside and I found so much more than a check mark for my annual candle quest.

admittedly, what initially prompted me in was the need for a few birthday cards, paired with the aforementioned curiosity for the store. as I entered, I was warmly greeted by the woman behind the counter (who I would later learn, when we spoke more, was Jade). she assumed I had been in  before based on my beeline to the cards and the simulated familiarity with the store. we spoke a bit as I was perusing the merchandise but as I checked out with my purchases (two awesome cards and THE candle), and at my request, she went into a bit more detail about the store’s mission.

first of all, each item supports a specific cause. even more awesome is that customers know what they’re supporting as products are individually marked. for example, the purchase of my “Perfect Pumpkin” candle, a product of 1803 Candles, supported Veterans Expeditions. Jade provided information about the nonprofit, which “empower veterans to overcome challenges associated with military service through outdoor training and leadership.” so cool!

although I didn’t have time to really scour the store (next time), even in my short time there I identified so many organizations I recognized and would be more than happy to support. Hope Tank also has a list on their website, for those who are interested.

and, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that  Jade seems to be a pretty awesome human being. she exuded such passion for the store and its mission and I found myself wanting to stay to talk more, even though I needed to be somewhere else. she really made the experience memorable.

Screenshot 2016-09-04 10.29.00the icing on the cake (if it could get any better at that point) was when I spotted a familiar thank-you card among the many cards and notes displayed behind the counter. this particular card was from the Denver VOICE, a cause near and dear to me, and it warmed my heart when, upon me mentioning it, Jade said, “oh yeah, we love the VOICE.”

so, whether you’re in search of the perfect pumpkin candle for yourself or a gift for anyone in your life, I highly recommend checking out Hope Tank. they have an extensive offering and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

I know there are many awesome businesses out there, some doing the same or similar great things as Hope Tank. but, I’m grateful I found this shop and finally walked through its doors. it impacted me far beyond a candle. I’ll definitely be back. a lot.

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