Friday, October 31, 2014

Shop the Season: "Natural" Vendors at this Year's Winter Village

Nancy from the executive office browses Holiday Shops with a "natural" focus at Bank of America Winter Village--and likes what she sees.  

When I hear beauty products or food described as “natural” or “organic”, I can’t help but cringe. I want to like them, I truly do, but more often than not, I’m skeptical that they will work without sacrifice. With an environmental studies background, I am 100% for social responsibility and sustainability, but the foodie inside me will not eat things that resemble cardboard, and my vanity will not let me leave my house with organic deodorant. Happy to say, two newcomers truly impressed me this year that are in fact vegan and organic.

Surya Brasil brings a little bit of Rio to the park.

Straight up the stairs by the fountain, Surya Brasil (C1) piqued my interested when I found out they had an award winning line of organic cosmetics called Amazônia Preciosa. My sister has incredibly fine and high maintenance hair, so I’m always on the lookout for a new product for her. Customer service is something I pay attention to wherever I go, and I was definitely impressed by the knowledge of the staff. All their products are made from natural oils and extracts, directly from native forests and sustainable farms, with biodegradable packaging. I love that the products actually smell incredible – fresh mango scent for their Sapien collection for women, and minty freshness for the men’s line. I’m eager to try their Amazônia Preciosa face mask and face cream, and want to pick up a couple different shampoos and conditioners for my sister. For people who love to dye their hair, their Surya Henna powders and creams color hair semi-permanently without any chemicals.

They also have an impressive assortment of home décor, organic clothing, stuffed animals, and jewelry, all made by local communities in São Paulo. You can feel good about shopping here because with each product, Surya Brasil gives back to those communities.

Vegan pies: a new Thanksgiving tradition? 

New eatery on the directory, This Pie Is Nuts (F3) offers delicious individual squares of pies made entirely of nuts that are vegan, paleo, and gluten-free – but you would never know it. Chef Diana Cornell managed to create a perfect snack that is both nutritiously good for you and tasty. I definitely recommend the pumpkin or coconut, along with a cup of their Mexican hot chocolate.

Holiday Shops at Bank of America Winter Village 
Weekdays, 11am - 8pm
Saturdays, 10am - 9pm
Sundays, 10am - 6pm

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