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It's always refreshing to stumble upon companies with heart. At Share & Do Good, a tiny new shop nestled in downtown Fullerton, every square inch oozes with generosity—and something deeper.
Lilly Tokuyama calls it a "giving boutique": Each item in the whimsical, well-curated space supports a cause, whether it's feeding orphans in Thailand or empowering victims of human trafficking. As she whisks through the store, the 42-year-old founder points out a few of the charitable products: a plush robot that helps fight homelessness, jersey dresses that create jobs in Uganda, fragrances that provide mosquito nets for children in malaria-stricken areas.
"I'm a storyteller," says Tokuyama, who previously worked in marketing. "I want to help share the stories of good being done."
115 S. Harbor Blvd., Ste. F
Fullerton, CA 92832
The idea for Share & Do Good was planted after she bought a bright, retro-style, silicone watch at a Christian-music festival last year. Tokuyama learned that the organization that makes the watches, Hello Somebody, exists to help to combat hunger around the globe. (Currently, the brand is helping a Rwanda school purchase cows and chickens so the kids will have milk and eggs for a year.)
"When I got back home, people would always stop me and ask me about my watch," she recalls. "I'd tell them it fed 125 kids. They'd say, 'Oh, I want one, too!' Then I thought, 'Okay, there totally needs to be a store that sells things like this.'"
So far, Tokuyama has partnered with 11 charity groups, several based in Orange County. She likes to choose items that are wearable or usable, rather than trinkets that simply get shoved onto a shelf, so that "the stories keep getting told."
On one table, there's a display of metal necklaces, earrings and bracelets from a brand called Raven & Lily; the pieces are handmade by HIV-positive women in Ethiopia. "They take old bullets and have them melted down and made into beads," she explains. "I just love how a weapon of war, something that was so destructive, can become something beautiful."
Nearby is a row of super-soft scarves from a group called fashionABLE. Each is handwoven and signed by an impoverished woman in Africa.
Even though the boutique just opened, Tokuyama says customers are already sharing the news with their friends.
"I think people in Orange County are really generous, even in the midst of this economy, even when gas is a million dollars," she says. "People are really taking a hold of the mission."
This column appeared in print as "Fashionable and Conscionable."