Gifts that (truly) keep on giving

Southside shopping spots offer presents
to the community and beyond

By Rebecca Berfanger

If nothing else, the holidays yield two things: shopping and charitable giving. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can do both in one spot. Whether you’re on the hunt for a last-minute holiday gift for someone else, a holiday outfit for yourself or a present for your home, here is a roundup of some area shops where your dollar not only stays in the community, but also goes to charitable causes.

Sure, buying an item you would have purchased anyway might seem like a tiny step to support a cause, but it can still have a big impact. “I think consumers are beginning to understand that they have a purchasing power,” says Lindsey Cangany, brand manager at Franklin’s ByTavi Boutique. “It feels good to know that our dollar, the clothes we wear and food we eat can make an impact on the lives of people half a world away.”

ByTavi Boutique

51 W. Monroe St., Franklin
(317) 494-6226,

You’ll find ByTavi in downtown Franklin, but its reach extends far beyond the southside. Full of layering basics and accessories, ByTavi is a project of the Center for Global Impact. “All of our items are unique in that they are handmade pieces made by a team of seamstresses in Cambodia,” Cangany says. “ByTavi is known for our line of fair trade basic clothing pieces and our cotton canvas accents that line the interior of our vegan leather handbags. Our best-sellers include the ByTavi swing dress, clutch and Panha leather backpack.”

The sales of ByTavi products support wages for seamstresses, fabric costs, rent of the workshop, providing lunch each day and more benefits to those who make the items.

“Social media is exposing brands like us and making it easier to share stories and visually share the talented, handmade work of artisans. In turn, consumers notice, and our buyers who carry the line in their store notice,” Cangany says. “Education of the repercussions of fast fashion is starting to gain attention and is so important. People are beginning to desire less excess and instead choose quality over quantity.”

To educate their customers about the products’ sources and the store’s mission, there are several photos of seamstresses, and their stories are also available to shoppers. “Some shoppers who come in initially may not know the mission of our store but are pleasantly surprised to hear our story upon entering,” Cangany says.

ByTavi also has a far reach by selling its products in other boutiques, including several in Indiana, and as far-flung as Washington state and Maryland.

To help with its wholesale operations, Cangany says, volunteers help fulfill and package orders. “Our tagline ‘Our Hands to Yours’ represents every hand in the ByTavi sales process from an item being handmade in Cambodia to a volunteer in Franklin fulfilling an order to be sent to a ByTavi retailer,” she says.

First Harvest
Greenwood Park Mall, 1251 N. U.S. 31, Greenwood.

Large signs at First Harvest Boutique in the Greenwood Park Mall tell the store’s mission of giving 10 percent of its profits to Mercy Multiplied, an organization that is aimed at helping at-risk women ages 13 to 28 years old who are coping with eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol addictions, unplanned pregnancy, depression, sexual abuse and sex trafficking.

“From the beginning when we decided to start a business, we wanted to give back in some way,” says Kimmie Bridges, who started First Harvest Boutique with her husband, Matt Bridges. In addition to online sales, First Harvest has three brick-and-mortar locations in Indiana, the first one at Keystone at the Crossing opened in December 2017, the second one at Greenwood Park Mall in August, and the latest one opened in Mishawaka in October. The name is derived from Proverbs 3:9, she says, “Give the first of your harvest to the Lord.”

While it is a boutique in the traditional sense of selling trendy women’s dresses and accessories, the store also has its own line of branded clothing, which Kimmie Bridges says makes up about 60 percent of its sales. She says for anyone who wants to support Mercy Multiplied but isn’t sure what to buy as a gift, its branded long-sleeve T-shirts are popular. She adds that their “grungies” — custom distressed flannel shirts with the First Harvest “V” logo on the back — are also selling quickly. “We can’t keep them in stock,” she says.

One Tenth Boutique
202 N. Madison Ave. No. 5, Greenwood. (317) 893-2116,

One Tenth Boutique (pictured) operates under a mission: “Where fashion and compassion collide to make a difference.” At One Tenth, you’ll find not only clothing and accessories, but beauty products, home decor, Bibles and devotionals, and other gift items. At this Greenwood boutique, named for a Bible verse that addresses tithing, 10 percent of all shop earnings goes to charity.

Not only that, but One Tenth features an ample array of locally produced products. When shoppers first walk in the door, they will see shelves full of beauty products by Bass Farms of Shelbyville, known for its Triple B Hydrating Cream that was created for cancer patients with sensitive skin. The store also carries a variety of Bass Farms’ serums, lotions, body scrubs and essential oils.

It also sells Restored Creations candles: handcrafted and soy-blend candles made by women of Wheeler Mission, which benefits from the sales of the candles; MudLove bracelets, a partner of Water for Good to provide clean drinking water in Africa; various products by Ten Thousand Villages, which all promote fair trade and sustainability; and several locally made items, such as the “Be Still” necklace that forms a cross only when the wearer isn’t moving by Indiana jeweler Emily Kai. It also sells items from the Franklin-based ByTavi Boutique.

Owner Theresa Carmichael, who founded One Tenth with Aaron Rhodes, envisioned the shop as a spot where women can be their authentic selves. “I wanted this to be a place for women to come and be who they are, and to feel wonderful and beautiful,” Carmichael says. “We’re often too hard on ourselves as women.” Many repeat customers have expressed that they feel welcome in this faith-based Christian boutique, Carmichael says.

In addition to the specific items that benefit different causes, the charities One Tenth has supported have varied since the store opened, including St. Jude, the Pour House (a nonprofit coffeehouse in Bloomington), Hope Center and Haiti missions. 

Vintage Vogue by G.W.
1056 Virginia Ave., Indianapolis.
(317) 999-6725,

Most shoppers are familiar with Goodwill stores, which benefit the mission of Goodwill Industries of Central and Southern Indiana to improve the lives of Hoosiers through job training, support services for new mothers, high schools for adult students, and programs that benefit seniors. But they also have boutiques, known as Vintage Vogue by G.W., for more discerning shoppers. Locations include Fountain Square, Broad Ripple and Bloomington.

Like any Goodwill store, it is almost impossible to know what will be available from day to day, and that is part of the allure, says Cindy Graham, vice president of marketing for Goodwill of Central
and Southern Indiana.

Unlike other Goodwill stores, the boutiques include hand-selected items and therefore are at a slightly higher price point than the traditional stores. Like other Goodwill stores, Vintage Vogue carries women’s and men’s clothing. It’s a great spot to potentially find a high-end outfit, just in time for a holiday party. 

“When you come to Vintage Vogue, it’s like looking through a friend’s closet,” she says. “The other unique part of shopping at boutiques and our stores is the thrill of finding the find or the thrill of the hunt. It’s like a badge of courage to say, ‘I bought this, and this is what I paid for it.’”

If you’re not sure what the person you are shopping for will want or even their size, the store offers a 10-day return policy with receipt. Still guessing? Perhaps a gift card — good at Vintage Vogue or any other Goodwill store — is the best option.

Habitat for Humanity of Johnson County ReStore

6720 N. U.S. 31, Whiteland.
(317) 535-6720

ReStore doesn’t carry clothes or accessories; it leaves that to other resale stores. But like the other boutiques, its selection varies from week to week and proceeds go back to charity, specifically to Habitat for Humanity of Johnson County.

On an average day, the ReStore showroom floor might feature a like-new leather couch set, chandeliers, a dining room table perfect for a holiday feast, and various working microwaves, refrigerators and ovens at lower-than-retail price points.

All of ReStore’s inventory comes from donations, and all furniture must be in good condition (read: from non-smoking households and bearing no tears or scrapes) says Doug Grant, who helps manage ReStore and is one of the few full-time employees. “You never know what’s going to come in, plus,” he added, “it’s fun to work here. We can make people happy by finding what they need, while raising money for Habitat for Humanity.”

ReStore is earth-friendly, too, Grant says, reselling the donated items keeps them out of the landfill.

If you’re looking to redo your kitchen or another room in your home in the new year, you might also find kitchen cabinets for a great deal, or even the same paint Habitat for Humanity uses to get you started. However, the store is only open Thursday through Saturday, and many items go pretty fast once they’ve been posted on the store’s Facebook page.