BRIDGES will be hosting a grand opening of its new Independence Café – A Unique Boutique, on Thursday, July 1, at 12:00 noon. The retail store, located in the BRIDGES Welcome Center on the 2nd floor of the Palisades Center in West Nyack, features unique gift items created by and for people with disabilities. The hours will be 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Saturday with plans to eventually be open seven days a week.
The mission of BRIDGES is to provide advocacy and leadership toward an accessible, integrated community, promoting health and autonomy for people with disabilities. The Unique Boutique, operates on Consignment for most of its vendors, providing an opportunity for vendors with disabilities to sell their wares at one of the largest shopping centers in our region. Sales from the store will help support BRIDGES mission as well as the vendors who provide the products. Current vendors include:
- Beaver Creek Candle Company: People with developmental disabilities prepare and ship each candle made with 100 percent natural soy wax and packaged in aluminum cans. The Man Cans include Campfire, Coffee, Grandpa’s Pipe or Fresh Cut Grass scents while She Cans offer beautifully fragrant and fresh scents such as Beautiful, Fearless and Powerful. A portion of the sales are donated to food banks and soup kitchens in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan. So far, donations have paid for over 100,000 meals.
- Savon Aromatique: Owner Danielle Ezzard developed her line of handmade natural products to treat her own sensitive skin. Her business has grown to include sugar and salt scrubs, body and lip butters, body sprays, bath and body oils, perfumes, and more. Wickless candles, candle warmers and laundry detergent will be available soon.
- Aspire Accessories: Individuals with autism and other disabilities design and produce jewelry, handbags, clothing items and other accessories. It operates as a program of Social Motion Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Houston, TX and proceeds of sales are reinvested in the program to support annual operating expenses, pay employee wages and support related educational and community enrichment activities.
- Add-A-Handle: Each handle comes with two 19” custom Velcro Brand straps that can be adjusted horizontally and vertically for an exact fit around your object (11.5” straps also available). Straps have Easy-Pull Tabs and can lift up to 30lbs.
- Sweet Heat Jam Co.: This culinary arts program offers a three-month internship program for young adults with disabilities to learn culinary and social skills by making artisan jams from fresh fruits and peppers, packaging them and labeling them for distribution.
- MAX’IS Creations: Max J. Ash, a budding entrepreneur with dyslexia, created a hot cocoa mug with a hoop for tossing marshmallows in when he was just 8 years old. Now, with six patents to his name and 140,000 of his ingenious creations sold, he runs his business with the help of his parents and older brother.
BRIDGES is a community-based, peer-driven, cross-disability, non-profit organization dedicated to advocacy and leadership on behalf of people with disabilities. It is one of 41 Independent Living Centers (ILC) operating in New York State under the auspices of the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Each ILC adheres to a national philosophy of Independent Living that seeks to empower individuals with disabilities to make autonomous decisions regarding all aspects of living and advocates to ensure equal access to opportunities desired. For more information visit www.bridgesrc.org or call (845) 624-1366 2290.