When Jen Stoeckert moved to Tampa from Chicago in 2010 she had two goals: to be closer to her family and to follow in their self-employed footsteps and open her own store. She took the knowledge she'd gained over years as a buyer for the body and herbs department at Whole Foods and paired with her love for her initial career as an esthetician opened her boutique, Arjuna Living, in January 2011.
The boutique features organic and fair trade products, meaning they're made with ingredients designed to leave the smallest of carbon footprints and in developing countries by local artisans who are paid fairly for their labor. From maxi dresses by brands like Alternative Earth that use organic cotton and natural dyes ($68), handmade perfumes inspired by worldly travels and made in California ($36) and one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces made by local artists, the boutique covers the beauty and style departments with brands that represent the concept of shopping for a cause, something Stoeckert personally had always used in her life.
Another more personal aspect of the store is the cosmetics selection. A natural beauty junkie, Stoeckert handpicks all of the products offered like the Pumpkin Renewal ($16) exfoliating cream or the Super Detox Facial Cleanser ($24), an ideal green product for sensitive skin.
In keeping with the store's name, which means bright, white and shining in Hindi, Arjuna Living also offers facials and cosmetic treatments to allow customers to start their clean life transformation with Stoeckert's assistance. Treatments like the Refresh Facial ($65) and Back Facial ($70) use the organic products sold in store and are tailored based on the customer's skin type, lifestyle and needs.
— Natalia Galbetti is a freelance writer and director of sales and marketing at k.hendrix in St. Petersburg. Follow her on Twiter at @NatiGalbetti.