Twenty-five-year-old Amanda Savangsy of Chico has a passion for babies and children. So much so that at the tender age of 19, she became a foster parent and until January of this year, juggled her own 3- and 6-year-old, foster children, a retail store and husband.
"The store started to take off and it was just too much," said the young entrepreneur.
eco in Chico started a little over a year ago and is located at 1803 Mangrove Ave. The delightfully decorative store specializes in products made by 55 local vendors. Shoppers can find everything from baby toys, full clothing lines, and pacifiers to a brand-new line of soft-sole shoes - the result of a collaboration between Savangsy and another local crafts person.
But ... as if one retail store wasn't challenging enough Savangsy opened a second location in Paradise just a little over a month ago at 5921 Clark Road. The major difference between a Chico location and a Paradise location?
"People are not as eco and community minded in Paradise," Savangsy said, careful to point out her observation isn't a criticism - just a need for education. "Perhaps they are not understanding local efforts. We carry lcoal product as opposed to Chinese-made merchandise. We are excited to help Paradise residents understand. Up here there is also a call for necessity as there isn't' a Toys R Us, Walmart and Target. We need good background on products, pricing and availability. It's a more demanding market."
Savangsy's husband helps out when he is able but works full-time atChico Nissan. "My biggest right-hand man is my father. It's awesome to watch him understand the difference between buying local and understanding we need people to support us!
"People can't just talk about," she said. "They need to do it!"
Savangsy's website is coming soon. The eco in Paradise grand opening is July 23.