Two social enterprises that offer beautiful products and promote sustainable change will open a new shared retail space in Davenport on Thursday, Oct. 12th.
At the former space of Crafted QC (which is now at TBK Bank Sports Complex in Bettendorf), 5169 Utica Ridge Road in Davenport is the new home for the storefront of Argrow’s House of Healing and Hope, and the new venture Autistic & Loved – both founded by Kit Evans-Ford.
A ribbon-cutting with the Quad Cities Chamber will take place Thursday at 10 a.m., followed by a celebration from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The store is behind Biaggi’s restaurant.
Argrow’s House of Healing and Hope (based at 2313 44th St., Moline) is a social enterprise and nonprofit that empowers survivors of domestic violence and abuse with free services and job training.
The new retail space will feature Argrow’s popular survivor-made bath and body products, as well as a variety of products made by the talented and resilient women survivors employed by Argrow’s House and other social enterprises from across the world, according to a news release from the nonprofit.
By purchasing products, customers not only get an exceptional item but also contribute directly to supporting survivors on their healing journey.
“We are incredibly excited about our new retail store,” says Kit Ford, founder and director of Argrow’s House. “This retail location not only showcases the remarkable skills and resilience of the women we work with but also serves as a testament to our community’s support in our mission to empower survivors on their healing journey.”
Ford (who is married to Rev. Dwight Ford, executive director of Project NOW) also owns Autistic & Loved, a new brand committed to providing a wide range of sensory and oral motor resources to support and enhance the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum.
Autistic & Loved provides “chewelry” and special gifts affirming love for autistic children and families. Located in the back half of the retail space, the store has been designed specifically with the experience of autistic children in mind.
“Our store is more than just a place to shop; it’s a haven for families, caregivers, and individuals looking for quality products designed with sensory needs in mind,” Ford says.
She and her husband have two children, Imani and Justice, At age 3 and 4 years old, both were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. That inspired Kit Ford to launch the new organization.
Her son is a chewer. “When he gets anxious he chews on his arm or his clothing. Our family found chewable jewelry to be super helpful for him,” she wrote on the Autistic & Loved website. “Chewable jewelry is stylish and discreet silicon jewelry that is safe for children and adults to chew on. Justice wears a chewable necklace daily! It is so helpful for him.”
“Why not start a chewable jewelry line that celebrates the diversity of Autistic children and their families?” Ford wrote. “As I look at my daughter and son, regardless of what Autism looks like in their life, I want them to know they are loved. My chewable jewelry pieces, autism jewelry, and awareness pieces celebrate Autistic & Loved children and families.”
Both Argrow’s House and Autistic & Loved invite the public to join the ribbon-cutting and celebration and explore the new store’s offerings. The grand opening will feature special promotions and guests will enjoy the opportunity to shop, mingle, indulge in light snacks, and create social change through their purchase.