If you've never been, Oakland is the charming next door neighbor to Winter Garden. Growing up in Winter Garden I loved the large draping oak trees and larger southern homes on Oakland Avenue that make you feel like you are living much deeper in the South than other pockets of Central Florida. With the expansion of the West Orange Trail years ago, more and more people found themselves going thru Oakland, but not necessarily finding many reasons to stay.
A few businesses have started to revitalize the area, and as more homes go up it appears the small town feel could have its sight set on the early years of its once thriving downtown commerce.
First, my friend Amanda added her delicious DG Doughnuts to the neighborhood, and now a mother and daughter team have opened Collective Kindness Home in one of the oldest homes in Orange County.
Leah Thompson & Liz Jennings have owned Collective Kindness, a candle company that you may have seen in the Plant Street Market, over the past few years. Built from a charitable background, Leah and Liz were committed to a project called "Kindness is Priceless", doing what they could to give back to the community. While footing the bill for these acts of kindness got expensive they decided to build a business that could fund their altruistic efforts.
As someone who can't really handle the intense smells of most candles, I purchased a few of their fragrances at the market because they are made with 100% premium soy wax, they are sustainable, allergen and environmentally friendly, vegan and cruelty free. I absolutely loved the scents and I have never gotten a headache from them unlike so many other candles.
Fast forward to 2018 and the business has grown and taken over a historic home in Oakland that was built in 1860 for their newest venture, Collective Kindness Home.
Beyond candles and their production facility which is in the expansive house, local vendors are featured throughout the space. The "pink room" which should be the first room you enter, houses gifting items, jewelry, stationary, and bath & body items. The stunning cash wrap you will see when you enter was built by another local business woman, April of Wonder Well Co.
Next you will enter the "green room" which is the candle library. It doesn't matter what scent you prefer, I promise they will have something here you will like. Whether it is light and fruity or heavier and earthy, they have a scent for any nose. The space also features walls of plants and succulents by Live Trends, another local company.
The "parlor room" is all home decor and a staircase you will swoon over. The accent wall and steps were painted by local artist Jessa Bray. I'm not ashamed to say I absolutely took a picture on these steps. You will also find some macrame from local maker Calculated Crafts adding to the decor.
The space will also soon have an indoor cafe serving Concord Coffee from Lakeland and lite bites will be available for purchase. The back patio will be used for eating and entertaining as it has a beautiful gazebo and an expansive lawn with a beautiful Oak tree. They have plans to utilize the space outdoors for community events like yoga as well as making the space available to rent out for parties and weddings. They will also continue to use the space to give back to the community in any way they can including fundraising events.
Up the painted stairwell is a workshop space that people can rent out that should fit around 16 people and can also double as a photography studio for locals who need a bright and airy space for pictures.
Don't forget to step inside the bathroom to see more of Jessa Bray's handy work.
Go support these ladies who are doing good while making everything smell great. The Collective Kindness Home is located at 4 S Tubb Street, Oakland, FL.
For information about renting any space email firstname.lastname@example.org