This week’s Small Business Saturday is my personal go-to place whenever I need to make sure the gift I’m giving won’t be the same as everyone else’s. Since The Switch House mainly offers eco-friendly, organic, and recycled items, we thought Earth Day weekend would be the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on the shop and its owner, Monique Given.
The Switch House is located right off Pratt Avenue – they are in the area known as The Lumber Yard and next door to The Toy Place. Monique opened the shop in January of 2011. “I have so many local talented friends and students of mine at UAH, I wanted to have a shop to showcase all the work and also to provide the community with everything LOCAL & ORGANIC! Amazing gifts…organic soaps, eco-soy candles, bath products, organic dog biscuits, local art, and one-of-a-kind, earth-friendly gifts.”
When she’s not at The Switch House, Monique currently serves on the board of directors for The Flying Monkey Arts Center; is owner and curator of PROJECT 9 Gallery; is co-founder of Huntsville based K.I.D. Artist Collective; and teaches drawing, painting and sculpture at the University of Alabama in Huntsville as a part-time professor. She shows her work internationally at various art shows and exhibits.
As an entrepreneur, Given has found that one of her biggest challenges is three-dimensional. “My favorite thing about owning my own business is all the people I get to meet on a daily basis and their positive reactions to the items in the store. However, it’s a very small space and there are so many amazing people in Huntsville and the surrounding areas that I would love to feature in the shop but can’t due to space restrictions.” Thanks to business owners like Given, the growing artist community in the Huntsville area has more opportunities to showcase their work. As for advice to other entrepreneurs and artists, she keeps it simple and straight-forward. “Follow your passion, don’t be afraid to follow what you want to do.”
If you Like The Switch House’s Facebook page, not only will you get notices of shows, events, and classes taking place there, but you can enter to win a $25 gift certificate to spend in the store. My recommendations would be their Eco-Soy Candles in Mason jars (I love the Tomato Leaf scented one!) or a bagful of fizzy organic bath bombs. Or maybe some of the adorable succulents in vintage tea cups. Or some freshly baked Fred Bread. Or a cute vintage jacket.
Gotta run, I have some Earth Day shopping to do!
Stephenie has worked with and around books and authors for over 12 years, both at retail booksellers and public libraries. She is a rare Huntsville native, mother of two high-energy boys, wife of one, and eerily addicted to community volunteering. When she's not being the Managing Editor for RCM she likes to stalk her favorite authors online, cook with way too much butter, and also manages to conduct freelance marketing and PR work.