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Blog At the Museum

Museum Store Stories: Socially responsible, environmentally sustainable

At the Museum of Life and Science, we know that change starts with aligning people around a common vision to do better. With this in mind, we are proud to offer an increasing number of environmentally sustainable and socially responsible products in Elements Museum Store and Gizmo Garage. Sourcing as many products as possible that are fair trade, recycled, up-cycled, or local is a mission we take seriously but also have a lot of fun with! Our favorite part of this initiative is the opportunity to work with some truly incredible local vendor partners and we’d love to share some of their stories with you here.

Lo & Behold Naturals

Lo & Behold Naturals is also known as the makers of our favorite lip balms, hand salves, and bug spray! This all-natural skincare company is women-owned and operated and based in Durham, NC. All of their products are handmade in small batches using locally grown and certified organic ingredients. In addition to local ingredients, the beautiful artwork on the packaging was created by a local artist!

New South Pattern House

Speaking of local artists, we are excited to be working with Katie Hayes of New South Pattern House based in Hillsborough, NC. In addition to offering her amazing nature-inspired, hand-pressed block prints, bookmarks, and cards for sale in Elements Museum Store, we now have our very own custom Hideaway Woods print available for purchase!

Amy Wetsch

Another incredible local artist we have partnered with is Durham-based Amy Wetsch. In collaboration with NASA and Johns Hopkins University planetary scientists, she creates otherworldly works of art! Amy up-cycles copper gasket rims that are integral to experiments that simulate the atmospheres of distant planets. Otherwise discarded after one use, Amy takes the copper gaskets and uses salt, sand, glue, pigments, glass, and resin to create art that represents the distant atmospheres being studied.

Bright Black Candles

This Durham, NC Black-owned, family-owned company doesn’t “just” sell candles. They use scent as a medium and candles as a platform for sharing positive narratives about Blackness, wanting to bring about change and representation. Specifically, our museum store offers their incredible Durham candle for sale, which is intended to evoke the spirit of the Bull City’s charm and grit with a striking and soulful blend of tobacco, cotton, and whiskey.

Team Genius Squad

It is our pleasure to introduce you to Ava the S.T.E.M. Princess! Ava is the face of Team Genius Squad, which is a Durham-based non-profit organization whose mission is to promote S.T.E.M. awareness and encourage individuals to believe in themselves and pursue their goals no matter the challenges. To achieve this, Ava conducts free and fun educational S.T.E.M. activities and videos to share within the local community and globally, in-person or virtually. Recently, Team Genius Squad released their very own line of educational science kits, books, and even slime. All these and more are available in Elements Museum Store (because you know we couldn’t help but give Ava her own shelf!).

Thanks for taking the time to read about some of our local vendor partnerships! The next time you shop with us, look for green leaf logos and talk with store associates to learn more about featured products and join us in making a difference. Buying products in our stores gives consumers the chance to do good by buying something greener, but also goes a long way toward supporting the Museum and its conservation and education efforts, so we appreciate your patronage!