February 1, 2023

Family conservationists run eco-friendly shops in Mount Dora.

3 min read| Published On: February 1st, 2023|

By AkersArt

Family conservationists run eco-friendly shops in Mount Dora.

3 min read| Published On: February 1st, 2023|

Kristie Rocca

To me, being a conservationist means: Living a life that is gentle on the earth, kind to all living beings and respectful to the delicate balance of humans and the planet.

Major projects I’ve been involved in: I was extremely fortunate to work for Audubon of Florida when I graduated from college, which was an incredible experience and gave me a solid foundation for future conservation work. We’re actively involved with Rails to Trails now and are supporters of repurposing the old train tracks for outdoor recreation since our business is all about getting folks outdoors to hike, ride bikes, adventure, etc. Additionally, we-’re aligning with local black bear advocates to help protect black bears and their habitat.

The purpose of our retail shop is: To provide eco-friendly goods that help people get outdoors and have great adventures, while leaving only our footprints behind. We’re extremely focused on brands that are fair trade certified, eco-friendly and use sustainable materials and manufacturing processes, as well as brands that do good for the world in general.

I am most passionate about: Living a beautiful, healthy life with compassion for all living beings and the earth. Being kind, finding joy in simple things, and practicing gratitude in large doses.

My message to the community: You can make a difference, even through your smallest actions.  Sometimes it feels overwhelming to think about making changes to the way we shop or eat or live our lives in general. Ultimately, one of our most powerful actions is where we spend our money, so that’s an easy place to start making change.

A fun fact about me: I’m a certified yoga and aerial instructor. My best friend and I host yoga retreats in Italy, which we’re resuming in 2023.Already booked!

What led me to where I am today: I’d say my rebellious and fearless nature combined with unwavering confidence in my beliefs and my ability to follow through on the things I set out to accomplish. 

Dana Rocca

To me, being a conservationist means: I live my life making choices every day that support these principles by recycling, conserving resources, utilizing sustainable materials, and composting. I love being outdoors and have a great love and respect for wildlife and its habitat.

Major projects I’ve been involved in: I was a volunteer for Save the Manatee Club for several years. I did my undergraduate research on formulating a biodegradable fishing line and professionally I did research on developing a more environmentally friendly cadmium plating bath, obtaining an EPA certification for analysis of groundwater, and championed a project for reusable shipping containers to significantly reduce waste.

The purpose of our retail shop is: To select products from companies that share my values with a focus on sustainability through material selection, waste reduction, and fair-trade labor practices.

I am most passionate about: Being a good steward of our planet and helping to make a positive impact in the world. A quote from my favorite poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “. . . to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

My message to the community: I hope to help instill a love for nature and each other. Be active and get outdoors.

A fun fact about me: I am definitely a Florida girl who grew up experiencing natural Florida; going to the beach, swimming in the springs, riding horses in the forest, smelling the wonderful fragrance of orange blossoms. One of the coolest experiences in my corporate career was landing on an aircraft carrier and being catapulted off.

What led me to where I am today: I believe God prepares us for where He wants us to go. Everything has culminated to this point from my love of science, business, the outdoors, clothing and shoes, to having a wonderful career with a global corporation, being a youth leader for over 15 years, having a desire to positively impact the community. The door opened at the right time and I walked through it. 

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