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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, Sep. 28, 2012 6 years ago

Giacobbe, Taylor give back, through their Purple Dragonfly Boutique

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The Purple Dragonfly Boutique celebrates its five-year anniversary next month. The business has survived the recession, its owners say, because of its philanthropy.

BY MIKE CAVALIERE | ASSOCIATE EDITOR

The Purple Dragonfly Boutique, at 1462 W Granada Blvd., will notch its fifth year in Ormond Beach Oct. 11 — an accomplishment owners Gayle Giacobbe and Rebecca Taylor credit in part to their dedication to positivity and community service.

“We’re all about fun,” Giacobbe said. “Grumpy people, stay outside.”

But as entrepreneurs, the pair doesn’t just talk the talk. Since opening the store at the cusp of the economic downturn in 2007, Giacobbe and Taylor have made it a point to donate to schools, churches and food banks. They’ve hosted events for causes from child advocacy and breast cancer awareness to Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce After Hours, in order to raise money for people in need.

“We just feel it’s important to the future of this community,” Giacobbe said of the work they do for local parent-teacher associations and other school committees. “It’s one way we give back.”

Since meeting 11 years ago on their respective children’s first day of kindergarten, the pair has worked side by side for schools. They realized soon after meeting that they could go into business together — and they haven’t looked back since.

One of the main reasons they say they opened the Purple Dragonfly was to be able to create an organized system for philanthropy. Every year, they donate a gift basket to every Teacher of the Year nominee — that’s on top of thousands of dollars pledged to the families of disabled law enforcement officers, the Childhood Cancer Foundation and the Children’s Advocacy Center (which they donate to twice annually and have since opening).

“This is a small town, and our goal was to be involved in it,” Giacobbe said. “We strive aggressively for that.”

They also strive to be unlike most other stores in town. The Purple Dragonfly carries crafts from local artists; it offers recycled Alex and Ani bracelets, which display a positive message on every piece; and it gives away free giftwrapping on everything in the store.

Giacobbe and Taylor also hold a meeting every three months to reevaluate their business, and they’ll make changes as necessary — like adding more apparel to the store, their most recent tweak.

“With all the negativity that goes around, we don’t let that come in.” Giacobbe added. “We are very proud of our five-year milestone, especially during these challenging economic times. The support has been wonderful, and we feel very blessed.”

A celebration of the shop’s five-year mark will be held Oct. 11 at the store, with giveaways, goody bags, refreshments and 5-50% off scratch-off promotions.

Call 677-2010.

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