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simple trip to Southeast Asia turned into a life-changing journey for Susan Wentz. While in Vietnam to help a nonprofit for the visually impaired, Seeing Hands, Wentz noticed a large amount of sewing shops. Family tailors were everywhere, sewing comfortable clothing from the silks and linens that are common in the area. She purchased about 100 different pieces, and came home to start Santosha, a small retail clothing designer and store located at 212 N. First Street. Santosha is Sanskrit for contentment. From that simple beginning in 2014, Santosha has grown to selling to 60 stores across the United States. It continues to buy from the same family of fourth-generation tailors, only now it requires two families to fill the orders. These two families live together behind their storefront and have a workroom upstairs dedicated to customsewing Santosha’s products. Wentz designs some of the clothes. The boutique carries an eclectic blend of stylish clothes that are easy to wear and appeal to a broad range of ages. It also sells accessories and jewelry. Wentz is proud the merchandise is 100 percent fair trade. She contracts directly with the craftspeople so Wentz knows exactly where the money is going. In addition to Vietnam, it imports products from Bali, Thailand, Australia and Nepal. A portion of Santosha’s profit goes to Seeing Hands, the nonprofit that teaches the visually impaired acupuncture as a trade and initially brought Wentz to Vietnam. She also donates profits to the Duc Son Pagoda Orphanage in Hue, Vietnam. –Terry McCleod See more at

Susan Wentz at a Vietnamese orphanage and (below) with the suppliers for her Sandpoint-based Santosha shop.


Dogs, skiing, love fill ’Rom-com’ Read


andpoint writer Susan Daffron captures canine characters — and the character of old Sandpoint — in her fiction books. Moving to Sandpoint and finding a dog, Tika, at a Sandpoint rescue figured prominently in a new direction for Daffron: rom-com or romantic comedy fiction. A former technical writer for Intuit and IBM, she introduces characters and settings loosely modeled after her own experiences and love for Sandpoint. The latest book in her Alpine Grove Romantic Comedy series is “Daydream

Retriever.” Daffron incorporates elements of Schweitzer Mountain Resort life, including her own skiing experience, along with the requisite love story. The books, Daffron said, are about more than just love between animals and people or people and people. Just like “Chez Stinky,” the first in the series where the main character falls in love with Sandpoint and can’t leave, the books are all about her love for Sandpoint. –Carrie Scozzaro

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10/25/16 9:27 AM

Issuu smw17  

In this issue: Wings of Winter, Future of snow, NFL Super Bowl Champion Ron Heller, Art of Megan Atwood Cherry, Urban Moose, Thrill of shed...

Issuu smw17  

In this issue: Wings of Winter, Future of snow, NFL Super Bowl Champion Ron Heller, Art of Megan Atwood Cherry, Urban Moose, Thrill of shed...