One of my family’s favorite stores in Birmingham, Alabama, actually is in Homewood. Red Rain is a sort of environmentally-aware general store with an emphasis on local and Alabama products. You can buy handmade soaps and candles in recycled containers, local honey, fresh produce, gently used books and glass ware, lotions and creams, handmade jewelry, stationery, Alabama Dirt shirts, yoga items and Alabama Chanin appliqued dish towels made from recycled T-shirts. Red Rain is a vibrant gathering place, too. Shopkeeper Sarah Gurganus believes in being an active member of the community and in environmental education and supporting local craftspeople and artisans as well as environmental causes. Red Rain is a go-to place for gifts in my family. Just walking in makes me smile — and it smells so good! Plus, it’s so inspiring to see what creative folks can do. Red Rain also has Burt’s Bees and Dr. Bronners products and some wonderfully whimsical pottery pieces. Check out the Web site at www.redrainstore.com.