Archive | April, 2014

Prosperous Threads

We have been on the hunt for companies around the world who desire to make an impact. Today we have one to share with you.Best-Prosp-Threads-Logo_3-150x150

We recently discovered Prosperous Threads and have fallen in love with their mission and products! You can imagine how excited we were when the amazing people behind Prosperous Threads wanted to share the inside scope with our readers.

The beginning ~

In an attempt to source more unique fabrics for designers, the ladies at Prosperous Threads decided to look at women around the world who have been hand-dying fabrics for generations.  They immediately fell in love. Not only is this fabric unique and hand designed, it also carries a beautiful story.

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The women~

All textiles from Prosperous Threads are hand-dyed and/or woven by strong, selfless women who are working towards something larger than themselves. They are motivated to create a better future for their children. This job means income, nutrition and education. It also provides the women with confidence, hope and prosperity.

The women behind the textiles are incredible! They work SO hard to serve people other than themselves.

The Process ~

Here’s a behind the scenes look at Prosperous Threads in action ~

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The process to make their textiles involves hours of dying, weaving, drying, twisting, cinching, etc. which is why these textiles look so unlike what we are used to seeing these days – they were all crafted carefully by hand.

The Vision ~

Prosperous Threads shared their vision with us, and we couldn’t word it any better! Here’s a snippet of the heart behind Prosperous Threads:

“We hope that all of us, as consumers, exercise the power we have! With every purchase we make – whether it’s our morning latte, bottle of water, or new blouse – we are voting with our dollars. This is our opportunity to really ‘be the change’ we want to see across any industry.”

The Result ~

Prosperous Threads brings textiles to U.S. based designers, to incorporate into their collections.  A cultural fusion takes place when a designer transforms the hand-created fabric into a garment or accessory relevant to the Western world. Here are a few pictures of their latest collaboration with Branch Clothing, another great company making positive impacts. Head over to their site to see the full collection.

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Spread the word. Use your purchasing power to change the world!

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Mother’s Day, Gifts that give

Mother’s day is right around the corner. We all know that being a mother is the world’s hardest job and this video proves it!

Treat that amazing women in your life to gift that gives back.  Here is our Mother’s day shopping guide ~

Mother's Day WOW! There are so many great products and great causes to support through our purchases.

The products above are just the tip of the ice burg, check out these websites below for more gifts with impact!

1) Noonday CollectionLines and Stripes Bag $142- Noonday Collection pays their artisans living wages and supports adoptions through their trunk shows.

2.) Given Goods Co. – You are Beautiful print $30  – All products found on Given Goods Co. give back to make tangible social impacts.

3.) World Wildlife Fund – Really cute reusable bags – These bags are made of recycled material and can be yours for making a $50 donation to WWF.

4.) Far & Wide CollectiveYellow and Pink Basket $145- Far and Wide Collective uses fair trade principles to help connect artisans to international markets.

5.) Story CompanyYoga Bag $40 – Providing sustained employment to artisans in India

6.) Raven & Lily – Sweet Bangle Set $22 – Empowering marginalized women in India

7.) Sseko  – T-strap sandals $74 –  Provides employment to women to help them fund their college educations

8.) JOYNTable runner  $42  – Provides

9.) Krochet KidsLove Tee $22 – Empowers people to rise above poverty by providing holistic economic development programs.

What if your mother truly doesn’t need anything? Check out these options:

1.) Give the gift of helping another become a mother in the midst of war and disaster. Check out the International Rescue Committee – Safe Delivery Kit

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2.) Support local economies by giving your wife or mother a massage, pedicure, or spa day. She totally deserves it (please refer to video above if you are in doubt)!

Happy Giving!

 

 

 

 

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Love thy neighbor

God is pretty clear that He wants us to love our neighbor, see Mark 12:31, Matthew 22:39, Luke 10:27, Galatians 5:14, and James 2:8.  So, we should be doing this, right? Like all the time.

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We like to complicate things a bit by asking, who exactly is our neighbor? How exactly can I love them?  A pretty clear answer to the second question is the person living next to us, across the street from us, and in our neighborhood. They are our “neighbors”.  That  leaves us with figuring out the second the second part – HOW can I love my neighbor?

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The answer to that can range greatly,  but if you are  paying even the littlest bit of attention – you probably know that Charlie across the street is lonely, Susie is overwhelmed, Mark clearly hates mowing his lawn and picking up his dog poop, while Lynn loves to garden. Those would be easy and obvious places to start engaging our neighbors in relationships but since easy and obvious isn’t always the most easy and obvious (or is it??) way to go – We are in luck because:

THIS SATURDAY is NEIGHBORDAY

 

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What is exactly Neighoborday? It is a day created/sponsored by Good.is with the simple goal of strengthening our relationships with the people around us! They have a great link, Neighborday tool kit, with free printables and fun ideas to help you connect with your neighbors. Some are as simple as introducing yourself, starting a phone tree, giving a thank you note, or (my personal favorite) having a PARTY!!

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The best part about neighbor day is knowing that you won’t be doing it alone. Even if you feel awkward getting your neighbor’s phone number, inviting them to a BBQ, a neighborhood clean up, or just having a conversation with them, somewhere out there someone else is feeling the same way.  So let’s get out there and love our neighbors!

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If you already have plans on Saturday, and they don’t involve loving your neighbor, don’t worry, you can also celebrate GOOD neighbor day on September, 24th. I know, everyday seems to be a “day” these days – I bet you didn’t know that Thursday is Pig in a Blanket day and the 30th is harirstyle appreciation day – please do not forget to celebrate these important days either :)

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New Easter ideas

I just wanted to follow up on my Fair Trade Easter post to share some of the research I have done and  the fun new Easter Traditions I have found!!! Here you go…

Easter Eggs are in, the Easter Bunny is out…

I absolutely love the painting Easter Egg tradition and after a little research I think it is something we can embrace.  Even though painting eggs predates Christianity, painting Easter eggs has a long history in the Christian tradition with Eggs symbolizing, re-birth and Jesus’ empty tomb.  Now, I just need to be purposeful about helping my family see these symbols and make these connections.

However, I’m not so crazy about the candy filled Eggs (According to preventdisease.com, the average child in the developed world will consume more sugar by the time they turn 8 than the average person did in their entire lifetime a century ago.) So, we are going to incorporate painted wooden Eggs into our egg decorating fun.  IMG_4312As you can see we haven’t painted the eggs yet, but we have been finding them, and I think I ameaster-bunny-apr-4-2011-1-600 going to love this new idea.  Each year we will get to pull the eggs out and be reminded of past Easters and see the progression in our kids’ art!  You can buy Wood Eggs, made in the USA, here.

Honestly, this guy is scary, right?  Since, I haven’t found many strong spiritual connections between the Easter bunny and the  meaning of Easter, and the fact that I think he can easily distract us from Jesus and his resurrection, we are going to sort of ignore the Easter bunny this year.  We will still do an Easter Egg hunt, because it is just plain fun, but no large bunny will be sneaking into our house to hide the eggs.

I am trying to think of other ways to make the hunt more connected with the  meaning of Easter – hunting for God’s Gifts?, filling some Eggs with scripture, empty eggs (see below).

What do you all do to make Easter a little more meaningful? Share them with me in the comment section.

On Halloween, I shared about our new tradition of going Boo-ing, today a friend just introduced me to Egg-ing ! We haven’t done this yet but I think it is going to be a keeper. Surprising friends by hiding eggs in their yard, sounds like fun to me!

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I found this printable on the Fab N’ Free website,  Click here to print your own.

Don’t forget about our Giveaway from Haiti Design Co-op! There is still a chance for you to win!

 

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Haiti Design Co-op – GIVEAWAY!!!

Hello and Happy Monday…it is a happy day indeed because we are offering another great giveaway!! This week’s give away is from:

HaitiDesignCo-op Haiti Design Co-op is a wonderful organization working to create economic opportunities in Haiti.  Here is the inside scoop on Haiti Design Co-op from one of the founders, Chandler Busby.

Tell us a bit about Haiti and your heart for Haiti ~

Well,  I fell in love with this Haiti in 2010 and have been hooked since.  Something about this place just draws you in; the chaotic beauty that is Haiti is addicting. We are constantly learning so much about ourselves, faith, and life in general from this place and the incredible people we get to work with. Haiti always seems to get the short end of the stick, it is always misrepresented and disrespected. It is a goal of ours to try to change this little by little, to show people the beautiful country and culture that we have come to know.

How did Haiti Design Co-op begin ~

The past two years I had been running  Heartline Ministries’ artisan program, Haitian Creations. The program, which started out as a small women’s sewing class, had blossomed into a full out artisan program and social business employing over 60 artisans. Growth was exciting and it became clear it was time for a transition, the program had outgrown its non-profit, ministry beginnings and was ready to stand on its own. So in December, myself, my husband Josh, and our incredible business partner Emma, founded Haiti Design Co-op. This is our artisan production co-op based in Port-au-Prince.  We know first hand the vital importance of job creation in this place, as well as the importance of skill training and marketable design.

Our heart for this new phase is the same as before, to keep families together through job creation; to train, to create opportunities for growth, to prevent orphans through consistent employment, and to represent all the good that is in Haiti.

In a few words describe the artisans you work with ~

tenacious, talented, patient

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Haitian Artisans from Haiti Design Co-op

What are you most excited about? ~

I am so excited to see where we will be 2, 4, and 6 years from now. In the few years that I’ve gotten to know these artisans they are always blowing me away and continue to raise the bar for what we can do. I’m excited to see our management staff continue to learn more about business management and for our artisans to continue to learn more  techniques for their traits, and to little by little be able to sustain their own businesses.

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I love the paragraph on your blog where you talk how God has endless creative ways for us to serve Him. How can our readers play a role in the work He is doing in Haiti?

Think before you buy and think before you give!

Purchasing from Haitian artisans is an extremely helpful and tangible way to support the country. Instead of purchasing that handbag on sale at Target, purchase from an artisan group. And similar to that, I highly suggest finding ways to stimulate the local economy here instead of sending donations over. For example-  if you do happen to come on a volunteer trip in Haiti, instead of spending a bunch of money to get you here and paint a house, hire a local painter. Instead of donating your old shoes and old clothes, pay a local shoemaker and seamstress to make pieces for you to give. And more importantly, respect the country and embrace the culture. Too many people think they need to help, serve, bring hope, and make change in countries like Haiti. One of the best ways a person can partner with Haiti is by coming into this place with a student mindset, embracing the chaos, enjoying the natural beauty that God has lavished this place with. Get to know the people, the food, the language, you will be highly rewarded I promise.

Is there anything else you would like to share ~

We are so excited to share our story with you all! If anyone is interested in hosting an event to support our artisans please email- HaitiDesignCoop@gmail.com

Wow! Chandler, thank you so much for sharing with us. Now its my turn to share some Haitian Design Co-op L♥VE with you all – One lucky reader will win this lovely Heart Pouch made by Cassan (see the photo above!).  To enter this giveaway:

1. ) Share this post on facebook (If you don’t share directly from my link make sure you paste your link in the comment section)
2.) If you don’t have Facebook you can share this post via email with 5 friends (Let me know you did so in the comment section)
3.) For an extra entry into the Giveaway, like Haiti Design Co-op’s Facebook page here and like our Facebook page here.

The Giveaway ends Thursday, 17th at midnight.

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The heart pouch is only one of the many amazing products that Haiti Design Co-op has to offer, check out their Etsy store  for see more goodies! I spy some great Easter Basket stuffers…

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A Fair Trade Easter

I can’t believe that Easter is already next week!  This year our goal is to make sure that our Easter celebration and consumption better align with our beliefs.  After all, we are honoring the ultimate demonstration of love and sacrifice, so we don’t want this fact to get lost in mix of eggs, candy, bunnies, and such.

I am still researching the reasons and history behind some of our traditions (where on Earth did the Easter bunny come from anyway? What’s with the eggs?), but a total revamp of our Easter celebration will have to wait until next year when I don’t have an adorable infant wanting to play with me at every waking second.

However, I know there are a few purchasing choices that I can easily make to better honor Jesus and his sacrifice. So this Easter we are striving for a “Fair Trade” Easter.  Choosing Fair Trade this Easter helps us share His love by ensuring that the people who made our products received fair compensation for their work.

Check out the following companies and products to “Fair Trade your Easter”

Fair Trade Easter Baskets~

Forget the cheap plastic Easter baskets, check out the beautiful hand made baskets from Ten Thousand Villages.  Looking for something a little easier (aka Easter is a week away and I need my basket already filled). Here are some options-

Traditional Chocolate Basket from Mama GanacheMamaGnashEasterBasket

Rise n Shine Easter Basket from SerrvSERR-easter

Lake Champlain Gift BasketLakeChamplainfair-trade-gift

Easter Gifts~

 Little Bunnies from Biome Eco Stores

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Toys (made in USA) from Down To Earth Toys

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Eco Play dough DowntoEarthToysPlayDough

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Chocolate ~

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Equal Exchange Chocolate eggs

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Sjaak’s Candy filled Bunnies

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