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Rethinking Easter – seeking traditions that give life

Spring has sprung and Easter is right around the corner!  This is one of my favorite seasons and holidays for many reasons, but primarily the witnessing of new life.

This year we wanted to re-think Easter traditions to find ones that truly embody the spirit of Easter (sacrificial, life-giving, other-centered, etc.). 

We immediately thought of one of our partners, Holy Land Designs, who works in the Holy Land to love and care for their neighbors.  I knew we had to find a way to further support their work…So, over the next few days we will be partnering with a few bloggers and instagrammers to share ways to re-think Easter traditions and incorporate our hand-carved wooden eggs into your Easter celebrations!  First on the guest post is the lovely Theresa Miller ♥.

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What comes to your mind when you think of Easter? For some, the Easter bunny. For others, Christ’s resurrection. But for all of us, food on the table, family, and eggs seem to come to mind. In the Christian tradition, the egg symbolizes the empty tomb and the hope of new life. In all traditions, coloring eggs around Easter time has been commonplace. More recently, however, chocolate and plastic eggs filled with candy has widely replaced the prominent dyed egg.

In our home, all that candy can be a bit distracting for our four children. Although they love the candy, the distraction reminds me of Christmas, where the excitement of Santa swooping over our house delivering presents competes with the true meaning of Christmas. No matter the spiritual conversation or religious events surrounding Easter, candy-filled eggs and bunnies seem to win hearts over the amazing truth of Christ’s coming and resurrection.

Ethical Easter EggsBut what if we re-thought the Easter traditions we are creating? What if we took the symbolism of the egg to a new level? A beautiful, impactful one, drawing on the meaning of Easter rather than distracting from it.

Journey with me for a moment to the hills of Gilead in the Holy Land where Olive trees grow less than 50 miles from the Mount of Olives. Here, at Holy Land Designs, eggs are made of aged wood taken from Olive trees that have been cut down due to a lack of fruit production, therefore, providing the best quality olive wood while preserving the in-tact trees. Every egg is individually handmade to perfection. Once purchased, the eggs journey back to your family where you simply or artistically paint each egg or incorporate them into your Easter Decor.

Ethical Easter Decor

 

The handcrafted material, which you can personally paint, is just part of what make them so special.

It’s the stories behind these Easter eggs, however, that make them so impactful.

The hand that craft these eggs also use their hands to communicate.  Twenty employees, all deaf, disabled and/or disadvantaged, are providing for their families in a land plagued by unemployment. Purchasing one egg provides enough income for them to buy a chicken to feed their families, pay for school supplies for their children or meet some other essential need.

 

Rihab is one of three deaf sisters in her family. Due to her disability, she was never able to go to school or even learn sign language. She came to Holy Land Designs seeking work when her father became disabled and was no longer able to provide for the family. As a result of her time at Holy Land Designs, Rihab now speaks sign language, knows basic reading and writing, is able to count money and can communicate with her hearing son!

She and one of her deaf sisters have transitioned from being liabilities on their family to becoming providers for them!

These are the types of organizations that Bought Beautifully champions and partners with: organizations, ministries and individuals around the globe who are living out God’s call to love.  We bring their products to a larger marketplace so that you can more easily make a purposeful and impactful purchase.

Bought Beautifully believes every person was created in God’s image and, given the right circumstances and opportunity, has the ability to thrive.

This is exactly what we’re witnessing at Holy Land Designs and you can join the story by engaging in the work God is doing around the globe through your purchase of one egg–or one egg for each family member! These eggs you will save, collect and hide or display each year as a new Easter tradition. So when you think of Easter and your children searching for their eggs or those eggs beautifully resting in a bowl for display at the center of your family banquet table, you will be reminded of another family across the globe also eating and thriving because of your generous purchase.

Wooden Eggs

If we spend our money in ways that align with our faith, the impact would be immeasurable. (See Ephesians 3:20)

In 2016, Bought Beautifully sales provided over 4,100 days of employment around the globe.

Will you partner with us in changing the world for good?

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Theresa is a wife and homeschooling mama of four children.  She is passionate about family, writing, and ministry that encourages women in this generation. Theresa has been published in MOPS International, MOMSnext e-zine and other on-line publications. Theresa authors Heavenly Glimpses blog, where she captures the heart of Christ through glimpses into the life of her children, marriage, and a writer unfolding.

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Host a Beautiful Bash & Bring BB to YOUR City!

Bought Beautifully is popping up all over the country this holiday season. But we’re not finished yet…

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Don’t see your city? It’s not too late to bring a Beautiful Bash to your home or church!

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What if you knew the story behind a product you were considering for purchase?

What if you knew the name, the face and the story of transformation behind that leather bag or beautifully beaded necklace?

What if you knew how your purchase would impact a woman in Africa, Haiti, or even America?

Cause gear bag

What if you learned and shared these artisan stories from the comfort of your home with a handful of friends who shared your heart for justice and restoration of a poverty-stricken world (and love for shopping!)?

What if you could join hands and pray specifically for the maker of your product?

By hosting a Beautiful Bash, you can make a real difference.

Artisan

Yes, you can impact the world by simply hosting a party! And it’s as easy as…

1.) Sign Up  2.) Invite Friends  3.) Party

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Bought Beautifully will put together a unique box to match your style, and ship it right to your door step!

Your box will include:

● A curated selection of products from around the globe

● Bash details (check-out system, detailed instructions)

● Graphics, printables, and fun invitations

● Artisan stories to share with your friends and family

Bring change to your city this Christmas with gifts that share the hope of Christ with people around the world.

Ready, set, sign up NOW!

 

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Shop Beautifully to Support Khushnama’s Education

Shop beautifully to support Khushnama’s education.

Everyday, countless lives are changed by YOUR beautiful purchases. We love supporting our family of vendors, and the specific artisans who channel their creative talent into the unique pieces we sell. Recently, we got the opportunity to put our heads together with a group of beautiful artisans to create an original piece that would make a very specific impact.

Oceans away in New Delhi, Ashabelle is hard at work creating products that in turn create bright futures for their artisans. Young girls living in the slums of India are often overlooked when it comes to dreams of education or career. Pushed into marriages, these women are frequently forced to forgo their passions in order to please society. By providing an alternative place for these women to learn and grow in both skill and spirit, Ashabelle is changing the status quo in India. And with the help of Bought Beautifully shoppers, dreams of education are now more attainable than ever, especially for one artisan in particular.

Meet Khushnama: daughter, creator, dreamer.

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Khushnama’s parents moved to Delhi, India from a village in Bihar to make a better life for themselves. This gave her an opportunity to go to school. While Khushnama has finished her primary education, she is interested in pursuing higher level studies, specifically English courses. Unfortunately, she is facing opposition from her family and her community, as they would like her to settle down and start a family instead of pursuing such childish interests. Khushnama has yet to give up on her dream as she feels that her desire for more education is pertinent to her future success.

Not only is Khushnama passionate about English education, she is also a talented designer, a lover of music, and an independent woman with BIG dreams.

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We believe in the importance of education and the role it plays in future success.

As we began to brainstorm ways to tangibly provide education for artisans, we were able to hear Khushnama’s story, and the yearning she has for an education that would propel her future goals and dreams. After many months of dreaming and collaborating with the Ashabelle team, we are excited to announce that we have created an opportunity to provide education for Khushnama. With your help, our efforts to continue Khushnama’s education are within reach! And the best part? It comes in the form of a beautiful necklace!

Be Beautiful Necklace

Every necklace purchase provides $4 to Khushnama’s scholarship fund.

(P.S. It only takes 6 necklace sales to meet Khushnama’s education goal. YOUR purchase counts!)

So, as you prepare for the new school year that awaits here in America, we ask that you also prepare to help us bring education to girls like Khushnama, who are fighting daily to keep their dreams alive. Together, we can educate women around the world BEAUTIFULLY.

Shop now, and support Khushnama’s education.

 

 

 

 

 

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Akola: “She Works”

Akola Blog Title

Akola: “She Works”

Meet one of our newest obsessions (and vendors), the Akola Project, empowering women in poverty to become agents of transformation in their families and communities through economic development.

Much of the population living in poverty is comprised of women, who are the primary providers for their families. There is a significant segment of this female population in countries of all stages of development that are stuck in poverty, unable to act as adequate providers, because they are marginalized by cultural, socioeconomic and gender inequalities.

Akola Project addresses the issue of poverty by empowering women who lack access to the training and economic opportunities that would allow them to rise in socioeconomic status.

The Akola Project model is uniquely designed to empower each woman economically and socially in order to allow her to take ownership of her own development and ultimately, change her view of herself. Over time, Akola’s team has found that the key to achieving sustainable poverty is to invest in multiple areas of women’s lives, not simply the economic. Akola’s programs are designed to replace the negative outcomes that result from patriarchal society, lack of
government assistance, lack of infrastructure in remote communities, and cyclical poverty with positive outcomes in three major areas: economic empowerment, social empowerment, and process empowerment.

International Headquarters: Jinja, Uganda

With international headquarters in Jinja, the majority of Akola’s production takes place in Uganda by women participating in vocational training, employment and holistic programming. Partnering with 7 rural communities in Northern and Eastern Uganda, Akola works in villages that are remote, functioning with barter economies. As women earn wages through their work at Akola, they are infusing capital into their village economies and empowering other local business owners by being reliable customers.

While part-time bead rollers earn an income that is nearly twice the Ugandan poverty level,

Akola’s full-time members earn up to five times the Ugandan poverty level.

This means that the average full-time member earns a salary that is equivalent to that of a Ugandan police officer or primary school teacher. Wow!

 Akola Uganda Strip

The Demi necklace is a perfect representation of the artisan work that goes into each rolled bead. Made with love in order to give hope, this necklace makes a bold statement. Shop the Demi necklace here.

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Domestic Headquarters: Dallas, TX

Along with global projects to fight poverty, the Akola Project has created a Contemporary Collection to be produced exclusively in Dallas by women associated with one of nine local nonprofits who are seeking dignified employment to provide for their families.
Many of the women that work for us have children and are the main or only caregiver. We pay a fair living wage, teach them a skill, and provide work hours when their kids are at school (9 to 2). Some bring the smaller children with them to work. We have elevated the level of product we make in Dallas to allow us to pay a fair living wage in the city.
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In the fall, we employed 20 women. This summer, that number is more than doubling as Akola products are now available at both Bought Beautifully and Neiman Marcus.

The Alexandria bracelet, one of Akola’s contemporary pieces made with love in Dallas, is one of our favorites for its bold, yet classic look. Shop the Alexandria bracelet here.

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The Akola Impact

Everyday, Akola artisans gather at vocational centers in order to assemble and create the pieces we purchase. When an Akola accessory reaches the hands of a customer in the U.S., 100% of the purchase is reinvested into Akola’s mission to empower women in poverty.

Every cent contributes to Akola’s social business that provides women with a dependable, living wage every month.

 

With her income, the Akola woman is able to provide healthy meals and clean drinking water for all of the children and elderly community members that she cares for. She no longer has to worry if her family will go hungry. She also earns enough to send her children to school, and access basic healthcare and a secure home.

Love knowing your purchases are supporting and empowering women both locally and globally? Shop more from Akola here.

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Live Out Love

Buy Beautifully | Live Out Love

We are regularly asked a similar set of questions about Bought Beautifully – what we do, why we do it, and how our faith/Christianity plays a role in it?

Over the last year, as we answered these questions, we discovered one simple line that helped us explain what we do and why:

#liveoutlove

Bought Beautifully exists to provide an alternative shopping experience, one that better aligns with our faith and allows us to use the financial blessings that God had given us for His glory and for the good of those He loves.

We are about more than just “fair trade” or “ethical” practices.

Our “niche” or calling is to partner with  people/entities who are living out Christ’s call to love through their work.

live out love

Discovering amazing people and organizations, and the unique ways that God has called them to love and serve a hurting world is the best part of our job!

Our partners are not necessarily evangelical or international or all focused on development type issues, but they are all living out God’s call to love through their work, which results in some pretty amazing and diverse IMPACTS:

 pathways out of poverty.

fighting human trafficking.

spiritual encouragement.

caring for widows and orphans.

health and educational.

sustainable development.

and more.

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We are reminded daily of the honor it is to partner with such incredible vendors, and the opportunity we have to further their efforts and join them as they #liveoutlove.

Every product we sell, and every purchase made is part of a global love story.

When you shop Bought Beautifully, you are part of the movement to #liveoutlove.

Shop here!

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Everyday Ethics At Home

Everyday Ethics At Home

Spring fever has us dreaming of new ethical essentials for our homes. Take a peek at our March must haves, and step into a new season of beautifully made home-decor!

Rebekah’s Favorite Four

Whether you’re looking for a new piece for your living room, or just a change in throw pillows, these ethical options will have your home feeling new in no time! Hurd & Honey’s handcrafted furniture is one of a kind and oh so beautiful (we are loving this bench and triangle shelf!). Next? Add an accent pillow to your favorite arm chair for a new look, or spruce up your classic coffee table with a beautiful hand woven basket!

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Hanna’s Favorite Three

Spring into color with these great finds! Looking for cute ways to acquire more storage? These printed canvas totes make de-cluttering adorable. Next, add a new light fixture and a handmade, reclaimed chalkboard for a natural touch.

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Emily’s Favorite Four

I have been dreaming about a living room re-do for a year now! From pillows to art to chairs to candles, there are so many ethical pieces that I am saving for and can’t wait to incorporate into my home. The pillows and chairs come from big name brands that are now carrying Fair Trade items, while I love and prefer to shop locally and in small shops, it is so exciting to see the ever increasing ethical options.

Fair Trade Pillows

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P.S.  Stay tuned our real ethical living room re-do series coming this summer!  Until keep up with all our favorites on our pinterest board.

 

 

 

Want more Spring decor? Shop BB now!

Do you have tips for spring styling at home? Share them with us!

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TuesDIY: Closet Challenge

Happy TuesDIY!

A few weeks ago, we shared a few easy tips on how to jump-start your ethical wardrobe. This week, we challenged one of our own BB team members to put those tips into practice using her own closet!

 

Tip 1: Use what you already have!

Our first and most basic tip – using the old classics in new ways to liven up your closet! This adorable red dress is timeless, and is a great staple for any season! By adding new (Bought Beautifully) accessories like this necklace from Haiti, you can give your classic clothing a fresh trendy look and while supporting entrepreneurs in Haiti!

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Tip 2: Thrift, Thrift, Thrift!

Purchasing a new-to-you piece from your favorite thrift store is an excellent way to find fresh pieces for your sustainable wardrobe. Hanna found this olive jacket (and the hat in the picture above) at one of our favorite local consignment shops – we instantly fell in love!

Closet Makeover closet makeover

Tip 3: Swap & Share

Next on our list for an easy and ethical closet makeover? Swap a piece with one of your besties! Sharing old favorites with friends is an AWESOME way to keep your closet fresh. This cozy sweater was swapped between BB team members last fall!

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Tip 4: Re-purpose

Re-purposing puts a fresh twist on an old piece. Like this floral headband? It was re-purposed from an old dress made by Hanna’s mother!! (It doesn’t get any better than that!). We are smitten!

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Tip 5: Ethical Accessories

Last but not least on our list? Bring in NEW ethical accessories from Bought Beautifully! When you choose to shop Bought Beautifully, your pieces make a difference around the world!

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What ways are you making your closet more ethical?

Share your tips with us!

 

 

For other outfit inspirations, check out The Pleated Poppy’s What I Wore Wednesday.

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How to: Ethical Easter

How to: Ethical Easter Gifts

On the hunt for ethical Easter gifts to fill your baskets?

Keep scrolling to check out a few of our spring favorites

from Bought Beautifully!

Ethical Easter

Badala baskets

Tired of the typical Easter basket? These adorable, handmade baskets make for the perfect, stylish alternative! Stuff them full of our favorite goodies, and you’ll have an ethical Easter from start to finish!

Ethical Easter

Equal Exchange Coffee

This year, instead of going for the M&M’s, opt for fair trade coffee and chocolate from Equal Exchange. This Proud Mama blend is beautifully packaged and has an even more beautiful impact! One more reason to snag this Easter gift? It’s on sale!

 

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Giving a journal this Easter? Give one that gives back! Each Flora journal supports college scholarships for young women in Kosovo.  The sale of 25 journals, supports a young woman for an entire year of college.

 

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Rooted Beauty Essentials: Lip Butter & Facial Wipes

We LOVE these natural and ethical beauty products. The best part? Each product gives back to a specific woman working her way out of poverty. Give the gift of a mini facial with this empowering Rooted Beauty duo!

Ethical Easter

We think Easter is the perfect occasion to think outside the basket (hehehe)!  While it would be easy to fill your Easter baskets with the traditional Easter gifts, wouldn’t it align better with the meaning and spirit of Easter to fill your basket with gifts that tell the story of God’s sacrificial love and redemption?

Live out love this Easter with ethical gifts from Bought Beautifully.

Shop these products and many others NOW.

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Everyday Ethics: February Collection

Everyday Ethics: February Collection

It’s time for our February favorites! We are using or dreaming about this month’s collection of everyday ethics, and think you will love them too!

Katelynn’s Picks

The Luke Fedora – Clothe Your Neighbor

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Hanna’s Picks

Better Life Bags

All of us here at Bought Beautifully can’t live without an everyday tote. Better Life Bags are at the top of my wish list. The best part is, you can design your own to fit your style.

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BB Tees – Glorify Apparel

Black T-Shirt’s are essential to my wardrobe, and what better way to spread the love than through the encouraging messages on Glorify Apparel’s shirts? Even Tori Kelly sported these tees while on her #whereibelongtour. Love it!

Everyday Ethics

Emily’s Picks

Krochet Kids Beanie

This February Favorite was bought locally AND give back globally. Best birthday find ever? I think so.

Bakara Spoon Rest

I love how the Bakara spoon rest adds a touch a style and functionality to my kitchen. Thanks to it, I’m keeping the oven top clean, the soup stirred, the space looking good!

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Rebekah’s Picks

Sustainable Boyfriend Jacket – Nena & Co

Nena & Co designs are handmade in Guatemala – employing beautiful women with beautiful work! Nena jacket? Yes please!

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TuesDIY : Sustainable Fashion

Happy TuesDIY!

DIY _ Sustainable Fashion

Stumped on how to get your sustainable fashion kickstarted? Look no further!

Tip – Use what you already have in your closet:

We love using the old favorites in our closet as the building blocks for our ethical wardrobe! What’s next? Adding in new staple pieces as you go!

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Skirt

Start with an old classic that allows for endless style possibilities.

This classic skirt has been in my closet for over 10 years! I wasn’t always into sustainable fashion but I lucked out when I made this purchase buying a well made piece that has and will last for decades.   Now when I am looking to buy classic pieces (pencil skirts, black heals, leather jackets, etc.) I look for items that are ethically made, well made, and truly speak to my sense of style, so that I can be confident I will continue to wear them in the future.

Shoes

Your favorite pair of shoes are the perfect addition to your sustainable outfit!

These shoes have been a part of my collection for 5 years.  Another classic piece that fits my style and was made well. I love buying items to last!

 

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Top

Tip – Add a top to give a pop! No favorites to use here? Find a new piece for your collection!

This top is made in America, AND bought locally at one of our downtown boutiques!

 

Jacket

Final touches = your favorite go-to jacket. Old or new, this piece is sure to be worn again and again.

This jacket? Thrifted! Repurposing clothes is one of our favorite things to do! Visit a thrift shop, and add a vintage piece to your sustainable collection.

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Accessories

Our final (and easiest) tip for growing your sustainable wardrobe… Bought Beautifully accessories!

Accessories are easy to add to any outfit – AND – make for easy gifts for any wishlist. Find hundreds of options here!

Ready? Set, STYLE yourself sustainably!

 

 

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