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“Haute” Holiday Hostessing, BB style

Our friends over at Arhaus invited us to write a post sharing a few of our favorite tips for hostessing and decorating during the holiday season. Gathering people, whether small and intimate or large and wild, is one of my favorite things to do, so naturally, I jumped at the chance to share some of the things I have learned over the years.

Huate Hostess

With this being Bought Beautifully’s busiest season, I partnered with my go-to photographer friend, Jenae Neeson, and my co-host and friend, Jeriann to decorate a Christmas table.  Jer and I have been working together for 4 plus years hosting a large holiday event (100+ plus people), on an extremely low decorating budget (<$200).

The most important thing we have learned is this:

decorating and hosting can be beautiful, impactful, and affordable.

Bought Beautifully’s mantra for gatherings is to minimize stress and expenditures, while maximizing impact. So, my goal for this post was to create “haute” holiday decor in about an hour using ethical items and items we had on hand.

Hostess with handmade vases

Here are three hostessing tricks that we consistently use at our large events and at home.

1.) Know your purpose

Holiday hostess decorWhat is your reason for gathering?  Whether it is a 3 year-old Birthday party, Christmas Eve dinner, or New Year’s Day brunch, there is a deeper reason for bringing people together, knowing “the purpose” will guide your decisions, reduce your stress, and create the spirit for the event.

When you let the spirit of your event shine through something magical happens.

handmade cheese trayAt Bought Beautifully, every thing we do centers around supporting our artisans and telling their stories.  With that at the forefront, it makes our choices easier and it becomes less important if our green is exactly the right shade, if the name tags match perfectly, or if the bowls are the right size.

For this table setting, our vision was to create something wintery and beautiful but our purpose was to remember the story of God’s love and how it is being shared and experienced around the globe today.  We wanted to incorporate as many items that told that story as possible.  Each place setting is adorned with paper ornaments handmade by women in Kenya and name cards that share encouraging messages, while handmade Bought Beautifully products are sprinkled throughout the room.

This Christmas and every night we want to remember and celebrate all the hands that contribute to the beauty of our table and the warmth of our home. When we are serving our salad, we will remember the precious hands that carved the bowl and serving spoons. The napkin rings made from straw and thread in Honduras, remind us that great beauty can come from the simple and ordinary.

2.) Use your resources first

Ethical Table decor

It is easy to feel overwhelmed looking at all the pinterest-inspired ideas and thinking that you have to spend a fortune to achieve them.  BUT we have found that this doesn’t have to be the case at all!  Before spending a dime ask yourself these questions:

What do you have that you can use in new & different ways?  

Walk through your house and gather items that have the same feel or are in the same color scheme as the look you are trying to create. Bring them together and start playing!

For this scene, we started with a scarf for the table runner, then we grabbed a wreath from Jeriann’s laundry room door for the main center piece, brought in hand-made pillows from another room, and found the final touch with an ethically made utensil holder serving as a wine bottle holder!

Using your resources is definitely the best idea when it comes to affordability, but if you are looking for something new, we are loving Arhaus’ Dining section, particularly their artisan-made collection which features handcrafted items, recycled metal pieces, and my personal favorite, the live edge tables. These are simply gorgeous (and sustainably made in America!)

3.) Be flexible and have fun

Haute hostess style

Our initial vision for this table setting had been a more traditional red and green Christmas colored theme but once we gathered items, and saw how gorgeous my teal scarf was accenting her white tableware, we went a completely different direction.

To achieve the look we flipped her table cloth over to show a more muted side of the fabric, added a scarf, and then brought in other turquoise and white items from around her home.  As soon as we changed directions, everything came together quickly and seamlessly…we even had time to celebrate with a glass of wine. 

Cheers to a happy, haute, holiday of decorating and hostessing!

To shop this look:
Kuni Salad bowl

Kuni Serving Spoon set

Wine/Utensil holder

Scarves

Cheese board

Handmade paper ornaments

Name cards

Pillows and at the Holiday Pop-up Shop in Sheridan, WY

Glasses available at the Holiday Pop-up Shop in Sheridan, WY

Don’t forget to check out Arhaus’ Dining section

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

BB picnic

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.

khushnama

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.

deminnecklace

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.
dallasproduction

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.

alexandriabracelet

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.

akola vocational center

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Real Women, Real Beauty, Real Impact

Real women. Real Beauty. Real Impact.

At Bought Beautifully, we believe in God’s amazing ability to create beautiful things.

This belief inspires all that we do, including how we design our photo shoots and the social media we share. It’s also one of the reasons we are so passionate about, and committed to featuring real, un-photoshopped women who embody real beauty.

Bought Beautifully’s Spring/Summer 2016 photo shoot was tangible of true beauty; people coming together to use their skills and gifts for a greater good!  Not only was it a celebration of beautiful women making beautiful impacts, but it was also a celebration of the beauty and strength of family as it brought together a few of the most influential women in my life: my mother, my grandmother, my sister, my cousin, and beautiful sisters in Christ. Three Real Beauties

These women might be natural beauties in their own right, but we know it is their INNER beauty that radiates outward, and that is what Bought Beautifully strives to celebrate and honor! So, I wanted to take a minute to introduce you all to the hearts behind these pretty faces, and pay tribute to the legacy of love that they are creating.

Rosemary Rusing - Real Beauty

Rosemary Rusing – My grandmother (94.5 years old). Yes, you read that right. She is turning 95 in October!  Mother to 5, grandmother to 22, and great-grandmother to 7, Rosie is smart, sassy, and thoughtful.  This woman has taught me countless important life lessons, but perhaps the thing that has left the biggest impression on me is how she continually and sacrificially cares for others – and has FUN while doing it.

Mom

Julie Ann Acklin – My mom. As a mother to 4 daughters and grandmother to 4 grand-darlings, this woman is pure gold with a spirit that is humble, selfless, hard working, creative and inspiring.

Brittany Real Beauty

Brittany Ann Winslow – My youngest sister ♥, who also happens to be a brilliant human rights activist, social worker, deep thinker, and BIG lover. This lady inspires me daily by her ability to see things from different perspectives, and her commitment to fight for life for all – from the children in our welfare systems, to those forgotten behind bars.

Real Beauty, Amanda

Amanda Bazzell – My dear cousin, and mother to 2.  She is a sincere and caring friend. She is open and honest, always striving for genuine and authentic relationships. This lady has a servant heart. From teaching special-ed, providing awesome life experiences to people with disabilities, to spending her days and nights caring for two little ones, this mighty woman constantly cares for others.

While the ladies in front of the camera radiate true beauty, the women behind the camera do so equally as well.

Carrie Zimmer and Sharon Carlson are the beautifully talented woman responsible for composing and capturing these faces.

While there is definite beauty in blood family like my sisters, Carrie demonstrates the beauty of the body of Christ coming together in love by using one of her many talents to capture the mission of Bought Beautifully through the lens of her camera. Thank you Zimmer Photography!

While Sharon, master curator of the antique pieces at One Hundred Chairs, has the magical ability to bring out the beauty in everything she touches.

From the beauty of the women captured on camera, to the beautiful impacts represented through the pieces adorning them, we are truly inspired by the hands and hearts that came together to make this shoot happen and thought you would be too!

xoxo,

Emily & Rebekah

 

 

 

 

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Everyday Ethics: May Must-Haves

Everyday Ethics: May Must-Haves

Everyday ethics are here just in time for sunny-day musings! Check out our top picks, and kick off your summer style with a bang!

Keep Company Tennies

Keep Company shoes are made with love in ethical working conditions. Built with the help and support of our extended families, colleagues, friends, neighbors and customers, Keep works with people they respect and love.

Ethical Fashion

Unlock Hope Tees

Looking for a new favorite tee? Unlock Hope has you covered. Not only are these tees cute and comfy, they also make a difference! When you purchase from Unlock Hope, you provide food, shelter, tuition, healthcare and more for girls in Uganda.

Ethical fashion

Sseko Slide Sandals

Favorite summer shoes = Sseko slide sandals! Suit up in style this summer with these gold slides from one of our newest vendors!

Ethical fashion

 

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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!

ethical home decorethical home decorethical home decor

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.

Ethical home decorethical home decorethical home decor

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!

closet makeover closet makeover

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!

closet makeover

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!

closet makeover

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!

closet makeover

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!

 

Flora Journals Flora Stationary 2016-03-07 at 4.43.35 PM

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

everyday ethics

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.

everyday ethics

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!

everyday ethics

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