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Beautiful Stories – Haiti

This past May, several of us with BB traveled to Haiti. Among our main goals were to meet our Haitian partners, see the impact of their ministries, and experience the beautiful country they call home.  We wanted to encourage their hard work and creative energy while learning how we could better represent their products and work on the BB site.

HaitisJewels

Like all of our vendors, the more of their products we sell directly translates to their ability to sustain operations, bring on and train new employees, and continue to strategically and permanently disrupt the cycle of poverty that has historically defined countries like Haiti.

Over the course of 6 days, we spent time with vendors all over the country: from the capital Port-Au-Prince to Gonaives, Musac and Jacmel. The Haitian landscape was incredibly diverse driving through crowded shantytowns, dry deserts, the bustling capital of Port Au Prince, verdant tropical forests, mile-high mountains, and postcard beaches (minus the ever-present trash).

While the language barrier of Creole was very real, our guide/driver/translator Rocky (thank you Cornerstone Church!) was wonderful in helping us experience the real Haiti. We found people to be overwhelmingly friendly and kind.  We felt welcomed and found that we were treated as friends as we traveled into their communities.

haitian partners

Each day had it’s own list of highlights as we were fortunate to spend quality time with our vendors learning more about their work and their community.

Our week in Haiti – the people we met, the perseverance of its people, real lives being changed – left us wanting to share this with you:

behind every product is a beautiful story and soul. Your purchases are allowing these souls to thrive, to break cycles of hopelessness and poverty.

So – in response to Haiti’s Jewels parting question, “When will you place your next order”? We ask you to help us reach others interested in making a real difference with their purchase by sharing Bought Beautifully today.

Want to hear some stories?

Spicy pikliz and touring Pappillon enterprises, catching the vision behind 2nd Story Goods and tasting our first breadfruit, diving into product development with HAPI artisans and stumbling upon beachside lobster…we have a lot stories! If you’d like to hear them, want to share your own from a trip to Haiti, or just have some questions in general about our partnerships…

Please join us for Beautiful Stories – Haiti this Thursday, September 28 @ The Union in downtown Sheridan. We’ll share more photos, videos, and spend some time talking about the wonderful people we met there.

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Not Your Mama’s Cow head! Western icon gets a Caribbean infusion.

La Jacmel – Handmade in Haiti, Paper Mâché Cow Head

Our friends over at Havenly asked us to share a few thoughts about a current favorite home decor item…absolutely!  The obvious choice for us was  “La Jacmel” – we just can’t get enough of this piece.  It’s like the well-dressed friend we all have that pushes the envelope with style, pulls it off with class, and gets compliments everywhere they go!  Well, now you can too…no really, it’s that cool.

This beautiful piece is unique, trendy, and truly a work of art. Most importantly, like all Bought Beautifully products we love it for much more than its classy look – the inspirational story of hope, opportunity, and love each one represents is incredibly real for the maker behind the product.

Speaking of, La Jacmels are handmade in the Hatitan beach town of Jacmel (hence the name) by local artisan Pierre Edgar Satyr.  Pierre partners with the Artisan Business Network in Haiti which seeks to “empower Haiti’s artisan culture to improve community wellbeing”.  And looking at Pierre’s work, you would never guess what material he uses to create them: RECYCLED CEMENT BAGS?!

What an incredible real life example of creating beauty from ashes (Isiah 61:3), by turning old cement bags into beautiful paper mache art.

Read on to see “La Jacmel” featured in three differently-styled homes and hear why each designer loves the look:

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Emily:

This piece is special to me because of the feelings of hope and purpose it evokes  (Ha! I know that sounds ironic considering it looks like a skull.) I was lucky enough to travel to Haiti earlier this year to meet several artisan partners and saw first hand the impact that dignified work has on the artisans’ lives. When I see this piece I feel hope for the country of Haiti, and purpose in the work we do at Bought Beautifully, confidently knowing my purchase positively impacts Pierre’s life and community in Haiti.

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Jeriann:

I love this piece for many reasons, it was given to me as farewell gift when I transitioned out of my recent job.  It is a friendly reminder of my time working with my talented colleagues.  I also love knowing that the purchase of this item impacts others in a positive way.

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Jenae:

I like to come up with all sorts of ways to describe my style… Contemporary Belle Starr, Grandmamodern, Modern Grit, Playful Rancher….. hopefully you catch the theme, a little western, a little unique, a little cozy 70s and yet still classic. La Jacmel cow head has the perfect combination of this, with the colors, subtle patterns and materials, it is a modern twist to the standard old school skull. Its energetic and classic… without actually having a dead animal on my wall. Plus, I always like to collect a unique art from my adventures, and this being made from Haiti checks that box.

 

 

 

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Bought Beautifully Is Going To Haiti!

When people are given the opportunity to rise they tend to stick their hand out and try to pull up others alongside them. This is success. –Chandler Busby, Co-founder of Haiti Design Co-op

Bought Beautifully is going to Haiti! This time next week three board members and one of Bought Beautifully’s photographers will be walking Haitian land, meeting vendors and artisans that Bought Beautifully partners with. This trip is a dream come true for the Bought Beautifully crew. We can’t wait to see how God moves in the time we have with four vendors in Haiti!

A mere 10,714 square mile country inhabits over 10 million people making Haiti the second most populous country in the Caribbean. Haiti is located on the island of Hispaniola, occupying the western three-eighths of the island, shared with the Dominican Republic. Haiti is regarded as one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, with an estimated 80% of Haitians living in absolute poverty.

According to Haitian Artisans for Peace International ( HAPI), empowering women is a proven strategy for lifting communities out of poverty. Organizations in Haiti are working to do just that–break the poverty cycle through training and employment opportunities for Haitian artisans (men and women) to create and sell their work. Bought Beautifully partners with several of these organizations and are thrilled to be visiting the following four while in Haiti:

Haitian Artisans for Peace International (HAPI)

A member of Haitian Artisans for Peace International (HAPI), based in the southern Haitian village of Mizak, displays one of the bags, crafted from recycled coffee sacks, that the group is producing.

HAPI is committed to transforming Haiti through the empowerment and advocacy of women. It is working to break the cycle of poverty, maternal and infant mortality and broken family systems by changing the trajectory of individuals, families and communities. Focusing on community health, holistic education and economic empowerment, HAPI embodies the love and mission of Jesus Christ.

Haiti’s Jewels

Haiti’s Jewels is committed to partnering with Haitian artisans to create life-changing beauty. Haiti’s Jewels recognizes the beauty of Haiti and maximizes on its beauty by cleaning up the trash found on beaches and work with the recyclable materials to create jewelry.

Haiti Design Co-op

Haiti Design Co-op was founded in 2014 with the goal to bring about sustainable development through design, training, and job creation. Haiti Design Co-op believes the marriage of design and purpose can have a long-lasting ripple effect of development and community building

2nd Story Goods

2nd Story Goods is a community of impassioned women and men working to design and produce beautiful pieces that do good, are good and look good.

I’ve asked the participants traveling to Haiti a few questions in anticipation of the trip:

Why do you volunteer your time to Bought Beautifully?

I volunteer/work at BB because I feel like this is how God has called me to engage with and support good work that is going on around the globe. (Emily Betzler, Co-Founder and Board member)

I volunteer with BB because it is something I can do right where I am to help support others around the globe similarly motivated by God’s love and call to love people regardless of their details. (Colin Betzler, Co-Founder and Board member)

I volunteer for Bought Beautifully because of a passionate belief in the mission of the organization.I absolutely love living in a small community and wouldn’t trade the benefits of being in Sheridan; however, the essence of a remote Wyoming town can often disconnect us from the rest of the world and the devastating circumstances we don’t experience first-hand. Bought Beautifully provides a way for people in this community, and anyone with access to internet, to engage in a mission that allows us to reach beyond ourselves and our small world into these organizations which are giving hope to the hurting. It’s a treasure that makes Sheridan all the more unique as we touch lives across the world without leaving home. (Alison Wiggelsworth, Board Member)

Why did you decide to go to Haiti?

I have been interacting with our Haitian vendors for over two years now, I love them and the work they are doing.  The opportunity to go to Haiti, to meet our partners in person, see their realities, and the impacts of the work first hand is a dream come true.  (Emily Betzler, Co-Founder and Board member)

I’ll admit that I was slow to arrive at the decision to visit Haiti because I expect that it will shake up my routine and further challenge our family’s outlook on life. Ultimately, the processing that will take place will be rich and good, and I can’t wait to meet and begin to know the hearts of so many that we are working with in partnership with BB. (Colin Betzler, Co-Founder and Board member)

When the opportunity to go to Haiti with the goal of serving and growing in relationship with Bought Beautifully vendors presented itself, it quickly became a thought at the forefront of my mind. Truly I feel that the decision to go was a somewhat easy one because of how God laid the situation perfectly before me. As the vital pieces fell into place, it became quite clear to me that a “yes” was being put on my heart. Ultimately, despite the many reasons for wanting to go, my decision came about as an obedience to serving God and saying yes to something that will most certainly take me out of my comfort zone into a place where I can rely on only Him alone. And I can’t wait! (Alison Wiggelsworth, Board Member)

What do you hope to take away from the experience?

I really hope to deepen relationships (just like with any relationship–business or personal–spending time together is a key piece of a genuine relationship), to leave with a better understanding of the body of Christ working in the world today, and the role that we as individuals and BB as an organization can, and do play in that.  A renewed sense of vision and purpose! (Emily Betzler, Co-Founder and Board member)

I hope to have my perspective shifted and sharpened to see the true blessing in each day wherever it finds us and to be challenged in a good way to dedicate my remaining days to working for those less fortunate but even more deserving. (Colin Betzler, Co-Founder and Board member)

There are so many things that I anticipate being able to take away from this experience. What I am most looking forward to though is growing deeper in my love for Jesus and allowing that fullness to be poured out so that I might faithfully and passionately take on the motto to live out love! (Alison Wiggelsworth, Board Member)

We are truly excited for this opportunity! We believe it will enhance and enrich the work Bought Beautifully is doing. We appreciate you keeping this next adventure in your thoughts and prayers!

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A Thankful Table

Over the next few weeks, Bought Beautifully will be partnering with different people on various platforms (Facebook, InstaGram, Blogs) for a “Thankful Table” series. Our hope for this series is to share ideas and inspiration to encourage thankfulness this holiday season.  We are thrilled to have you follow along!

Today, we have the privilege of hearing from Theresa Miller.

Living Out of the Box Around a Thankful Table

One neatly wrapped box awaited to be opened, to be seen, to be marveled at what could not fit in that box.

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Six young, anxious sleeply-eyed girls scurried to the tree one Christmas morning on Goodrich Street. There were wrapped presents scattered under the stubby asymmetrical tree, but tearing through those presents wouldn’t be the memory imprinted for years to come. It would be that one small, neatly wrapped box with the slit cut through the top that would imprint its mark into one child’s mind.

The family surrounded that box, child anxious on her knees, as they enthusiastically removed the top, like a jack in the box, labeled, “My Gift to Jesus.” They each received and read their own slip of paper and remembered their gift to Jesus written the previous year and witnessed in their hearts how God had responded out-of-the-box in the messiness of real life. They then closed the box and parents and children wrote down a new offering–something from their heart in response to what God had given–and folded that offering three or four times before slipping it through the slit again.

There was just something special about recording what was significant to a particular time and capturing it for a lifetime. There was something about witnessing what was good and promising in the midst of life unraveling; God’s faithfulness through it.

Recording thoughts

Those little girls wouldn’t sit around that gift-box in front of their family tree in the years to come. Instead they would witness life’s heartaches and brokenness in their young lives. They would feel a family divided and a new land open wide across their own. But they would continue to offer their gifts outside of that box and would continue to see God.

They would see restoration, redemption and hope.

Across the sea, in Haiti, a man or woman crafts a journal. They don’t have the luxuries that we know here in America. Children will carry water and walk a long road to school only because of a chance they’ve been given, not simply “a given.”

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They work ferociously with their hands and feel abundance in their hearts.

The hands that made this journal have also known heartache and brokenness. The hands that made this journal have been rescued from poverty and dependency and are now able to provide for their family with dignity.

Haitian Journal

The journal tells a powerful story of restoration and hope.

Those six girls hovering around that gift box in front of a tree on Goodrich Street grew up and expanded their family to over forty members when they gather for a holiday, including parents, husbands and children.

That family is mine.

The child anxious on her knees, me. I’m still that child on her knees, anxious to see how God is working through stories unfolding.

Across the sea, men and women are giving their children hope for their future. They call themselves 2nd Story Goods because a new story is beginning to emerge in each of their lives.

This Thanksgiving all forty something members of my family–five sisters, husbands, twenty plus children and grandparents will all pile in and gather around my family’s home where we will continue to offer our gifts, this time around a thankful table, writing (and drawing for the littlest ones) in one of those beautifully handcrafted journals from Haiti that tells its own story.

Thankful journal

A story of restoration, redemption and hope.

As I’ve grown, I’ve come to see how all our stories are connected. We are all born into hope, come to know brokenness and are restored back to hope through a Savior who pursues us, rescues us and makes all things new. The hands and feet of Jesus may look a little different in each of our lives, and I wonder if we always recognize them, yet it is the key to a beautiful story unfolding.

Now we have a way to connect to a story of restoration across the globe, to also be the hands and feet of Jesus, and build hope for their future.

So let’s reach around the globe this year and join hearts and hands around a thankful table of believers, as we share our stories and offerings of thanksgiving.

And then witness how God works outside of that neatly wrapped box.

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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.

Theresa Miller

 

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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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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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Valentine’s Day is near, fair trade chocolate is here

Valentine’s Day is near, and fair trade chocolate is here!

Give true love to your valentine this year with

chocolate that is making world-wide impacts.

Fair trade chocolate

While we love to enjoy delicious chocolate, it’s important

to know who’s producing it.

In recent years, the widespread use of child labor, and in some cases slavery in the chocolate industry has been exposed.  We shared about some of the issues here and here, and you can find even more up to date information at: Food is Power.org

fair trade chocolate

Fortunately, we don’t have to dwell on the problems of the chocolate industry when so many great ethical options exist.

Here are our top chocolate picks for this valentines day:

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1.) We think Barefoot and Chocolate sounds heavenly.  They use fair trade chocolate and DO NOT use any GMO’s, artificial ingredients, hydrogenated and solvent extracted oils in their chocolate sauce. Our V-day pick: Dark Chocolate Almond

2.) We love that Equal Exchange works hard to ensure a fair trade production model that benefits each of their employees while also creating tasty chocolate!  Our V-day pick = Organic Dark Chocolate with Raspberries

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3.) Riot Bars are fair trade and organic, making it a delicious option when you’re looking to make a difference this Valentine’s day. Our favorite? Dark chocolate with a bit of Kickin’ Coconut.

4.) We are swooning over Divine Chocolate‘s worker owned philosophy that gives workers  a share in the profits, a say in the company, and a voice in the global marketplace. Our V-day pick, a classic: The Belgian Chocolate collection.

P.S. We also love their 3 minute guide to Mindfulness and the Art of eating chocolate

This Valentine’s day, purchase ethically made treats, and give love to more than just your sweetheart.

Want more fair trade love? Try this sweet treat from our friends at Equal Exchange!

Spiced Chocolate Oat Cookies

fair trade chocolate recipe

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Equal Exchange Organic Spicy Hot Cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup turbinado or demerarra sugar (regular white will do in a pinch)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups oats

Directions 

In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.

In the bowl of a double boiler, melt butter and water together. When butter has mostly melted, add sugar, brown sugar, molasses and chopped chocolate. Stir just until everything is melted you don’t want the butter to separate or the chocolate to get chunky, so remove the bowl from the heat when everything has melted, even if the sugar granules haven’t fully dissolved.

Off the heat, whisk in the eggs one at a time, whisking each time to incorporate. The mixture will start to look shiny. Add the dry ingredients, stirring just until they disappear. Add oats and mix just to incorporate. Scoop your cookies (by the tablespoon) onto parchment- or silicone-lined baking sheets, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to several days. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes until just done (they’ll still look quite soft when you pull them out). Use a wide spatula to transfer cookies onto a rack, and cool to room temperature.

 

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Everyday Ethics

Everyday Ethics: The January Collection

Living consciously is an everyday commitment.  The BB team has been striving to live out everyday ethics for quite some time now.  This journey is becoming easier and more exciting as the demand for ethical products increases.  We want to bring you all on our journey and share the items we love, use and are dreaming about every month.

We’re bidding January farewell with our favorite ethical finds!

 

Rebekah’s Picks:

Parker Clay leather tote

This bag is handmade in Ethiopia, transforming communities with social and economic empowerment.

I had been dreaming about this bag for a while when it appeared under the Christmas tree this year. Everyone needs an everyday leather tote, and this is one of my favorites.

Everyday ethical tote

The tassel

Our tassel necklace is handmade by artisans who are receiving dignified work and education in Costa Rica and Rwanda.

This necklace is my go-to accessory. It pairs well with both black and brown, while also adding a pop of color to any outfit.

Everyday ethical accessories

Fair Trade Footwear: Fortress of Inca

Footwear and accessories ethically produced in Peru.

I love the unique detail in Fortress of Inca’s booties. This pair is definitely on my wishlist.

 

Everyday ethical footwear

Hanna’s Picks:

Sasa Designs by the Deaf Wraps

Handmade bracelets by deaf artisans in Kenya

These bracelets have quickly become a favorite BB item for everyday wear, special occasions, and gifts.

everyday ethical jewelry

Everlane Tee’s

Ethically produced apparel from Peru

Your must-have striped shirt just got better with Everlane’s ethical production model.

Everyday ethical clothing

Jacob’s Hat

Accessories from Jacob’s Scarves support education for children around the world.

With its style and grace, this plum colored hat has stolen Hanna’s heart.

Everyday ethics accessories

Emily’s Picks:

FashionAble  Ring Bar

Customizable rings from Fashionable invest in women around the world.

I’m drooling over the customizable ring bar from Fashionable. So many rings, so little time.

Everyday Ethical Accessories

Etiko Shoes

Fairtrade footwear, YES please!

I finally found a pair of casual fair trade sneakers! I am dreaming about chasing my kids around this summer in these adorable tennies.

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Rooted Beauty Moisturizer

Empowering women to escape extreme poverty and trafficking through natural skincare

Winter moisturizing is a must in my book. I can’t say enough about Rooted Beauty’s organic line of beauty products. This moisturizer is lightweight, non-greasy, and the perfect way to keep my skin hydrated.

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What Ethical Products are you loving?

Let us know in the comment section.

We love finding new brands to support!

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Holiday Pop-Up Shops

‘Tis the season to shop BEAUTIFULLY!

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Bought Beautifully products are here for the holidays, and we’re coming to YOU!

Invite a friend, and join us for our holiday pop-up markets!

Denton, TX

November 6th – 8th | First United Methodist Church

Dallas, TX

November 12th |Park City Baptist Holiday Dinner

Sheridan, WY

November 21st | 10 am – 3 pm | Shall We Dance Ballroom

Boise, ID

December 5th | 10 am – 2 pm | District Coffee House

Prescott, AZ

December 12th | 2 pm – 6 pm | 5ive A Vintage Market

 

Can’t join us for one of these pop-ups?

Shop online now!

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Fashion with Impact – Fashion Week

Happy fashion week!

It’s our turn to share our ethical style with you!

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WE ♥ PRODUCTS WITH PURPOSE

These Bought Beautifully products each make a unique impact on the person who made it.

Keep scrolling to see our friend Emma showcasing some of our favorite BB products!

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Omiyo

The Isabella necklace from Omiyo is ethically made in Uganda. Not only does it provide a week of school for a child, but it also provides work for the woman who made it.

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Sasa Designs by the Deaf

Emma’s Merina Earrings and beaded wrap bracelets are handmade by Sasa Designs by the Deaf. The focus at Sasa Designs is helping the Deaf use their hands to speak louder than they ever have before. Each piece they create allows them to share their story, and in turn, change lives. Deaf women have faced a lifetime of discrimination, being told from a young age that they are “worthless”. As fully employed women, they learn their true value.

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 Want to see more fashion with impact?

Follow the loop to see the next post from

Style Wise tomorrow morning!

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