Reasonably​ priced Jewelry with a purpose

My friend took me to a store that is in Shay’s Studio and I found the cutest earrings and was shocked that they were under $20. The brand was Mata Traders.  My first purchase was the time and space gold earrings. I have worn them at least once a week since I purchased them. Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 9.59.59 AM

I wore them so much and loved the price that I wanted to get more and maybe some earrings for my nieces as Christmas presents, but I had recycled the tag and couldn’t remember the company name. So when I returned to Nashville for Christmas I went back to the store to see if they had any more. They only had a couple of pairs so I bought them for myself since they were long and my nieces prefer little earrings.

You could purchase the same pairs of earrings on their website. Now that I had the brand name I immediately hopped on my phone to see if there was a website so I could purchase something from them any time my little heart desired. I was ecstatic to learn that I could and that they had dresses too! Jewelry and dresses are my favorite items to purchase. I will wear a dress before anything else and Matra’s dresses are as reasonably priced as their jewelry.

The reason I am asking you to switch and support Matra Trades is that Matra Traders is Ethical Fashion.  What is ethical fashion you may ask? Ethical fashion means that the items are made by artisans in their local villages or cities and they are paid a fair wage for the items in order to help end poverty in those areas.  Matra Traders currently works with artisans in India and Nepal. Matra Traders explains that when you purchase their jewelry and clothing instead of non-fair trade items you are: “Preserving an art form, fighting gender inequality, empowering women in Nepal and India, make an impact on global poverty, combat child labor and score serious Karma points.” So the next time you need a piece of jewelry or clothing check out Mata Traders first and let your dollars make a difference in someone’s life.

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Holding in your warmth

Love YOUR melon will cover your head with cozy soft hats and scarfs. I am beginning my love YOUR melon collection with a hunter speckled infinity scarf. I had a hard time picking between all their color options, and finally decided upon the speckled hunter green between by winter coast are olive green, pink, black and navy blue, and I feel like it will look best with all those colors. When I opened up the package with my new scarf, I immediately rubbed my hands all over it and then my face because it was so soft. I laid it on my dining room table, and it is about the same length as the width of it. I love their label because it is so recognizable. When I was in Iceland this past week I saw two people with love YOUR melon hats on.

scarf  scarf and bag IMG_6732

I am not a huge hat person which is why I started with the scarf, but I recently returned from a vacation in Iceland where I wore a hat almost every day. Now I remember how cute hats are and that they don’t mess up my hair too much, so I am about to order a pom beanie to match my scarf. I realized I should write about them before I buy the hat so here I am finally writing about another awesome company.

As you can see in the picture of the bag their products arrive in this company has made it easy for you to understand their story. I love joining stories and not just buying a product. My scarf helps explain a story; how cool is that? This story I am helping to tell by purchasing a product from love YOUR melon is a company providing every kid with cancer a hat. They also support non-profits that lead the fight against pediatric cancer by giving away 50% of their profit. As their website states “Fifty percent (50%) of profit is calculated after taxes and fees are paid.” Check out love YOUR melon website for more details of their story and mission. If you are a college student, then you can become a member of the Melon campus crew and make an impact by distributing beanies to the 15,000 kids who are diagnosed with cancer every year and being involved in raising awareness.

Back to the scarf that is super long and soft. I will probably wear it most by wrapping it around my neck twice (top left picture below). On frigid days you can wrap it three times around your neck (bottom left picture below) or wrap it twice around your neck then with the third wrap put it on your head, if you don’t have a hat. I would take a picture of this, but I am not a professional blogger so I’m writing this in my PJ’s and took these pics in it too. The scarf is gorgeous, so it will probably stay on my coat rack with my other favorite switch outs.

I hope you check you this cozy company love YOUR melon when you switch to support your next purchase. They have a ton more products than beanies and scarves. There are three types of beanies: cuffed, pom or regular. In their accessories section, you will find mugs, caps, sun hats, headbands, athletic bands, fanny packs, bandanas, tumblers, bucket hats, totes, other accessories, while in the apparel you can uncover knitted shawls, t-shirts, sweatshirts, fleeces and such. I should mention this small business companies products are made in the USA!

The ways we can switch to support

I started thinking more about my purchases after I spent a month in Ethiopia on a humanitarian mission trip with the Mocha Club . While I was there, I met the women who make goods for Fashionable and had the pleasure of fixing up their shop and workspace. Fashionable began by teaching women to weave scarves, but it has expanded their inventory to include jewelry, leather-bags, clutches, purses and wallets, clothing- denim, shoes and they consistently add to their collection. I have very little hesitation in spending money on their goods because I spent time with some of the extraordinary women who made them. I do admit that I many times wait for a sale, but I have bought plenty of full-priced items and made my budget still work.

They also began promoting local businesses. I like shopping at farmers markets and going into boutiques, but I rarely could convince myself to pay boutique prices. I now realize sometimes less is more; I buy less but pay more. When I buy local or through small businesses I am supporting women and men who are providing me with amazing products. I realize their talent and time are worth the costs. So now I will add companies on this blog that are not only supporting a greater good but are small businesses I love and support.

Disclaimer to my lack of writing- I really want to write more, but I think the choice of not having to write is winning since I finished grad school. It might be wearing off as I kind of miss not sharing my thoughts and reading for knowledge. We shall see. I am curious how other bloggers make the time for writing.

Socks can be better

Imagine the world in which no needs socks; I know socks seem like a clothing item you might not think about as being an important part of your wardrobe. What if your socks were invisible while supporting your foot? Or how about a pair of socks that coordinate with your outfit or add a hint of color? Well, the people at Bombas thought real hard about why shoes have changed over the years, but socks had not. They have created better socks for us that also gives back. Take a minute to read over Bombas webiste and learn why their socks are superior to the ones you might be wearing right now. I’ll, of course, give you a peek at the way they have changed socks for the protections and comfort of your foot: extra long staple cotton, performance footbed, stay up technology, blister tab, Y-stiched heel, honeycomb support system, and maybe my favorite one, the invisitoe (no toe seam). When you put on these socks your feet will thank you. The extra long staple cotton makes them so extra soft, almost as soft as LuLaRoe leggings. They hug your foot in the arc (honeycomb support system). Like I mentioned, what was most impressed by was the fact that there is not seam around the toes, so there is not a line on my feet when I take them off after a day of wearing them. Now, like most well-made items, you pay a bit more; a pair of socks costs $12. Know that the more you buy at Bombas, the more you will save. The first Bombas socks I bought were the solid mixed no-show four pack which provided me a pair of black, white, tan and gray; they cost me $45. I was hoping they would not show with my TOMS as I don’t have comfortable no-show socks for them yet, but they show just a bit at the corners. I am happy that I purchased the colors I did because those are the colors of my go-to TOMS, so I still wear them together as the Bombas socks are way more comfortable than my other no-show socks. Now, if only they can make some that don’t show with my TOMS or ballerina flats I would be a super happy completely satisfied customer. I have begun running again, so the next set for me will be the bright ankle eight-pack and those will run me a $86.

Why am I willing to pay so much for a pair(s) of socks? Well, Bombas socks are not only superiorly made socks, but they also have a purpose behind them. While for many of us socks are an accessory, for many it is a piece of their wardrobe that is vital. Imagine trying to walk around the town in a pair of socks that have holes in the and not get sore; impossible. Bombas founders learned that socks are the number one requested item from homeless shelters and they decided to do something about it. Take a minute and watch their video explaining their original goal of giving away 1 millions pairs of socks in ten years. They have surpassed that goal and have donated 3 million pairs in less than ten years. Bombas is a one-for-one company, so every pair you purchase gives a pair to a homeless shelter in the United States. They have partners in all 50 states and if your company works with people who are homeless, then you should sign up and partner with Bombas. One of the coolest things about Bombas is that they created socks specifically for people who are homeless. The socks they give away are darker in color, have anti-microbial treatment, and reinforced seems. These three things mean that they don’t need to be washed as often, prevent the growth of fungus, and are more durable.

How cool is Bombas?! Now go get some socks that help someone out! We should all switch to support when we have the opportunity. I’m not saying buy all your socks from them, even though that would be totally cool even if you just do it once, then you might spend a bit more money than normal (or not), but you would be supporting someone else. Think how much nicer our world would be if we all helped each other out when we could. Don’t you want to help make it a better, nicer place? “Bee Better” and buy Bombas socks. 🙂

Journaling and planning with Ecojot

Are you a journaler or planner like me? Do you prefer the spiral spine so you can flip pages over without tearing or messing up your pages? If so I have found the company for you! Ecojot is a family-run business that makes beautiful journals and creative planners. The paper is 100% post-consumer recycled and made in Canada. The inks and glues used in them are based with veggies. If the planner or journal uses boards, then it comes from a sustainable company in North America. The company has won an award for being Earth friendly (Ancient Forest Friendly and Order of the Forest Award). On top of that they have campaigns in which they participate in Buy 1/Give 1 in which they donate books to kids in need all over the world. You get what you need to write in or plan life and kids get books. Seems like a win-win situation to me! Check Ecojot out on their website or pick up their products in a retailer near you. I purchased mine in Barnes and Nobel.

How your grocery list can make a difference.

If you are picking out a new salad dressing, pasta sauce, or frozen pizza at the grocery store why not choose one that is organic and helps out someone else? Newman’s Own does just that. Newman’s Own products are organic products made of the highest quality. They even have organic food for your pets.  Now, they don’t carry everything that is on your grocery list, but you can substitute a few of items from your list and make a difference.

How will you make a difference? Well, Newman’s Own give 100% of their profits and royalties to charities across the globe through the Newman’s Own Foundation. According to their website, the foundation has given away almost 200 million dollars to over 1000 charities since 1982. All of that money has been given away and helps out someone because people choose to use their … let’s say pasta sauce instead of their normal brand. It is an easy switch in order to support others in need.

Check out all the ways you can switch to support on their website Newmansown You can even read and watch videos about your switching impacts others.

LSTN and you will hear happiness spreading

LSTN sound company and record store out of Hollywood, California has a global mission to help those who cannot hear or are loosing their hearing hear again. As they state as a part of their mission “We believe that what’s good for business should be good for the world.” Take a moment to check them out so you can visualize these beautifully crafted these products at LSTN.

They not only wanted to make beautifully crafted wood headphones and earbuds along with selling some bags, t-shirts and albums, but they wanted to make a difference in the world. Well, congrats LSTN you are living up to your mission! They have partnered with the Starkey Hearing Foundation and with every purchase made through their company, someone hears for the first time! They have currently helped over 20, 00 people hear in the US, Peru, Kenya, Uganda, China, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. How cool is that!?! By switching your purchase of an item you want/need you could help someone hear for the first time.

They are currently expanding their products and are working on  premium bluetooth speakers too which you can pre-order through Indiegogo using the link provided! The two speaker options are the satellite, which is a small square shaped speaker or the apollo which is the long rectangular speaker. The wood colors you can choose from are zebra (light tan wood with dark lines), cherry (bright red wood), or Ebony (dark walnut). I myself ordered the apollo in zebra.