Thursday, August 6, 2020

Covid Fashion - Wearing Fair Trade Jewelry with Masks

I thought it would be fun to recruit Dunitz & Company friends, fans and customers for a Covid Fashion show on our Instagram account.  (Yes, we also shared these pics on our Facebook page.) My goal was to have some great images with which I could engage followers. I also knew tagging and linking customers, their stores and in some cases mask producers would be good for all. This also allowed me to plug some of my Fair Trade Federation colleagues. As my friend Rikki from HoonArts always says "collaboration over competition" is the way to go. I'm with her!

Dunitz Glass Necklace
Nina from Seeds To Sew won the engagement prize.  More people liked her photo sporting a Seeds To Sew Kitenge mask from Kenya than any other post of ours in recent times. Maybe it's because their masks are great and she was also wearing Dunitz & Company jewelry. I think it's because she's so adorable. Seeds To Sew wholesales and they also have a retail store in Hopewell, NJ. Did I say they sell Dunitz jewelry?

Fused Glass Earrings and Necklace
Eeva is so much fun. And she is a master make-up artist too. Perhaps you've met her at our NY NOW booth? She's helped us out recently and she's been a perfect assistant in the booth. Recently she snapped pics wearing masks she's sewn herself ---wearing Dunitz jewelry. We like that!

Fair Trade Jewelry
Cha'Noah is the Community Engagement Intern at Global Gifts in Columbus, Ohio. Isn’t she the bomb? She's modeling Dunitz & Company embroidered denim rings along with a Frida Mask.  You can find these goodies at their store or on their website linked above.

North Fork Craft Gallery
Lyn from North Fork Craft Gallery, has a wonderful store located in Wading River, NY. Check it out for Dunitz fused glass earrings. She always has a great assortment available. And while you're there she also sells these fair trade masks that come from Minga Fair Trade Imports. 

HoonArts fair trade
Rikki from HoonArts went all out and sent in two photos wearing two different Dunitz & Company ensembles. After all, you must have jewelry to match a basic black mask...and a basic blue mask. Rikki actually sells fair trade jewelry from Central Asia. That means I'm very flattered that she actually and often chooses to wear my designs.

Sevya fair trade masks
Yes. Yes. I also had to get in the act! I took a couple of selfies wearing Sevya fair trade masks. And I can tell you they're super comfie. This style I'm wearing is perfect for men too. Hint Hint. I snapped these in my office which gave me the opportunity to select both Dunitz & Company glass and beaded designs for my get-ups.

fair trade jewelry with mask
Alyssa loves wearing Dunitz & Company jewelry and she's super engaged with our Instagram.  She's always posting colorful stories that include her purchases from us.  Here she wears a Dunitz glass necklace along with a mask her mom made.  She told me her mom is a terrific seamstress and has made all the masks she wears. (Another fun fact. Alyssa saw the necklace Nina was wearing in the first photo shown above. We directed her to Seeds to Sew, you see Alyssa wearing that very same necklace.)

Hourglass Gift Gallery Melrose MA

Is Lorrie from Hourglass Gift Gallery stunning, or what? We love that she is wearing earrings from our new Contemporary Colors Collection. We've noticed a lot of museum gift shops have decided to offer these earrings. I'm thinking it's because they’re rather classy looking.  Lorrie sure proves that point.  If you are near Melrose, MA, definitely check out her store and the Dunitz jewelry she is offering.

Worlds Window Kansas City
Jan and Nina are part of the World's Window family, located in Kansas City. They've been selling Dunitz & Company jewelry in their store for a really long time - beads, glass and our laser cut designs. They told me the masks they are wearing with Dunitz jewelry also sell in their store and come from Lucia's Imports.


Yes, you can find our jewelry Down Under. How cool is this? Asha from Apsara Ethical Gifts sent us these pics from Australia where she retails our jewelry. They're all wearing masks there too. And you can tell from her eyes, she has a grin behind the mask.
Kathleen is a sometimes helper at HoonArts, one of our Fair Trade Federation colleagues. I appreciate how she looks a bit like a tough girl in her Dunitz necklace and a blue mask. That's the point. Wear a mask!

Cat mascot wears mask
Not everyone wears a fair trade mask or Dunitz & Company jewelry. But, this was just too cute not to share. This kitty is the mascot and a permanent resident at the Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles.  And Heritage Square is our customer... and it's a wonderful museum well worth visiting. Can't get there, even when we're not limited by Covid? You can watch their Instagram feed and see lots of pics of this golden cat.

woven and embroidered masks
A mannequin is almost as good as a live model. These are the new masks Dunitz & Company is retailing. They're exquisite. (I'm not just saying it.) I had set out to design the prettiest masks on the market not too long ago. Unfortunately my costs are way too high to wholesale these effectively. Punchline: These fair trade beauties are available on our retail site.

I certainly hope you've been wearing a mask during these crazy times. Our wish is that everyone should stay safe and healthy. To that end, I was amused when I found these instructions for mask care. What do you think?

Dunitz fair trade jewelry
Collecting and sharing all these pics of mask wearing beauties has been lots of fun. Most important, I want to encourage everyone to continue wearing a mask. It's so important. And this little thing we can all do will save lives.  Need more masks? (You can never have enough of them these days.) Consider supporting fair trade verified companies.  Fair Trade Federation recently shared this blog post listing members that wholesale and retail masks. And yes, Dunitz & Company is now on that list. -ND

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Fair Trade Federation Bloggers

It definitely is a challenge to keep a blog current. And I do my best to keep the Dunitz & Company blog rolling. Perhaps you've read some of my entries? Sometimes I write about color  and fashion trends that influence our fair trade jewelry designs. Sometimes I create gift guides that include products from my Fair Trade Federation colleagues. I also enjoy interviewing colleagues.  Finding new topics that might engage people is an ongoing challenge.

As I pondered what to write about next, I thought I'd checkout other Fair Trade Federation member blogs. Thing is, I couldn't find a list of FTF member blogs anywhere. After scouring member websites, I decided to create a list....including mine/Dunitz & Company's of course! My requirements were that blogs had to be current with consistency of posting. And there had to be a range of topics people might find interesting to read. In no particular order, here are the blogs that met my criteria. (If I didn't include your company, and you think your blog should be added, please email me.)

EQUAL EXCHANGE - This might be one of the best blogs I've seen from our membership. It's thorough covering so many topics. (Yes! Recipes!) It's super easy to navigate. Seriously, I can't pin-point one entry worth missing. Definitely check it out.

FAIR TRADE WINDS -  I love that Fair Trade Winds often writes about the lines they sell in their stores. They're so supportive and informative.  They also post some fabulous fair trade recipes that will make you drool. (I always pin them to our Fair Trade Recipes board on Pinterest.)

DR. BRONNER - You'll need an afternoon to read through all of Dr. Bronner's entries. You'll find thoughtful articles addressing current events. And you'll find great tips for how to use their wonderful products. I vote for their Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap. Learn more on their blog.

SERRV - Read about eyeglass initiatives or snag a recipe or two. There are posts that will warm your heart. Yes, I posted from their blog to the Dunitz Pinterest recipe page, yet again!

FAIR ANITA - Another fantastic blog from a FTF member!  Fair Anita tackles many controversial topics that will make your brain really think. You must click through and read some of what they offer. I have a date planned with their blog for this weekend!

THE LITTLE MARKET -  You should check out this...if only for the beautiful photography. And these people know how to eat. You'll find great blog posts with lots of recipes! Learn to make raspberry mojitos, perhaps?

CAFE CAMPESINO - Lovely posts. Lovely photos. Posts that let you know how their farmer's are doing during Covid-19 times. I enjoyed reading their post on random acts of Kindness.

MOSAIC - (a blog from Ten Thousand Villages) - Now here is a site where you can read about every possible topic that interests you. Yoga. Fashion. Travel. Maker Stories. This site is actually quite overwhelming.

MAYAN HANDS - A few years back I became aware of Mayan Hands' blog when they wrote an article that touched me deeply. This particular entry delved into how many vendors in Guatemala call their designs recycled, when in reality, poor people desperate for money are selling them their family textile heirlooms. These in turn are sewn into bags, hats and coin purses. Ever since reading that post, I know Mayan Hands always has something important to say.

RefuSHE - RefuSHE writes about issues specific to their business and issues beyond.  When you click on each blog entry, you'll find they also share some amazing photographs. I just read their post "What Does Home Mean to You?" which may raise a lot of questions for you.

SWAHILI AFRICAN MODERN - I encourage Swahili African Modern to post more often. Why? Their posts are few. But the ones they've made are truly wonderful.  I'm personally nuts about puppets and some dolls. Reading about Crispen, an artisan creating traditional papier mache in Zambia warmed my heart.

BUNYAAD - Here's a blog you can relate to. Reading lists. Recipes. How to clean wine from a rug. Even tips for choosing the right rug. (and they should know!) This is all info that just about anyone can enjoy.  And I'm drooling over the Pakistani rice pudding recipe they've written about.

BASKETS & BEADS KENYA - So worth checking out. Baskets & Beads just posted a 2 part series on empowerment and how for many poverty is big business. Take the time to read this entry and others on this site. This definitely is not a fluffy blog.

HOONARTS - HoonArts blog addresses topics that specifically relate to Central Asia. And this is a good thing because I think most of us know very little about this part of the world. After checking out HoonArts blog, you can read my post where I interviewed Rikki Quintana, the woman behind this company.

HUMANKIND SLO - Check out Humankind's blog. It's fun to read their stories about the lines they carry. They also write about topics that are specific to their community. Maybe one day soon, they'll interview me.  In the meantime, I actually wrote a post on this blog where you can learn a bit more about LynAnne Wiest, their store manager.

SSEKO DESIGNS - SSeko's blog seems to focus on issues and stories about their brand and products.  It's easy on the eyes with pretty photos.  I'm guessing their blog is perfect reading for their customers. If you wear Sseko sandals, check out their blog and learn a bit more.

RAVEN & LILY - It looks like Raven & Lily's blog, noted as "the Journal" was started earlier this year. You'll find interviews with makers, reading recommendations and a bit about their home base of Austin, TX.  I'm going to keep my eye on this journal, for sure.

MAYAMAM WEAVERS - I am always drooling over the photos Mayamam Weavers posts on Instagram. Now I can drool more when checking out their blog.  And since they work in Guatemala (where I've been working for almost forever,) I really adore seeing their images. I see faces and designs that have become part of me. (Figuratively. Not literally.)  I really enjoyed reading their latest post about the the story behind the ceramics of San Antonio Palopo. I remember in the 90's I hiked to this community with my niece, who joined me on one of my working trips. We took some time off to hunt for these ceramics, which at that point in time, were not yet widely available. Thank you Mayamam for reminding me of this wonderful day spent with my niece many moons ago.

BLOSSOM INSPIRATIONS - Definitely check out Blossom Inspirations. It seems they only started their blog this year. However, in a short time they've dealt with issues of quarantine, Black Lives Matter and immigration. Substantive topics, for sure.

FAIR TRADE DECOR - Fair Trade Decor, a retailer in Coronado, CA has a blog perfect for their customers. They share stories of their products and producers. They write about how they are dealing with Covid-19. (We all can relate!) They write about their special events which often include concerts in-store. I'm sure once we all can move around more easily, they'll be hosting more. 

QUILLING CARD - Are you a fan of Quilling Card? Check out their blog to learn more about their beautiful cards.

GANESH HIMAL TRADING -  Learn a bit more about Ganesh Himal and their activities domestically and in Nepal when you check out their blog. You can even find an interview with Chris Solt, the Executive Director of Fair Trade Federation.

MZ - Perusing MZ's blog was fun. They share some great photos. Learn which of their handbags are their artisan's favorites.  Or find out what MZ staff is doing during quarantine times. (Some of them are baking!) Their most recent posts makes suggestions for things you can do to support the Fashion Revolution during these turbulent times.

ZAMBEEZI - Have you tried Zambeezi's lip balm? It's fabulous. I recently discovered Zambeezi had a blog when they posted an interview with LeeAnne McCoy from the fab website Change The World By How You Shop.  You can read our interview with LeeAnne on our blog, posted in February 2019.

GOEX - GOEX blog often goes within sharing information about their business.  We call that transparency. They also write about issues affecting all business, and topics that are educational. Earlier this year, they wrote about World Fair Trade Day.

LUCUMA - The Lucuma blog is really fun and collaborative. Recently they created some great photos that feature products from many FTF members. I love that! Just because. Have kids? I discovered a paper pattern you can download to make puppets.

GLOBAL GIFTS - Here you'll find some informative posts that explain a bit about the products they sell. They've also created their own gift guides that feature goodies from the fair trade companies they support. Gotta love it! Last year, I actually wrote a blog post, an interview with Alissa Head, the Executive Director of Global Gifts.

PASSION LILY - This company refers to their blog as a 'Designer's Journal.' Learn how to style a wrap dress and sew your own masks for coronavirus production. (I think I'll buy one, thank you!)

GALLANT INTERNATIONAL - Gallant offers up some great posts that share all kinds of info on fair trade and sustainability. Who knew I'd find tips for home composting on a FTF member blog?

LEVEL GROUND TRADING - Everything you want to know about coffee. And since I have a Fair Trade Food & Recipes board on Pinterest, I know where I'll be sharing many of there posts!

GLOBAL MAMAS -  Global Mamas has a robust blog and it is well worth visiting. Great photos.  And posts that share more about the Mamas and just about everything else from health, fashion to volunteering in Ghana. Warning, their site loads a bit slowly. It is well worth the wait.

SEVYA -  The women of Sevya are always so thoughtful. And their blog entries also prove this point. When I was younger, I spent some time in Indonesia learning about batik and batik making. Because of this, I found their article about Block Printing in India of particular interest.

DUNITZ & COMPANY - Yup! That's us. 'Nuff said. After all, this is our blog post you're reading.

It's absolutely amazing that before I took on this project, I had no idea that so many of my Fair Trade Federation colleagues had blogs. And after reading entries from many of them, I'm almost certain they're being under-read, under-shared and not acknowledged enough. I am so impressed with my fair trade colleagues. I know how much time and effort I spend writing posts for the Dunitz & Company blog. Now I'm certain, I need to spend just as much time reading entries from the blogs I have shared here. I'm also stoked that I now have new sources for sharing valuable tales of fair trade. Are you following Dunitz on twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram?  Please follow us (that's me), and I promise to follow back.

I hope you too, will get on board and read what Fair Trade Federation members have to say. The wisdom and information they share on their pages stretch so many boundaries. And while you're at it, if you read something you appreciate, share it, tweet it, post it. Let's all generously share each other's posts. Every share, tweet and post makes a difference. -ND

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Getting to Know Pachamama Market's Lindsay Woodruff

Lindsay & Nancy at FTF Austin
Dunitz & Company has been around for a long time now. And over the years, I've worked with loads of different store owners. Lindsay Woodruff, the owner and brains behind Pachamama Market is one of the most passionate fair traders I've encountered.  And if you follow the Pachamama Market Facebook page (recommended), you'll discover why I say this. But don't click that link just yet! Lindsay and I are both verified and proud members of Fair Trade Federation. I asked her if I could interview her, so all of us reading my blog could learn a bit more about what drives her. She graciously said yes. Read on.

NANCY: I've known about your fair trade store for quite some time, and we've been working together these last two years.  Can you tell me when you opened your store? Are you originally from Troy, OH? (where Lindsay's store is located)

LINDSAY: I opened my store in November 2015.  I'm originally from a smaller town just outside of Troy and had been working in Troy for about 5 years so I already knew and loved the community and knew it was where I wanted to open my brick and mortar.

NANCY:  Was there a pivotal life experience that encouraged you to work in 'fair trade'?

LINDSAY: I was raised in a very social conscious household. Other kids had a pool, we had a compost pile.  Other kids shopped at the mall, I got lectures from my mom on how the brand name stores were misogynistic in their advertising and didn't deserve our money. I shopped at thrift stores from that moment on. Other kids ate whatever their parents cooked. We boycotted rice to protest the way US subsidies were hurting small scale rice farmers in Haiti.

I didn't really have a name for my values until I was in college, where I worked for the school newspaper. I was attending my first editorial staff meeting and walked into the wrong room, where I stumbled into the Fair Trade Club meeting. I didn't really know what they were doing, but I saw a few friends and decided to stay. I was hooked from that point on.

I think I knew that I wanted to open a fair trade store someday after visiting Peru during grad school and spending a few weeks with the indigenous community in Pisac.  Seeing the way that colonialism still impacted the people there was eye-opening; I knew I needed to do something to help end the colonial economic systems that keep people in poverty.

NANCY: These are such unsettling times with the Covid-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests. First, can you tell me how you've had to change to accommodate the heath risks associated with the coronavirus?  How have you and how are you adjusting?

Facebook Lives
LINDSAY: We decided to close our brick and mortar pretty early on in the pandemic, around the middle of March. I have always been a very tactile shopper and don't personally enjoy shopping online, so I always focused 95% of my time and energy on our brick and mortar and 5% on our online store.  Suddenly shifting my efforts to 100% online was a huge change for me personally in how I marketed my business and communicated with my customers.  But it paid off!  We were able to find and connect with several new customers, and I learned that chatting with my existing customers in a Facebook Live isn't quite as fun as chatting with them in person at the shop, but it is the next best thing.  We've slowly started to reopen in the past few weeks with limited hours and it definitely feels weird. We are requiring masks for staff and customers, and limiting our capacity to 4 shoppers at a time. It sounds strange but I miss smiling!  We are easing our way back towards operating at our regular hours and are happily bringing back our staff, but there are definitely still days where I don't change out of my sweatpants or leave the house.

NANCY: Creating justice throughout the world is one of our missions at Fair Trade Federation, an important organization to which we both belong.  Have you been encouraged to do anything differently in your store or online since the Black Lives Matters protests have populated all over our country?

LINDSAY: We personally don't do anything differently at Pachamama Market. We have always been very outspoken about justice issues including racial justice, economic justice, and environmental justice which are all incredibly interconnected and central to our mission as a fair trade store.  We did take a week off from creating any of our own content on social media and spent the week reposting and amplifying Black voices, which several people seemed to take note of.  We had a few cranky people throwing their coffee cups at our Black Lives Matter sidewalk sign at the store or trolling us on social media, but all I could think was, "You must be new around here, because we have always been and always will be this way."

NANCY: When not faced with specific current events, is there an activity you enjoy most about your business?

LINDSAY: Relationships are a key part of any fair trade business, and have always been my favorite part.  Meeting and talking with customers, chatting with my suppliers, and traveling to visit our artisan partners are what fill me with joy and purpose.  There has never been a single day since I opened the store where I woke up and thought, "I don't want to go to work today."

NANCY: When did Pachamama Market become part of Fair Trade Federation? Do you have any thoughts about your partnership with FTF?

LINDSAY: I attended my first FTF conference about 4 months after we opened, and applied for membership as soon as I was eligible at 6 months old. The FTF has been critical to my success as a business.  I would have closed my doors a long time ago without their workshops, mentorship, and other educational resources. But more importantly, they are my family. Knowing I have this huge network of people I can call or text any time and ask for help or just vent to a sympathetic ear has been a lifesaver for me.  I was just texting another FTF member at 10:30pm last night about my social media and we promised to be accountability partners in speaking out on racial justice. I don't know any other kind of business community where you find relationships like that.

NANCY: Can you share a story that makes you smile? A story where you and/or Pachamama Market were integral in making a positive change?

LINDSAY: Oooooh my. I had so many moments at the shop that have made me smile. Narrowing it down to just one is so hard.

I think probably one of my conversations that had the greatest impact on me was last year when I was getting ready to close up when a middle-aged gentleman walked in. I greeted him with a smile and he walked around for about 10 minutes, just silently taking everything in.  Finally he turned to me and said, "In 50 years, I never thought a place like this would be in Troy."  I thought, oh here we go again. Someone is mad about something.

But he went on to tell me about growing up in Troy as an indigenous, Latino mixed-race man.  About the racism and discrimination he faced. Then as an adult working in mental health, he tried to start a support group for LGBTQ+ teens in the area, which was quickly shot down by other members of the community.  For him, our presence in the community was a sign that progress was being made. Our little shop could be a safe space for youth like him who struggled to find acceptance growing up. He finally just smiled and said, "Thank you for being here."

There are times like last week when my Black Lives Matter sign couldn't make it an hour without being vandalized that I wonder what I'm doing here in such a small, white town. But I think back to that conversation and I know that we are here for a reason and will continue to be here and use our voice for change.

NANCY: I know when you're self-employed you tend to work a lot. At least I know I do. When you can steal some time for yourself, what do you do? Do you have any special hobbies?

LINDSAY: Yes, we work A LOT! Thankfully my family keeps me grounded and they aren't too polite to tell me it's time to close my laptop and walk away.

I still have little kids (11 and 9) and we love baking, hiking, and watching movies together. I think when your kids are that small it's a bit easier to balance work and play because they pretty much demand your attention.  They have been known to just stare at me over the computer screen like creepy owls until I take a hint and turn off the computer. My partner will either open a beer and slide it over to me or just grab my shoulder and say, "time to walk away" depending on how subtle he is feeling.

When I do have a minute to myself, I am a reader. I probably read 3 or 4 books a week because when I start one, I can't stop. It leads to a lot of sleepless nights but it is worth it.  I read everything, but mostly mysteries, romance, and sci-fi/fantasy. We actually started a book club this year at the store which has been on pause for a few months due to Covid-19 and I'm looking forward to reviving. (Can I be a remote member?)

NANCY: Of course, I'm thrilled that Pachamama Market is selling Dunitz & Company jewelry. You know I had to ask. Do you have a favorite design you like pointing out to customers? Or something you personally enjoy wearing?

Dunitz & Company Jewelry
LINDSAY: I really love the fused glass studs for days that I just want a small pop of color. I also love sharing the art images earrings and the vintage botanical print earrings because they are small and lightweight but so fun and visually interesting. Customers love to look through them and identify the artists or flowers.

NANCY: Is there anything else you'd like to share?

LINDSAY: Just that we love Dunitz & Company and we love Nancy! Thank you so much for all you do to support other fair trade businesses. (melts my heart.)   

 --end of interview--

Tell me. After reading Lindsay's responses, are you impressed with her or what? Now, I encourage you to check out and follow Pachamama's Facebook Page. Can you tell why I find Lindsay from Pachamama Market so inspiring? I'm thrilled she let us understand just a little bit more about what makes her tick.

Dunitz & Company has been selling fair trade jewelry for a long time. And we value our fair trade partners so so much. Without them we wouldn't be.  I am always honored to share a bit more about about the people who are so important to me and what I do. -ND      

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Paisley Designs In Fair Trade

If you are anything like me, you might be crazy for paisley. When I was a kid, I always picked out the paisley tie for my dad. Later, when I wore neck scarves, I always chose those with the iconic paisley. And even later, when I became concerned about being a bit more eco-friendly, I'd create gift wrap by drawing paisley patterns on previously used paper. Perhaps that is why I've chosen this symbol often when designing fair trade jewelry for Dunitz & Company. And why now, in the times of Covid19, I wanted to also explore products with paisley design from my Fair Trade Federation colleagues.

But first, some history. Last year, I attended a wonderful exhibit at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, "Power of Pattern, Central Asian Ikats."  I didn't realize until then, that this teadrop-shaped motif with a curved tip originated in Persia and was brought to Central Asia in the fifth century BCE.  During the late eighteenth century beautiful shawls with this pattern were exported to Europe from Kashmir, India. And only after workshops in Paisley, Scotland began mass-producing imitation woolen shawls was this shape called 'paisley.'  In the Uzbek language, this shape is called bodom, which means almond.

OK - so here we go. After searching items showing off the paisley pattern in my fair trade community, I've discovered these fabulous finds.  And these may be perfect for you (we all enjoy buying for ourselves) or make a perfect gift.

Dunitz & Company - Yes, that's me!  You know I had to feature something from my collection. These earrings are new this season and are available for wholesale or retail. Dunitz & Company's Tiny Paisley Drops are always offered in many colors each season. Click to find the perfect color for you. These small earrings are crafted in Guatemala and made with Czech & Japanese glass beads. $20.00

HoonArts  - Are you looking to update your bedroom decor with something spectacular?  This Ikat & Suzani Bedspread Set handcrafted in Tajikistan might be the perfect thing. Check out those wonderfully embroidered large paisley shapes! Rikki Quintana, the muscle behind HoonArts recently wrote a blog post about paisley. Click here to read it.  Rikki has also provided a discount code to encourage shopping on her site. (No, I am not taking any kick-backs.) Use CODE: DUNITZFANS35OFF - BTW, this bedspread set is regularly $425.00, so the code makes it a steal at $276.

Sevya Handmade - If you're looking for the perfect summer top, I have found it for you! Right on trend is this embroidered tunic that prominently features the paisley design. Sevya's Karishma White Tunic is fabulous, absolutely fabulous. Loose and comfie too. Embroidered by women artisans in Northern India on soft cotton. $55.00

Global Gifts - I've discovered the most adorable coin purse, and so affordable too. This Paisley Art Deco Coin Purse sparkles with beads and sequins. Doesn't it feel like a 1920's classic? Crafted in India. Only $18.00

Zee Bee Market - You can never have too many Paisley Earrings!  Click now and you'll find these fabulous earrings available in several colors. I'm particularly proud of these because I designed them. They are hand-crafted in Guatemala and created with wire and Czech & Japanese glass beads and crystals. I love this color combo shown. And I know it's Julio's favorite too. Julio is the brains behind Zee Bee Market. $29.95

Passion Lilie - Is this the most adorable and lightweight scarf ever? Made of 100% cotton in India. You already know it's right up my alley, because I adore paisley.  This Pink Paisley & Orange Stripe Scarf will be great on you this summer. Or why not purchase it for someone you are thinking of? It's so affordable. $22.00

Fair Trade Winds - Looking for tablecloths, runners or napkins? Then look no further than Fair Trade Winds. They have some wonderful paisley designs from India, and better yet, many of them are currently on sale. I'm partial to earth tones and I have a very big dining room table. That means my choice is the Block Print Tablecloth that is 60" x 90". But seriously folks, roam around their site and find the perfect thing for you. You'll definitely feel as if you won big time. This piece shown took 7-10 days to make and, crazy, it's only $47.60

Pachamama Market - Are you familiar with Kashmiri paper mâché? Or perhaps you've seen beautiful items made with this technique and didn't know what it was. These pretties start with wooden eggs which are then covered in recycled paper and painted. No two are ever the same. Lindsay, the mastermind behind Pachamama Market told me that of her stock, at least a third features swirling paisleys. All of the Kashmiri Eggs are fabulous. But, if you're partial to paisley, just let her know. These come in two sizes, Petite and Regular. Buy a few and put them in a bowl. $7.00-9.00

Ya gotta love paisley. And are these some great gift ideas for you or others, or what?  I can't stress enough how your purchases from Fair Trade Federation, fair trade verified members like me, Dunitz & Company and those listed above make a big difference. This is not charity. We all work closely with the artisans that make the beautiful pieces we offer. We assure that the artisans are treated with respect and earn living wages. And, we need to eat too. (Just saying.) Your purchases make a big difference for all of us. And you can see from all the stunning things offered here, we all will make a difference in your life too. -ND

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Fair Trade Gifts Perfect for Mom

I was always told every day is Mother's Day.  And officially it's coming up on May 10th.  So, why not surprise mom with a fair trade verified gift.  You certainly can send her the gift of fair trade jewelry from Dunitz & Company. hint hint!  And/or my Fair Trade Federation colleagues offer all sorts of luscious goodies that will put a grin on mom's face.  Keep reading for some great gift ideas.

Let me know if you order any of the following for your lucky mother. For this post, I asked my FTF colleagues to suggest some of their best sellers perfect for moms.

Global Gifts - has several fabulous brick & mortar stores in Indiana and Ohio, and their staff lives and breathes fair trade. I of course, appreciate the work they do, so so much, because they sell Dunitz & Company jewelry in their stores.  Global Gifts prepared their own Mother's Day Guide which offers up several great gift ideas. And I'm thrilled they're offering our Embroidered Corte Flower Pins. I know first-hand, how moms will love adorning a scarf, hat or lapel with one of these. $20.00

Global Gifts - looking to send mom a card that will surely make her smile and help others too? Global Gifts sells several cards including this one, "Crushing it Mom" which benefits artisans from the Philippines who are survivors of sex trafficking. Definitely peruse the Global Gifts site to find other options. $6.00

HoonArts - Completely drool-worthy. HoonArts collaborates with the Seven Sisters artisan group of Kyrgyzstan to create these amazing scarves that combine silk with wool felted flowers. My favorite is the Red Poppies on Light Grey. Everyone will stop in their tracks when they see your mom wearing one of these. $115.00

Just Tea - If moms around the world are anything like me, they enjoy eating and drinking tasty things.  That leads me to believe that Just Tea's Little Berry Hibiscus will make a perfect gift. Caffeine-free and organic. Each tin comes with a hand carved spoon from Kenya. $15.00

Women's Peace Collection - Have you seen the Women's Peace Collection website before? If you haven't, it's time you do. And they carry Dunitz & Company's fair trade jewelry too. (Yes! This makes me very happy.) I can verify that these Long Almond Glass Earrings are great sellers. And in shades of purple, what would be more perfect for mom? Crafted in Guatemala. (If you search their site, you'll find some other shapes and colors too!) $20.00

Mayan Hands - I'm crazy for Mayan Hand's bags made from recycled plastic. If you didn't know what they were made from, you'd have no idea. Why not surprise mom with a colorful cosmetic bag that is also good for our planet? These are fully lined and have a zip closure. And they are crafted in one of my favorite places, Guatemala. $19.00 

Dunitz & Company - Our (yes, this is my company) Famous Painting earrings are some of our most popular. And we KNOW you love Starry Night and Van Gogh Irises. These are crafted in Guatemala and use stainless steel ear wires. $14.00

Maggie's Organics - If you don't know Maggie's, you should. They have some of the best socks. And now, they have a buy 1, get 1 deal going. Surprise mom with a bunch of fair trade socks.  10% of sales from their cotton Biodiversity Footies will also go to help the Center for Biological Diversity. Check out the cute dragonfly design too. $8.25

Dandarah - You'll be amazed by the beauty of Dandarah's offerings from inner cities and rural areas of Egypt. And for Mother's Day, I know your mom will squeal with joy over a 100% viscose Helyat Handwoven Scarf. Several rich colors are available. Ships from Canada with a price tag of approximately $42.00 USD.

Muichic - Muichic works with women in Colombia to create some really cool Tagua jewelry. Tagua - you know that stuff that looks and feels like ivory, but it isn't. I adore their Amma Tagua Necklace which is quite a fashion forward design in bright pink and orange. Maybe your mom will too. $55.00

Awamaki - Now here's a great idea for mom's who do yoga and meditate. (Covid19 has resulted in my own, more regular TM schedule!) Filled with lavender and flaxseed, Samay Meditation Eye Pillows are sure to allow mom to enjoy some peaceful downtime. Crafted in Peru. $20.00

Sevya - Let's talk about gorgeous! I know your mom would adore and enjoy wearing a Rajika Embroidered Shawl. Perfect for a cool evening just about anywhere. And perfect for making a big fashion statement.  Handmade in Northern India of a wool/viscose blend. $79.00

Goex  - Here's a novel idea. Perhaps you're a dad reading this. And you want to find the perfect thing for mom. How about Mommy & Me matching T-shirts?  One for Momma. One for youngster. You can see this set features an adorable illustration of a fox. These shirts are sewn in Haiti. $25.00 each.

Zambeezi - You probably know about Zambeezi's fabulous lip balms. But did you know they also offer Lavender Soap Bars?  These bars are crafted in Zambia, Africa of sunflower oil, organic beeswax and palm kernel oil which will make you feel soft and provide great lather. If your mother is anything like me, she'll adore this soap. I know I'm totally nuts for handmade soap. At this price, you should purchase a few bars! $6.00 

Mata Traders - Does your mom possess some Boho style? If she does, she might enjoy a comfie Montrose Tie Dress (with elephants)! Hand crafted in India. Click to read more. $82.00 

Passion Lilie - Passion Lilie calls this one "Mom's Favorite Scarf."  And I can see why. This blue floral hand block printed and light-weight cotton scarf feels a bit vintage and a bit ethnic at the same time. I love it. I think your mom will too. $22.00 

Kamibashi - of string doll fame has come up with "Mom of the Year" in many versions. Brown body. Tan body. Red hair. Grey hair. (that's me!). Super cute. $10.00 

Aid Through Trade - Well, you know I'm crazy for beads! Obviously. Aid Through Trade has been working with beaders in Nepal for just about as long as I've been working with beaders in Guatemala. Damian, the owner of Aid Through Trade has always been one of my favorite Fair Trade Federation colleagues. In fact, he's one of the people that wrote a recommendation on my behalf when I joined FTF.  Perfect for Mother's Day from Nepal are Mommy & Me roll-on bracelets. How about bright pink in the shade they call "princess"? $24.00

Sol Jewels - Sol Jewels is a recent member of FTF, working with women in India. They've suggested this coral colored bead bracelet would be perfect for moms. I agree. And it's super affordable too. $9.99

Catalyst Collections - is working with women in Iraq to bring you fairly made and beautiful jewelry.  Their Aya Bracelet combines dyed bamboo coral beads, dyed lapis lazuli beads, glass seed beads, and gold-plated beads. All finished off with a toggle clasp. $45.00 (matching necklace is available.) 

MZ Fair Trade - MZ's Stormy Skies Crossbody bag is sure make your mom the most stylish one in her crowd. MZ's purses are made using traditional Zapoetec designs and created in Oaxaca, Mexico. Their work is really quite stunning. $99.00

Seeds to Sew - And now that you've browsed the list, you'll need the perfect gift wrapping. Seeds to Sew's Enkiteng Bags are lovingly sewn in Kenya and are made with recycled and upcycled fabrics and ribbons. And they can be used over and over again. Why not try their assortment pack? Regularly $32.00, and on sale for Mother's Day!

These are tough times. Most of us are social distancing. There's a good change you and your mom are separated and won't be able to hug in person this year.  I suggest you send some virtual Zoom or FaceTime love and send her a fair trade verified gift.  She'll love being remembered.  And your gifts chosen from this list will result in you doing double and triple duty good. You'll be helping artisans in faraway lands that create these beautiful items by assuring they've earned living wages for their work. And you'll be helping all of us, (that includes me at Dunitz & Company) the fair traders that make bringing their work to North America possible. -ND