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

Monday, April 13, 2020

Music in the Time of Corona - Feel Good Links

It's been quiet at Dunitz & Company, to say the least. Most of our wholesale fair trade jewelry orders have been put on indefinite hold and, with stores shuttered, new orders are not coming. If you're looking to purchase any fair trade jewelry direct, you can. (I'm packing orders!)  During some of my idle time, I've watched and listened to so many feel-good music offerings. I thought I'd share some of my favorite discoveries here.

Chucho Valdes - and what an amazing jazz pianist he is.  I first saw him perform when I went to Cuba in 2000 for the Havana Jazz Festival. Years later, I saw him perform in Los Angeles. And now I've been watching him 24/7 on Facebook. Valdes has been super generous with his almost daily presentations.  I think you'll enjoy the video performances he has shared with the world during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chick Corea - staying with the jazz theme.  Chick Corea has also been sharing lengthy Facebook live performances recently.  Sometimes he calls them his practice sessions.  He welcomes us to his workshop with lengthy performances. If you like jazz piano, get lost in his presentations.

NY Philharmonic - With this performance of Ravel’s “BolĂ©ro,” musicians of the New York Philharmonic send a message of gratitude to the healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. You might cry when you watch and listen

Patrick Stewart - #ASonnetADay  It's definitely is a type music. Stewart's voice and Shakespeare's words are a joy for the ears. He has recorded quite a few for us to enjoy during these trying times. And more are coming.

Dennos Museum Center - at Northwestern Michigan College has started the Live & Local Music Series which you can watch on, what else, but Facebook live. First up on April 6th was a wonderful show by May Erlewine. Definitely check out these wonderful performances. And when we're all out of quarantine, go visit this wonderful museum. And - well, I have to say, they also sell Dunitz & Company fair trade jewelry in their gift shop.


Keith Urban - No more a secret. I sort of dig Keith Urban. He has shared a few lengthy performances you can access from his Facebook page. You might enjoy watching and listening too. And his wife, Nicole Kidman makes us know that she is definitely around.  

Norah Jones - one of the must sultry and beautiful voices of our generation. Check out her Facebook live videos. Gosh she's great.

Zoe B Zak - is the rabbi from Temple Israel of Catskill. Her voice is angelic and beautiful. And she is performing and recording regularly during these challenging times. On one recent Sabbath, she sings songs some of us know, and some we don't. She sings and educates. A client and friend of mine turned me onto these recordings. On this and others, I am so thrilled to see Zoe B Zak wearing kippot from Dunitz & Company. Click here if you want your very own. You can also experience her virtual 2020 Seder.

Dave Mathews - I was lucky enough to see him perform at the Hollywood Bowl a few years back. Now you can watch his concert online which is part of Verizon's Pay It Forward Live series. Matthews performed on March 26th. But as I type this, you can still watch it. Other concerts are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday evenings during Covid-19 days. Click the link above and you might find something else that interests you.


California Women's Music - Their Facebook page and subsequent Live performance was a fun discovery for me.  On Saturday 4/18/2020, a group of talented ladies performed for all of us, in an effort to raise donations to aid musicians who don't qualify for Cares act funds. ETHER Fest 2020. One of our favorites, Alexx Calise, an often model and positive voice for Dunitz & Company fair trade jewelry, sang a terrific set that you can find about 2-1/2 hours in. Enjoy.

John Fogerty - How fun to catch Creedence Clearwater Revival's frontman take us down memory lane in Rolling Stone's IGTV series, In My Room. In My Room is and will be featuring artists we know and love singing from their homes. How fun to see Fogerty's acoustic versions of  “Have You Ever Seen the Rain" and "Bad Moon Rising." His dog is pretty cute too.

Saturday Night Seder - Looking for a little Seder fun? Watch this compilation of performances from actors, comedians and musicians, many of them you'll recognize. Some share heartfelt stories from their youths. You're sure to identify with some of them. Others will have you in stitches. (Dan Levy had me on the floor laughing.) Ultimately this group hopes to raise money for CDC Foundation's Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund. My favorite performance of the Seder was Ben Platt's rendition of Over the Rainbow, with a wonderful explanation of the song's origins from Judith Light.

Andrea Bocelli - It's truly amazing that on Easter morning, I enjoyed Andrea Bocelli's Music for Hope - Live from the Duomo di Milano with more than 2.8 million other viewers. How powerful is that? I couldn't snag a ticket to any of his past performances at the Hollywood Bowl. I feel lucky to have caught this performance. You can still experience it if you click here.

Are you starved for some good sounds? Perhaps you'll enjoy some of my favorites posted above. One thing is certain. There is no shortage of performances for you to experience online while you self- quarantine.  I'm so grateful to enjoy so many types of music. It gives me lots of options. Let me know what you discover online. Perhaps your favorite will become one of mine. -ND