Monday, August 17, 2020

We Know You Love Blue - Why Not Own Fair Trade Blue?

If you've read some of my blog posts before, you will hear me spout time and time again that blue is the best selling color for Dunitz & Company.  We love blue. And we know most of you do too. It doesn't matter what shade of blue. Just visit your local paint store and check out all of the chips. Any shade or tint will do. And I know if I use these colors in my jewelry designs, many customers will be blissfully happy.  Recently I've posted a couple of Instagram stories asking folks if "blue was their favorite color." And consistently 50% answered YES. That's a convincing stat.

It only made sense when a few of my Fair Trade Federation colleagues and I decided to collaborate and preach colors, I should select blue.  So my question to you is - "Why not fair trade blue?"  Check out this little gift guide below showing off beautiful blue items from around our globe. See something you love? Snag it and support fair trade. Every purchase makes a difference in the lives of artisans struggling to make it. And heck, sometimes I think I'm struggling to make it too. Fair Trade is not charity. In order to work, everyone from top to bottom, from producing to selling needs to earn living wages.

So here I go. Check out these fabulous ethically made blue items.

Dunitz blue beaded dropsBead Teardrop Earrings $20 - These are from Dunitz & Company and handcrafted in Guatemala.  I had to put one of my designs first, didn't I? And one of the reasons I started with these, is I know just how loved this style is. It's evergreen - or in this case everblue!  I designed it many years ago, and every season create new color combinations. And in blue, yes yes yes!

Zulu Basket Desk Set $119 - Four beautifully created and predominantly blue wire baskets could look swell on your desk. The Zulu are the largest ethnic group in South Africa and are known for their skill and artistry in fashioning baskets. Baskets of Africa collaborates with these artisans to bring you these fabulous pieces.

Handwoven Silk & Ikat Scarf $45 - I can vouch for the beauty of these scarves brought to market by Hoon Arts from Uzbekistan. I've personally spent a lot of time touching these pretties, and they are niiiiiiice. (Yes, I meant for all of those iiiiiiii's.) If you're a textile person, you'll totally dig the beautiful ikat work. And if you love blue, this piece should be in your lane.

Ashani Hand Woven Poncho Was $69, snag it now for $49 - Now this is my sort of blue. And these ponchos from Sevya are made by master weavers in India with a special jacquard weave and handmade tassels.  These pieces are even hand-stitched at the side. You'll feel so special when you wear yours.

Like the look, but prefer scarves?

Sarvani Scarf  Was $55, now $39 - You can purchase these beauties that are created with the very same woven fabric as the poncho I featured above. A number of highly skilled artisans are involved in the making of each scarf; from spinning the yarn to setting the loom barrels, weaving, and making the tassels. And another fun fact, no electricity is used at any stage of production. Do you need to know more? Click to the Sevya website.

blue necklace from Dunitz & Company
Glass Bib Necklace & Teardrop Earrings $48 and $20 - Cobalt blue with aqua. Can you think of a better water color combo?  This fused glass comes from Guatemala and is crafted by artisans outside of Guatemala City.  These come from Dunitz & Company (that's me) and come from a collection I began designing with artisans in 2011. Because it is so different from our beadwork, I named this collection Joanie M to honor my mother. Want the cuff featured on the model. Only $28. Click this link for the bracelet.

Sterling Silver & Turquoise Earrings $90 - Rikki from HoonArts is one of the only fair traders collaborating and working with artisans in Central Asia. It's just not easy to get there! She is proud to bring you the work of Zhanyl Sharshembieva, a master silversmith from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. And what could be more perfect that silver and turquoise blue?

Shallow Bowl $45 - It's tough to tell from this photo, but this piece has a diameter of 8.25" and a height of 1.5". That's a lot of weaving skill for a very reasonable fare.  Did I mention before that these baskets are crafted with telephone wire originally found in South African scrap yards. Each is one-of-a-kind. The inventory on Basket of Africa's site is constantly changing. If you see something you love, go for it. It might not be there tomorrow.

Devaki Tunic $69 - You'll be styling in this blue tunic. Many hands touch each piece from start to finish. Fabric is first made using an ancient block printing technique. And then these tops are beautifully embroidered by skilled women. (Look at the pic to the right.) Sevya has been orchestrating amazing works in India, for you to enjoy here.

Van Gogh Starry Night
Starry Night Earrings $15 - I am convinced that Starry Night is the most loved painting in the whole wide world. And perhaps that's because it's predominantly blue. Or maybe it's just that Van Gogh was an amazing painter. Just the same, these earrings from Dunitz & Company make an incredible and affordable gift. As with all of Dunitz designs, these are made in Guatemala.

Fair Trade Designs in Blue
Styling In Blue Pin
So there you have it my 'crazy for blue' friends. Lots of choices in blue. in many different price points, from many places around our globe and all fair trade verified. Sounds like a win-win. If Dunitz & Company's experiences with color are any indication, you and your loved ones will totally dig any of these blue selections. -ND

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.
Tami is the Volunteer Coordinator at Global Village Crafts in Logan, UT and we think she sports a mask with Dunitz famous art studs wtih so much class. Seriously - so well coordinated.  And we love that her choice is a pair of our Mondrian studs. Perfect for art lovers or computer nerds. If you're near Logan, UT, you must check out their shop. They're now open and they always have a nice selection of our jewelry to choose from.

Kathleen is a sometimes helper at HoonArts, one of our TFair 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