Thursday, November 2, 2023

My Favorite Fall Finds; Fair Trade, Supporting Small Businesses & A Good Read

You know I'm all about fair trade. I've been collaborating with artisans in Guatemala for a really long time to bring you fantastic Dunitz & Company jewelry. When making personal purchases, I always look to support other fair traders and small businesses whenever I can. In July, I shared my favorite summer finds.  Now it's fall and I have a few more discoveries to share with you.


I recently returned home from the western region Museum Store Association meeting that took place in Las Vegas. My intent was to mingle with museum store buyers. And as it turns out, one of the most fun things at this get together was meeting other vendors. I met Gila, the proprietor of Dar Chocolate Art Bars. They make the most fantastic chocolate bars in Denver from cacao they import from small farmers in many countries. Gila is an amazing graphic illustrator too. Not only can you see her fantastic drawing featured on their website, but on their chocolate bars. You can purchase direct, or if you're really lucky, you'll find some of Dar's bars at your favorite museum store.


Yes Yes. I love to eat. And I do love honey. I was randomly searching on ETSY, and stumbled upon Honey Run Farm, a small family owned business out of Ohio. I was fascinated that the honey they collect varies each season based on what the bees "eat." I was hooked. I wanted to know the difference between honey produced in Summer, Spring and Fall. Their website explains it all so well. And their customer service is absolutely fantastic.  They also make handmade soaps. If you know me at all, you know I'm also crazy for handmade soap. What's not to love? A small business that offers honey and soap. Ya gotta check them out!

I've been taking more time to read lately.  Admittedly, I do watch a few too many Netflix series. But by joining the NYU Alumni Voracious Violets Book Club, I've dug into some fantastic books that have been recommended. If you're reading my blog, I think you'll be fascinated by The Monk of Mokha. "A heart-pounding true story, The Monk of Mokha weaves together the history of coffee, the ongoing Yemeni civil war, and the courageous journey of a young man--a Muslim and a US citizen--following the most American of dreams." If you started and operate a small fair trade business, you will absolutely relate to Mokhtar Alkhanshal's story. When you build a small business, things don't always go to plan or how you set out in your business plan. That assumes you had a business plan.

A follow up to my July Favorite Finds post, I have to sing the praises of Sevya Fair Trade again. After loving my first summer top from them, I had to order others. The pink & white cotton top shown here is my new favorite.  And since it seems to NOT be cooling off here in Los Angeles, I've had lots of opportunity to wear it. The weather will cool down, and I know I'll have to order some long sleeve blouses from their catalog. Check them out. And like Dunitz, Sevya is a verified member of Fair Trade Federation. You'll look good and feel good wearing their designs.


Many of you know I'm a new and enthusiastic gardener. My yard is small, but it's mighty. I'm monkeying around in it and cleaning up every day. I can't stop. My latest "fun" has been discovering bulbs I can plant that will provide me beautiful flowers. I often search for suppliers in California where I live because there are so many agricultural regulations when it comes to our state.  My newest discovery is Easy to Grow Bulbs, a small business with fantastic customer service. They have been so friendly and prompt answering my endless questions. And their website is also replete with lots of info. Their office seems to be based in Oceanside, CA, but my order shipped from Wisconsin. (I guess that means it's okay to ship bulbs from elsewhere into California. I had no idea on that.) I'll be planting various types of paperwhites soon. Stand by for my garden photos when I can show them off. 

So, there you have it.  A few of my favorite Fall finds. Perhaps one of them will become a favorite of yours. In the meantime, don't forget to check out Dunitz & Company's fair trade jewelry. Check out our store locator to find a brick & mortar in your area selling our designs. Or peruse our website. My hope is that my designs will become one of your favorite finds :). -ND