Tag Archives: gift

give. shop. fashionable’s birthday sale.

October is coming to a close all too quickly. While many are adding cobwebs to their décor, I’m dusting off the virtual ones here to share something important.

After watching The Impossible last fall, I wasn’t sure I would recover. The tsunami of Boxing Day 2004 might as well have happened that day and in my back yard. To say it was difficult to watch… well, it’s just too little to say. My every muscle was taut with the terror and pain. My every thought was of this story. And, as it gripped me for weeks, I continually came back to a single moment.

Maria has against all odds survived and found her oldest son. She is injured, barely putting one torn leg in front of the other. It is too much to bear, but by some miracle of body, mind, and spirit, they find themselves in the company of some other native survivors. The current and debris left their bodies tattered and torn, just like the little clothing they had left. Then, a single gesture of grace and compassion gives dignity and ushers in hope. Maria is wrapped in a shirt. There is no strength left and she falls into the arms of strangers with gratitude far greater than her whispered words: thank you.

I felt it then – relief in gift of dignity.

It may seem silly to you at first for me to liken this moment, based on a true story, to another in a completely different world, but bear with me.

He turned to go.

“Come Dobby. I said, come.”

But Dobby didn’t move. He was holding up Harry’s disgusting, slimy sock, and looking at it as though it were a priceless treasure.

“Master has given a sock,” said the elf in wonderment. “Master gave it to Dobby.”

“What’s that?” spat Mr. Malfoy. “What did you say?”

“Got a sock,” said Dobby in disbelief. “Master threw it, and Dobby caught it, and Dobby – Dobby is free.

“Harry Potter freed Dobby!” said the elf shrilly, gazing up at Harry, moonlight from the nearest window reflected in his orb-like eyes. “Harry Potter set Dobby free!”

“Least I could do, Dobby,” said Harry, grinning. “Just promise never to try and save my life again.”

The elf’s ugly brown face split suddenly into a wide, toothy smile.

At the conclusion of Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, this house elf, a bottom-rung creature forced for years to do the bidding of any master that happened to own him, was set free by a piece of clothing.

And I felt it then – joy in the gift of dignity.

That same joy is visible on the faces of the women who work weaving scarves at fashionable.  You may remember I visited them last summer. The sweet smiles I saw and shared face-to-face told yet another story of how a piece of clothing gives dignity. In this case, it’s not the wearing that brings relief or the receiving that brings the joy. It is the employment, the contribution, and the provision that add worth to their day and shout into the lives of these women that they are worth so much more than they believed.

Take two minutes to watch this.

FashionABLE is celebrating its 3rd birthday this week! For 3 days (2 more) everything is 30% off! By purchasing a scarf or other accessory from them, you are helping to sustain this company and the life-altering, hope-giving opportunities it provides. Give your friends and family gifts from fashionABLE and you’ll be giving dignity.

Blog Post Banner

Spread the word. Share the video. Pick your favorite social media platform or hit them all. Just keep telling people about the gift of dignity.

Click here to start shopping and giving. 

Advertisements

visit. shop. give. fashionABLE.

I have a new scarf that smells like coffee and honey.

A few months back, I had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia on a vacation with family.  Our list of places to visit and things to do was composed primarily of historical landmarks and travel book recommendations, but there was one visit I hoped to make even though it would be off the tourist path.

FashionABLE, a non-profit I shared with you a year ago, aims to create sustainable business in Africa and job opportunities for women. These women happened to be working a mere taxi cab ride away from one stop on our vacation route.

I could not pass the opportunity up. Kiely, the fashionABLE communications liason on site at the time, was incredibly accommodating. A couple emails and a set of directions later, my mom and I were breaking away for a quick tour.

As we entered the small compound, I was struck by the bright colors. The buildings, the thread, and even the smiles seemed to glow in the sunlight, like hope and redemption had become visible. In light of that, I’ll let these images speak for me.

  1. Weaving, observed with the right eye, begins to look like a dance.
  2. Finishing off the ends of a scarf.
  3. Getting ahead by drying a good amount of dyed thread in the sun before rainy season begins.
  4. Kiely and me. Thanks Kiely for hosting us for a few minutes and allowing us the privilege of seeing this good work first hand.
  5. Look for this tag as you shop.
  6. This is the beautiful Feleku. You, too, can learn Feleku’s story. (By the way, Emily Maynard wore the scarf named for her this past season on The Bachelorette.)
  7. Scarves in the shop. You can buy items like these online.
  8. Spinning wheels.
  9. I’m fascinated by the looms and tools – shuttles, bobbins, and thread.

I enjoyed learning a bit about weaving and the business side of things, but I particularly enjoyed hearing more about Women At Risk, a partner organization of fashionABLE. Women At Risk is a rehabilitation program for former sex workers. The program provides these women with counseling, teaches them skills and trades, and helps them find employment.  After our tour, we shopped in the modest storefront where they were selling not only scarves, but other items made by women who have come through the Women at Risk program.  I selected a couple of bars of scented soap – milk and honey, and coffee – and a unique scarf made while teaching techniques.

In an effort to handle these items with care and get them safely home, I wrapped the soaps in the scarf. Yesterday, I pulled my scarf out of my closet and noticed the scents still linger.

The fashionABLE fall line was introduced today, and if you browse their lookbook (which I highly recommend) you may just see a few of the scarves on the looms in the photos above. I intend to order one myself.  Select one for yourself and order now! I doubt it will smell like coffee and honey upon arrival, but you can wear it knowing faces of the women’s life changed by this effort and your purchase.

Don’t forget to check out all things fashionABLE on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


shop. give. fashionABLE.

Much to my grandmother’s chagrin, I have never been a “jewelry person”. My ears aren’t pierced. And honestly, when it comes to accessorizing, I just don’t.  On those days I force myself to wear a necklace or bracelet, the pieces usually make their way into a pocket or purse by the end of the day due to annoyance. Bags and shoes, on the other hand, own my closet. Then, in college, I learned the value of a scarf. Scarves have now joined the rank of shoes and bags and are my favorite (often only) accessory.

Today, while listening to Ellie Holcombe’s new EP (which I highly recommend) and exploring her website, I read the word “scarves” and compulsively followed the link to FashionABLE.

This is what I found:

I just can’t resist these beautiful scarves that enABLE these women to…

be confident.
feel dignity in [their] work.
send [a] son to school
.

FashionABLE is a new (almost one year old) project by the founder of The Mocha Club which has been around since 2005. Check out their efforts as well to understand how this nonprofit aids in the creation of healthy and sustainable living for so many who are capable but caught in a vicious cycle.

As fall approaches, temperatures drop, and the holidays approach, keep these products in mind. Giving these as a gift would mean giving so much more!

P.S. Find a retailer near you: http://livefashionable.com/all-retailers/ or order this Friday and get free shipping: http://livefashionable.com/2011/08/free-shipping-friday/!


give. create. another homemade gift.

It was about a year ago when I borrowed my grandmother’s sewing machine. I have yet to return it. I have made pillow covers, a table runner, coasters, scented and deodorizing sachets, and pin cushions.  One of these days I’ll graduate to clothing; that has been a goal of mine all along. For now, here is a look at another handmade gift, commissioned for the nursery of a friend’s precious baby girl, and now at home on the glider.

This was my first attempt at pleating ever. Every experience is a learning experience.

Tacked Pleat

I imagine it is important for a pillow for a nursery have an easy-to-remove-and-clean cover, so I decided to go with an envelope pillow cover.  Don’t look too closely. My seams aren’t perfect (don’t tell my grandmother), but they work.

For a great video tutorial on how to make this kind of cover, click here.

Envelope Pillow Cover - Back

It didn’t hurt that my friend and new mom selected a beautiful fabric. The finished product.

Envelope Pillow Cover - Front

I would love your recommendations for other tutorials or types of pillows to try. Dare I say, it may be time to brave a zipper?!


give. create. homemade gifts.

I realize St. Patrick’s Day is not a gift-giving holiday, but I was reminded this morning that I failed to share some important gifts given last Christmas among friends. I thought today would be as good a day as any to post about them.  It was a penny-pinching season (and still is), so some friends and I declared our gift swap a homemade Christmas.

Here are the prized gifts I received, but it is the friends that gave them I treasure most.

Peaches gave me a beautiful a green feathered headband (aka “Fascinator”). As a bonus, it makes one un-pinchable in any outfit.

Feathered Headband

Personalized magnets from Ashley.

Handmade Magnets

Prints of a most memorable day from Emily.

photo by Rob Ingram

Christen designed a luggage tag for me & filled a mason jar with fond memories.

 

Luggage Tag

Memory Jar

Our Homemade Christmas turned out to be one of the best. I particularly enjoyed every step of creating coasters for all of them – from selecting the fabric to tying the bow. I followed this tutorial and was very pleased with how they turned out. Next time I plan to experiment a little.

Coasters - Sets of 4

 

just another view

For your next occasion, try your hand at the homemade.


%d bloggers like this: