notablySmitten

cause-conscious goods. gifts. deeds.

handmade

the perfect accessory - Society B

handmade, water, hunger, bagseden tirlComment
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Just like shoes, a girl can never have too many totes. Society B offers the Mamuye Tote. Handcrafted in Ethiopia, it’s made from real leather and is available in three colors. 10% of the final sale will be donated to a nonprofit of your choosing.

Society B was founded by Kelli Byers and Lindsay Byers-Hirth in 2015. They strictly wanted to only offer products that will benefit society in the long run. They partner with multiple nonprofits that include Water.Org, Action Against Hunger, and Kids in Need Foundation, and Preemptive Love Coalition in an effort to change the world and make a difference.

made to empower - Krochet Kids

100% vegan, artisanal, backpacks, cause conscious, ethical, handmadeeden tirlComment
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I like to carry A LOT with me. Minimalist? What’s that? But really, not everything fits inside my small purse. Krochet Kids’ Ridgeview Backpack provides the perfect solution. Made with vegan leather, it’s durable and available in multiple colors. Each piece is handmade and signed by the women who makes them. 

Krochet Kids was founded by Kohl Crecelius in 2007.  Since then, he has committed to help provide jobs and fair wages to poverty-stricken women in Uganda and Peru. Along with providing employment opportunities, each purchase also gives these women the empowerment they didn’t know they had.

Smitten!

beautifully compassionate - Rosena Sammi

artisanal, bangles, human trafficking, handmade, girlseden tirlComment
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For someone who’s constantly wearing black, a pop of color makes the biggest impact. The Nirvanam Bangles from Rosena Sammi are a true beauty. Made from sari fabrics, the bangles make a big statement and support a cause. Nirvanam is the Sankrit word for bliss, and each piece is handmade by a woman rescued from sex trafficking.

 After relaunching the brand in 2017, Rosena Sammi made the commitment to make the world a better place for the sake of her two daughters. She partners with Apne Aap, a charity dedicated to rescuing young girls from the redlight districts located in India.

We’re Smitten!

Olori

artisanal, cause conscious, bags, ethical, fashion, girls, handbag, handmadeeden tirlComment
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Olori is a company that finally agrees with my royal status (I’m extra, I know). They offer crossbody bags made from durable leather, featuring adjustable straps and a flap made from a special Nigerian textile. Olori is the Yoruba word for Queen, which is why they state that each piece is made for a queen- how fitting! The bags are available in nine different colors and textures.

Founded by Tomide Awe, she believes every girl is a queen. Education is expensive in Africa. Unfortunately, many girls cannot afford school which is why each bag that’s sold provides tuition fees for a girl living in Africa.

Smitten!

beauty and the beach bag - Indego Africa

artisanal, bags, baskets, cause conscious, community, cooperatives, education, fashion, global, handbag, handmade, job creation, upcyclededen tirlComment
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Indego Africa is a non-profit that pairs a NYC-based design team with female artisans in Rwanda and Ghana to create stylish and expertly crafted goods.  All of their goods are created by hand using traditional techniques of weaving, block printing, beading, embroidery, wood carving, and metal shaping. A classic example of the highly-skilled sweetgrass weaving technique can be found in the gorgeous and versatile Palm Tote! Perfect for beach days or a trip to the market, the Palm Tote is a beautiful way to make a statement with your accessory while renewing your commitment to help break the cycle of poverty.

Founded in 2007, Indego Africa believes that education is the key to long-term empowerment.  To that end, they are committed to providing fair wages as well as leadership training, business classes, technology workshops, and public health programs to the artisans they partner with to create Indego Africa’s designs.  100% of their profits, combined with grants and private donations, go back to the artisan’s communities. As of 2017, they have positively impacted 1,100 women in Rwanda and Ghana.

Indeed Smitten!

adorn those ears - Purpose

cause conscious, community, earrings, education, fashion, girls, handmade, human trafficking, job creation, pretty, social sustainability, women's rightseden tirlComment
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These gorgeous lithe ornaments for the ear, deserve our applause. These sit 2 ½” long off the ear. Come plated in 14k Gold or Rhodium (tarnish resistant.) They also come in a lovely box in case you're gifting these beauties.

Purpose jewelry is brilliantly handcrafted by young women escaping human trafficking. Your purchase helps provide them with the hope and opportunities they deserve while transitioning back into a free and safe future.

100% of proceeds go to International Sanctuary: a safe, loving, holistic community, with an incredible an sustainable model. Addressing income, education, healthcare, and community, the women are able to find their true identities and worth once again. 

Smitten!

sweet chic sandals - Nisolo

conscious, environmentally caring, ethical, fashion, handmade, sandals, wedgeseden tirlComment
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Nisolo’s wooden wedge sandal is a perfect balance between style and sustainability - made from solid wood and hand-cut leather, they are a long-lasting addition to any closet and have an equally long lasting impact on the artisans who created them. Founded in 2011 by Patrick Woodyard after seeing the immense talent for shoemaking in Peru and wanting to be a problem solver in the global market, Nisolo is now based in both Peru and Tennessee, and employs over 50 people.

Nisolo is a leader in ethical fashion production, providing workers with wages 27% higher than fair trade wages, consistent work with yearly salaries, and “holistic learning” that includes trade skills as well as healthcare, english classes, and childcare.  The word Nisolo means “not alone”, and the most visible effect that credo has on the local community is the next generation - 100% of employee’s children are enrolled in school full time, with six on track to be the first in their families to graduate college.

mini keys of goodness, with maximum effect - The Giving Keys

cause conscious, fashion, gifts, handmade, jewelry, necklaces, neckwear, upcyclededen tirlComment
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I can never get enough of The Giving Keys. Their message, the keys, their faithful purpose and dedication, are completely on point. They were the gift that started notablySmitten - and I have followed their growth faithfully ever since that first purchased key. And now mini keys - perfect.

They are an extraordinary company doing good things for the homeless here in Los Angeles. If you've not heard of them, please read about them in the very first article I ever penned for nS.

And if you've not purchased a key for someone yet, please do - pass it on.

Ever Smitten!

ethical earrings celebrating Spring is here! - Mata Traders

conscious, cooperatives, earrings, ethical, fair trade, fashion, handmade, jewelry, pretty, social sustainabilityeden tirlComment
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These Daybreak earrings are artfully graceful and luxurious at the same time. Handcrafted and hand painted in India...these are your perfect ear ornaments! 

Mata Traders is a partnership between three female founders, a handful of fair trade organizations, and local Indian and Nepalese women working in artisan cooperatives. On a basic level, Mata Traders’ coops provide fair wages, healthcare, paid maternity leave, pensions, daycare, and workplace mobility to women who otherwise might not have the opportunity to work outside their home at all.  On a larger scale, however, the women working in artisan coops are simultaneously learning from social workers to become independent thinkers and activists: they gain confidence, break cycles of child labor and poverty, and provide stability for their families and communities.  

The word Mata means “Mother” in Hindi - it is a tribute to Shakti, the female creative power in all of us.  After learning of Mata Traders’ business model and seeing their gorgeous goods, we couldn’t agree with their mission more.

Smitten with Mata.

the art of the scarf - Bloom & Give

bridesmaids gifts, cause conscious, fashion, girls, handmade, scarveseden tirlComment
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Named as a homage to one of the oldest dyeing techniques, Ikat is delicate, elegant and made from beautifully fine wool.  At Bloom & Give, each item is made by local artisans, steeping the ancient Southeast Indian culture into each design.

With each item purchased, 50% of the price goes directly to fund girl’s education programs in India.  Bloom & Give notes that girls who have even a middle school education will “marry 4 years later, have two fewer children, and double her income” compared to girls who are kept out.  With the help of their partner organization, Educate Girls, Bloom & Give’s mission is simple but complex: keep girls in school.  

That’s one powerful scarf...Smitten!

handmade love for your tree - Thistle Farms

cause conscious, christmas, gifts, handmade, holiday, ornamentseden tirlComment
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I am beyond Smitten with the way these heart-shaped ornaments are constructed...and by whom. These four delicious ornaments are created out of goodwill and creative inspiration. Adorn your tree this year, and support four worthy, exceptional enterprises. Brought to you by Becca Stevens, founder and President of the wonderful organization that is Thistle Farms.

Thistle Farms is a community of women survivors of addiction, prostitution, and trafficking in Nashville, Tennessee. "This product bears witness that love is the most powerful force for change in the world."

This is the second global holiday collection being presented by Thistle Farms. 'Love from Around the World II' includes four handmade ornaments by women survivors from Nashville, Cambodia, Peru and the Middle East. Each ornament reflects...LOVE.

•  The recycled weave ornament represents Freedom’s Promise who work with at-risk and vulnerable women in Cambodia.

•  The knitted ornament represents the Monkey Project and provides a living wage to men in Huancayo, Peru - enabling change for their entire community.

•  The wood ornament represents Hope Collective is a community dedicated that brings sustainable development to refugees in the Middle East.

•  The copper ornament represents Studios - a division of Thistle Farm's social enterprise, which creates handcrafted paper, sewing and screen printing comprising this unique product line.

Smitten and filled with holiday cheer!!

sexy, sustainable and star studded - People Tree

cause conscious, christmas, earrings, ethical, fair trade, gifts, handmade, holiday, jewelry, silver, stocking stuffers, sustainableeden tirlComment
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Catch the eye with these yummy star-studded studs. Hand pounded, 100% silver-plated brass. Gorgeous!

People Tree is recognized for its production of ethical, sustainable fashion. For more than 25 years, this pioneer company has partnered with Fair Trade producers, garment workers, artisans and farmers in the developing world to create fashion forward, eco-friendly collections.

People Tree gives customers an alternative to "fast fashion". "Fast fashion is fueled by an insatiable demand for cheap clothing and accessories. Fast fashion has a devastating impact, from sweatshops and child labor to pollution and global warming. Slow Fashion means standing up against exploitation, family separation, slum cities and pollution – all the things that make fast fashion so successful."

Fair Trade is ethical, sustainable and fashionable....and the opposite of fast fashion.

People Tree products are made by artisans who work and uphold Fair Trade standards. People Tree was the world’s first clothing company to receive the World Fair Trade Organization Fair Trade product mark in 2013.

Fair Trade makes a powerful difference. People Tree is helping to alleviate poverty in the world's most marginalized communities.

Smitten!

a sparkly, sexy...significant bangle - Eden: Fusion Leather Snap bracelet

bangles, beads, cause conscious, christmas, cuffs, ethical, fashion, gifts, global, handmade, holiday, jewelry, stocking stuffers, upcyclededen tirlComment
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This wrist stunner is made from twenty four hand-beaded strands affixed to two soft, sturdy leather strands. The wristlet closes with three snap buttons that adorn the leather. Stand out in this luscious piece of jewelry from Raven and Lily.

This bangle is made by women who live on the Entoto Mountain in Ethiopia, where the artisans melt down bullet casings to create the beads for their designs, "transforming what was once used for harm into beauty."

This is my third post for Raven and Lily, a company I positively love. The initial post with all appropriate accolades here.

Forever Smitten with Raven and Lily.

simply red - the Red Thread Movement

bracelets, cause conscious, community, ethical, fair trade, girls, global, handmade, human trafficking, job creation, social sustainabilityeden tirlComment
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This is about a movement, and it is called the Red Thread Movement. It is a call to action with the sale of red thread bracelets. This is what one little vibrantly colored, handsomely crafted little bracelet can do! 

The Red Thread Movement battles human trafficking and has partnered with a Nepalese anti-trafficking organization that has set up border units between Nepal and India (which is open and allows for citizens from both countries to travel freely with no visa or passport.) As there is an estimated 12,000 victims of sex trafficking between these countries every year, the success rate of these border units is extremely high, each rescuing up to 15 girls a month. 

Many girls are not able to return to their villages after rescue, as social rejection and shame are common. Safe houses are established to provide shelter, counseling and vocational training for girls who cannot return to their villages. It is at these safe houses that the girls make the Red Thread Movement bracelets.

The bracelets make a difference in 3 important ways:

1. They provide a Fair Trade income for rescued girls who do the craftsmanship and hand weave the bracelets themselves.

2. Additional proceeds fund anti-trafficking border units and safe houses through the work of Red Thread’s partner, Kingdom Investments Nepal (K.I. Nepal.)

3. Wearing the bracelet generates awareness and declares sex trafficking as human rights crime.

These bracelets are an outstanding way to fundraise and spread the word!

I am Smitten.

upcycling elephant poo for holiday cards! - Holstee

100% natural, artisanal, conscious, elephants, environmentally caring, gifts, handmade, holiday cards, upcyclededen tirlComment
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Are you looking for a holiday card that is both planet conscious and charitable? Well, I was too! I am a huge fan of all things letterpress, and I love communique the old fashioned way... the US postal service. Thus, while looking for an enchanting, simple, well designed card to mail out for the upcoming holidays, I was more than pleased to stumble upon Holstee.com.

Their choice of printing paper: 50% elephant poo and 50% recycled paper. Yes! The paper is handmade, acid free and 100% natural.

Delightful designs, letterpress printed in silver, blue and gold inks on white cotton paper. Each set comes with six 5"x7" cards and six envelopes. The cards are blank, giving you the opportunity to pen your own singular, spectacular greeting. 

 Holstee offers an array of cards, posters and other colorful, uncommon gift items.

A portion of all proceeds go towards funding Kiva microloans.

Smitten with Holstee.

100 beads at a time - 100 Good Deeds

bangles, beads, beauty, bracelets, charity, conscious, fashion, gifts, handmade, jewelry, kindnesseden tirlComment
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In the world of charming, fashionably conscious jewelry, the 100 Good Deeds bracelet is at the top my list. Engaging colors, beautiful, hip...and glamorous! 

In 2000, artist and activist Mary Fisher, was asked by the White House AIDS office to act as a Special Representative of the UN and travel to Africa. While there, Mary worked with those affected by poverty, violence and the stigma attached to HIV. 

Mary started the Abataka foundation to partner with these women by designing jewelry that they could make and thereby earn a positive, sustainable living. 

In 2012, Mary released her memoir Messenger, and also met filmmaker Thomas Morgan. He shared with Mary a game that he and his family created, where they would complete 100 good deeds anonymously. 

Mary was Smitten and responded by designing the 100 Good Deeds bracelet. Each bracelet is hand-braided with one hundred glass beads and a single rubber ring. After wrapping it around your wrist, each time you do a good deed, you move the rubber ring one bead closer to the 1GD charm.

"The motivation behind the 100 Good Deeds collection is to inspire simple acts of kindness around the world." ~ Mary Fisher 

The bracelet serves as a reminder to pay it forward, and has found ambassadors in celebrities like Susan Sarandon, Katie Holmes and Naomi Watts.

Smitten!

breathe, love, dream - The Giving Keys

cause conscious, fashion, gifts, handmade, jewelry, necklaces, neckwear, pretty, upcyclededen tirlComment
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It was late in the month November 2013. I had waited until the last minute (surprise!) to get my husband a 4th year anniversary gift. This was actually not so much about my procrastination issues, more the lack of inspiration for a unique, meaningful gift.

I don’t go for all the traditional elemental gifts: paper, brass, china...all that. I just wanted to get him something that had significance and expressed love.

As it was the eleventh hour, I had very little time before dinner reservations at 8:30. I landed at a tried and true, happening boutique off of Melrose that I frequent for gifts. I scanned the men’s section with keen eyes and landed on a case filled with colorful, sporty, rubber watches. They didn’t necessarily scream “significant”...but they were hip, manly and fun.

Out of the corner of my eye to my left, I spied some dangly well-worn chains swinging. At the bottom of each chain was an intriguing tattered key with an imprinted word on the front: HOPE, FAITH, FEARLESS, COURAGE, LOVE. I was instantly attracted. The placard on the wooden display read:

The Giving Keys

"When you get this key, you must give it away at some point to a person you feel needs the message on there. Then write us the story of why you gave it away."

The chains with keys were delicious looking, I loved the instructions, but the last sentence on the mission statement knocked me out:

We employ those who are looking to transition out of homelessness.

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The Giving Keys was founded by Caitlin Crosby (an actress and singer/songwriter,) when she began wearing a NY hotel room key around her neck as decor. She had the idea of engraving old keys with inspirational words. She felt we were all like these keys...unique, scarred, flawed, and at risk of being discarded.

The idea was for the keys to be repurposed over and over. The message on the key is yours until it has served you, then you pay it forward to inspire someone else.

The charitable dimension came to be after Caitlin met Rob and Cera sitting under an umbrella on Hollywood Boulevard with a sign that read: Ugly, Broke & Hungry. Over dinner, Caitlin discovered that Cera made jewelry. Both Rob and Cera joined the team and started making Giving Keys the next day.

Later, the business partnered with the United Way and PATH (a reputable transitional home in Los Angeles,) to help to find workers to employ and help build The Giving Keys team. 

Since the beginning, The Giving Keys has employed 19 people experiencing homelessness, helping to provide opportunities for the team members to move into permanent housing.

The 'Pay It Forward' blog is really terrific!

So I found the one that was imprinted with LOVE. There were a few ancillary gifts that evening...the chain with the aged key was the one that made the impression I was hoping for. 

I’m Smitten with The Giving Keys. 

They are carried in over 500 stores in the US and internationally. Anthropologie, Fred Segal, Henri Bendel and Kitson to name a few local to Los Angeles.