It’s been a long time since I’ve done some shopping damage but as the seasons shift and the holidays approach, I have one shop on my mind: Moorea Seal. I first stumbled into this tastefully curated shop in the heart of Seattle on a mini-vacation/destination wedding trip. It was clear that every item showcased was selected by a keen eye who took the effort to seek out the extraordinary. From accessories to apparel and home goods, there’s a general vibe of sleek simplicity with a rustic edge. The best part? Moorea Seal has an entire portion of the store dedicated to non-profit support. Simply click on the “Shop by Cause” tab, select the charity you’d like to support and then shop a curated selection of goods where a portion of each proceed is donated in support of the cause.
I went to Peru a few years after graduating college, and fell in love with it there, which is saying a lot considering I came home sick as a dog and having had my camera and wallet stolen on a bus ride. There was just something magical about every part of the country I visited. My time at the sand dunes and actual oasis in Huacachina, the seriously amazing (and cheap) guided horse ride taken in the hills outside Ollantaytambo, and of course, the truly miraculous sunrise hike up to Machu Picchu, had me dazzled. Maybe it was because we were backpacking, living on the cheap, staying in hostels and flying by the seat of our pants (which I don’t do often), but either way, I was completely charmed by the culture and color of it all. I’d share some photos to prove my point, but like I said before, I came home sans camera.
That being said, 5 or so years ago when I caught wind of Awamaki, “a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers Andean women with skills training, connects them to global market opportunities, and enables them to earn an income to transform their communities,” I was 100% in love. What is NOT to love about that mission statement? They have a lot of different programs to achieve this goal, but the one that I want to highlight is The Awamaki Lab, which pairs designers up with the weavers and knitters from these often tiny and remote villages in Peru to empower women, their trade and their communities through the sale of the goods produced. Some of the villages they work with are places I myself have traveled through, in utter awe of what a different kind of life a rural Andean woman has from an Angeleno woman. If I ever get a chance to go back, it is nice to think that these women might still be there weaving as they have for thousands of years. To know that they have an organization that cares enough to protect their way of life and make it even more sustainable, is nothing short of awesome. Take a look at the designs that are coming out of it all, and I guarantee you will most definitely want to support them too… xo Cait
LLAMA BABY VEST ANYONE?! Yea. I thought so.
I first fell in love with Stone + Cloth at Unique LA where local artisans showcase their goods for a weekend of shopping bliss . Stone + Cloth make rucksacks and totes. You can feel the ruggedness and durability in each bag, plus, they simply look great. The best part? Each purchase helps provide scholarships to students in need through The Knock Foundation.
Back in high school, my best friend used to take me hunting for used vegetable oil. We’d hit the local chinese restaurants, siphon out wasted oil from drums located out back and haul it back to his home where he’d distill the oil to be used as biodiesel for his converted Mercedes, or as I lovingly called it “the veggie mobile”. His car always smelled like french fries from the oil but he was doing his part to recycle, reuse and help the environment.
When I first stumbled upon Further Products, I immediately loved this product for obvious reasons. FURTHER Products is owned and operated by Megan & Marshall Dostal. Their soap line was born from the byproduct created from the biodiesel distillation process for Marshall’s “veggie mobile”. When you distill the used vegetable oil grease, glycerin is made! What an a-ha moment and an amazing way to truly take this waste product one step further. Not only is the used vegetable waste being used to fuel his car, but the glycerin is being made into the most lovely hand soap that smells like bergamot, olive and grasses.
Marshall still picks-up waste grease from local restaurants. Megan has traded-in her SUV for a vintage diesel wagon and Marshall’s biofuel now powers two family cars and one company truck. The soap has been joined by a hand lotion, a dish soap, two candles and a bar soap.
Stephanie Podasca is a true artist and a bespoke craftsman. My husband gifted me with a handmade, one-of-a-kind scarf for the holidays and it’s definitely one of my most treasured accessories. Each scarf is made from 100% pure silk and painted with Sennelier silk dyes or hand-dyes using fiber reactive dyes, acid dyes or natural indigo crystals. Stephanie uses a classic steaming technique which sets the dyes so they do note bleed while retaining luster. No printing or technology is involved in making these so every single item is truly original. Did I mention that she also makes beautiful pillowcases?
Check out a few of our favorite scarves and pillowcases below and be sure to visit the Podasca Shop: