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Fair Trade Friday- Wedding Gifts that Give, V1

It’s Friday, it’s Friday!  I know we all love Friday, but it’s extra special here on the blog because it’s FAIR TRADE Friday!  We will be highlighting some awesome Fair Trade and socially or environmentally conscious home decor the next 2 weeks.  They make the perfect wedding gift…. hint, hint, Aunt Martha! 😉 Fair trade home   1. Cultural Elements– Mango Wood Tea Light Holders, $35. Made from Mango wood of trees that are no longer sustainable for commercial use.  These trees are replaced with newer, younger trees.  Fair Trade and handmade
When a mango tree reaches 20-30 years, its fruites are no longer suitable for commercial use. Older trees are harvested and replaced with young trees in a process that protects the mango forests. – See more at: http://www.culturalelements.com/set-of-2-mango-wood-bark-decorative-tea-light-candle-holders-honey.html#sthash.aqoktaBq.dpuf
This product is sourced from controlled, sustainable mango plantations. When a mango tree reaches 20-30 years, its fruites are no longer suitable for commercial use. Older trees are harvested and replaced with young trees in a process that protects the mango forests. – See more at: http://www.culturalelements.com/set-of-2-mango-wood-bark-decorative-tea-light-candle-holders-honey.html#sthash.aqoktaBq.dpuf
This product is sourced from controlled, sustainable mango plantations. When a mango tree reaches 20-30 years, its fruites are no longer suitable for commercial use. Older trees are harvested and replaced with young trees in a process that protects the mango forests. – See more at: http://www.culturalelements.com/set-of-2-mango-wood-bark-decorative-tea-light-candle-holders-honey.html#sthash.aqoktaBq.dpuf
This product is sourced from controlled, sustainable mango plantations. When a mango tree reaches 20-30 years, its fruites are no longer suitable for commercial use. Older trees are harvested and replaced with young trees in a process that protects the mango forests. – See more at: http://www.culturalelements.com/set-of-2-mango-wood-bark-decorative-tea-light-candle-holders-honey.html#sthash.aqoktaBq.dpuf
2. Canvas Home– Soapstone Placemat/Charger, $8.  Produced under Fair Trade principles in India. 3. One World Fair Trade – Alabaster Lamp, $150.  Handmade by Fair Trade artisan partners in Cairo, Egypt. 4. The Spotted Door– Teak Side Table, $225. Work with eco-conscious designers, artisans, craftsmen and innovators who capture landfill-fated materials and give them a new purpose, a new life, a new existence! 5. Indego Africa– Cow Horn Vase, $75.  Profits fund educational training programs for the women who hand craft the products. 6. All Modern– Organic Silk Table Runner, $74. Hand woven on bamboo looms by indigenous women weavers in India. 7. Indego Africa– Copabu Wooden Bowl, $55. Profits fund educational training program for the women who hand craft the products.

Product Spotlight- Philantropic Panda- Jewelry that Gives Back!

As I happened to be paroosing around Etsy… looking up all things ‘Giving’… I came across this amazing jewelry shop, Philanthropic Panda,  and their awesome mission… Using handmade jewelry to help others! 2014-07-23_0001
Tell us about your business?
Philanthropic Panda is a jewelry company that helps customers change lives through donations to amazing non-profit organizations. Our partners focus on empowering communities to lift themselves out of poverty.  
Where in the world did your name come from… Its Awesome?
I’ve loved pandas for as long as I can remember. When I first came up with the idea to make jewelry and donate a portion of the proceeds to non-profits, a  friend thought of the name, and I loved it.  
What made you model your business around giving?
My outlook on life changed dramatically in 2010 when I left a stable job to travel and volunteer with NGOs across Asia. After seeing extreme poverty firsthand, I wanted to dedicate time and money to support organizations that provide sustainable and culturally responsible solutions to poverty. Upon my return to the US, I created Philanthropic Panda to combine my drive to make an impact with my lifelong passion for making jewelry.  
Is there one particular piece of jewelry that has brought in more profits (donations) then others?
The Water Empowerment Necklace has been one of my most popular pieces. 20% of proceeds go to fund clean water projects for rural families in Cambodia. To date, proceeds from sales have funded four bio-sand water filters and one pull-pump well.  
How can brides use Philanthropic Panda into their wedding day details?
I love working with brides to customize pieces for their wedding parties or a special mother of the bride item. I can be reached via the contact form on the Philanthropic Panda website.

Vendor Spotlight- Caroline Creates- Paper Goods that DO GOOD

Lets be upfront, before we delve into this awesome Vendor Spotlight….. I, Danielle- Creator, Birth Mother, Founder of Black Sheep Bride- have a serious problem – I am a habitual Facebook Be-Friender. You know when you get a Friend Request from someone you’ve never met and you politely hit decline, report or not now… Yeah- it was probably me… HA! and that is how we come to Caroline Creates. Don’t ask me how I found her, but I did and for the past year or so…. I’ve been watching her business flourish, both in momentum and in giving!  With that said, I couldn’t be more excited to see she was already following our BSB Movement also and has joined our growing Black Sheep Bride Vendor List!  Without further adieu – I introduce to you Caroline Creates! 2014-07-21_0001
What type of wedding business do you have?
Caroline Create is a little eco-friendly stationery company in Fort Worth, Texas.
What drew you into the wedding industry?
I fell in love with weddings while planning my own wedding. I just loved the coming together to celebrate love and a new journey starting. Most of all, I fell head over heels in love with paper and stationery when working on my own wedding invitations.
What brought you to turning your wedding business into a vehicle of change, and using your skills to DO GOOD for the environment?
I’ve always been a hippie at heart. We took a trip to Colorado and I became enamored with the forests and mountains (we have neither in Texas). I was and still am a huge recycler and part of me felt extremely guilty that as a stationery producer, I was contributing to the problem. I love handwritten notes and knew there had to be a better way. I initially started my mission by using recycled paper and envelopes that have low post consumer waste. Then while watching the news and seeing wildfires in Colorado, I knew I could do more. That’s when I began the “I plant trees” campaign and it stuck! Now for every order placed, we plant a tree through a donation to Plant-It 2020, an organization that plants trees in non-logging areas in the United States and around the world with the goal of benefiting the environment and people who live in the area. The cool thing about donating to Plant-It 2020 is you can pick and choose where your trees go! So often, I let brides tell me where they want their trees!
Are you working on any special projects to help others/the planet right now?
I’m super excited to be partnering with a dear friend to create some special products to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Her son, who has diabetes, will be partnering with me to exclusively design some stationery. Those will be available on my website in the coming months.
How has Giving made you personally and professionally more successful!/happy?
I love our planet and want there to be lots of trees and green space for my kids to enjoy. Being able to say that my invitations, stationery and paper products are adding trees and not taking them down is such a gift and has given me a sense of purpose! One small change can make such a huge difference! More than anything, it makes me so happy to be able to help brides do the same with their wedding stationery. Eco-friendly stationery can be trendy and beautiful and that’s why I like to say we are “green without all the granola!”
For information on Caroline Creates Paper Good Offerings go to: http://www.carolinecreates.com

Jax is where it’s at!

A few months ago I decided impulsively to participate in Jacksonville’s Annual Crowd Funding Festival- One Spark, along side several hundreds of other amazingly creative people. I signed up on the last day of registration, I knew nearly no one in the city and I stalked out The Landing’s venue director – to host my last minute project.. like a cheetah about to attack a gazelle… Real Talk People- It was serious! Everything about the trip was challenging, last minute and hard, hard work… but at the end of week of networking, pitching and acquiring a million more freckles (standing in the direct sunlight 5 days straight)… I was so encouraged for the future of Black Sheep Bride’s success. 2014-07-17_0002 Never in a Million years would I think, one of those countless One Spark Connections… would lead BSB back to Jacksonville to accept an awesome opportunity to work hand and hand with KYN (Business Accelerator Program.) For the next 6 months Black Sheep Bride will be working side by side the awesome KYN team (business/branding minded rad folks) to bring BSB up to speed, and get our mission out to the world! Make sure to like our BSB Facebook page to follow along with all the new progress! 10478596_785888028099930_7730218306428533512_n

10 Ways to SAVE… the world! Weddings that Give Back!

Let us pretend for a moment… that we ALL fall into the average wedding budget category. According to Wedding Stats the average wedding in 2014 cost roughly $28,671… and if you took 10% of that budget and dedicated it to completely selfless awesomeness… that would be $2,867 !! 2014-07-17_0003 Here are some ways to take your 10% and Change the World! 1. 102 orphans could be fed for 30 days. (Dando Amor) 2. 28,000 trees planted (Trees for the future) 3. 10 girls would be able to attend school (Heifer) 4. 1892 meals will be provided to the homeless. 5. 143 people will receive clean water (Let it flow) 6. 5 oncology  family support groups/Dinners (for up to 100 people)  can be organized for children diagnosed with cancer.  (Children’s Cancer Center) 7. 76 children sponsored for one month. (Compassion International) 8. 50 Microloans rewarded to impoverish women to start a business. (Global Giving) 9. 2,867 of Malaria Treated lives saved (malarianomore.org) 10. 11,468 children everywhere will get one meal to eat. (Feeding Children Everywhere) Isn’t it crazy how such a small number… 10%… can make such a big impact on others! How will you use your 10% of wedding change to make world change?