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Our Socially Conscious Christmas Haul

For the past two years we have strived to find more purpose and impact in our Christmas consumerism and each year we get better and better and it’s such an encouragement for the future holidays to come. It may seem like a small haul of goodies (mind you these were mainly for the grown-ups), but these small gifts make a huge impact in others lives, so I am honored to be a part of the solution. 2015-12-25_0001 For my coffee loving husband : 2 bags of Social Grounds Coffee (empowering coffee growers across the globe, and uplifting Downtown Jacksonville’s homeless population one bag of coffee at a time). He also received a myriad of other coffee making goodies that have nothing to do with helping others, so they won’t be listed. HA! For my teenage brother: A pair of high top TOMS (One for One). For myself (courtesy of my husband) : 1. A replacement Sseko Designs Crossbody Purse, mine got stolen last month and my life has been a blur ever since, no joke, this purse is the real deal, 2. A gorgeously ethical EOS RING set courtesy of Vena Amoris 3. A Day Designer for 2016, this will help me stay on task with my countless meetings, tasks, trips in the upcoming future (2016 is stacking up to be a busy year). A portion of each of their sales goes to Restore International, which leads us tooooo… 4. An iTunes gift card, for my long list of amazing books I’ve been meaning to add to my library: Love Does, by Bob Goff, founder of Restore International; The Best Yes, by Lysa Terkeurst, More or Less, by Jeff Shinabarger, founder of Plywood People; and People Over Profit, by Dale Partridge, founder of Sevenly. 5. Malaria is a Buzzkill Tshirt, providing mosquito nets to remote villages in Africa, via 2015-12-25_0002 And last but not least… For my amazing mom! Let me tell you about my mom briefly, she is one of the most humble, simple, selfless ladies I know and she has been my BIGGEST supporter, encourager, helper and never expects anything in return, so this Christmas was special for many reasons, as you will soon find out. Last year, my parents went down to The Keys, few hours south of us, for their 30-something’th anniversary, and while they were there my mom took a picture with a parrot. This parrot was no cute attraction, it was a well trained con-furry and snatched my mom’s diamond from her wedding ring without her realizing it, until it was too late. With that said, she has lived lost without a wedding ring for a year now. For some, like myself, this would be no big thing, but for my traditional/sentimental/tender-hearted, mother it was a pretty big deal. FullSizeRender-11 >>>> Fast Forward to October>>>> Black Sheep Bride organized a super fun, collaborative stylized wedding shoot and had product contributions from around the globe sent in to be incorporated, one of which was this gorgeous MiaDonna wedding ring set (Photographed by: Jordan Weiland Photography). When my mom helped me unpack all of the goodies for the photo shoot, she was instantly awe-struct by this set, but didn’t say a word. I watched her slip it on her finger, to my amazement it fit (I must get my fat knuckles from my dad’s side) and her eyes filled with joy. I noted this interaction, went to work with our National Sponsor, MiaDonna, to fulfill her unspoken wish for Christmas. BSBStyledShoot-17 This morning while my children tore through wrapping paper like F10 tornados, my mother gracefully opened her presents with meek contentment and Nana-joy. There was only one little box left to unwrap and when she opened it, she found a note that said: ‘Nothing can compare to your first, but hopefully this will be your treasured last.’ She opened the ring box and looked up at me and my dad, completely confused. Once she saw the ring her jaw dropped and she quietly slipped it on her finger… PERFECT FIT! Although she despises getting her photo taken, this afternoon she let me snag this pic of her new eco-friendly bling and it makes my heart explode to see her feel like she was noticed, appreciated and loved in such a big way this year. For all the quick 3-4 day trips I take, the random speaking engagements, and international travels in third world countries that kept her nights sleepless and her days busy watching my kids, I wanted her to know how crazy grateful I am for her selfless service in my life and I think I succeeded. Thank you MiaDonna for helping make today possible for myself and my mom. FullSizeRender-12 Here is to a super amazing Holiday Season for you and yours! Thank you all for your amazing support!

Vendor Spotlight: Sasa Designs by the Deaf

Introducing one of our newest Black Sheep Bride vendors, Sasa Designs by the Deaf! 2015Classics-3xWrap-UrbanBling02-2 Sasa Designs trains and employs skilled Deaf artisans in Rongai, Kenya in the creation of beautiful jewelry for an international audience. 2015Classics_Bracelet_PeacefulPath03__65088.1426737485.1280.1280 2015Classics_Earrings_ArrowHoops_Extra__28145.1424208974.1280.1280 Sasa Designs by the Deaf launched in Fall 2011 with the goal of providing employment and fair wages to Deaf artisans in Kenya. With an estimated unemployment rate of 85% among the Deaf in Kenya, few will have an opportunity to discover their potential, work in dignity and earn a fair wage. Employers are simply not willing to deal with the communication issues that arise working with the Deaf. SasaStuds__48957.1436397078.1280.1280 MasaiJewelBangle-CLASSICS__99449.1436397019.1280.1280 Sasa Designs gives Deaf artisans the chance they’ve been waiting for – the chance to learn new skills, to discover what they are capable of and to feel productive. Sasa Designs by the Deaf provides training and employment for Deaf women who have faced a lifetime of discrimination. 11226189_889399387785352_8200891990884828357_n-2 sasa-group-logo-web ‘We believe that most significant part of a wedding is the community that rallies to support a couple in their new life together. As such, there are many opportunities to engage friends, family and the world, at large, in positive and uplifting ways. Our jewelry makes perfect bridal party gifts, especially our classic pearl pieces, like our Urban Bling and Peaceful Path wraps. For a more off beat bride, we have pops of turquoise or simple hoops that will be loved and treasured long after the special day.’ For more information about Sasa Designs by the Deaf check out their website!