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Cause Spotlight- Light Gives Heat

When they decided to adopt a baby girl from Africa they had no idea how their lives would be turned upside down…. Light Gives Heat is a non-profit seeking to empower and encourage the masses through film and commerce. 10455049_907439925949723_9074481779242482322_n
1. What was the Match that lit this ‘Light Gives Heat Movement’ ?
LightGivesHeat started because my wife and I were adopting our daughter from Uganda. After a year and a half we decided to move there, quit our jobs, and start this organization, but like most things, what started out as one thing became quite another. We quickly realized that our story began to inspire a lot of other people. The more vulnerable we were about our journey the more that invited other people into it. Over the next few years we worked on a full-length movie about our story. We were invited to speak on the Oprah show, and a whole bunch of other crazy things happened. We began to see the power that media and story telling had on the world.  
2. What brought LGH’s passion for film colliding with fashion/socially-conscious consumer goods?
Well first of all, when starting a nonprofit in America, we realized that Americans were better at buying things than they were at donating. ha! We also saw the power that film and TV had on us and other people in our culture. So basically we took what we knew, film, and begin pouring ourselves into both: creating products that created jobs in Africa, while coupling those products with good storytelling and amazing filmmakers.  
3. How can LGH be incorporated into wedding planning?
Because we carry mainly jewelry/accessory products that create jobs around the world- They naturally fit in with the other beautiful items that would join your wedding day details. Couples will also use LightGivesHeat as their designated charity choice for gift alternatives, because they believe in the message. Really you just have an audience of friends and family that happen to really care about you and the person you’re marrying… And so getting to share about things that you are meaningful to you goes a long way, and is this perfect collision.  
4. What projects are you guys working on right now?
Our film, Moving On is in distribution around the world and soon to get a theater release, a Netflix Release, and TV networks. So our next step is creating something we’re calling LGH.tv. It was started because LightGivesHeat was working on a TV show pilot and we kept hearing from networks that they were very interested if… “We would make it more sexy, more dramatic, or just crazier.” We didn’t think good entertainment needed that, and so we’re launching our own network.   ‘Moving On’ Official Trailer from Light Gives Heat on Vimeo.  
5. How has the decision to help others impacted your business in a positive way?
Our organization is only as strong as our story. Because people hear about our story, and the story of people we are working with around the world… they tell their friends and family about us. Without that connection to the good we were doing in the world, there is no way LightGivesHeat could’ve grown over the last seven years like it has.   Plus it’s been the thing that is making us into the people we want to be anyway.   Go Check Light Gives Heat and support their awesome efforts by snagging their awesome Global Finds.

Wedding Notecards that Care- Weddings that Give Back.

Snail Mail is where it’s at party people… When you need to say a quick Hello, Thank You, or maybe a heartfelt sonnet to your special someone …. Choose one of these notecards to jot down your well wishes…. While you are sending notes of love, they are sending hope to the hopeless. Swahili Wholesale– Upcycled Heart ‘Love’ Cards- Used discarded paper and cardboard waste to make these upcycled pieces of art. I Want Cookies– Hearts and Stripes, $17.50, Using their business to help bring awareness and support to Autism. Raven & Lily – Uzma Card Set, $14. Raven & Lily are Empowering marginalized Women in Northern India.  Village Artisans – Assorted Paper, $9.95. Village Artisans lovingly handcrafts all their goods in the homes of women artisans in North India.  Indego Africa– Mini Textile Cards, $20- Supporting women in Rwanda through economic empowerment and education. Charolette Layne- Lightning Bold, $21.50- CL gives 25% of their sales to Angel’s Among Us Pet rescue.   NOTECARDS

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- Rosie Moore

I met Rosie for the first time in Orlando, 2 years ago. I also own a wedding photography business and I volunteered to photograph the rehearsal dinner of one amazing couple (Ivonne and Andrew- shown below- Wedding Day Photographed by Andy Martin) and Rosie was the mastermind behind it all. She organized the vendors, the details… all of it, because it was the right thing to do for such a great couple. The wonderful bride had been battling cancer for quite some time and when it was time to say ‘I Do’ they needed a little helping hand!.. Thats when Rosie, with 27 Miracles stepped in. Black Sheep Bride chatted with Rosie a bit about how she’s  always Up to Good! 2014-07-21_0002 *Photo credit: Andy Martin Photography* Tell us about your wedding business? 27 Miracles, we coordinate weddings from ceremony only to the full concierge service . What drew you into the wedding industry? I planned my parents 20 th wedding vow renewal when I was a teenager in school and it’s been a part of my life ever since.  I kept planning weddings and then a friend said to me, ‘You should coordinate professionally.’  I became certified as a wedding planner and quickly learned the business. I joined the Association of Bridal Consultants and after only 4 years was awarded the title, Master Bridal Consultant.  There are only 75 in the US and 5 in Central Florida. Rosie is the only Bilingual Master Bridal Consultant in Central Florida.  What brought you to turning your wedding business into an opportunity to give back? I was approached by a bride, summer of 2011, wanting me to plan her wedding, but they had very little to work with, and it was impossible to make it happen.  A few months later a caterer approached me and wanted to gift a couple with a wedding in the month of December. He had only one date available. The couple immediately came to mind and I thought ‘surely this can help them so they can pay the other vendors.’  But they had spent the money on unexpected medical bills.  A few days later I woke up  with a strong impression that I needed to donate my services and organize a handful of other vendors to join me in helping! It was a crazy thought,  but I followed through and within 10 minutes of an email to each, the phone calls came in confirming their excitement to help! What are you working on right now? Right now I am organizing several fundraising and awareness events for The Gift of Life.  On September 13, 2014 an exciting fundraiser will take place at the Rosen Centre Hotel, in Orlando, FL.   After having a premature baby myself (my son was born at 27 weeks, and only 1lb 10ozs), the cause was very close to my heart and we are raising funds for equipment to help support Florida Hospital for Children, The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Proceeds will also go towards the making of the movie, A Story of Faith, to be filmed in part in the hospital which will provide additional resources for families whose children are patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (based on the book written about my experiences as a mother to a premature baby.) The event is called The Gift of Life and will involve a sit down dinner, entertainment, and both a silent and live auction component. For more information visit the website at www.astoryoffaith.com How has Giving made you personally and professionally more successful!/happy? Giving back to the community is a personal ministry, however I do get public recognition, but at the end of the day, my passion is to help others as best I can when I can, regardless of the press… It’s the right thing to do.  

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