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Cactus Inspired Sustainable Stylized Shoot: Northern California

When a group of lifelong friends gather in a cactus grove and let their creativity run wild, magic happens. At least that is the case for today’s sustainably stylized inspiration shoot! MF-164 As a little girl, Elise of Elise Aileen Photography, fell head first into a cactus, resulting in a trip to the hospital and, many years later, the idea behind the creation of this cactus crown shoot came to life. When Elise asked our friend, Mack Floral Design, to collaborate, she was enthusiastic but unsure of how to pull something like that off. Cactus, it turns out, isn’t her go-to for crown making materials. Still, she was inspired by the varying shades of green, the richness in texture and the simple fact that she had never seen one before. After scouting for months to find the perfect Northern California wine country location, she discovered a giant cactus grove on the side of the road, coupled with an abandoned house. It was perfect. MF-119 The shoot features blooms in caramel, indigo, burgundy and blush pink tones, and is accessorized with cherished décor, sustainably sourced from their travels, thrift stores and even their families’ heirloom china cabinets! The heart of the shoot rests in the subtle personal details and in the stories of the women who brought it to life. The table is anchored with a treasured keepsake – a Fulani blanket picked up from a local craftsman in Nigeria where Mack Floral volunteered for the Rafiki Foundation (an organization that she continue to support from afar which serves orphans and widows in ten different countries in Africa). The vintage Nicaraguan cigar box pays homage to the place Elise met and married her husband, and where she continually returns to volunteer for eye care clinics. One of the models serves as an ambassador for Save the Storks, an organization that partners with local pregnancy centers to increase training, tools and resources for expecting mothers. The passion fruit cake was specially crafted by Hollie Fortkamp of Beloved Bakery and features a glass-globed terrarium with a protea perched inside. Afterward the cake was enjoyed by the San Francisco Perspectives Class, an organization that educates and empowers people to serve the global community. The flowers were repurposed (de-prickled!) and spread color and cheer at a local hospice center. MF-17 For all the creative couples looking for inspiration for their big day, we charge you: Be bold! There is beauty in abandoned places, in prickly materials, in creating your vision with the people that matter most – the ones you’ve grown up with, who understand you. Select vendors who share your values, who source sustainable products and design with purpose. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different materials and to incorporate unconventional things. At the end of the day, the flowers were beautiful, the cake delicious, and the pictures perfect, but the real joy was in the camaraderie we felt and the opportunity to share our labors of love long after the shoot was over. MF-54 MF-89  MF-112  MF-120 MF-123 MF-130 MF-49MF-131 MF-144 MF-149 MF-151 MF-162  MF-191 MF-193 MF-195 MF-199 Vendor List: Photography: Elise Aileen Photography | Floral Design: Mack Floral Design | Cake: Beloved Bakery | Hair: Ali Pedersen | MUA: Cristina Lopez | Model: Claire Dwyer | Model: Trista Ann Marie Eazell

2016 Gifts That Give Series: rePURPOSE Accessories

Editor Note: Black Sheep Bride is excited to introduce the 2016 Holiday – Gifts That Give Series devoted to sustainable, charitable, eco friendly and/or artisan made products to gift your friends and family this holiday season! From now throughout next month we will be sharing various product sponsored featured devoted to products that value supporting others and/or the environment. 1-dsc_6931-watermark rePURPOSE Accessories are more than a fashion brand, and much more than a typical social enterprise. They give back in every way possible. Their accessories (mostly headbands) are only made from used or ethical materials, to avoid putting money back into companies that use slave labor. By using recycled materials (such as fabrics, t-shirts, dresses, curtains, etc), they’re also keeping textile waste out of landfills. rePURPOSE Accessories are more than a fashion brand, and much more than a typical social enterprise. They give back in every way possible. Their accessories (mostly headbands) are only made from used or ethical materials, to avoid putting money back into companies that use slave labor. By using recycled materials (such as fabrics, t-shirts, dresses, curtains, etc), they’re also keeping textile waste out of landfills. All rePURPOSE Accessories are made by refugee women who have resettled in NY. Without the ability to speak fluent English, it is difficult for these women to find work. rePURPOSE Accessories has created a program that helps cross the language barrier, create unlikely friendships, and provide an opportunity to work from home.   2-dsc_1366 Once the products are sold, 100% of the profits are donated to The Exodus Road and Make Way Partners, two amazing organizations who prevent and fight against human trafficking. Raising awareness is another key purpose for the company. Speaking at colleges, churches and events is as much a part of the business as their products are. They share stories of trafficking victims, statistics on slavery and anecdotes of hope. They even share other ethical brands, because creating a world with conscience consumers is more important to them than profit. You can check out their complete ethical shopping guide on their website. The newest addition to rePURPOSE Accessories is the art therapy program for students with disabilities. At shows and events, the typical marketing materials are replaced by beautiful and colorful headband cards that were hand painted by these students. If you’re ready to support rePURPOSE Accessories, all you have to do is shop! If you’re searching for the perfect Christmas gift, there are so many options to choose from. You can find headbands for fitness, fashion or function. Launching this week are their brand new sweater ear warmers, which are made out of recycled sweaters and t-shirts. They are so cozy and comfortable you will never take them off.  3-dsc_6822 The holiday sparkle collection will return this week as well, with some old favorites and some new designs!  4-dsc_7003 There are still many products available from the fall collection, which consist of vintage florals, leather headbands and earrings, and fabrics from artisans in Guatemala and India.   5-dsc_4599 Their best sellers are the Yoga Tie-Wraps and Yoga Boho Wraps, which are made from soft recycled t-shirts. These wraps are so versatile they’ve discovered over twelve ways to wear them!  6-yoga-wraps If headbands aren’t your thing, check out their apparel collection. All shirts and sweaters are made from a company in the US that is sweatshop free and eco friendly. The apparel collection represents their mission to end slavery, love others and change the world.  7-dsc_6263 Don’t miss out on their huge Black Friday sale, starting at 12am on Friday. Check out rePURPOSE Accessories and grab the perfect goodies, just in time for the holidays!  Support refugees, fight to end human trafficking and raise awareness – just by purchasing a headband!  

2016 Gifts That Give Series: Color By Amber

Editor Note: Black Sheep Bride is excited to introduce the 2016 Holiday – Gifts That Give Series devoted to sustainable, charitable, eco friendly and/or artisan made products to gift your friends and family this holiday season! From now throughout next month we will be sharing various product sponsored featured devoted to products that value supporting others and/or the environment. 14876579_1247014198688968_3265437655884878922_o Color by Amber is an eco-friendly jewelry line made in the United States. Their jewelry is constructed with over 40% recycled content, so you’ll feel 100% good about wearing it. It’s such a fun, easy way to help nurture the planet and look great at the same time. 413054_415500048507058_633937095_o As well as being constructed from recycled content, each piece of Color by Amber is made in an award-winning, eco-friendly facility. Nothing ends up at the landfill. Zero. Nada. Any unused materials,  are repurposed for other environmentally friendly purposed, keeping our planet as beautiful as their jewelry. 1119806_567925709931157_16990490_o The Color by Amber facility is also completely carbon neutral. Conservation, increased efficiency, renewable energy, and verifiable offsets have allowed them to drastically reduce their personal contribution to global warming. sa608 They also only use non-toxic materials, without BPA or other harmful chemicals. Ultimately creating  products with concern for end-of-use: reusability, recyclability and safety. Color by Amber has a fantastic collection called Full Circle. Full Circle textiles are made around the world by female artisans. They are trained in how to produce the textile, paid a fair trade wage and 10% of the net profits from Full Circle pieces go back to the artisans’ villages. While they work with artisans around the world, all of their products are made here in the USA. Print cb609 For more information about Color by Amber and where to grab your own eco friendly check out their shop and follow them on Instagram!  

Spotlight – Sseko Designs Travel Collection

Black Sheep Bride Vendor, and Shark Tank Super Stars, Sseko Designs, just launched their amazing Travel Collection and we thought they were perfect for our newly married honeymooning audience! Photography Credit: Hazel & Pine sophia-duffle-1 sophia-safari-1 This past summer Sseko had the opportunity to host Sophia Bush, actress and activist, at their workshop in Uganda. A long-time advocate of both educational rights for girls and conscious consumerism, they knew from the get-go that Sophia was a Sseko-spirit. With a style that is eclectic and impossibly chic, she embodies everything they envisioned when designing this newest collection: wanderlust, class, fearlessness…and as always, a little bit of Sseko sass! sophia-bowler-2 The Sseko Travel Collection is composed of three large bags, a crossbody clutch, a computer case and an iPad case.  They used natural-toned leathers that evokes a sense of quality and timelessness. Inspired by vintage designs, their hope is that when you carry these bags, it’s almost impossible not to imagine yourself standing next to Humphrey Bogart in the airplane hanger in Casablanca. sophia-bangles-1 sophia-bowler-1 sophia-buckle-1 Every single piece in this collection is made from the highest quality leather on the continent and takes their expert artisans several days to craft by hand. Each piece of leather is hand-picked for quality and beauty, every stitch has been labored over and every detail was crafted with love and attention. Each piece reflects the slight differences of the natural materials they’re created from and are truly one of a kind. And they’ll only become more beautiful with age and the stories that emerge from a life well lived. sophia-duffle-1 sophia-safari-1 To learn more about the Sseko brand, Sophia Bush’s trip to Uganda, their products and mission please give their site & online store a visit by clicking here. sophia-workshopko