Gifts of Love

Want to give a gift that will make someone really smile? A gift that will make the world a better place? A passionate gift from passionate artisans? A gift that makes a difference? We all do. Check out some of these companies. You won’t be disappointed.

I’m throwing love to some sites that have followed me somewhere within the social media sphere. Why, you ask? Because I’m nice. Seriously, there is no other motive here. And if there is no other time of the year that you should be nice, this month might be it (and last – but I took a hiatus because I wanted to take one). I try to be nice every day, but some days, it takes more effort. I bought someone who was a few bucks short their groceries today because I was feeling so charming. True story.

I am attracted to all of these companies for a variety of reasons. Most, not all, are small companies or individuals trying to make a go at something they love. Some of the larger companies are working with artisans in other countries trying to better the lives of the people who craft the gorgeous wares being sold. I regularly buy products from some of these companies because it’s damned good product. I’ve never purchased some of the goods from other companies on this list – but I’d love to see one with a tag with my name under my tree. These companies are either doing good things to better the world, making great product, or have wonderful customer service. Simply put, they’re passionate about what they do.

I’d like to think I have a keen eye for good, tasty, and beautiful things – I say this in all seriousness – I curate nice clothes, art, and food in my life. You should, too. Take a moment and check out these companies; you will  be happy you did. So will the receiver of the gift you give. Now get out there and support consumerism 🙂

Art:

isla_500x500-21102628_l9t5qdckNatural Beauty by E: She makes gorgeous photos of everyday nature and life. You get archival quality paper, and the print comes unframed, but this allows the giver to customize to the receiver’s taste. She has a keen eye for natural beauty, and no matter how hard I try, I often fail to capture the light, the moment, and the glory of nature the way this woman can. I’ll stick to action shots, and get my natural photos from her!

Foodie Goodies:

tahana_circle_transparent_50Tahana Caramels: My eyes roll in the back of head and my knees become weak at the thought of this company now. Read our review of their gorgeous salted caramels. These confections are to die for good. Want to show someone you really love them? Stuff a few bags of these caramels in their stocking.

logo-tagline-new-beigeButcher Block Co: For a cook, a good butcher block/carving board is priceless. Why? The right one can help lengthen the life of your knives, forget making your kitchen more functional and beautiful. Why do I like this company? They loved it so much, they bought it… if you’re that passionate, I get you. This is from their About Us page: “Unlike our monster competitors, Butcher Block Co. doesn’t sell everything under the sun… Our focus is kitchen furniture and accessories, and our sweet spot is anything and everything made of butcher block. Given our laser focus, we can be true experts in all things butcher block. We can help you decide among product types, brands, species of wood, grain styles and more…” Looking to get quality? They say they’re experts in customer service. Put them to the test while you’re getting a superior butcher block.

Beauty & Fashion Goodies:

key-west-aloeKey West Aloe: You know, I have no idea how big or small this company is. If you’ve ever been to Key West, then you know it’s that kinda place where you could feel like everyone knows your name. 20 years ago, I visited and went to their flagship store, which has now moved after hurricane damage, age, etc. The people in this store are insanely friendly and helpful, and know their product hands down. I use their Eye Matrix, and Skin Matrix as my day cream and Solution night cream. LOVE this stuff. I’m mid-40s, and am regularly mistaken for early-30s. Sure, some is good genes, but the rest is amazing product. And here’s an added bonus – I bought the White Ginger fragrance 20 years ago, and found it in a move recently. It smelled the same as the new bottle I bought this year. Let me simplify this for you – Quality matters and lasts.

logoFree and Crowned Headbands: Free and Crowned exists with the promise that 25% of the proceeds from every headband sold will go to incredible organizations combating the human trafficking epidemic. These proceeds now work so that not only can victims can truly see their value, but that their chains might be broken and they can be set FREE. Help prevent human trafficking, get a beautiful headband, and make the world a better place all in one fell swoop.

pdd7nlfSweater Weather Co.: It’s gets damn cold up here at times in the winter – like negative 30 degrees kinda cold (I do not lie about this shit). Any sweater works; hell, multiple layers of sweaters become fashionable. And you’ve likely wrapped yourself with hats and scarfs. This is a company that seems to understand our winters. And for this alone, we love them ’cause they have all these things at a reasonable price. Even betta. I feel like I have to pull for cold weather companies because it seems like all fashion models exists in warm climates… maybe I’m delusional from the cold.

logo Touch of Africa: Clothing that is bright, fun, and unique. “Touch of Africa is a British, London based brand showcasing bold, trendy African fashion. The brand idea was founded at the University of Cambridge in 2011 after winning the ‘First Step Forward Award’ through Cambridge University Entrepreneurs. The brand is a fusion of cultures through fashion, where we borrow bits of cultures & creatively transform them into bold stunning fashion pieces.” They “ethically source every stage of their garments- the designs, raw material, and the labour. These clothes are the fair trade vessel that is allowing Botswana, South African & Zambian communities to express their creativity and rise out of poverty on their own terms.” I’m all about how the company started, why the company continues to exist, and their fun, funky, affordable clothes. These clothes make me smile. They add beauty to the world in so many ways.

nomads Nomads Fair Trade Clothing: “A shared love of India and its culture” prompted the owners to create a clothing company that believes “strongly in fair trade values and following ethical fashion guidelines,” and has “a niche for bohemian fashion with an ethnic feel.” Their clothing is colorful, looks divinely comfortable, and there’s even an organic line. Besides, they have some kick ass jewelry to finish off any look. Rock on Nomads.

logo Kate Spade on Purpose: If you like fashion, then you’ve likely heard of Ms. Kate, unless you’ve been living under a rock. Yeah, yeah, she’s a huge company, but she’s come out recently with the On Purpose line helping women in Rwanda better their lives, and in turn their communities. These pieces are hand crafted, often divinely hand-beaded, and deliciously gorgeous. I covet every single one that comes out, and as a self-professed Kate Spade whore (yeah, I’ve been called that, too), I have to resist purchasing them all. After all, I live in semi-rural ‘Merica. How many handbags does one woman need? Rhetorical in nature, this question is. Either way, if you’re looking for a special piece that is gorgeous and makes the world a better place, well, Hellooooo, Kate. 

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