Empowering Women

I’m surrounded by boxes!

Consumed. That’s the word. I have. so. much. stuff. T loves to remind of me of that too. It’s all good. I know I have a lot of stuff. Being all fair trade, local and eco-friendly has made me really live a simple life a la Simple Mom. I love reading their blog entries to just sometimes, breathe and pause.

I’m unpacking — we found a place to stay and it’s stressful with a baby and preschooler in tow.  We are still in the midst of unpacking, purging, organizing and also cleaning up the old place so I haven’t found the time to say hello to you all in the last couple of weeks.  Hello! I’m still here <<echo, echo>>.

I have been loving instagram and I found a lot of fair trade minded folks and the lovely Sally Medwin from @shopfairtrade (instagram name and the title of her blog) did an interview with another super sweet fair trade gal Kayli who is sharing about how to fair trade your summer through her blog. I think changing consumers habits of thinking of buying more ethically made products starts one product, one person at a time and I love her passion with her journey of shopping fair trade.

Enjoy this while I go back to unpacking and making sure my two wee ones are not getting themselves in too much trouble. I hope to be back on a more regular blog schedule in September.

Also, we still have a super summer sale going on strong until the end of August. Shop for Christmas early — these deals are unreal!

Empowering Women at the Burke Museum

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Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum website

The Seattle Public Library has this awesome summer reading program for kids so we have been reading a ton of books to Pax and Meira.  One of the prizes you get after reading 10 books is that you get a free pass to the Burke Museum at University of Washington. I took the kiddos there and Pax of course loved the dinosaur bones and all but I saw an “Empowering Women” exhibit and I was intrigued.

It showcased a number of women artisans cooperatives in developing countries and a sample of the beautiful products they made.  I loved seeing all the pictures of this happy women and how it improve the economy in their little community as well as their own family life.  It was kind of the encouragement I needed to know that what we’re trying to achieve here at Lil’Soak is a good thing. I get really frustrated at times at trying to share the story of the women behind the products we design or curate and seeing this was just the quiet encouragement I needed.  I was bummed because they had an artisan market sale last weekend and I believe they flew some of the artisans to the show! So cool.

If you are in the Seattle area, you have to see this exhibit.  ON until October.  It’s free if you are participating in the summer reading program! The UW campus is beautiful this time of year.

They also have a cool empowering women pinterest board if you want to see what they have pinned related to the exhibit.  Great idea. We are also on pinterest as well and we often post a lot of fair trade or usa made goodies, shops and so forth.  I’m trying to update and pin whenever I can!  Follow us if you find us PINTERESTING! I couldn’t resist.

Ergo Baby: Every Mother Counts

 Photo courtesy of Ergobaby website

I love my Ergobaby.  Out of all the baby related things I have — this is probably my most cherished, useful and favourite.  I have tried other baby carriers but none of it is as comfortable as this one.  All my babies love to sleep in it. I was doing a little research into it and I didn’t realize that there are copies made of ergobabies and they look really similar.  I mean, I have heard of fake Louis Vuitton but who would have thought that would carry into baby carriers of all things?

Ergobaby is made in China — but you need to make sure they are authorized Ergobaby carrier sellers or else get it from the website as I think they are only a select factories they work with to design their carriers.  It isn’t fair trade certified but they have limited editions of special patterns in their  “Every Mother Counts” series.  The former supermodel Christy Turlington Brown started this non-profit which is advocates maternal health benefits worldwide. It retails for about $165.

I think all these partnerships with non-profit groups and companies like Tom’s shoes are great at bringing to light poverty and slavery around the world. While fair trade is probably the most favourable route as instead of aiding, you are empowering.  It’s like the bible says about making fishers of men instead of just giving them the fish. Hopefully these kinds of companies and businesses will get other businesses to do the same or even shed some light to the consumer about where their goods come from.

There are baby slings like something like a Moby  wrap  where it’s basically a one long scarf and you can probably buy fair trade certified cotton and make a sling.  Most of the more padded baby carriers like the Ergo are made in China.

 

Friday Finds: What would I buy for my dad?

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starts at $40 for an 8 x 8.

Have you all heard of Woodsnap?  They put prints and illustrations on wood. I can attest that it’s the most awesome personal gift you can give to your dad.  It’s a good way to involve your kiddos too.

Our 3 year old loves to snap photos from our phones and also my DSLR.  He has taken some pretty good snaps, and I think it would be great to take a few of those and get an 8 x 8 print done on wood to put a collection together.  Your kids would be so proud to have their art up and it’s something personal for the whole family.

I got one done for T for his birthday which happens to hit right on Father’s Day.

We don’t have any family photos and so I asked my good friend Lil to illustrate our family and it turned out so good!  I already gave it to him early because I was just too excited to wait until his birthday.

$59

I would buy this for my dad.  Mend has a line of bags and accessories made by women in Northern Uganda.  100% of the profits goes towards Invisible Children‘s mission.  Sweet.  Check out their goodies because it’s really well made and stylish.

I hope we gave you some good ideas for your dads on his special day.  Enjoy your weekend!

#FTsummer