14
Sep 16

What Emotions Does Autumn Bring?

transition into fallEach new season moves us through a period of change and transformation and evokes different emotions within each of us. Some of us love Autumn and all the cozy times that the cooler weather brings so our Fall Style To Go and Color Duets proclaim the feelings that this season stirs in us: Autumn in New England, Pumpkin Patch, Cashmere Scarf, Golden Hour, Misty Morning View, etc. In the same way, our Fall Unity Bracelets are named for the positive encouragement that some of us need to deal with the shift that signifies the fun of Summer has ended:  Strength, Focus, Thrive, Nurture, etc. And of course, our Super Power bracelets are now in Fall’s beautiful colors, too.

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Whether your emotions about Autumn are warm and fuzzy or lean more to the melancholy, we have some ideas to help you with your transition to the new season:

  1. Plan Something Fun: Every season has unique activities and festive elements to enjoy. So continuing that celebratory mind set helps us focus on appreciating everything the new season offers.
  2. Develop New Goals: “Back to School Time” still resonates with most of us as a clean-slate – full of possibilities. Now is a great time to pursue personal improvement projects. Make sure you add commitments slowly so you don’t get overwhelmed. zgcefall
  3. Organize:  Now is a good time to purge your summer clothing: What do you want to keep for another season and what do you want to donate? Bring out your cooler-weather clothes and make sure they are ready to wear before you need them. 
  4. Think Healthy: The Fall Harvest is here so explore new recipes to include fresh seasonal veggies and fruits. Make sure you continue to get exercise. An active body is an important component to physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
  5. ut152aFind New Activities for Shorter Days: Hobbies or activities that keep us mentally stimulated and bring us joy are great when outdoor activities aren’t as accessible. Explore creative projects or perhaps an online course for fun. We just discovered Coursera a resource for free or inexpensive online courses offered by top universities and organizations worldwide.

 


06
Sep 16

Fair Trade Fairy (Purchasing Activism)

Everyday when I wake up and meet with my Maasai sisters, they all have the same one question – “have you told the people back home about the bracelets so we can get more orders?”28796496822_6114bcf906_k Beadwork here is like hitting the gold mine, but it isn’t possible without orders coming in.  The women, if not beading, usually work extracting the centers of the Marula seeds for oil or work in the shamba (garden/farm), but I haven’t seen the same sense of community and joy than when these women are beading together. The Maasai are known for wearing beautifully ornate beads all over their bodies, and they grew up beading, so for them it’s just second nature.  Like when you and your friends get together and make friendship bracelets or go to camp and make lanyards.  Sitting amongst them when they get an order is wonderful.  On the haziest of days, they can lighten the sky by singing and gossiping and being together, doing what they love.  Many women have told me that they didn’t really have much of a social life before work because they would stay home all day sitting around waiting to milk their cows.  These women so enjoy being able to come together and work with their friends while making money to sustain their new and improved lifestyles. Women are women all over the world, and we need to help our sisters out.  What better way than to do a little shopping?  I order my beads to give as gifts, to flaunt on my wrists, ankles and neck, and even to decorate my room.

So many people want to change the world, and this is one way we can start a ripple effect of change.  Fair Trade has saved these women, and with a simple order, you can be a part of all this amazingness!

**Fair Trade Fairy

We thank you for following along with us on Piper’s (aka Fair Trade Fairy) experience in East Africa. It’s been so enjoyable reading her fresh perspective as she learned more about the reality of Fair Trade and got to personally know some of the women whose lives have improved well beyond what most of us can even imagine! Although you may not be able to meet these women and their families in person, you have the chance to get to know them a little as we continue with our ongoing updates on our Your Purchase Power page! If you haven’t met Naesupat yet, make sure you click here. Stop by often as we will be changing information frequently! 

 

 


29
Aug 16

Fair Trade Fairy (Ripple Effect)

28286328373_49cae5386b_kNow that I have been here for some time, getting to know the ladies and understanding not only their work lives, but also their personal lives, by going to visit their homes and having casual conversation over tea and biscuits, I have truly experienced how much development has come from Fair Trade.  Since I never saw what life was like before, I obviously can’t paint a picture for you reader, but what I can say is that I’ve felt the emotion behind the stories these women so graciously were willing to share with me.  I’ve felt their defeat but was lifted once more by their tales of independence and success.  I’ve bit back tears when they are speaking of life before they had the opportunity of work.  I’ve beamed with them as they proudly display their success and their hope for the future.

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The success here isn’t like the success back home.  When we think of success, we think of having a good office job with a nice house, nice car, latest fashion, and happy family.  When the women here think of success, they think of having their kids, especially their girls, finishing school.  They think of being able to purchase the kind of food they like and the clothes they think are pretty.  They think of eating a balanced meal and a healthy lifestyle.  They think of having confidence in knowing they have control over their lives.  These women know they are successful when more people start working because they are jealous of the working women’s lives improving.  Their meaning of success is so much more than money – it’s a way of life that wouldn’t be possible if not for the work that developed in their community.

**Fair Trade Fairy**

New strand-naming contest on Facebook and Instagram. Winner will be chosen by random so check our feed to find out what you need to do!  Don’t forget to check out Fair Trade Fairy’s designs – the Pied Piper Collection and the rest of The Leakey Collection’s jewelry – and be involved in the success for these women! Your purchase matters.


22
Aug 16

Fair Trade Fairy (Interviews/videos)

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It’s one thing hearing about something incredible, but seeing it, that’s when your view changes completely.  After interviewing a few women around the workshop here and at the shamba (where they grow fruits and produce), I’ve learned that Fair Trade has literally saved their lives.  I didn’t know how to approach the interviews, unsure exactly what to ask so I decided to ask some open ended questions that the women would be able to build off of to help me understand what I should be asking and just to help me understand the change that has gone on here.  I would ask the typical “How long have you worked here” and “what exactly do you do” first, followed by asking how their life has changed from before they had work to now, how their views of themselves have altered and where they saw themselves in five years.  Their responses both broke my heart yet filled it with hope.

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All the women here (besides a few young ones) had zero independence before being able to work.  Not in the way they dressed, not in what they could eat, not even how to take care of their children. Everything was somewhat planned for them.  The control laid in the hands of their husbands, which in some cases was almost lethal.  Not because the husbands wanted to harm to their women, but mostly because they didn’t understand the proper needs of these women and what they valued and wanted.  I had many women tell me that before they were able to have jobs, they were hopeless and lacked self confidence, feeling defeated by the world they lived in. But once they had this small control on their lives, it avalanched into control of their whole entire beings.  It really struck me how much Fair Trade has helped them when one woman said with her head held high, “I was able to go from nothing to something.”

**Fair Trade Fairy**

See Your Purchase Power in Action! As part of our continuing feature where you get to know some of our entrepreneurial partners, read part of an interview that Fair Trade Fairy conducted with Kimere Nkuruna here.  And watch the video introducing Kimere and Naesupat here. Come back often to find out exactly what they had to say in their videos. Make sure you also check out Fair Trade Fairy’s designs – the Pied Piper Collection. There’s a new strand this week!


15
Aug 16

Fair Trade Fairy (What it is/ how it works)

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I didn’t know what to expect when I stepped into the little airplane that would took me to where Katy and Philip Leakey live and work. I was actually advised not to have expectations, which helped me a lot once I arrived. It allowed my brain to be a sponge and soak up everything around me. Coming from Malibu California, a hub of capitalism, and venturing out to the bush of Africa to study Fair Trade, the only thing I did know was that it would be an adventure. 

I spent my first few days just observing and meeting the people, getting a feel for the community. AnneAnne (a brilliant woman who is my bridge into the community) and  Katy (my guide for basically everything else who has taught me many amazing things last week, yesterday, today, and probably everyday following) have both described Fair Trade in their own words and how it has changed the community here. What I have gathered, so far, is that it is a system where people (both the business and the entrepreneurs) work together to figure out a just or *fair* system in which to work and earn money, basically to “create their own realities.” The work they put in is reciprocated through what they gain, and it’s not just money – it’s much more than that.  The people working are able to have healthcare, educate their kids and provide for their families. I’m excited to interview people and see what they have to say so I can better understand this *magical* system!

**Fair Trade Fairy**

Check out the Pied Piper Collection here!


10
Aug 16

Through the Eyes of a Self-Proclaimed Fair Trade Fairy

Piper DesigningWe’re excited to introduce Piper Hays!  Everyone on The Leakey Collection Team who has met Piper, both in East Africa and Southern California, has been delighted by her passion and enthusiasm!  A deep mutual respect and friendship with the Maasai artisans developed during her 5 week visit with the Leakeys in the Rift Valley to learn about Fair Trade. Over the next month or so, we will be sharing Piper’s insights through her guest blog, as well as her perspective through photos and interview videos with the people whose lives are positively impacted by our Fair Trade partnership with them.  Piper even designed a special Zulugrass collection that we are featuring on our website! Check out the Pied Piper Collection here!  Prepare to be just as delighted as we are!

In her second year at the University of San Francisco, Piper is studying communications, anthropology, and German.  Along with her interest in travel and learning about different cultures, Piper is an accomplished musician! She sings and plays 4 instruments: guitar, mandolin, piano, and even the ukulele which she took to Kenya and used to bond musically with her new friends. She has a love for all-things-glitter and is never without her Fairy Glitter bottle, blessing those she meets with a little application because “everybody needs to shine.” She now proclaims herself the Fair Trade Fairy!  Make sure you check back each week to read her blogs and for a surprise contest!


18
Jul 16

The Leakeys Have Branched Out

birds eye view of farmWe’ve shared some information about Katy and Philip’s sustainable lifestyle before. They’ve been growing their own vegetables and fruits, along with tilapia farming and honey harvesting, etc. for quite a while. But over the past few years, they’ve branched out into big-time farming with their Maasai partners, along with processing food items!  workers

Last summer Katy shared one of her special recipes – her Chia Seed Salad Dressing - that uses items from their harvest. Make sure you check out the link, then scroll down for a new recipe using healthy, farm fresh ingredients!

pawpawsOn the Olkerii Farm, they have fruit trees: figs, pineapples, papaya, and pomegranates. Along other fruits and chia, the farm grows vegetables such as tomatoes, chard, shallots, and more!  Not only do they have a thriving business selling the crops but also produce such food items as jams and chutneys!  What a remarkable work opportunity in East Africa!  In addition, the importance of a good healthy diet is taught through a program partially supported by the sales of Beads for Healthy Gardens. bfhgThis is one of many things YOU support with your purchases, and through 7/21/16 you can Buy One and Get a Second One Half Off for a friend! 

Try this SUMMER QUINOA AND FRESH VEGGIE SALAD WITH HONEY-SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE and let us know how it turns out!

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE HONEY-SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE:

  • ½ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ c. rice vinegar
  • 2 T. honey
  • ½ c. minced shallots
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 c. olive oil

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 1 c. uncooked red quinoa
  • 2 c. chopped English cucumber
  • 2 c. halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • raw kernels cut from 2 large ears of sweet corn
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • ¼ c. fresh chopped parsley
  • ¼ c. fresh chopped mint
  • Fresh Spinach and/or Spring Mix

DIRECTIONS:

FOR THE HONEY-SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE:

Combine lemon juice, rice vinegar, honey, shallots, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Let sit while preparing the rest of the salad. When ready to serve the salad, add the olive oil to the vinaigrette mixture, mix and add to salad.

FOR THE SALAD:

Prepare quinoa according to package directions and allow to cool completely.

In a large bowl, fold together cooked and cooled quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, sweet corn, green onions. Drizzle about ¾ cup of the honey-shallot vinaigrette over the salad mixture and fold to combine. Then fold in the parsley and mint.

cropped salad

Place a layer of the Spring Mix and/or Baby Spinach Blend on a platter. Spoon salad mixture over the greens and use additional black pepper and mint if desired.

 


05
Jul 16

What’s in Your Beach Bag?

What's In Your

New Marula from Katy
DSC_0311We know you are protecting yourself with hats and sunscreen, but sometimes you may still overdo that sun exposure! Did you know that Marula Oil has been used for hundreds of years by women in Africa to heal minor burns, to soothe redness, swelling and irritation, as well as a highly valued moisturizer for radiant skin? Not only does it fight free-radicals that cause premature skin aging with its extremely high concentration of antioxidants and fatty acids, Omega 6 and 9 but is great for sunburn!

model by poolOf course, durable, water-proof, lightweight Zulugrass is THE jewelry for water activities, whether it’s surfing, water-skiing, or relaxing by the pool with a cool drink in your hand. Our Duets or Style To Go have several color options to provide a little sizzle for your summer wardrobe.


22
Jun 16

How to Travel Light and Pack Smart

Summer usually means vacations and trips, and the dilemma of what to pack! One of our team members traveled to Spain for 2 weeks in April, and she has compiled a list of her favorite tips for packing smart and enjoying your trip:

How to travel light-1

The most important thing: TRAVEL LIGHT.  According to travel expert, Rick Steves, there are 2 kinds of travelers: those who pack light and those who wish they had!  Travel light = ONE CARRY-ON BAG. Whaaaat you ask? Here are some reasons why:

  1. You’ll walk with your luggage more than you think you will or you will find your Airbnb accomodations are on the 5th floor…with no elevator. Trust me on this.
  2. No spending money for checked luggage that could be used to buy that beautiful rendering by a local artist of the charming village you visited.
  3. You’re more flexible when plans change, either for unforeseen travel complications or spontaneous exploration of a site or town that you had no idea was so fascinating or beautiful or fun.
  4. You’re not burdened down when you are dashing madly and breathlessly to catch the last train of the day.
  5. Less chance of it getting lost or stolen or of you being targeted by pickpockets because you are struggling with an oversized bag whose wheels won’t cooperate over sidewalks or cobble-stone streets.

Does all that sound good, but you have no clue HOW to do it? Here were the best ideas I found that worked for me:

  1. Find a convertible, carry-on-size soft backpack that can expand. Mine was 21″ x 14″ x 9″ which fit the European specifications for carry-on bags. If necessary, it could have been checked as a regular suitcase, but shoulder straps and a waist belt were securely tucked away in a pocket ready to be converted to a backpack. Totally saved the day. See #1 – #4 above. 
  2. Don’t pack over 20-22 pounds. Again, see #1 – #4 above.
  3. Stack your clothes on top of each other and roll, rather than fold them. They don’t wrinkle as much. There are many YouTube videos to help you figure this out.
  4. Use packing cubes to corral your smaller items.
  5. Plan a capsule wardrobe. Choose neutrals such as black and gray or brown and tans. Choose 1 or 2 brighter colors that will coordinate with each other. I took gray, black, bright blues, with a bit of coral, then mixed, matched, and layered them for different looks everyday. I packed 1 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of leggings that could be worn with my longer tops or under my knit skirt, 2 t-shirts, 2 tunics, 1 tank, one long-sleeved top, one sweater, and took a raincoat. Along with my lightweight accessories mentioned next.
  6. Accessorize simply. One or 2 lightweight scarves that match your capsule wardrobe not only brighten up an outfit but can double as a blanket on plane rides or as a skirt, head wrap or shawl to cover your shoulders when visiting venues that have strict dress requirements, such as cathedrals. Of course, Style to Go Zulugrass is THE BEST travel jewelry!  It is super light, takes up very little room, gives you many options for color, and can be taken off your wrist and given to a host, helpful flight attendant, or new friend. The Leakey Collection even has a couple of Special Edition sets to inspire your travels, in extremely limited quantities so check them out while they’re still available.
  7. Plan the bare minimum of clothes that you think you’re going to need. Then take out a few things.  Again, trust me on this. I could have easily gotten by with 2 or 3 things less than I took.
  8. Pack a small, foldable shopping bag to bring back any souvenirs you will cherish or small gifts for people. If there is something large you think you must have, consider having it shipped to your home.

Travel Jewelry

Travel light. Pack smart. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

 

 

 


25
May 16

Seven Tips for Easy, Magical Alfresco Dining

7 Tips for easy magical alfresco dining

From an intimate tête–à–tête dinner or picnic to a big BBQ, family reunion or cocktail party, summer means dining alfresco! We’ve gathered 7 great tips for making it a magical way to enjoy the long summer evenings ahead without stress! 

  1. Keep the food simple. Start off with a small, delicious appetizer like a gourmet wine and cheese platter. A rotisserie chicken from your local market, combined with easy side dishes, allows you to spend time with your guests! Cheese Serving Board
  2. Make wind less of an issue. Skip the tablecloth in favor of easy placemats.
  3. Mix and match plates, bowls, glasses,and napkins. Have fun with different types of seating: indoor chairs, stools, benches with cushions.
  4. Use natural items for serving and displaying, such as wood, baskets, and pottery.
  5. Skip the pricey flowers and decorate your table with succulents or small plants and herbs from your garden. Let the beauty of nature be your guide and enjoy them all summer! herbs
  6. Experiment with creative lighting ideas. Paper lanterns, floating tea lights or candles in mason jars all create a soft ambience.
  7. Don’t be afraid to try something new like throwing a blanket and pillows onto the ground for a relaxed seating area. Provide blankets for your guests for any later-evening chill in the air.

Above all, relax and enjoy yourself. Summer is a state of mind.