September 4, 2009 at 1:16 pm (Bambootique, Caring for the Poor, Fair Trade Products, Favorite Things, On Being a Business Owner, Women's issues)
One my favorite magazines that I’ve blogged about before is World Pulse. It’s this fabulous collection of stories and articles about women’s issues worldwide. It’s unlike any other women’s magazine I’ve ever read, being globally-minded and focused on the most positive aspects of what women are doing worldwide.
This latest issue focuses on new economic models from women visionaries, including those in the fair trade movement. A number of the issue’s articles are available online but you have to get the print edition to read the full issue, including the excellent fair trade article.
The fair trade article, entitled Unraveling Women’s Fair Trade, takes a hard look at the model of fair trade company such as mine at Bambootique and how difficult it is to make such companies sustainable not to mention profitable. I know first-hand how difficult that is. Thankfully Bambootique has been financially sustainable (i.e. broken even) since day one, but the profitable side for the most part is still a future hope and dream. This is the reality for many similar companies for a whole host of reasons. The market is certainly there for our products and it’s rapidly growing, but there are so many challenges too. They include scale (we can be inefficient because we are so small), shipping and customs costs, the communication difficulties related to working with small groups of women often working in remote areas, getting our products to market, etc. The article points out that the joy of running such a business and knowing how much good we are doing far outweighs the challenges, at least for many in this industry. And many of us are getting more sustainable and more profitable, both business owners and artisans, as the market grows and our businesses get stronger.
Look for the latest issue of World Pulse on a newstand near you. I know I’ve seen it in the Portland area at Powell’s, Borders and natural food stores like Whole Foods.
February 18, 2009 at 4:27 pm (Caring for the Planet, Favorite Things, Gift Ideas, Green Baby, Health Families, Portland area)
As a fairly new mom (Grace just turned 2) I’ve found my desire to live in a sustainable way does not usually conincide with the marketing messages and products pumped out by most corporations targeting my demographic. There are some great online alternatives though, and these four I’m going to recommend all happen to be run out of mom’s homes within a 10-mile radius from my home. I’ve bought from some of them, am keeping my eye on others. I can vouch for all their products and customer service though, because I personally know the owner of each and every one. They are all proud mamas working hard to offer healthy alternatives for their own families and others.
Itsabelly Baby Concierge – Melissa Moog recently published the great guide Going Green With Baby. The book is available on her website as well as a nice selection of natural, organic mom and baby-care products. Melissa’s primary focus is on baby-planning, so she can offer an array of services to new or expecting mamas in getting adjusted to life with baby as well.
Punkin Butt – I recently purchased a stack of cotton training pants plus a cute little potty chair for Grace from Punkin Butt. Owner Audrey was so helpful in her recommendations, having just gone through potty-training with her own little girl. Punkin Butt’s specialty is cloth diapering but they also carry a great array of natural baby products as well as having dozens of helping articles on the website.
Little Jumping Beans – This is a really fun site of eco-friendly baby products run by a Tualatin mom, Jheni. The site is super-easy to navigate and there’s even a baby registry. I was amazed to see the array of products Jheni offers, knowing she runs the business from home.
Clementine NW – This site is primarily focused on eco-friendly baby gifts. It’s a great one if you want to pick out a fun gift basket for a new or expecting mom, and want to make sure the products are good for her, baby and the planet. Owner Brenna has put together a wonderful selection of natural toys, organic cotton blankets and bibs, and a great selection of organic, natural skincare products.
January 1, 2009 at 6:11 pm (Books, Favorite Things, Movies)
Happy first day of 2009! Here’s a look back at my top five reads and flicks of ’08.
Fave Books I Read in 2008
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
- World Without End by Ken Follett
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
- Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris
- The Boy In The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Fave Movies I Saw in 2008
- Slumdog Millionaire (possibly my favorite movie ever?)
- The Business of Being Born
What are your favorites from the last year? I need ideas to read/ watch in ’09!