Meet Bambootique’s Newest Artisans

Meet Mon Saman. She is a 23-year old widow and mother of a 2-year old little girl. She was born in Ou Taki village, a

Location of Bat Tam Bang, Cambodia. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battambang_Province

small rural village in Bat Tam Bang province in north-western Cambodia. Life in this part of Cambodia is hard, with most of the population surviving on subsistence agriculture. Mon carries the responsibility of raising her small daughter on her own. With only a 6th grade education, she found an opportunity for stability when she was accepted into a weavers’ cooperative in 2006. In this co-op Mon received intensive training in the traditional skill of loom weaving. She now has regular work with her co-op to weave beautiful silk and cotton textiles.

The textiles Mon and her fellow weavers make are used in the production of a number of items, including Bambootique’s newest line of natural-dye scarves. These are our highest-quality, softest scarves we’ve ever carried. The silk is hand-dyed with 100% natural dyes made from local plants so there are no chemicals used. They’re so silky soft and lightweight, perfect for spring.

See a sneak preview below and the full collection here.

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Loving Ben And Jerry’s Almost As Much As My Own Creations

Ben and Jerry’s recently took a bold step in declaring their switch to be fully fair trade by the end of 2013. They’ve long used fair trade coffee chocolate in some of their yummy flavors (think Smooth Chocolate and Coffee Heath Bar Crunch) but now they’ve set their own bar even higher. Over the next few years the company will source all ingredients available Fair Trade Certified to be just that. They’ll be using fair trade bananas, sugar, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, nuts and other flavorings, adding new fair trade ingredients as the fair trade marketplace grows and new products become available. Wow! I have not heard of any other ice cream company making such a move. Ben and Jerry’s switch will influence over 27,000 farmers, according to a press release on their site. Impressive.

While we’re on the subject of ice cream, I wanted to let all you do-it-yourselfers in on my latest ice cream discovery. I received an ice cream maker from my husband for Christmas and let’s just say it’s a well-loved addition to our household. Our absolute favorite flavor is Chocolate Chocolate Chip made with Sunspire’s fair trade chocolate chips. A quart of this good stuff lasts about as long as it takes to inhale.  Warning: This is not a health food. Here’s my recipe:

Fair Trade Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

2 1/4 cup whipping cream
6 tablespoons fair trade cocoa powder
1/4 cup fair trade sugar
Pinch of salt
6 ounces Sunspire fair trade semisweet chocolate chips (about 2/3 of a bag)
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon fair trade vanilla extract

Whisk together the cream, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk frequently until it begins to foam and boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips, stirring constantly. You want the chocolate chips to melt most of the way but still leave some small chunks at the bottom of the pan.  Once the chocolate is mostly melted (no big chunks coming up when you stir)  add the remaining milk and vanilla. Chill in the fridge until cold all the way through (at least 2-3 hours), then freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Then enjoy a divine chocolate experience!

Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments

By the way, Sunspire chocolate chips are super expensive compared to regular old Nestle. Most grocery stores around here that carry them (Whole Foods, New Seasons) charge anywhere from $5.50-$6 per bag. That makes for a pretty expensive quart of ice cream or batch of chocolate-chip cookies, unless you do what I do. Sunspire has lately had a $3 off $10 on every bag of chocolate chips. I wait until they go on sale, usually for around $4.50/ bag, then stock up buying 6 or so bags at a time. With the coupon that makes them about $3.50 per bag. Still more than a cheap brand of chocolate chips but much closer, plus the Sunspire flavor does not compare to Nestle (which tastes like it contains more wax than chocolate).

Declaring Spring

Hammered Hoop Pewter Earrings, $19

Yes, spring is officially here. OK, maybe not by the calendar but judging by how beautifully sunny it is outside today and the daffodils springing up in my front yard, I am declaring it spring in Portland.

Regardless of the weather or season wherever you are, the first of Bambootique’s spring lines are now here and available for both retail and wholesale customers. We have beautiful new styles of recycled pewter jewelry from Honduras (made from soda cans) and a fun and flirty new style of bamboo clutch purse from Thailand.  Stay tuned for gorgeous new spring scarves from Cambodia coming in about a month too.

Show Your Stripes Bamboo Clutch, $36

Gota Tear Drop Earrings $19

Caracol Pewter Earrings, $19

Bambootique Now At Ten Thousand Villages

Bambootique is thrilled to announce that Portland’s Ten Thousand Villages store just added our products to the store’s great array of fair trade products!  Ten Thousand Villages gorgeous store is located in the Pearl district at 938 NW Everett Street. They have an incredible selection of high-quality, high-end fair trade goods like housewares, rugs, furniture and of course personal accessories like Bambootique’s.  If you’re in Portland and doing some last minute Christmas shopping this weekend, make Ten Thousand Villages your shopping destination!

Two Ways To Shop Bambootique With No Shipping Costs

We’re now officially in the holiday shopping season and you may be starting to cross some names off your Christmas shopping list.  You can still make Bambootique part of your holiday gifts without paying a cent in shipping costs, at least through December 14th. Use coupon code lipship at checkout and you won’t pay any shipping costs for orders over $25. You’ll also get a free holiday lipbalm to boot! This offer runs out December 14th.

If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area I also welcome shoppers to make appointments to swing by my home, either to browse or to pick up an emailed order. Sometimes it’s nice to see a product in person before choosing so you’re welcome to email a wishlist, come by and look it all over, and take home what you like. Please call (503-781-3244)  or email (beth@shopbambootique.com) at least 24 hours in advance to arrange an appointment.  I’m available most afternoons and many evenings, as well as some Saturday mornings. A hot mug of tea will welcome you as well as Christmas music and no shopping crowds! Little ones are welcome to accompany you too and play with Grace while you shop.

Here’s to a peaceful Christmas season focused on family, friends and Christ, the true reason for this season.

Oscar Albert Multi-Trunk Holiday Trunk Show THIS Wednesday!

Join Bambootique this Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 at the fabulous wine bar and bistro, Oscar Albert, for an evening of holiday festivities and shopping!

Where: Oscar Albert Wine Bar and Bistro, 4847 SE Division, Portland, Oregon

When: Dec. 2, 2009, 5:30-8pm

Other vendors include:

Missionary Chocolates – Woman owned, delicious!

Apolloni Winery – Delightful wines made in Oregon

Global Sistergoods – Woman owned, Fair Trade Importers

Flavour Pals – Scone mixes, woman owned

Muddy Waters – Can you say “chocolate facial”?

I hope to see you there!

Who Will You Cross Off Your List This Weekend?

nov-056I hate to rub it in but I already have a closet full of Christmas gifts. We tend to keep the holidays pretty simple, buying small gifts that will last and have meaning. I shop throughout the year for our family and close friends, otherwise I’m a stress case come December.

You too can have a more relaxed December by getting some of your holiday shopping out of the way this weekend. Bambootique’s Fair Trade Holiday Trunk Show is THIS Saturday and Sunday at my home in Tualatin.  I’ve got hundreds of items to choose from, many brand new to Bambootique, including the addition of home decor items this year like placemats, coasters, trivets, and candle holders.  Other new items include scarves and handbags from India (the really cool kind with little mirrors!), beautiful Uganda beaded jewelry made from recycled paper (you’d never know it was paper), handmade Christmas cards and ornaments from Haiti, India, Honduras, Thailand and Cambodia, light cotton scarves from Guatemala, mosaic candle holders from South Africa, woven baskets from Rwanda, soaps from Zambia, hexagonal candles from Guatemala, new styles of bamboo purses and handmade stationery from Thailand, and even more.

So come, bring your friends, and make a big dent in that Christmas list. Not only will you be more relaxed come December but you’ll feel great about gifts that give back to artisans. On top of that 10% of all sales this weekend go to one of my favorite non-profits, Haiti Foundation of Hope.

What: 2 days of fabulous fair trade shopping for everyone on your list!

When: Saturday November 14th 10am-4pm
Sunday November 15th 1-5pm

Where: 17552 SW Shasta Trail, Tualatin, OR
(Bambootique owner Beth Sethi’s home)

  • Bring your friends!
  • Huge clearance section
  • Complimentary cookies and hot drinks
  • Play area for little ones while you shop
  • Free take-home samples of coffee, tea, chocolate and more!
  • 10% of all sales donated to Haiti Foundation of Hope

Questions? Contact me at beth@shopbambootique.com or 503-781-3244

Find Bambootique In Even More Stores

fair-trade-products-assortm

Bambootique’s wholesale program just keeps growing! I’m delighted that the following shops are now carrying my fair trade products. If one is in your area be sure to stop in to get your Bambootique fix.

Lucias Imports
523 East High St.
Lexington, KY 40502
(859) 389-9337

One World Shop
19321 Detroit Rd.
Rocky River, OH 44116
(440) 333-770

Mercy Corps Action Center
28 SW 1st St.
Portland, OR 97204

Giraffe
174th and Vashon Hwy.
Vashon Island, WA 98070
(206) 463-1372

Liave
1205 Western Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 364-0748

Ella Mon
5404 22nd Ave NW
Seattle, WA  98107
(206) 297-2800

Tenfold Fair Trade
181A Potomac Street.
Harpers Ferry, WV 24524

Thanks to all our wholesale partners!  For a full list of stores carrying Bambootique products click here

Holiday Trunk Show Three Weeks Away – And You’re Invited!

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What: Bambootique’s 4th Annual Fair Trade Holiday Trunk Show

Two full days of fabulous fair trade shopping!

When: Saturday November 14th 10am-4pm
Sunday November 15th 1-5pm

Where: 17552 SW Shasta Trail, Tualatin, Oregon (Bambootique owner Beth Sethi’s home), 503-781-3244
View map

Who: You and all your closest friends, family and neighbors. Bring your girlfriends along to introduce them to everything you love about fair trade!

Messenger BagWhat: Two days of holiday shopping that makes a world of difference! This year’s trunk show features products from India, Afghanistan, Bolivia, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, Guatemala, Honduras, Togo, South Africa and more! Bambootique’s fair trade selection includes handbags, candles, scarves, skincare products, jewelry and handmade paper products, all made by women artisans in the developing world.  We’ll also have a fabulous selection of Christmas ornaments and nativities from Haiti, Afghanistan, Thailand and Peru.

Stuffed LlamasWe’ll have a fun play area to keep little ones busy while moms shop.

Other features of the show include fair trade freebies such as take-home samples of Strictly Organic Coffee, Kalahari tea and copies of The Conscious Consumer for every attendee. Plus don’t miss our incredible Clearance section, homemade chocolate chip cookies, fresh fair trade coffees and teas, and great music!

Haiti Foundation of HopeThis year Bambootique is thrilled to partner with Haiti Foundation of Hope to support their community health program in Terre Blanche, Haiti. 10% of all sales from the trunk show will be donated to HFH. There will also be a selection of Haitian arts and crafts of which 100% of sales will support HFH’s excellent work.

This event is open to the public so please come and bring your friends!

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Happy-Shoppers

Bambootique Part of Mercy Corps’ New Action Center

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Bambootique is thrilled to be participating in Mercy Corps‘ brand-new Action Center, scheduled to hold its grand opening this weekend, October 9 and 10. The Action Center gives visitors a peek into Mercy Corps’ worldwide relief and development work through hands-on interactive displays. It gives us all a chance we may not otherwise have to see how we can all participate in fighting global poverty. Part of the Action Center is a retail space selling fair trade and other ethically traded goods. That’s where you’ll find Bambootique!

After opening this weekend the Action Center will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays. Visit the Action Center’s website for more details.  And be sure to check out all the fair trade goodies available while you’re there!

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