Wednesday, June 26, 2013

social justice around the web

Need some inspiration to make it through the rest of this week? Well, look no further!

Want to be inspired by examples of women doing things? You may not agree with all of them, but it's still an interesting read. My favorite is #4, Malala Yousafzai. So incredible.

50 Women Who are Changing The World by Business Insider

Want to cry...and be inspired? Because that's definitely what happened to me when I read this post. I re-tweeted this article last week but it deserves a mention in the blog too.

A Boy & His Nanny by Shaun Groves

Want to hear some interesting thoughts on the marketplace + social justice? I haven't listened to the entirety of this talk yet, but seems interesting!

Marketplace As Social Justice by Anthony Bradley

Want to be intrigued by this great film company? I stumbled upon this article in Christianity Today and loved the concept and idea. I hope to someday build a business big enough that I can employ homeless or refugees, just like this film company. My favorite line in this article: "We tell our guys, 'Look, the bottom line is that we need to run a company. So if you can't cut it as an employee, there are plenty of nonprofit programs that will babysit you,' " Staub, 29, says. "That may seem harsh, but if I start looking at you like you can't be the best, I'm not giving you full human dignity.

Making Films With, Not About, The Homeless in Christianity Today 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

a 6 month experiment

So, I did something crazy. Something was stirring in my creative soul and I couldn't shut it up.

Derek, my husband, was gone for a week so I had a lot of free time to think, brainstorm/brainvent, pray, dream. From that week, I received a lot of clarity that it was time to start moving in another direction. For nearly two years, I've had a photography business and I've truly loved it. But I'm coming to a point in my business in which I need to decide if I truly want to take it to the next level. Each time that I think about that, however, I shudder - not from fear, but from sheer disgust. I don't want to take it to the next level. I could keep it the way that it is, but something doesn't feel quite right about that either.

So in comes my 6 month experiment. During my brainstorming week, I decided that I would take a brief hiatus from photography. I'll still take clients should they stumble my way, but I won't be actively pursuing them anymore. Instead, I'll be focusing seriously on this project: The Scrapperie. It will be two-fold: this blog and my Etsy shop.

The blog and the shop will be an opportunity to support and discuss an issue about which I'm passionate: creativity on a mission. I love talking about social businesses in which a portion of the profits benefit those in need (think Tom's or Warby Parker). Consumer dollars can go towards more than just profits. We can change the world through our purchases. Just think about it - lives can be changed because of what you bought yourself or a friend!

I started The Scrapperie shop almost two years ago, selling random crafting supplies. It did alright, but I wasn't passionate about it. This time around, I'll be selling crocheted bracelets - with a twist. For each bracelet, a person in Ethiopia will get safe drinking water for life. For every two bracelets purchased, a whole family will get water. The money will go towards Compassion International and their effort to build a well in a village in Ethiopia. The shop isn't up yet, but it will be soon.

Today, I hashed out the details of this experiment. It will last until January 12, 2014, when I will evaluate if this is a good experiment. I wrote out five criteria to determine how success will be defined. I'm excited and nervous.

You may notice that there are several blog posts that have already been posted. Almost all of them were on my photography blog (, but I felt that I needed to move them; they felt out of place.

So, I hope that you'll join me in this experiment. Let me know if you're a business that splits profits with a charity; I would love to talk with, feature you, collaborate with you. Never be shy to hit that comment button. I will always reply!

Here's to adventures!! 

5 basic purchases to feel good about

How awesome would be if for every purchase you made, you were helping someone in need?

I mean, dang. That'd be fantastic.

Maybe someday we can get there. But for now, here are five basic necessities to get us started:

Toothbrush - Smile Squared

Image courtesy of SmileSquared

I blogged about this company a few months ago and still love their mission. Their motto is: "We believe even small, everyday products, like toothbrushes, can have a big impact on the world." One toothbrush means a toothbrush to someone in need for a healthier mouth.

$5.95 // one toothbrush

Socks - Mitscoots

Image courtesy of Mitscoots

In the winter, one of my most favorite things to do is to throw on a nice pair of socks and cuddle up under a warm blanket. And this winter, I think I'll need to grab some of these guys.

Image courtesy of Mitscoots

In addition to giving away a pair for every pair purchased, Mitscoots also employs the homeless to package up the socks. It's a win, win, win for everyone.

Women's Argyle Socks // $14

Water Bottle - Project 7

Image courtesy of Project 7

Stay hydrated and save a life! The great thing about Project 7 is that their products are located in retail stores, including Walmart. So you can pick up a pack of Project 7 gum or water bottles pretty much anywhere and proceeds go to a number of worthy causes: feeding people and saving the planet are just a few.

Snack Bar - 2 Degrees

Image courtesy of Two Degrees

I've been trying to be a lot more healthy lately and have been investigating healthy snack bars. So, naturally, I got a little excited when I found 2 Degrees. Nutritious bars for me, a healthy meal for someone in need.

Image courtesy of Two Degrees

Chocolate Peanut Bars - 9 bars // $17.95

Soap - SoapBox Soaps

Image courtesy of Soapbox Soaps

I can smell the freshness from here. It might not be something that you always think that people need, but soap allows good hygiene and good hygiene means fewer diseases, sicknesses, and illness.  You being squeaky clean means someone is healthy too.

Image courtesy of SoapBox Soaps
Lemongrass Bar Soap // $4.99 

Monday, June 10, 2013

a sweat shop free outfit

I've always wanted to shop consciously with my clothes. I've heard all about the unfortunate and unfair treatment of people trying to simply put food on the table making clothes that I might wear a couple of times. And after the tragedy of the Bangladesh accident, it seems so apparent that we need a change.

But making this change isn't easy and it takes time. I would love for my entire closet to be filled with beautiful clothing and jewelry made by people being paid fairly and for my purchase to have gone to a cause bigger than my attire. But, for now, I'll start buying small items as I can and slowly fill up my closet.

I thought that I would share with you a few of my finds in my search for a sweat-shop free closet! All of these are either made in the U.S. or have strict requirements that their workers are paid fairly. Many also use a portion of their sales to give back to people in need. love. it.

top :: britta top by threads for thought

jeans :: stretch blue denim side zip pant by american apparel

necklace :: bushel and a pick necklace by united by blue

bag :: molly bag by better life bags

shoes :: burlap alessandra ballet flats by toms


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

on what i'm currently reading

I love reading. If I could somehow get paid to read, I would jump on that job so fast. I spend hours tucked away in the creases of an engrossing book. But a few months ago, I realized that I had stopped. It just didn't "fit my schedule" so I wasn't reading as much as I wanted. So I decided to put a stop on that real fast and came up with a goal: read one book a week.

Surprisingly, I've been able to stick with it for about the past 12 weeks. I'll read for about an hour or so during my "lunch break" or at any point that I have even 10 minutes of free time. Right now, I'm actually behind and it's taken me two weeks to read the book that I'm currently on: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, but I'm soaking it in and reading it slowly. Here are the books that I've read so far in 2013:

My favorites so far have probably been EntreLeadership or Unmarketing. Fantastic and inspirational. I don't read a whole lot of fiction; not because I don't want to, but I have trust issues with fiction books. Unless it's recommended to me, I don't just try one out. I've been hurt too many times before. ;)

I've been using Goodreads to keep me on track. My goal is to read 36 books by the end of this year and according to the handy little widget on the right hand side of the blog, I'm behind. Nonetheless, it keeps me motivated and reminds me to do what I like to do. It gives me energy and inspiration. I always feel refreshed after reading a good book!

What books are you reading right now? Do you have any reading goals?

Oh! And get ready for round #3 of our 5 week series on learning your camera. This time around, we'll be talking about moving to manual! This is the crux of the whole series. Moving to manual is tantamount to getting fantastic photos and getting the full worth from your camera. I hope you'll join us. If you need to catch up, you can here.