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Hello All

I love being in Cambodia because I get to be with our amazing design team. Last week I was meeting with our incredible designer and owner of Peace Handicraft, Yek Hong and her Operations Manager, Sinat, to review production schedules and start work on “new” designs for our fall collection.

As I have said before Yek Hong Tang is the talented owner of Peace Handicraft our Cambodian partner. She gives her all to the work of designing our bags and providing her team with the most sophisticated training in all aspects of design, production and management. Her boundless enthusiasm and commitment to under served Cambodians is a constant inspiration to me.
She is our hero.

If you missed watching Sinat’s video about her own life changing experience you can watch it here.

Please remember – you are part and parcel of contributing to the impact we are having on women like Sinat.

With Love from Cambodia – ardice

Our Easy Breezy bags are well into production. I visited our adorable team today to discover that dozens of the Black and Granite colors are already finished. And the entire design team is having fun and working hard on our order.
 
It is always very emotionally moving for me to visit the team and to witness first-hand the great jobs that our Kickstarter Campaign has created. 

I took a few photos to share with you and hope you can imagine how wonderful it is to see these women at work.  

The smiling lady on the left is sitting at a table because she has been left with some limitations in her ability to stand and walk due to polio and other circumstances so standing to work is too difficult for her.

These bright and cheerful ladies are checking the bags one “last time” to make sure they are perfect and folding them and preparing them to be packaged for shipping.  

In the design studio upstairs the bits and pieces of each bag are being finished and all the pieces meticulously sewn together to complete the “Easy Breezy”.  

Meet our amazing production managers Sokha and the talented Sothy as they get the team started producing our next order of bags.

I think you all know that I am in Cambodia now and happy to be working with our team here. The cutting and the sewing of pieces has begun. It is hard to imagine how many small pieces are sewn and then fit together in order to make the incredible Easy Breezy Messenger Bag. The Cambodian team is so excited to be working on our project and they are taking every measure to make sure the design and production is perfect. They are a joy to be around and I want to introduce you to two of our accomplished team members. Please meet Sokha. At her desk she manages all aspects of the process from the inventory of all the hardware, zippers and net fabrics, schedules for product cutting and completion schedules. The talented Sothy is an accomplished artisan and crafts woman. She is the expert in construction of the Easy Breezy and she manages the production team to oversee every aspect of the sewing and production. The zippered linings and several pieces are already under construction.

Cheers – ardice

Coffee of Grace article

If you are a coffee lover you know what I mean. If you are a coffee lover you don’t just gran a can of Folgers or Maxwell House off the shelf. In fact, you would never be seen with an off-the-shelf brand in your shopping cart.

Nothing but the nest for us coffee lovers. We drive across town to get our favorite fresh roasted beans, we walk extra blocks to find that cute little bistro instead of grabbing a fast food coffee. For us “coffee…” as Gertrude Stein said “… is a lot more than just a drink; it’s something happening… like an event, a place to be.  It gives you time, a chance to be… yourself.”

So how great is it that were are now eco-friendly conscious coffee companies. Companies that support small farmers and co-ops, set up structures for organic and sustainable farming and bring the freshest richest coffee to our breakfast tables?

And here is one of my favorites! Coffee of Grace. Whether you love to grind your own beans or store your fresh ground in the freezer, whether you are using a French press, paper cone or some new fangled espresso maker there is a range of flavors for any occasion.

And the world of Grace is always changing. The signature flavors are only available in limited quantities and change throughout the year. So there is always something new to try.

Coffee of Grace is motivated and inspired by the courageous spirit to succeed exemplified by the Rwandan people. It is the company’s purpose to enhance the lives of the Rwandan people by empowering them with the opportunity to market their fabulous coffees to the World.

It’s inspiring to see the impact this company is already having as small Rwandan farmers can now employ neighbors and entire communities are empowered with new levels of confidence and the joy of providing their delicious coffee beans to the world.

As a conscious consumer, I am in love with Coffee of Grace’s commitment to support fair trade, ethical practices and environmental stewardship. I will stand in line to buy yummy coffee from a company dedicated to empowering local farmers, to creating sustainable businesses and ending generational poverty. But I don’t have to stand in line because I can easily order my Coffee of Grace online and it comes right to my door.

Not only is the coffee excellent but their logo style and company colors are fabulous. Check out their website, their mission and (for sure) their coffee. My favorite morning brew is the Medium Dark Roast. I save the Espresso for late night deserts and cognac.

Try it, I think you will like it!

www.coffeeofgrace.com

 

Really, are you serious blogger, Krystyn, reviewed Net Effects bags!!

NET Effects makes totes that are fashionable and functional, but they’re also lightweight, sustainably produced, and they bring positive change for the women of Cambodia. NET Effects’ mission is to bring ‘trade not aid’ to the disenfranchised women of Cambodia (many of whom are victims of land mines, physically disabled or deaf) by providing unbeatable work conditions, quality training and good pay. In fact, every 15-20 pieces sold in the U.S. provides fair wage for one month for a woman in Cambodia.

 

To read more, click here.

Unplanted.co, taking the guesswork out of making conscious choices in order to support the “vegan gentleman”, featured our Brooklyn messenger bag. “FAIR TRADE VEGAN MESSENGER BAG FROM NET EFFECTS When you lead an active lifestyle, a good messenger bag is essential. Meet the NET Effects Traders Brooklyn, a messenger bag with a namesake which sums up everything important about this product: a little bit retro, a little bit classy, and whole lot of function.” CLICK HERE to read more!