DESIGNER FEATURE: Red Earth Trading Co.
In their own words, Red Earth Trading Company is an ‘ethical lifestyle brand creating hope + opportunity through fashion.’
They work with talented artisans to create their products, in which each piece is a unique blend of local artistry and heritage with modern design. Besides creating a beautiful product, Red Earth Training Co. reaches out to their artisans to help them better organize and manage their businesses for growth, as well as lifting them and their families out of poverty.
Red Earth Trading Co. originated in 2010, however the inspiration began back in 2004 when founder, Travis Gravette, sought out a volunteering opportunity at an orphanage in Africa. Following his travels, in 2006 he founded the Know Think Act to empower local leaders who worked to end poverty in their communities. Just four years later, in 2010, Travis founded the Red Earth Trading Co. to help the local artisans to improve their businesses and inspire others to embrace the opportunity of a job.
ShopFunder is thrilled to have such an empowering company join the team, make sure to check out their products in the ShopFunder shop here.
FASHION LOOKBOOK: Rainy Day
I must say, I’m not a fan of rain. I am not sure if it is because living in Southern California it rains on a rare occasion or because I would much rather be curled up on the couch watching the Real Housewives. However, when I do have to trek outside, I often look forward to grabbing my shiny rain boots. The shoes that are simply invincible to the slop outside. With that, I have put together a simple look for when the sun just isn’t on your side!
- Pastel Heart Tank: This is the perfect tank for layering. A simple white tank with a mixed pastel colored heart gives this look a whimsical touch.
- Black & White Key Scarf: One of my favorite pattens, the greek key. A classical element mixed with monochromatic colors complements the black of the jeans and boots.
- Nasty Gal 'Search & Destroy Skinny Jeans': Since most of the look will be hidden below a rain coat and umbrella, I decided to choose a pair of jeans with a revealed texture to add a visually appealing element.
- Hunter Original Tall Gloss Rain Boots: My favorite addition to this look! Without these, the risk your shoes being soaked. The patent gloss gives this ensemble a sophisticated and juxtaposed touch against the destroyed denim.
- Nasty Gal 'Incognito Trench Coat': I was looking for a rain coat that was different from your standard North Face. I wanted a color that complemented the softness of the tank, and that was the perfect contrast to the black of the jeans and boots. This blush
- SIMPLE Series Ring: I have chosen to have minimal accessories for this look. Between the scarf and layers, any added accessories would create a distraction to the simplicity of this outfit. Thus, I have chosen a SIMPLE silver ring. With a large band, this ring makes just the right statement.
- City Streets Umbrella: This is both a functional and fabulous addition to this look. Instead of a plain colored umbrella, this transparent coverage with a sketched cityscape gives this look ultimate chicness from head to toe!
I guess rainy days aren’t so bad when you have a look that fights the storm in style!
LOOK OF THE WEEK: ‘Fratified’
This week, our Editor has chosen summer saves, pieces from our marketplace that are under $50 and are perfect additions to your summer style. I personally loved the simplicity of the flamingo tank..it is extremely casual, and its larger fit reminds me of the tanks that the frat boys across the country strut around campus with. And that is my inspiration for the rest of the look that I have what I would like to call, ‘fratified’!
- Picasso Flamingo Frocket Tank: This frocket tank has an oversized fit, which I love. It can be thrown on over a bathing suit or simply for class during the summer weather. Although boyish in fit, the bright pink flamingo brings in that pop of color and a more feminine touch to the tank. Simply tie it to the side or leave its length over your shorts.
- Topshop ‘MOTO Bleach Denim Boyshorts’: I wanted to keep the boyish-chic aesthetic throughout this ensemble, thus I chose a part of ripped denim boyshorts. They have a looser fit and they are a bit longer in length.
- Ray-Ban Clubmaster Flash Lenses in Blue: I think these shades are the epitome of summer. They are so chic and cool with the bright blue flash lenses and you really cannot go wrong with the retro Clubmaster style.
- Gold Bullet Bobby Pin Hair Barrette: These barrettes are another pick from our editor, they are so simple yet are incredibly unique, bringing a bit of edge to the typical bobby pin.
- Simplist Whisper Quiet Tiny Ring: Since I was going for a more relaxed look, accessories do not really have a place. However, to complement the gold of the bullet barrettes and the hardware in the shades, I have chosen this super thin ring that you can stack on various fingers.
- Rainbow Sandals in Sierra Brown: Finally, the perfect summer shoe. Good ole’ Rainbow sandals. Nothing fancy, but an essential for any summer wardrobe.
May your inner frat star be released with this summer casual ensemble!
Q&A WITH KATIE SCHMIDT, FOUNDER OF PASSION LILIE
How long have you been producing clothing with Passion Lilie?
Passion Lilie has been in business for a year and a half, but I have been designing for over 10 years.
What is the motivation behind the company? Why was Passion Lilie established?
I started the company, because of my frustration to find a lack of high quality women’s dresses that were both fair trade and affordable. And since I had the background in design, plus I had already been working in the fair trade industry, I felt like it was a perfect opportunity.
I also should mention that in 2012 I went to India, where I got to work first hand with a group of artisans who do hand embroidery work for a home décor workshop. I visited the artisans’ village- they lived a very poor, simple life, but they were extremely happy. I asked one woman, “If you can have anything in the world, what would you have.” Her answer shocked me, because instead of asking a Westerner for money, she asked for “happiness and prosperity for her family.” This made me realize that if I wanted to “save the world” it started with creating jobs for individuals, especially women in underserved communities.
Is there a special meaning behind the name, “Passion Lilie”?
Yes. The lily flower has a lot of symbolism in Hinduism and Christianity, mainly meaning purity and I wanted my company to be pure and honest. I am Christian, but I work with artisans from all religions –mostly Hindu and Muslim, so I found it important to be all encompassing. Also, Lily is the name of a very special family friend who travelled the world with an open heart, which is very important to me. I changed the spelling at the end to make it a bit unique and added Passion to the front of it, because anybody that knows me, knows I am extremely passionate. Once I start something, I don’t give up.
Why did you choose India as the country for producing Passion Lilie clothing?
I chose India mainly because of my first visit in 2012. I fell in love with the hand block printed fabrics, and I decided that if I was going to use their fabrics why not manufacture there. India is a crazy country. I once heard a friend describe it as a beautiful disaster and I think it is so fitting.
What is the process of creating your products?
I work in a few different ways, but usually I start by designing the silhouettes that I would like to use. I am always sketching different designs, and researching trends. When it comes time to create the next season- I look at which styles sold well in the past, what I want to make for the next line, and make sales predictions. I then create a paper pattern based on my design, and next I make a muslim (a cheap unbleached cotton fabric) mockup. I adjust the muslim to fit just perfectly, and I then make a final pattern- as well as production notes. During this whole process I am sourcing and designing the prints that I would like to use for the designs. All my print design is done on the computer. Everything is then sent to the artisans, they create a sample, it is sent back to me, adjustments are made, and upon approval they begin production.
What people don’t realize is a large part of my time is spent overseeing the work of the artisans. I work during the day on the business and in the middle of the night I am calling India to monitor production. I literally have two jobs! Cultural differences, festivals and weather are all problems I face in the production process. Producing in India is not for everyone, but it is very rewarding to see the impact it has on the artisans’ lives.
We are so excited to have your designs on ShopFunder. What made you apply to the ShopFunder community?
I think it is such an exciting concept that consumers can use their purchasing power to contribute to projects that will make a difference in the world. I love it when fashion and philanthropy – my two favorite things- collide.
What is your advice to new entrepreneurs?
Stick with it and don’t give up! I have faced some big hurdles that at the time felt life threatening to the sustainability of my business, but instead of giving up, I looked at the problem as a challenge of how to solve it. And the wonderful thing about being an entrepreneur is the triumphs, big or small, feel so amazing! My business is my passion and my etre du vive and if you want to be an entrepreneur you have to think like this.
What is on the horizon for Passion Lilie in 2014?
I am excited for 2014, so many things. Well, we have our fall collection launching in just a month with new pants, dresses, skirts and tops.
We are also going to release some exiting new accessory products using recycled materials from past production.
And you may just be able to find us in a big show room in the South in the next few months.
In 2015 we have two even bigger surprises that we can’t release just yet, but you can follow our blog, and we would love to share our surprise with ShopFunder.
What Can Fifty Dollars Do?
This Thursday, we are picking a lucky winner from our Rewards Points Program to win a $50 ShopFunder Gift Card.
For every $50 you spend in our marketplace, $15 goes directly to a life-changing cause.
(By the way, for every $1 million you spend, $300,000 goes directly to a life-changing cause that you choose. Just saying)
Together we have made a huge difference for causes like Girls on the Run, Colon Cancer Coalition, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, and MORE!)
Thanks a MILLION!
Thanks for earning OVER ONE MILLION GIVING POINTS and counting!
To thank you - we’re picking a lucky Rewards Points member to win a $50 ShopFunder gift card on July 17, 2014.
By the way - It’s not too late to join and enter to win. Sign up for the Giving Points program here: https://www.shopfunder.com/login
Giving Points FAQ’s http://www.shopfunder.com/about-giving-points#faq
With summer in full swing there is no other way I would want to spend my days, than at the beach. Living in Southern California the beach is at my disposal. A five minute drive to downtown Laguna, or a quick cruise up PCH to Newport Beach, my summer days revolve around the sandy shore. I have put together a look for a day at the beach or just a stroll around the town.
- Magna Carta Imperial Dress: This Yacht Club Company maxi in its Eco-Heather material is the perfect cover-up or casual wear for a day walking around enjoying the beach-town vibes (and some soft serve too!)
- RUG’ed Tote: An alternative to the standard beach bag, this nautical-inpired navy and white tote made of a flatwoven rug is ready to endure the days in the sand!
- Boho Leather Bracelet: For a day at the beach, arm candy just isn’t an option. So, I have chosen a simple brown leather bracelet with complementing turquoise and blue accents.
- J.Crew Panama Hat: An iconic hat that adds a tomboy touch to this sunny weather ensemble.
- Ray-Ban Aviator Flash Lenses: My favorite accessory—a stunning pair of shades. I actually own these myself, and the multi-green color makes the perfect summer statement.
- Steve Madden ‘Hamil’ Sandal: Instead of a plain old flip-flop, why not add a fun print to this beachy look with a pair of snakeskin and gold sandals.
- Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer: For a moisturizer with equal coverage, this Laura Mercier product will give you that picture-perfect complexion while providing you with coverage from the UV rays.
Take this stylish look to the beach!
LOOK OF THE WEEK: Bohemian Blues
Based on our Editor Picks of the Week, I have put together a look that showcases the chosen picks while creating a one-of-a-kind ensemble. Prints are one of the easiest ways to make a statement. They grab your attention, so that with one focused print, the rest of your look can remain fairly simple. From the Editor’s Picks of the week, I have chosen this bohemian printed pant as the focal point of this outfit.
- Spinnaker Dark Blue Pants: These wide-leg printed pants are trending more than ever this spring/summer. The lightweight material creates a flowing effect and with a bold print your look is pretty much complete. The blues of the ikat printed pants call for a simple, solid top and minimal accessories to be a winning combination.
- Live Your Dream By Emerson Tee: Since there is such a bold print on the bottom of this look, I have opted for a simple graphic tee with an inspiring quote to go along with the free spirit nature of this ensemble. You could tuck in the shirt or simply not it to the side for an added visual element.
- Silver Sekhment Cuff: I feel as though silver and the muted blues complement each other perfectly. The shine of the silver against the more dull and faded blues creates a great juxtaposed look.
- Plain Jane Oval Hoops: With a larger cuff you don’t want to stack on anymore bracelets or huge rings, and a necklace would simply take away the focus from the pants and graphic tee, so a pair of thin silver hoop earrings brings in that extra touch of shine.
- Aging Beautifully Natural Face and Body Soap: The nature of this look is being free and refreshed, so why not start your day a natural and organic soap to bring a special glow to your skin.
- Sam Edelman ‘Eavan’ Sandal: These gladiator sandals embrace the carefree spirit of the bohemian print, and the tan leather with the silver studs complement the rest of the accessories throughout the look.
- Essie ‘No Place Like Chrome’: I couldn’t help myself but choose a silver nail. The color simply radiates off of your tan skin and ties this look together from head to toe!
- MAC ‘Giddy’ Lipstick: The perfect finishing touch, a soft pink lip. It keeps the look natural while adding a little pop!
Natural never looked so good! This bold bohemian pant and graphic tee combo with an equally organic soap truly brings the Editor Picks of the Week together for a simple and spirited ensemble!
What’s all this Buzz about Fair Trade Salt Lamps?
One of our newest designers, So Well, has introduced us to their Fair Trade Himalayan Salt Lamps, culled from the pristine sea beds in the Himalayan Mountains and Polish salt caves. Each lamp is hand carved, resulting in a distinctive shape and color. Mined by hand by a small family run company in the Himalayan Mountains of Pakistan, So Well Salt Crystal Lamps are not only environmentally responsible, but ensure that small family companies receive a fair price so they successively grow and prosper.
These beautiful Salt lamps are beautifully sculpted and they are also natural air ionizers helping you and your family breathe SO WELL, simulating the same effect as an oxygen-rich environment such as a forest canopy or a salty ocean breeze. Even better - they are available in a variety of sizes to fit any need.
- Himalayan Salt Crystal USB Lamp - $39.90
- Small Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamp - $41.90
- Medium White Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamp - $63.90
For more Solay Wellness products on ShopFunder, click here.
How long have you been creating these products?
We are celebrating 10 years this month!
How was Solay Wellness established? Why?
It was Love. I fell in love with a Salt crystal lamp. It was unique, one of a kind, had enormous health benefits and functional, so it had many “duties” I liked that. As I learned and discovered more about the benefits of Himalayan salt, we started developing more products using it. It became our signature. It was purposeful, eco friendly, fair trade and beautiful. And it made sense to use it. SO we rebranded and become SO WELL, and organic lifestyle product line and spa.
Is there a particular meaning behind the name “Solay Wellness?”
Yes, fluid Light energy, sun, light…the company name is still Solay Wellness, but out of that came SO WELL. Its more fitting, since our products are all about making everyone feel SO WELL.
What is the process of creating your products?
Great question! Out of personal need really. I need oral care, hair care, skin care etc . Now I have a wonderful partner, and the new line SO WELL MAN is being developed. When I adopt , I will create children’s products. I have 2 two dogs and so our pet line is created. It’s really “my life needs” I create!
We are thrilled to have your beautiful designs on ShopFunder. What made you apply to the ShopFunder designer community?
It’s in line with we do and believe. We give back. We love companies that do the same. Everyone should if they can. And the website looked really good, so we are proud to be apart of it.
What is your advice to budding entrepreneurs?
Don’t get me started! I have ten years of trial and error. BIG “mistakes” GREAT wins and everything in between. I think when you’re truly an entrepreneur; you expect that and go with the flow. Life is your journey and my main advice is to make sure you have a great support network, very important! One person or many, but it makes a HUGE difference.
What is on the horizon for Solay Wellness in 2014?
Lots of GREAT new products! Mineral makeup, Perfumes, Balms, Hand Soap, New Salt Lights + (cannot talk about it yet!)