Empower Women this Holiday Season

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With the holiday season less than a month away our minds are consumed with buying the latest and newest products developed.  Let’s be honest, there is something about coming down the stairs Christmas morning and finding beautifully  wrapped gifts under the tree with your name on it.  The mystery and wonder of what might be wrapped ever so perfectly for you is alluring. Sure, getting the iPhone4s would be a great present to receive, but like with most gifts,  the initial excitement soon wears off and it becomes just another ‘thing’  incorporated into your everyday life–one that seems to become a necessity. Something you couldn’t live without. In modern America, we’ve seemed to confuse our ‘needs’ with our ‘wants’.  While the first few days would be extremely difficult, I could actually survive without my iPhone (and honestly, I’d definitely welcome the break from the communication overload).

So this Christmas, I’ve decided to reevaluate my needs vs. my wants, and seriously consider how I can transform my wants into providing needs for others.  This doesn’t mean I’m swearing off Christmas gifts all together, but I’m going to try to be much more socially conscious about what I give and what I ask for. Instead of fighting crowds at the mall so mom can get another set of her favorite bathroom towels, why not give a hand-crafted gift that is providing a job for a woman who needs to feed her family? Did you know that woman make up of 70% of the world’s poorest people, and 2/3rd of them are illiterate.  Mothers, daughters, sisters without a jobs, lack of education, little food, and no shelter for their families.

This holiday season lets commit to supporting those woman who need it most!   Check out these social enterprises who are dedicated to supporting underprivileged entrepreneurs and artisans around the glob by providing them with an education, training, and the resources needed to create a sustainable lifestyle.

I love this piece. and made by HIV- positive women in Ethiopia using beads formed from melted down bullet casings and recycled metals (brass, silver, copper).

Perfect beauty care gift! Helping indigenous women of Morocco who harvest and produce the Argan Oil.

From Rwanda to Anthropologie! Hand knit through Rwanda Knits.

"Women use the oldest form of crochet known on earth to create the jurab, a brightly colored, soft, extra warm and toasty winter stocking." -The Bootstrap Project

This clutch is $450, however " Each clutch sold will provide 1,000 school meals for children through the UN World Food Programme's School Feeding initiative - the largest donation to date for one of our FEED products!" - Project FEED

31 Bits! Love their stuff!

YALA - Handmade by Indian women formerly trafficked in the sex trade.

Ralph Lauren Sells Fair-Trade Bracelets! Hand-made by the Twiyubake Family of Kayonza, Rwanda. After the 1994 Genocide, these master weavers were determined to lift themselves out of poverty with spirit and dignity and did so their craft!

Raven + Lily Journals! Only $18!

Hand-woven Ikat Fabric. Sold by: The Bootstrap Project

Perfect stocking stuffer! Handmade by HIV-positive women in Ethiopia out of genuine leather cord and recycled metals. Raven + Lily

Sites worth checking out for holiday gifts: The Bootstrap Project, Indego Africa, Raven + Lily, Yala Design, FEED projects, 31 bits, Rwanda Knits

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