Arrow Fat Left Icon Arrow Fat Right Icon Arrow Right Icon Cart Icon Close Circle Icon Expand Arrows Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Pinterest Icon Twitter Icon translation missing: en.general.icons.vimeo Icon Hamburger Icon Information Icon Down Arrow Icon Mail Icon Mini Cart Icon Person Icon Ruler Icon Search Icon Shirt Icon Triangle Icon Bag Icon Play Video

Journal

Black Artists + Designers Guild

Black Artists + Designers Guild

"It all started with a powerful post on Instagram. Malene Barnett called out a lack of diversity during a day of panel discussions at one of the design industry’s esteemed centers. Her comments weren’t just about the panel, but about the pattern of exclusivity that still permeates the design world. Barnett took action by founding the Black Artists + Designers Guild in November 2018. She describes it as “a curated collective of black artists and designers throughout the African diaspora.” To date, the Guild has enlisted 80 designers and artists, many of whom gathered for the first time on February 12 at the Décor NYC showroom to celebrate the Guild’s launch with an exhibit of their work."

As we're looking to support the #buyfromBIPOC movement (a celebration of Black and Indigenous People/Person(s) of Color creatives with a focus on slow, ethical, and sustainable goods), the Black Artists + Designers Guild offers another great resource with their online directory and Instagram account. Ever lovers of unique home goods, a stand out for us is Nasozi Kakembo’s collection, Xnasozi, featured here...

Excerpt from The Cut's A Design Warrior: Malene Barnett’s Black Artists + Designers Guild Champions Representation Within Those Fields

Photo credit - Xnasozi

Continue reading

Fridays For Future

Fridays For Future

On International Women’s Day, we look to Greta Thunberg, an amazing 16 year old climate activist with Asperger’s, for inspiration and to remember, if we don’t all individually give a sh*t, change is impossible.

“At the end of a record-hot summer in Sweden last August, then-15-year-old Greta Thunberg decided she would not be going back to school. Frustrated by the lack of attention paid to the existential threat of global warming — not least by politicians campaigning for upcoming elections — she set up outside the Swedish parliament with a water bottle, her rucksack filled with books and snacks and a homemade sign announcing her “School Strike for Climate.” “I tried to bring people along to join me,” she says — she’d been inspired by the Parkland, Florida, students who walked out of class to protest gun violence — “but no one was really interested, and so I had to do it by myself.”

Thunberg wasn’t alone for long. By the end of the first week, her strike had drawn coverage from Sweden’s biggest newspapers. As reporters flocked and she handed out fliers bearing the message “You grownups don’t give a shit about my future,” supporters dropped by to join the homespun protest on their lunch breaks. After three weeks of missed classes, Thunberg finally went back to school — mostly. She still strikes every Friday.

Now she’s become the unexpected founder of an international youth movement. Since the summer, tens of thousands of students in nearly 300 towns and cities from Australia to Uganda to the U.S. to Japan have joined her #FridaysForFuture protest. In Belgium, at the end of January, more than 30,000 students walked out of classes. A worldwide strike is planned for March 15th, with events planned in more than 50 countries.”


Quoted from Rolling Stone’s Women Shaping the Future issue.

Photo by The New Yorker

Continue reading

Decolonize Your Turmeric

Decolonize Your Turmeric

Four years after Sana Javeri Kadri moved to the US to attend Pomona College, she noticed a trend taking off. Turmeric, that golden yellow spice native to Javeri Kadri’s home country, India was suddenly everywhere, from lattes to crackers to chocolate. And she had a sneaking suspicion that the people actually growing it weren’t the ones profiting from turmeric’s popularity.

She was right. The modern spice trade is still heavily shaped by its colonialist origins. Farmers in the global South still earn pennies per pound to grow commodity spices, which US-based spice wholesalers sell at astronomical markups. If turmeric was becoming a staple, she reasoned, she wanted Indian farmers to benefit from this trend.

So, in August 2017, then 23-year-old Javeri Kadri founded Diaspora Co. Her Oakland-based company seeks to decolonize the spice industry through direct trade and transparency. This is no easy feat, and Javeri Kadri’s life has been a crash course in business ownership ever since.

“As a young person it’s hard to command authority, so I’ve had to learn how to be a boss...Honestly, if I had known then everything I know now, I probably wouldn’t have done this. But I’m also very grateful that I did.”

Javeri Kadri’s origins deep dive brought her to the Indian Institute of Spice Research in Kerala. It was there that she learned about Pragati turmeric, an heirloom cultivar with a high curcumin content and a short growing season. It’s the best turmeric in the world, but in an industry dominated by cheap commodity production, nobody wanted to buy it. Undeterred, Diaspora brokered a direct purchasing relationship with a farmer growing Pragati turmeric in northern Andhra Pradesh and pays 10 times the average market price.

Not only is she open and transparent about her purchasing relationships, Javeri Kadri has intentionally centered her personal story as part of Diaspora’s identity. As a young, queer woman of color, she knows her visibility as a business owner matters.

“I’ve been open and adamant since day one that this business is a desi x queer x immigrant x woman of color centered one. Queerness is a huge part of my identity and I am deeply invested in folks normalizing queerness, in all aspects of life. Often folks will ascribe a lot of value judgements to a business importing spices from India – and assume a lot about my identity as an Indian woman. Those assumptions can be anything from asking me whether I had pet tigers growing up, to questioning my ability to use a knife and fork, or assuming that I must have grown up in an oppressed backward society. None of those things are true and if folks are going to be consuming the highest quality produce of Indian origin, they owe it to the producer - and themselves really - to have a deeper and more nuanced understanding of where it’s coming from, and what the lives of the people getting it to them really looks like. So I’m here to champion for and be an ambassador for desi culture, for queer culture and for women of color to get paid what they deserve on both sides of the world, here and there.”

Article adapted from Shed’s Maker Stories and an Okay But What Do You Do? Profile

Photo credit: Diaspora Co.

Continue reading

Lean In to Happiness

Lean In to Happiness

'Happiness is the consequence of personal effort.
You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.
You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.
And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it.
You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.'

- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Continue reading

Love Yourself Day 2019

Love Yourself Day 2019

There’s a lot of pressure surrounding Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, it’s a day that can foster anxiety and ultimately we need to cultivate love for ourselves to live a harmonious life.

Let’s kindly remind ourselves that where we come from, where we currently are, and where we’re going aren’t supposed to look perfect and beautiful 100% of the time.

In light of all this, we celebrate February 14th as Love Yourself Day and have curated a special giveaway with three stupendous Bay Area-based partners: Project.Full, Chuck & Sam Organics and Clevr. These brands inspire us and are making the world a better place. This collaboration honors going inwards, even for a minute, to acknowledge your special gifts and give yourself a hug for the person you are right now, not the yesterday or future you.

Visit our Instagram to enter...

We take this quote seriously, ‘You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.’ So we hope you take a moment to shower yourself with kindness and use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to overload on self-care because there’s no such thing as too much love.

Continue reading

Oprah + Eckhart

Oprah + Eckhart

Oprah and Eckhart Tolle are waltzing their way through A New Earth together for a 10-week course. Every Monday, they delve into Tolle’s book, chapter by chapter and are taking questions from listeners/readers all over the world. These podcasts are very rewarding; it’s free, so we hope you’ll tune in to get a dose of zen vibes.

Continue reading

2019 Trajectory

2019 Trajectory

I experienced a bit of a breaking point last year with social media and my phone. The constant scrolling through Instagram and Twitter, on top of skimming The NY Times home page twice a day sent me into a spiral of heavy heartedness. I was binging on comparing and wallowing in dissatisfaction; I could feel the gloom building as I realized my scroll-a-thons were compulsive. I committed to a seven-day Internet and tech break during the last week of December and it was so liberating; I extended it to a ten-day hiatus and have subsequently reduced my screen time by 60%. The good news - I broke my bad habits, but know I need to remain diligent with them creeping back up on me and taking over again.

In light of my personal feelings and struggles with social media, when I relogged on and saw there were two documentaries about the Fyre Festival, I was intrigued. These Netflix and Hulu films examine a music festival scheme that was pulled off by exploiting social media, and its influencers, to bamboozle thousands of people out of millions of dollars. I believe you all know the rest of the story. From my experiences and viewing these films, it seems we’re in treacherous territory - I think it’s pivotal that we begin to observe our personal insecurities and the mischief social media can illicit, and seek higher ground. From a company standpoint, we’ll still post periodically on social platforms, but it’s no longer going to rule our day to day operations, as I don’t feel it’s healthy for me, our Community Manager or our followers. We’ll continue to put great effort into our Digests, Journal and Ambassador Program (one of our favorite ways to meet neat people). We’ll also begin focusing on events; my hope is to move towards our goal of building an intentional community based on mutual respect, eye contact, hugs, commiseration and most definitely high fives. 

Continue reading

How to be Happy

How to be Happy

One Hundred Words by J.D. Roth

Breathe.
Self-care comes first: nurture your mind, body, and spirit.
Be optimistic.
Choose happiness.
Don’t take things personally, and don’t make assumptions.
Be good to people.
Foster friendships.
Be vulnerable and love passionately.
Trust others.
Trust yourself.
Always do your best, but embrace the imperfections.
Refuse to let fear guide your decision-making process.
Act, even when you’re afraid.
Ask for what you want.
Collect opportunities, and create your own luck.
Explore.
Try new things, and keep an open mind.
Be present in the moment.
Share without reservation.
Do what you love — do it often.
Cultivate gratitude and joy.
Try new things, and keep an open mind.
Be present in the moment.
Share without reservation.
Do what you love — do it often.
Cultivate gratitude and joy.

Continue reading

Back in the Swing

Back in the Swing

Hi friends...I'm working on getting my groove back after a sensational break from technology and the internet for 10 days...I heard a lot of meaningful Rumi quotes at the meditation retreat and am still digesting the wondrous experience, so here are some of his mystical words and I'm looking forward to reconnecting with you all!

Enough Words? 

But that shadow has been serving you!
What hurts you, blesses you.
Darkness is your candle.
Your boundaries are your quest.
You must have shadow and light source both.
Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe.

Continue reading

Unconscious Storytelling

Unconscious Storytelling

Brené Brown is an expert on personal growth and a huge source of comfort to us. Check out this enlightening excerpt from her book, Rising Strong.

"Storytelling helps us all impose order on chaos—including emotional chaos. When we're in pain, we create a narrative to help us make sense of it. This story doesn't have to be based on any real information. One dismissive glance from a coworker can instantly turn into I knew she didn't like me

Our stories are also about self-protection. That's what human beings tend to do: When we're under threat, we run. If we feel exposed or hurt, we find someone to blame, or blame ourselves before anyone else can, or pretend we don't care.

But this unconscious storytelling leaves us stuck. We keep tripping over the same issues, and after we fall, we find it hard to get back up again. But in my research on shame and vulnerability, I've also learned a lot about resilience. For my book Rising Strong, I spent time with many amazing people—from Fortune 500 leaders to long-married couples—who are skilled at recovering from setbacks, and they have one common characteristic: They can recognize their own confabulations and challenge them. The good news is that we can rewrite these stories. We just have to be brave enough to reckon with our deepest emotions.

In navigation, dead reckoning is how you calculate your location. It involved knowing where you've been and how you got there—speed, route, wind conditions. It's the same with life: We can't chart a new course until we find out where we are, how we came to that point and where we want to go. Reckon comes from the Old English recenian, meaning "to narrate." When you reckon with emotion, you can change your narrative. You have to acknowledge your feelings and get curious about the story behind them. Then you can challenge those confabulations and get to the truth.

I'll walk you through it. The next time you're in a situation that pushes your buttons—from a breakup to a setback at work—and you're overwhelmed by anger, disappointment or embarrassment, try this practice.

Engage with your feelings.
Your body may offer the first clue that you're having an emotional reaction: for instance, your boss assigns the project you wanted to a colleague, and your face begins to feel hot. Or your response may involve racing thoughts or replaying the event in slow motion. You don't need to know exactly where the feelings are coming from: you just have to acknowledge them.

My stomach is in knots.
I want to punch a wall.
I need Oreos. Lots of them.

Get curious about the story behind the feelings.
Now you're going to ask yourself a few questions. Again, it's not necessary to answer them right off the bat.

Why am I being so hard on everyone?
What happened right before this Oreo craving set in?
I'm obsessing over what my sister said. Why?

This step can be surprisingly difficult. You're furious because Todd got the project, but it may feel easier to steamroll over your anger with contempt: Todd's a brownnoser. This company's a joke. Getting curious about your feelings may lead to some discoveries: What if you're more hurt than you realized? Or what if your attitude could have played a part? But pushing through discomfort is how we get to the truth.

Write it down.
The most effective way to become truly aware of our stories is to write them down, so get your thoughts on paper. Nothing fancy—you can just finish these sentences:

The story I'm making up...
My emotions...
My thinking...
My body...
My beliefs...
My actions...

For instance, you might write, I'm so peeved. I feel like I'm having a heatstroke. She thinks I'm incapable. I want to hurl a stapler.

You can be mad, self-righteous, confused. A story driven by emotion and self-protection probably doesn't involve accuracy, logic or civility. If your story contains those things, it's likely that you're not being fully honest.

Get ready to rumble.
It's time to poke and prod at your findings, exploring the ins and outs. The first questions may be the simplest:

1. What are the facts, and what are my assumptions?

I really don't know why my boss picked Todd. And I didn't tell her I was interested in the project—I figured she knew.

2. What do I need to know about the others involved?

Maybe Todd has some special skill or she has me in mind for something else.

Now we get to the more difficult questions:

3. What am I really feeling? What part did I play?

I feel so worthless. I'm failing in my career. And I don't want to ask for anything because someone might say no.

You may learn that you've been masking shame with cynicism, or that being vulnerable and asking for what you want is preferable to stewing in resentment. These truths may be uncomfortable, but they can be the basis of meaningful change.

Figuring out your own story could take 20 minutes or 20 years. And you may not make one big transformation; maybe it's a series of incremental changes. You just have to feel your way through.

If you're thinking this sounds too hard, I get it. The reckoning can feel dangerous because you're confronting yourself—the fear, aggression, shame and blame. Facing our stories takes courage. But owning our stories is the only way we get to write a brave new ending."

Continue reading