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

Spotlight | BlackSheepMade

Spotlight | BlackSheepMade

My name is Alyssarhaye. I originally started BlackSheepMade as a way of funding my study abroad dreams while attending UC Riverside. Within my first few months of opening, I was able to knit my way to Costa Rica for a conservation internship. There I was a part of LAST (Latin American Sea Turtle conservation program) where we worked with the locals of Pacuare and ex-poachers to save sea turtles.

Now, more than two years after opening, BlackSheepMade has grown larger than I had imagined or even planned and is no longer helping only me. Over the last year and half, both my Abuelita and Lola (grandmothers) have been battling cancer. Last Winter, I accompanied my Abuelita to her chemo appointment. She showed me this basket where people can leave yarn in hopes of someone turning it into a beanie for the patients. I found the basket empty. So for the holidays, I filled it up with extra beanies I had for any patients that needed help keeping warm. To keep it going, for every purchase with BlackSheepMade, another beanie will be made for the basket!

Continue reading

4th Brumaire

4th Brumaire

A woman walks into a bar…

Yes, it’s me and I’d waited a year to do so! What gives? I’d read a boisterous SF Chronicle article last March about the natural wine smackdown, Brumaire, a raucous, sold out fest that spotlights some of the best and brightest natural winemakers from around the globe...and with no knowledge of natural wine at all, this feature made me feel bad that I’d missed out. I knew wine that’s farmed organically or biodynamically and made without adding or removing anything in the ‘cellar’ sounded like my kind of thing. So I made a calendar note and bought tickets before they sold out for the 4th annual event this past weekend in Oakland...

I boned up a little over 2018, following along with Marissa Ross and buying some bottles from Ordinaire, a pretty place with French cafe vibes and the most comprehensive offerings bar none in the Bay Area for au natural wine (and the team behind Brumaire). Mind you, I still have no clue what’s truly going on, so when I showed up at the Starline Social Club I felt pretty intimidated and bewildered because my expertise was rock bottom and the atmosphere was akin to a mosh pit.

It’s a very free flowing event, but I think brouhaha might be a better term, what I envision Burning Man was like in 1993, a bunch of cool people doing their thing...there are two rooms, vendors scattered about and throngs of people holding out their glasses for a pour, and if they're lucky a little chit chat with the maker. Once I started organically jamming myself into tables for tasting after tasting, it all was super chill and fun. While every wine wasn’t for me and some were murkier than others, quite a few really popped and I savored speaking to the purveyors; they all loved what they were doing and there was a deep sense of community. I heard many stories like “friends gave me their excess grapes so we made this” and “a property near me had too many apples so we got a big haul and made cider.” This was a refreshing break from preciousness, legacy and mass market appeal, a few of the traditional hallmarks of the wine trade. You know how I love my let’s not be perfect and make good with what we have soap box, so I was really in my element…

There was a bit of a celebrity appeal for me too, I spotted Marissa Ross, happily meandering about, basking in the glow and glad handing her crew. Actually everyone was, just us tasters and makers enjoying the good life. In the end I couldn’t get to everyone, partly because it was getting more packed by the minute, partly because I was getting buzzed and partly because there was some fried chicken with my name on it at Hopscotch down the street. All in all, it was definitely worth the wait and I know I'll be drinking a lot less sulfites this year...

Some of my faves included:

 Photo credit - Bon Appétit

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

It's an Artform

It's an Artform

My bucket list goal to read 12 books by the end of 2019 is off to a good start! Crazily enough I'm already half way through, which I'm pretty blown away by since March is here super suddenly if you ask me...

I think less TV consumption has aided me in getting this far so fast. Here's what I've delved into thus far:

  • Living Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Standing at the Edge by Roshi Joan Halifax 
  • Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts 
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker

I've loved each book in its own way, but as a former event wrangler, my latest read, The Art of Gathering is spotlighted today. It's so cool to think about how a small gathering of four or a huge conference requires equal finesse and attention to detail...as an aspiring dinner party host, I learned so much about how I can care for guests and make the experience special.

To work towards my goal, I've been visiting the SF Public Library and using the Libby app. I'm also encouraged by the Indie Bookstore Finder website, as supporting independent retailers is an important mission for me.

 

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

2019 Bucket List

2019 Bucket List

After my meditation retreat, I’ve been decidedly less gung-ho about planning out the whole year. This is a huge deviation, normally I’m planning 12 to 16 months in advance. It’s extremely liberating; I have very little on my calendar beyond work deadlines, which I’m loving - just being in the moment and letting the days flow by.

However, I also believe in my annual bucket list because dedicating energy towards milestones can offer heightened purpose, add a sense of excitement to everyday life and make each passing year more vibrant and fulfilling. I’ve been pondering what would be meaningful for me and my family this year with a theme of tranquility; for now, this means staying closer to home compared to years past and approaching every list item with a less-is-more ideology. I’m aiming for relaxation and renewal to be built in, so my list is less about productivity and more about cultivating health and harmony.

2019 Bucket List:
- Maximize my SF Library card and read 12 books

- Get into a regular volunteering routine
- Go to an Avett Brothers concert; the obsession started here
- Visit Joshua Tree with Mya and Liam (my bro and I had the best trip there in 2008, it’s time to go back)
- Hang out on the rocks of the South Yuba River and soak in the rays
- Check out Lassen Volcanic National Park
- Stay at the Brewery Gulch Inn
- Continue my daily meditation practice
- Participate in a Nonviolent Communication workshop after reading this amazing book
- Find a pet (yes, I’m manifesting the pet that is meant for my hubs and I will seek us out)

As usual, I’m keeping my goals pretty approachable with a few curve balls in there to mix it up; I don’t want to get discouraged, but I certainly want to push the envelope to grow and test the universe a little. I’d love to hear if you’ve created a bucket list for this year or at least have a few must-dos you’re hoping and striving for.

Ps. How did I do with my 2018 bucket list? See below, there were some modifications and I only completely missed the bottom 3 italicized ones...not bad!

- Hike to Half Dome and climb the chain ladder to the summit - granted we didn’t summit Half Dome but Yosemite was pretty damn great without all the hooha
- Ride in a hot air balloon
- Get back into ceramics - try a wheel-throwing workshop
- Stay in the nicest hotel in a 50 mile radius and enjoy a staycation
- Take Mya and Liam to Hawaii
- Visit at least 10 of San Francisco’s privately-owned public open spaces (POPOS)
- Go to Form Festival - well, we went to Outsidelands and it rocked our world
- Cultivate a thriving veggie and herb garden
- Zipline somewhere with an amazing view
- Visit the Farallon Islands
- Take a calligraphy class

Photo credit: Joshua Tree Acres

Continue reading

You'll Be Missed Karl

You'll Be Missed Karl

Karl Lagerfeld was a force to be reckoned with and there are few that can take his place, mainly because his work ethic was so impressive - he designed 14 collections a year at the age of 85. This quote says it all:

“Please don’t say I work hard...Nobody is forced to do this job, and if they don’t like it they should do another one. People buy dresses to be happy, not to hear about somebody who suffered over a piece of taffeta.”

RIP Karl...

Continue reading

Scrubadub

Scrubadub

I love taking long soaks, especially this time of year. Then I discovered Korina Naturals, a lovely line of SF-made skin care and it upped my bath game. I’m obsessed with this Pink Himalayan salt to detox, as well as their Geranium Body Polish and Whipped Body Balm. Support a small craftswoman and give Korina a try...your skin will thank you!

Continue reading