Every weekend, SouleMama features carefully selected sponsors and their giveaways and discounts. She selects small businesses that share her values in terms of handcrafted goods, environmentally responsible materials and business practices, lovely products that are beautiful and useful, and business owners who are thoughtful about their lifestyles. Today she featured Aurora Shoe Company. I really like the way the owner explained the values of thinking about what we are purchasing, from whom, what materials were used, where did they come from, etc. Here is an excerpt from SouleMama's interview with Aurora Shoe Company:
~:: We're always inspired by other small business owners who, like us, have committed to a culture and a lifestyle that build our local economies and support our own ideals. It's so easy to become a blind consumer today, always buying the cheapest goods without taking the time to think about where they've come from or what their real value is. We're proud to be a part of the growing sector of America that is much more conscious of how their money is spent and where their goods come from.
There is so much creativity and industry all around us - we just have to be willing to look a little farther (or in our case, closer) than the nearest strip mall to find it!
When we buy handmade we're demonstrating a value that goes beyond price. To buy handmade is to invest in an art form, a way of life and a cultural ideal. It's to take part in a system that supports the individual, the artist and the entrepreneur in a society and an economic system that leans in the opposite direction. ~::
They also pointed out that the goods on the shelves in American stores often have prices that don't reflect the cheapness of their quality because of the costs of import taxes, marketing and shipping.
I have not even come close to making a complete switch to local, organic, environmentally responsible food and goods made by people who are very conscious and intentional about their work. I still frequently shop for convenience and low pricing, and usually out of necessity. But I have been subtly, gently influenced by SouleMama and Etsy and my own attraction to supporting the business owners in my own community, and will continue to move in that direction as I am able.
I clicked on a link in SouleMama's post about Aurora Shoe Company that led me to an Etsy shop called Madder Root, which sells handprinted, organic tea towels, napkins and produce bags. I found this pussy willow tea towel in oyster gray, which I thought was a perfect little follow-up to my last post about shades of grey and pussy willows! I can add oyster gray to my list of shades of gray, and it falls in the gray, not grey, category, according to my rubric for when gray should be spelled with an "a" or an "e"! I sure do love that bowl of eggs in soft shades of brown, gray and cream!
|lovely pussy willow tea towel from Madder Root's Etsy shop|