The Aesthetic Sense: Adventures in Shopping for GoodEmpowered artisans. A shared sense of community and purpose. One compelling concept. By Karen Akst Schecter
Two years ago we founded our business in the belief that our clients wanted to shop for good, using their dollars to make a positive difference in the world, and would therefore embrace goods produced by fairly compensated artisans working under safe and ethical conditions. We called our collection “Goods for the Soul” – goods which not only inspire, delight and give meaning to our daily lives, but which are also purchased with a goal of enriching the lives of the artisans as well as those who give and those who receive.
Thanks to you, we have exceeded our expectations. With each purchase of our ethically sourced and fairly traded artisan-crafted goods, you help families and communities across the world benefit, poverty and inequality decrease, and the world grow just a bit smaller.
We remain dedicated to finding, presenting and offering for sale the coolest and most unique and exquisite collection of artisanal crafts, gifts, whimsy and Judaica, all fairly traded with a social conscience and intended to capture a place in your heart. Not only do we share with you the story of each artisan, but the search for fairly traded and ethically sourced goods is also a story in itself: confronted with the fact that most plastic dreidels are made in unvetted factories in Asia, even those that were sourced in Israel, we worked with a fair trade organization in Peru to design and manufacture a handcrafted dreidel handcrafted by local artisans from a sustainable nut. For the Festival of Lights, Chanukah, and the festival of Freedom, Passover, both of which celebrate the fight against oppression, or just to satisfy a sweet tooth, we offer a full selection of Fair Trade chocolate, made from beans harvested by small farmers without slave or child labor.
We are currently exploring a new alliance with a social enterprise based in Israel that is creating a marketplace for goods handmade by people with disabilities and from underprivileged communities, allowing our clients to purchase goods that give back to those in need in Israel. We hope to be able to announce more details about this initiative in the coming weeks. We also host “local local” trunk shows where we showcase the work of local artisans whose work inspires us with their creativity and ingenuity.
Whether it is an item made around the corner or around the world, shopping for good helps artisans here and abroad. It brings to life the maxim: give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach him to catch a fish, and you feed him for a life time.
Every day reinforces for us one of the underlying tenets of our collection: the most cherished items, regardless of price, are those that reflect not only the buyer’s (or receiver’s) taste, but our values as well. Along with so many of our friends and clients, we have come to cherish increasingly those goods that are authentic and that are ethically sourced. We are proud that our collection reflects this commitment to such goods.
Finally, we continue to grow a community of friends who cherish goods for the soul. And for that, we thank you all.
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