Sharing the Aesthetic Sense of Our Community

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Village Women in Kisoro
By Karen Akst Schecter

Celebrate International Women’s Day by Supporting Women Artisans All Over the Globe

With the right tools a woman's potential is limitless: ensuring a woman's independence through income generating projects.

Celebrate International Women’s Day by supporting women artisans all over the world: your purchases help women help themselves and their families, giving them independence and control over their own lives. Aside from the many women artists we showcase from all over the US, we feature goods for your soul hand crafted by women artisans all... READ MORE >

By Karen Akst Schecter

Shopping for Good: Together We Make a Difference

Making a Difference in the Lives of Artisans Throughout the World

Thank you for joining with us to grow the Aesthetic Sense community and make a difference in the lives of artisans all over the world. We’re grateful for your support in our mission to provide cool, handmade artisanal crafts, gifts, whimsy and Judaica that is all fairly traded with a social conscience. Rather than plastic... READ MORE >

By Karen Akst Schecter

Fair Trade, Ethical Sourcing & February 14th….Celebrating Love while Helping the World Around You

The “Kosher” Way of Buying Goods

Why do we focus on ethical sourcing and knowing the origin and stories behind our Judaica and other goods? For two different yet complementary reasons. First, our passion for social justice: “Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof – Thou shall surely seek justice” is a core Jewish value. When we decided to open the Aesthetic Sense: Goods for... READ MORE >

Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World, One Sale at a Time

Reflections on Goods for the Soul

Originally found in the Mishna and viewed as a social policy to ensure safeguards for the disadvantaged, the concept of “Tikkun Olam” has been refined throughout the generations.* Jewish mysticism views tikkun olam as a way for individuals to counterbalance the evil in the world by performing restorative good deeds, in turn restoring the world... READ MORE >

Grand Opening Celebration

Giving Back: Why We Do What We Do

Supporting Two amazing Endeavors: Birthday Angels, and The Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester

As we approach our official Grand Opening celebration, we want to talk plainly about our business, our goals, and our promise. Karen and I are certainly no “spring chickens,” but all jokes aside, with that comes a significant advantage: we can draw from our observations and experiences to establish a business that, we hope, can... READ MORE >

By Karen Akst Schecter

Social Justice & Judaica: Fair Trade and Jewish Values

Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof: You Shall Pursue Justice

As some of you might know, Jay and I try very hard to know our artisans personally, and to take great interest not just in their work, but in their lives as well. So when we went shopping at the NY Gift Show last week, we went to say hello to old friends, and make... READ MORE >

By Karen Akst Schecter

Women & Tallit: Taking the Plunge

My Personal Journey to Donning, and Loving, My Prayer Shawl

As a woman of a certain generation, the journey to wearing a tallit was an emotionally turbulent one. So much of the decision was fraught with emotional baggage, and it took years to shed the misplaced emotions, to marry the intellect with the heart. Growing up, we were a traditional Jewish family with a varied... READ MORE >

Village Women in Kisoro

Lydia’s Story: Empowerment Through Ethical Sourcing & Fair Trading

A First Hand Look at Global Poverty, Social Justice & Supporting Artisans

I don’t know a lot about “Fair Trade” with a capital “F”, capital “T”.  But after almost a year of living and working at a hospital in rural Uganda, I have learned a bit about global poverty and social justice and how the two intersect. Last week I met Lydia.  She’s a 31-year-old Ugandan woman... READ MORE >

By Karen Akst Schecter

Ethical Sourcing: The Roots of Charity

The Who, What, and Why of the Fair Trade and Ethical Sourcing Movements

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. This ancient proverb has variously been attributed to Maimonides, ancient Chinese philosophers, and to a mid 19th Century British author. Tzedek tzedek tirdof: Thou shall pursue justice. This phrase is a... READ MORE >

Building Community: The Architect Talks About Creating a Gallery Good for the Soul

There is one thing a designer likes more than completing a project, and that is to write about completing a project. Not only do I get to describe the architectural process, but I get to formally thank Karen and Jay for making the process an enjoyable and successful one as well. We began with a... READ MORE >

Past, Present & Future . . .

Jay: Our Responsibility to be Truthful, Transparent, and Giving, Grateful to Family and Friends

Whether it is in my personal life or my business life, I’ve always believed in the maxim: To know where you are going, you need to know where you come from. Never has this been more true than now, as we launch The AESTHETIC SENSE: goods for the soul. Karen’s and my personal journeys over... READ MORE >

By Karen Akst Schecter

The Trials and Tribulations of New Space!

Building the Flagship Gallery for Goods for the Soul

Building a new and beautiful flagship gallery, one worthy of the art work and functional creations it will host, was sometimes fun and exciting, other times daunting and overwhelming, equal parts amazing and frustrating, usually all at the same time! So, while we were still refining the concept for the new venture, Jay found us... READ MORE >