Pop-Up Shop Benefitting the Parker Mother & Child Foundation and Apoola Na Angor

You never really know what your neighbors are up to, do you? I've known the Parker family for most of my life and until I read an article in the Bordentown Current last year I had no idea they were doing some incredibly impactful work in their spare time. 

Bordentown resident, Jim Parker is a documentary film maker and while visiting Uganda, he was moved by the beauty of the country and the warm welcome he was given by the residents who were living in truly extreme poverty. HIV/AIDS has created a generation of orphans in Uganda, and many households are run by children. These children won't realize the hopes they have for their future without outside help. Too often, monies donated to charity don't make it to those who need it so desperately - the Parker Mother & Child Foundation was started as a way to fill the gap between regulated government assistance and the actual needs of the...

How I made bathtime toxin free - and a spotlight on Zoe Organics!

Prior to being pregnant with my first baby I never gave much thought to what I put on my skin - but, knowing that I was totally responsible for growing another human made me think about literally EVERYTHING I bought, used and consumed. My aforementioned, long- suffering husband will second this! So, being the research loving gal I am - I dug in, because there is a lot to learn and I'm still learning. 

Let's start with the basics, and a brief review from life science class - yes, our skin is an organ, and it is our largest organ.  

What we apply to our skin can and often does enter the bloodstream. You'll read stats on how long it takes for that to happen - but what isn't disputed is that the ingredients in all of these lotions and soaps and creams can and do penetrate that beautiful....

The most important question I'm asked in my shop

If the shop is open, there's a pretty good chance I'm working in it. In between stocking, ordering, marketing, and cleaning - I get to talk to my super cool neighbors and customers. There are a couple of questions I get asked a lot:

1. Is this candy / chocolate bar / truffle good? Answer - yes. I've tried them all.

2. What is that awesome smell? Answer -  It isn't me...I wish! The soaps and bath bombs in here blend together in the best way possible and I agree, it is lovely.

3. Where is the pilates studio? Answer - it is down the hall, and thank goodness for it, because see my answer to question 1.

4. Why is (fill in the blank) so expensive?

February 11, 2017 by Sarah McEwan

New Jersey's Best Boutiques 2016

Best Clothing Boutiques In New Jersey
Oh my goodness, listen to this! I love the website funnewjersey.com and check their blog for ideas and things to do with the family. So - you can almost imagine my ginormous smile reading that this little shop was mentioned as one of their Best Boutiques in New Jersey for 2016! Say, ... 
January 06, 2017 by Sarah McEwan

Spotlight on Mata Traders

I stumbled across Mata Traders while searching for a jewelry vendor for my website in April 2015. I was on the hunt for affordable, ethically made jewelry with simple, modern lines - I want to shop fair trade, but still look like me.  Mata's style? Loved it. Price point? Super affordable. Mission? I needed to know more about the company and started with their website which just had a gorgeous makeover. 

"Three best friends with a serious case of wanderlust set out on an around-the-world adventure and landed in Mother India for four months. Enamored with the people, markets, and colorful textiles, they vowed to make the country a part of their life story."

Mata Traders ArtisansThis may be how the story began in 2003, but it oh baby, it grew. Mata Traders has evolved into a powerhouse of social entrepreneurship. I did a pretty deep dive into their blog and website and by connecting the Google dots was able to find out more information about the company and the...

June 26, 2016 by Sarah McEwan

Hey, look what we did!

When I started this project in April last year, I wasn't sure what to expect. I want to do some serious good with this business, and I know we'll get there - but to have something to actually give after just 8 months is pretty encouraging!

The goal was to have something, anything, to donate to the local and international charities I chose for 2015: The Friends of the Ecological Schoolyard Fund for Clara Barton Elementary School and UNICEF. 10% of our profit was promised, BUT since most businesses aren't profitable their first year (this one included...apologies to my long suffering husband) I switched that to...

The 2016 Plan

This year is wrapping up, and I'm guessing most of you are taking a minute to think about what worked, what didn't and what you want to make of 2016. Samesies over here! By the way, standing in line at Trader Joes during lunchtime is great way to get in a moment of reflection. It's also a great way to impulse buy jelly beans but we're talking about reflection here.

Change. 2015 was a year of change for me - and I'm happy to report - some growth and a little progress! Part of this wrap up I'm doing is diving into an excel spreadsheet my math whiz of a baby sister created for me and tallying up what I get to donate at the end of the month! The shop sells lots of products that do good work (fair trade cooperatives, underemployed women, musicians in New Orleans) but I also committed to donating 10% of my profits to the Ecological Playground at Clara Barton School and Unicef in 2015. With your support in shopping for good and those beautiful PLAY bracelets we have actual some...

December 09, 2015 by Sarah McEwan

Trading Fair

I remember going into a fair trade store in my early 20's. I'm not sure I really understood what it

Fair Trade Federationmeant - but I definitely remember feeling like there was a good chance it wasn't quite for me. There was an impressive amount of batik, the requisite woven baskets and yes ... there was patchouli. (full disclosure - i happen to love patchouli, the smell is why I went in to begin with.) The lady working there made me feel super welcome, and let me wander until I found something I liked. I bought a ring that day, and I did stop back there for gifts now and then. Still, I was completely unaware of what fair trade meant and why it mattered. But, patchouli...right? 

Fast forward twenty years from that first little shop - and I've found my...
November 12, 2015 by Sarah McEwan

Vendor Spotlight: Dsenyo

Social enterprise. Ethical fashion brand. Fair trade gifts company. This is Dsenyo, founded by Marissa Perry Saints - an artist, who after living in Malawi saw an opportunity to help the hard-working women she met better their lives and their communities.

Dsenyo creates jobs for over 1,000 individuals where work is scarce or nonexistent. They go beyond job creation, by encouraging the artisan communities to grow their businesses independently through vocational training and entrepreneurial skills development. They do this so the artist's future income can be sustainable and not based on a single partnership.  

Pretty terrific, no? Top it off with environmentally friendly materials in gorgeous colors and I was...

September 22, 2015 by Sarah McEwan

So...where does the money go?

This store is all about shopping for good, right?  You help local and international artisans with your purchases - but, we also donate from our profits.  Where does the money go?  In the future, I'd kind of like you to decide that - but since this is a new venture, I chose our charities this time around.

I live in Bordentown, New Jersey. (Exit 7, woot!)  I grew up here and love this community - the people, the history, the town - it's just a great place to live. If you aren't familiar with Bordentown, come visit!  Our town is about one square mile of awesome and among our past and present residents we have an impressive roster of game changers. Read to the end to for the list - it will be worth it!  

We have a wonderful group in town working hard to make it an even better place for our children to...

May 17, 2015 by Sarah McEwan