Disclosure: As a member of The Mission List, I received Indego Africa products for review in order in to learn about this program. I also purchased items with personal funds. No additional compensation was received.
Indego Africa empowers independent businesswomen artisans in Rwanda, and provides for us a gorgeous marketplace of handmade, fair trade accessories, jewelry, home goods and gifts.
I enjoy every single purchase I make, from the avocado at the grocery store to my children’s sneakers to the living room rug. But when shopping at Indego Africa’s marketplace, I reveled in my purchases even more than usual. I knew that each item I chose was handmade by fellow women across the globe in Africa, and that the sale of their art enables them to support their families and forge their own sustainable businesses. 100 percent of the profits of these goods go to fund training programs for Rwandan women.
“Indego Africa is an award-winning, design-driven 501(c)(3) nonprofit social enterprise that lifts women-owned businesses in Rwanda toward sustainable economic independence through access to markets and education.
Indego Africa partners with for-profit cooperatives of more than 400 women artisans in Rwanda and exports, markets, and sells their jewelry, accessories, and home decor on its online store, to more than 80 retail stores across the U.S. and Europe, and at major brands like J.Crew and Nicole Miller through cutting-edge design collaborations.” — Indego Africa.com
It was difficult to identify favorites amongst the products offered, as they all possess a global cool, merging locally-sourced materials and traditional Rwandan crafting with modern covetable objects. Of the home goods, I swooned over the Yellow Star Pillow Cover ($36). I love its mixed fabric patchwork style.
All of the jewelry is exquisite, but I was particularly drawn to the Wrapped Cowhorn Earrings (currently on sale for $25). They are statement earrings — a nice change from the ubiquitous statement necklaces. The hoops are hand-carved by the artisans of the Umurimo Cooperative and then wrapped with hand-dyed imigwegwe plant fibers by the women of the Imirasire Cooperative. I feel humbled when I wear them, knowing two different women worked on a beautiful product I am now wearing about my privileged American life. Talk about beautiful perspective…
I am a devoted cuff bracelet wearer, and the Imfumzo Bangles (currently on sale for $15) are my very favorite cuffs at the moment. Made from native palm leaves, they are light as leaves — perfect for summer when I do not feel like wearing a big metal bangle in the heat — but still make a big, cuff style impact. I received one for review and went back and purchased two more. They are hand-woven and hand-dyed by the master artisans of Huguka Cooperative.
I am proud to say that Indego Africa will now be my go-to shop for gifts for birthdays and holidays. By sending a girlfriend one of these African treasures, I know that in a small way I will be giving to another woman somewhere, too.
I recently rediscovered a classic online store: Spiegel. Although I used to associate this brand with the catalogs chic moms received in the ’80s and ’90s, a lot about Spiegel has changed. In addition to its catalogs, the company is now a premium online women’s retailer. Its current offerings are the kind of effortlessly pretty clothes, shoes and accessories I am used to finding at J.Crew or Madewell.
Just as shoes can tell you a lot about an outfit, Spiegel’s shoes bode well for the rest of the site. The on-trend laser cut perforated leather pumps (pictured above at left) are my favs, and they are currently marked from $119 to $59. There are also suede, subtly platformed pumps in taupe, my go-to style for professional and dressier events (they go with everything and visually lengthen the leg) for just $39. And there is a great selection of casual flat sandals and TOMS-esque espadrilles in the $14-$39 range.
I am impressed with the spring dress selections, for the styles strike a nice balance between current trends and timeless. I could easily choose from their dress sections items to wear for work, weekends or weddings.
Another Spiegel section that interests me is their swimwear. The styles are glamorous or preppy, very 2013, but not the same suits you see in every other catalog or store. The tankinis, one-piece and bikini styles are wearable and cool.
For the quality of the clothing, the prices are great — most items are under $100. And if you sign up for their e-mail alerts, you will receive a code for 15 percent off your Spiegel purchase.
Have you recently shopped at Spiegel? Which items are your favorites?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are my own.
You already know that a trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland is a child’s dream come true. But these destinations are also heaven on Earth for all members of a family. Every aspect of Disney is engineered for optimum family unity and happiness.
If you happen to be a blogger, vlogger, or social media parent, an invitation to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration combines an unbelievably awesome family vacation with top notch social media learning, work-life inspiration, as well as an exclusive view into what Disney’s Imagineers are cooking up throughout the world. (Be sure to sign up here if you are interested in attending a Disney Social Media Moms Celebration On-the-Road event this summer, they are happening in New York, San Francisco, DC and Seattle.)
In the coming weeks I will be posting Disney travel tips to help with planning your own visits and more cool resources to help you grab handfuls of the pixie dust that Disney has in store for us. But in the meantime, here is a video I made that I hope conveys the magic of Walt Disney World and the joy my family and I experienced on our trip.
Disclosure: As an attendee of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I received perks, parties and a very reduced rate for the conference portion of my family’s stay. I am not affiliated with Disney or any entities mentioned in this video, nor am I monetarily compensated in any way.