Nov

11

EllieFunDay Organic Baby Blanket Giveaway with Freshly Picked Moccasins

Fox & Forest GiveawayFox_MagnifyingGlass_BabyBlanket FoxAcorns_BabyBlanket Freshly_moccs_115_grande

FreshlyPicked

 

We are excited to start our 8 Weeks of Handcrafted for Life Giveaway. Handcrafted for Life™ means that our baby blankets are made with the utmost respect for the PLANET and the PEOPLE. All of EllieFunDay’s organic baby blankets are handcrafted by marginalized women in India. Each baby blanket purchased provides a fair wage and a dignified living for a disenfranchised woman.  We do our best to source responsibly and to be mindful of our planet. That is why our mantra is to buy less, buy better.

Each of our organic baby blankets feature 4 layers of organic cotton muslin that is super soft upon the touch and is perfect for baby’s delicate skin. Breathability, washability and durability are of utmost importance to us. Our blankets have been road tested by the best of the best…that means moms and kiddos alike!

We’ve partnered with our favorite makers in the industry to bring you 8 Weeks of Handcrafted for Life Giveaway! Every Monday, for 8 weeks we are giving away a goodie from one of our favorite makers alongside of one of our blankets.

Today we are giving away one of our FOX & FOREST Organic Baby Blanket with a pair of Freshly Picked Moccasins!

How to enter:

COMMENT TO WIN

leave a comment with your favorite blanket from our shop

 

BLOG FOLLOWER

follow our blog by clicking on our RSS Feed to the right, and leave a comment below stating so

 

FACEBOOK FAN

become a facebook fan and leave a comment for an entry!

 

TWITTER FOLLOWER

leave a comment if you’re a twitter follower for an extra entry and give us your handle

 

SPREAD THE WORD

twitter, facebook, or blog about this giveaway for one last entry!

come back & comment with the link! if you twitter, please

tag it with @elliefunday so we can track your tweet!

 

PINTEREST

Follow, Repin and Tag @elliefunday

 

INSTAGRAM

Follow us, Repost and Tag @elliefunday

 

Giveaway ends on FRIDAY, November 15th  at 8pm, PST

Please check back on Sunday to see if you are the lucky winner!

 

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Jun

10

Moving Forward

It’s been a few months since we’ve updated and certainly a lot has happened. When we last updated we were in the midst of training the first class of women that Stitching Sparrow would hire. The women were extraordinary. They were excited about the opportunity to work; it wasn’t just about the income but the sense of identity and dignity in being able to contribute something beautiful to the world.

However during that month, we realized that there are some very critical missing pieces in the operations. When we began all our planning, we had one solid premise – the sewing center needs to be a for-profit business. It’s not so much about making tons of money – it never has. It’s about running the sewing center with the heart and hustle to produce on-time, on-budget and at a remarkable level of quality. 

This is critical for two reasons. First, quality, cost and reliability are of utmost importance when producing a product for the western market. The second reason, being just as important, is that when we value the product, we value the women who make it. Pursuing excellence in production means we believe they are capable and recognize the work they put into it. This is why we were very adamant about running the sewing center as a business.

However as the training came to an end, we realized our partners would not (at the present time) be able to run the sewing center the way we heartily believed it needed to be run. It was a mixture of not being able to commit the kind of time/resources we expected and the conflicting mentality of wanting to run a business like a non-profit. I want to say here that our partners, who we love as family, are people of utmost integrity. We are always encouraged by their sacrificial and servant’s heart and have learned an enormous amount from them. 

Unfortunately in the end, we needed to pull out of working with Stitching Sparrow. It’s heartbreaking for both for us. There is a lot of potential. But it’s critical that we be on the same page as to how the sewing center would be run. We may consider working together again and will likely revisit the idea in the future. For now however it is better we part ways. 

Fortunately, the old motto as one door closes another opens is very true. We were extremely fortunate to connect with other established sewing centers in other parts of India and we are presently seeing whether we can have them make our blankies. They’ve already produced export quality product and are committed to working with poor and marginalized communities. We’re excited about the opportunities to partner and shooting to have a new product line in the fall. We’re in heavy design mode right now and look forward to having something out to you as soon as possible!

As we reflect on the past few months, we’ve grieved not seeing our plans with Stitching Sparrow come to fruition. But we’ve also learned a ton and will be better people for it. Without waver, we’re still committed to two things: making beautiful products and empowering under-resourced people. We’re excited about the future of Ellie Fun Day and look out for new and exciting things in the coming year! 

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Nov

14

TOMS Shoes, Where It All Began

On a lunch break about 4 years ago I walked through a Nordstroms and saw a pair of funny looking shoes that reminded me of espadrilles and decided to pick it up and assess it’s value. Low and behold, it said on the hangtag “One for one” for every shoe purchased a child in need receives a shoe. I thought to myself, now how cool is THAT! A product that does good!

So I proceeded to email the founder Blake Mycoskie and ask him for advice on how should one start a social enterprise. I had the early inklings of starting something, but just didn’t know quite where to begin. I was entirely floored to receive an email back from him. Here is a copy of his letter back to me.

Now fast forward 4 years later, I’m standing at TOMS Shoes headquarters ready to meet their head of giving supply chain manager, Mayura, whom I met at the SOCAP conference last month. Mayura so graciously invited us to visit the newly built headquarters just south of Venice Beach. They truly retained the cool “startup” feel by making the cubicles out of plywood , ping pong tables and having slides throughout the building for fast access. (hmm, I think we need one for our offices too).

What I found truly inspiring was just hearing her talk about a company that truly believes in the cause and her feeling like what she does actually does matter. She explained to me that each NGO that TOMS works with on ground for their shoe drops are heavily vetted to make sure that they are there to help the people in need. For some reason people have the impression that they just drop shoes off randomly and then take off feeling like they’re the heroes. TOMS has faced some heavy scrutiny on all accounts.

To be honest with you, some people might say, but they’re just shoes. Why aren’t you taking care of the orphans? Why aren’t you addressing the issue of AIDS? Why don’t you give water? etc. etc. Well, here’s one piece of information that might change your mind about “just” shoes. Children in Honduras need to wear shoes in order to go to school. No shoes = no education. I think that goes without saying, that’s worth it no?

As EllieFunDay continues to do our groundwork in India, I’ve learned a ton from TOMS. I had the chance to review Blake’s book “Start Something that Matters” and I’ve applied many of their principles to help us get started. Starting with this first piece of advice from Blake,

“I have started six businesses now and experienced naysayers for each and every one. Being an entrepreneur (or any type of creator) takes courage. You have to be willing to stand up for your own ideas and be willing to see them fail.”

Gosh, FAILURE? so many of us run from just the IDEA of failure. So many of us stop short of even trying because we’re afraid of failing. But here’s my question back, “What if you didn’t try? What if you decided to take the safe route? What if you lost money? What if you lost your job? Can’t we all earn money again somehow? Can’t we all find another job that will somehow support us?”

My two cents in all of this is, I NEED to do this because the POSSIBILITY of it working and making a difference far outweighs the loss. If EllieFunDay doesn’t work, I’ve lost some of my life-savings (so what?) but I’ve gained a world of knowledge, connections but more importantly a wealth of relationships that far outweigh the loss. In this year, I’ve already seen my own faith and skills grow in ways that I’ve never expected. If EllieFunDay DOES work, that means that LIVES are changed, cultural systems are overthrown, dignity is given, hope is achieved and a generation of Dalits will get to see what it means to be empowered. Now isn’t THAT worth the risk?

What’s would you risk that’s worth it for you?

3 Comments