Handmade from the Heart

A lot of my blogging friends are sharing their favorite handmade/online shops this week so I thought it'd be fun to do the same. I'm a big fan of etsy and my love for handmade and unique gifts is increasing at a rapid rate. There's just something about giving or getting a gift that you know wasn't purchased in a mega department store. It's unique, and it's not likely than millions of other people are going to have the same thing. Shopping 'handmade' promotes creativity, individuality, and often times (depending on the shop) a great cause. A lot of handmade shop owners give part of their profits to causes like at-risk, women, education, orphan care, clean water, etc. 

So here are a handful of my favorite shops... some of which I've purchased Christmas gifts from for friends and family this year. I had the opportunity to meet many most of these women at The Influence in October and believe me when I say, their hearts are even more beautiful than their products. 

MelodyJoy1983 // beautiful handmade jewelry, cowls, painted art by Melody.

Naptime Dairies // unique and one-of-a-kind prints, often featuring scripture, for your home by Jessi and her husband

She Does Justice // scarves, prints, and accessories being sold in order to help others who are helping others

Better Life Bags // incredible handmade bags by Rebecca and other women in her community. A portion of the profits help employ women who otherwise wouldn't be able to work. {I have the 'molly messenger' bag and I adore it.}

Button Bird Designs // incredible handmade art by Angels. Too many wonderful things to list!

Amber Zaccagni // one-of-a-kind handmade leather cuffs by Amber

Snow Drift Designs // beautiful handmade cowls and other knitted beauties. {I have a grey cowl made by Kirtley and I love it!}


Live With Less is making progress. Some great progress. We started selling t-shirts on September 18th, 2012. Since then, we've sold 124 shirts to people all over the country and even a couple outside of the U.S. We've also been able to sell at The Influence Conference in Indianapolis, IN and a craft fair in Minooka, IL. On December 8th, we'll be selling again at a craft fair at Judson Church in Joliet, IL. (On a side note, I'm finding that craft fairs aren't the best place for LWL tees based on the average age of most craft fair shoppers and the fact that people come to buy more stuff, not live with less.) But we'll be giving the "craft world" another shot on October 8th because Judson Church is bringing in vendors as well as having a bake sale in order to raise money for Haiti. So LWL will be supporting their cause as well as continuing to raise money for The Mocha Club and clean water.

Just to give you an idea of what we've been able to do since 9.18.12...
  • 124 shirts sold online and in various venues
  • Over $600 raised for clean water which means that about 85 people in Ethiopia will have clean drinking water for one year. Amazing. 
{$7=clean water for 5 Africans for 1 year.}
  • People are being challenged to 'live with less' just by putting on a simple t-shirt. They're being challenged to think less about themselves and more about others.
  • $275 was raised by Angela from Button Bird Designs by selling super cute up-cycled Owls, which are still available for purchase here. Part of the profits from the sale of these handmade owls will go to Compassion International. (She also has a lot of other great stuff for sale that would make a great Christmas present!)
Recently I've been thinking about some goals for 2013 when it comes to Live With Less. I'd like to raise $5,000 for clean water in 2013. $7 from every t-shirt sale goes towards clean water which means I'd need to sell 714 t-shirts next year. It might be a lofty goal but we're gonna aim high! Go big or go home right? Well,  at least that's what we tend to say here in the midwest. 

If we keep selling at the same pace we have been in 2012 then I think it's reachable. We've sold 124 t-shirts in the last 72 days so who even knows how many t-shirts we could sell in 2013! 

I'm so honored to be connected with so many people in person and in the online world who want to make a difference in their communities and around the world. 

Would you consider buying a LWL tee for yourself or a friend this Christmas so we can help even more people? Or if you've already purchased one will you tell a friend? 

live with less. give more. make a difference. 
merry christmas.