These businesses gave (a darn).
I want to take a quick moment to highlight the generous and awesome people who supported my fundraising efforts for the Austin Children's Shelter during Amplify Austin. Please take a moment and visit and support these kind companies (don't forget that Mother's Day is coming up soon!).
I officially met Cindilu, the make-up and hairstylist behind Beauty Queen Blog during the Texas Style Council March mixers. She was so sweet and funny. She says, "My personal goal [is to] enhance natural beauty and create magic for everyone I come across. My passion is to create looks that you can wear every day to feel your best."
Blank Slate Patterns
Melissa, the blogger behind Melly Sews, took the big plunge and quit her day job to start her own small business, Blank Slate Patterns. Featuring modern sewing patterns for kids, these affordble patterns are absolutely adorable. Because she's a mom to two boys, she has great patterns for the little gentlemen in your lives. She says, "I choose sewing over buying because I like unique, well-fitting clothing. And I like that through sewing I can dress myself and my family more responsibly with regards to the environment by utilizing upcycled/recycled materials and support small and local businesses by sourcing fabrics and materials from them."
I met Amanda at Texas Style Council last year, and our paths have crossed a few times out since. She's a kind soul, creative and thoughtful. Dragonflight Dreams is her shop of hand printed clothing, tote bags and art prints with designs of a whimsical, fantastical, or elemental nature.
Little Low Studio
Caitlin and I met at Le Garage Sale earlier this year, but I was already familiar with her goods shop Feb 10 Designs because I had been stalking a few of her animal alphabet prints via Etsy. When I found out she was launching an Eco Friendly print shop, I was excited to see her new work. Everything in her shop is awesome-- clean and modern with a touch of whimsey, my favorites are her hoop art prints.
Way back in 2010, Tessie sponsored Adored Austin when she first opened her online retail shop. We did a great giveaway, and she even sent Jude an adorable Longhorns outfit, which Caroline is about to inherit! Longhorn Fashions is the go-to place to find affordable, adorable burnt orange clothing and accessories. Why relegate yourself to a shapeless mascot t-shirt, when you can find a cute sundress to wear to your campus events, instead? (Psst- there's a few maroon and purple items online, too).
As someone who is striving to highlight more companies that actively partner with global artisans and pay them a fair wage, I was really happy to learn about Musana Jewelry, where 100% of profits return the the artisians in Lugazi, Uganda. Each piece of jewelry sold takes the women artisans one step closer to survival, to providing for their children, and to eventual independence to pursue their dreams. While working for Musana, they practice English, receive literacy training, health training, financial guidance, and help with savings plans. The hope is that Musana will be a springboard for them to eventually stand on their own and pursue their dreams. After paying the women’s salaries and for operational costs, Musana jewelry profits are put back into the community to strengthen families and stability through various international development projects.
I did a big spotlight post on Noonday Collection a few weeks ago, as it's one of my favorite companies. Their jewelry is so lovely! The artisans Noonday purchases their collections from know their craft. For them to be paid a fair and competitive wage for their skilled work is a life-altering opportunity for most of them. Because the artisans are working under Fair Trade guidelines, your purchases enable them to earn more than what they would be earning in another job. This extra income allows them to put their children in school, buy chickens, or even expand their own business so they can employ their local community. Lilly Neubauer is my Noonday Collection Ambassador, and she's a kind hearted, super helpful gal up in Dallas.
I owe much of the success of the Texas Style Council to Tracy. My very first year throwing it (when it was called the "New Media Fashion Brunch"), she generously hosted. I later learned that her Etsy shop (now with over 13,000 sales and a 100% positive rating) is one of the top Etsy shops, ever! Wrap your head around this: there are over 500,000 active Etsy sellers, and Polished ranks as the #42 jewelry seller. Featuring bright, chunky, eye catching designs, Polished is best known for its Day of the Dead collection and it's one of a kind pottery shard jewelry. Nothing is over $35 and everything is handmade here in Austin!
POM (Patterns of Movement) PR
Kristen Chin is the public relations maven behind all of Austin Fashion Week. I first met her in 2009, when Adored Austin was a baby and POM PR was about to launch. I am always impressed by her company's work; their communication with me has always been personal, friendly, accommodating, and swift, which is a breath of fresh air! If ever I am in need of public relation services, Kristen is the one in Austin who I'd trust with that task!
Red Chair Market
I finally got to meet Anita, the genius behind this new company, last March at Langford Market, and I was so impressed with her candor, knowledge, and warmth. Sometimes a company comes along and you ask yourself, "Why didn't I think of that?" That's what I said to myself when I first learned about Red Chair Market, which is a listing service for vintage, antique, and used furniture. As someone who loves vintage furniture but has had two bad Craigslist experiences, a place like Red Chair Market, is a welcome relief.
Shannon and her husband Joe were in my Bradley birthing class, and her daughter Stella was born a couple weeks after Jude (and she's due any day now with her second daughter, too, so Josie and Caroline will be in the same grade, too). After spending ten weeks or so together preparing to become first time parents, we got to know the couple behind Team Ensor Real Estate pretty well! Strange fact about the kind of emails I get via Adored Austin: on average of 10 times per week, I get an email that says, "We're thinking about moving to Austin. Can you recommend places to live?" Strange fact about me: I am always looking at Austin real estate, and dreaming way beyond what my family can comfortably afford! Ha! In fact, at this very moment, I have a tab of Team Ensor opened up, and I'm looking at houses a little closer to my husband's work. I have my eye on a half acre up north. If you're thinking about moving to Austin or relocating within Austin, I really recommend reaching out to my friends Shannon and Joe.
Toni Marie Photography
Embarrassing, but true: I am active on a local mom board. Chris calls me a "forum warrior", but I'll take his teasing any day because truly I feel better connected to the local mom community by being an active participant on the boards. I met Toni through the boards, and I just love her work. The older I get and the faster life seems to be whizzing by, the more photos I wish I had. When people list off prized possessions, family photos are often one of those things we say "if the house were burning down, I'd quickly grab my photos". I really love Toni's attention to light, and I'm a big fan of her "Mommy & Me Sessions".
Tupelo Grease Co.
Launched in 2006 by Texas graphic designer Dylan Moore, Tupelo Grease Co. is inspired by a throwback lifestyle filled with smokey back-street card rooms, dimly lit lounges, blaring rock joints and honky tonks. Tupelo Grease just feels like Texas to me. The line features ultra-soft graphic tees, thermals and pearl snap shirts, and retro accessories like distressed trucker caps and chunky buckles.
Thank you so much for supporting the businesses who support my fundraising efforts in Austin.