Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Beyond FINESSE: Have Fun • Do Good, Global Girlfriend, and the Amber Chand Collection

Thanks again to Matt over at Empathy for posting on Monday about the upbeat and generous blog, Have Fun • Do Good. Britt Bravo (I know; what a great name!) of Oakland puts those looking for fun and helpful ways to make a difference in this world in touch with worthy causes and charities that could use their help. In her November 17 post on holiday shopping with a charitable twist, Britt highlights Global Girlfriend, which happens to be headquartered right here in my little neck of the woods south of Denver.

A “fair trade boutique” that sells products that benefit women’s human rights and hand-made goods made by women’s non-profits and cooperatives, Global Girlfriend offers a wide selection of stylish and stunning gifts. As Stacey Edgar has stated in numerous magazine articles and newspaper features on her unique company, many women worldwide try to make a living by selling their handicrafts but have little access to market opportunities. Global Girlfriend provides consumers easy and very affordable access to the works of such artisans.

Groups that benefit from Global Girlfriend’s efforts include the Women’s Bean Project of Denver, the Enterprising Kitchen of Chicago, the Gathering Place of Denver, Rosie’s Place of Boston, The Gemini Trust of Ethiopia, and many more. Check out the colorful beaded Masai bangle bracelets created by women in a Tanzanian craft cooperative for $12 or the Be Strong beaded lariat made by women in Nepal for $28. And that’s just in the jewelry section of the Global Girlfriend on-line catalog, which also features apparel, gifts for the home, gifts for girls, handbags and accessories, even hand-made paper products. It’s so refreshing to find unique gifts in an on-line store; it’s even more refreshing to know that each purchase contributes to the well-being of another human being.

In her post on Global Girlfriend, Britt also invited readers to share info on other sites that sell “do good gifts.” One visitor mentioned the Amber Chand site that features “global gifts for peace and understanding.” Here’s that company’s simple yet powerful statement:

“The Amber Chand Collection offers unique gifts created by talented craftswomen who live in regions of conflict and post-conflict. Each object we present is an expression of skilled workmanship and design emerging out of rich, vibrant cultural traditions in which women are often the keepers of the creative flame. We work with craftswomen who are the inadvertent victims of war, genocide and civil strife—and celebrate women’s hands as a force for peace and women's voices as the enduring strength of their fragile communities.”

Founder Amber Chand also has been featured in numerous publications. While her collection continues to grow, check back often to see what’s been added to a colorful line that now includes the Darfur basket of strength, the Cambodian silk bag of smiles, the Kabul necklace of courage, the Jerusalem candle of hope, and the Mayan harmony necklace and bracelet.

Women like Britt Bravo of Have Fun • Do Good, Stacey Edgar of Global Girlfriend, and Amber Chand of the Amber Chand Collection know what it takes not only to acknowledge what people in need all over the world endure, but to do something about it. Their efforts truly make a difference. Happy shopping!


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