09 December 2016

Pop-Up Shop: The Sig Sig Bags

Todays' pop-up is really special...

We once visited a women's co-op of weavers in a very small town in Ecuador called Sig Sig. And I was just elated when the guide told us that 100% of the workers are women. We got to tour their workshop and see where they dry palm leaves and create extremely well-made Panama hats and bags with their hands. 

We thought it would be amazing to get some bags woven for you all (right?). So we contacted the women by phone and sent them a drawing of a bag... 

They made a sample bag for us in less than a week and even said they'd bring it into the city of Cuenca. They requested that we meet them on the steps of the bank. 

And this is what we saw when we arrived....


It turns out the woman weaving the hat is the President of the company and the other woman is the Secretary, who took notes while we all spoke. They were SO kind and cheerful. We asked if they could help with shipping to the U.S. and they said yes, in fact earlier that day they had shipped 800 hats to the U.S. Ok, these women are utter rockstars in my book.

Here is The Circle Bag we had them make for us.... and I must say, I just adore it

In two days while walking around Cuenca, I've had THREE women stop to say they love the bag. That hasn't ever happened here. I think the women here know their weaving, and they know this round shape is new to the scene. :)

The Circle Bag - 3 Available



Today we were completely spoiled and got to the spa visit with our best friends here in Cuenca (they're a couple from Utah that moved here with their two daughters - and we just can't get enough of our epic conversations.) 

It was a dream to take my new bag to the spa and it worked out perfectly as a carry-all.

This is what I put in it today:

-Water Bottles (we add lime to our water which is the most refreshing thing to drink in the sun or after the sauna.)
-Face Oil w/ plant-based sun protection properties 
-Essential Oils for the Sauna & Laying in the Sun: Bergamot, Arborvitae, Passion (contact me if you want to get wholesale prices.)
-Sunglasses
-Cell Phone
-Laptop - for doing some work, reading, or writing (though, um...it was so nice to talk with our friends that I never got to the computer.)

This Circle Tote is extremely sturdy and not flimsy/fragile at all like many straw/raffia/grass type bags. The palm leaves this is woven with are crazy strong. It seems I could carry three bricks around in it and the thing would still hold up. 




These weavers, the savvy business ladies that they are, also brought a few other bags to see if they could entice me. And well, they did. And so we actually have THREE bags to choose from today. Truth be told, there was a fourth bag, but it got sold to a passerby before I could take a photo of it. But here are these two beauties...

The Fringe Top Bag - 3 Available



The Black & White Bag - 3 Available 

(This one has a finer weave and takes longer to make.)



These are all extremely well made. I know you'll just LOVE them.

(3) of Each Bag Available

Price for each bag: $79

Shipping: $15

Delivery: The bags will take 1-2 weeks to make, depending on how many people want one. But shipping will take a little longer. Instead of sending them individually from Ecuador, I may send several of them together to the States. So thanks for your patience. We'll get you the bag as soon as we can. I should have an update on the estimated shipping in the next few days, so you can inquire about that if needed.

To Claim It: Write SOLD in the comments and indicate which bag you want (Round, Fringe Top, or Black & White). Send payment immediately to mara@ablogaboutlove (dot) com via Paypal. Please include your shipping address in the Paypal notes. Thank you!

New Info.: I'm considering opening a small shop. If these sell-out for the #HolidayServiceProject, still leave your name below and I'll be working away to get you a bag!


I simply can't wait for you to enjoy one of these bags from these amazing women!

***This sale is part of our #HolidayServiceProject. By purchasing, you 
allow 100% of the profit to be given to Lifting Hands International 
on behalf of the Serres Refugee Camp in northern Greece. Stay tuned for 
future Pop-Up Shops in the coming days and weeks.***

REMINDER...




Provo, UT - 2/11

Atlanta, GA - 4/29

Come and have an experience that will be healing to your soul. Give yourself an incredible boost for having the life you desire in 2017. This is exactly the kind of event I once needed myself. I'm so honored and humbled to provide this for you. 

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07 December 2016

Pop-Up Shop: The Mara Bag


Today I have for sale one of my favorite items I've ever owned.  :) 

You could say I'm very excited to post this. 






Since about 2004 or 2005, I have been carrying this bag nearly every day. If you ever knew me in the States, you know this bag. So, I might as well call it The Mara Bag.

It's been a dream to get the thing re-created as I truly have received no less than 100 compliments on it over the years.

All over New York, people would stop me to ask about my bag. Even men complimented this thing like crazy! Maybe I'd be in an elevator and a business man would comment on it. Or I'd be at J.Crew and one of their stylists would comment on it. Or I'd be on the street or waiting in line - and sure enough, someone would compliment the bag. Sometimes it would feel like compliments were coming in daily. I'm not even kidding.  I've never owned anything that had this kind of effect on people. 





The Mara Bag - (3) Available

Price: $150

We had this bag made by a local leather craftsman here in Cuenca, who makes everything by hand in his workshop. We were very pleased with his work! The leather is thick and really, this bag should last for years and years, if not a lifetime. The bag can actually hold a lot! I am always shocked at how much I can fit in there comfortably. Also, the leather is natural and will likely darken and age over time. This is an incomparable, timeless statement piece.

Shipping: $15. Delivery should be approximately within 2-4 weeks. (Earlier orders will ship sooner. Also, the 2-4 weeks is an estimate. Due to the international shipping, I won't be able to guarantee the time of arrival unless you wanted to pay for expedited shipping, though the cost would be very high.)

To Claim It: Write SOLD in the comments. Send payment immediately to mara@ablogaboutlove (dot) com via Paypal. Please include your shipping address in the Paypal notes. Thank you!!

***This sale is part of our #HolidayServiceProject. By purchasing, you 
allow 100% of the profit to be given to Lifting Hands International 
on behalf of the Serres Refugee Camp in northern Greece. Stay tuned for 
future Pop-Up Shops in the coming days and weeks before Christmas.***


02 December 2016

Pop-Up Shop: Nesting Baskets

Hello from Ecuador -

Danny is making us sopes for lunch, the sun is shining, and we have a roof over head. Feeling super grateful and also very aware that many in our world right now are trying to survive in tents in the winter.

Today I have more hand made baskets for sale! 100% of the profits will go to help refugee families in Greece. 

These baskets come from a newly discovered shop that highlights many of the extra-skilled craftswomen in the area - and the shop is dedicated to fair trade practices. Very cool.

These baskets are a little different - they are matching nesting basket sets!

And the colors are just divine, don't you think? I just love these.

Set #1: Bright Red + Black




(The accurate colors are above.... the photo below doesn't show the brightness of the red. Sorry about that!)




Set #2: Teal + Magenta






Set #3: Magenta + Navy




Set #4: Pink + Purple + Gray



(4) Sets of Baskets Are For Sale.

Price for Set #1:  $45 (for five baskets)

Price for Set #2, #3, #4:  $35 (for three baskets)

Size: The larger baskets are approximately 5 1/2" x 3".

Shipping: $15. Delivery should be within 2 weeks.

To Claim It: Write SOLD in the comments and indicate which Set # you want. Send payment immediately to mara@ablogaboutlove (dot) com via Paypal. Please include your shipping address in the notes. Thank you!!

***This sale is part of our #HolidayServiceProject. By purchasing, you 
allow 100% of the profit to be given to Lifting Hands International 
on behalf of the Serres Refugee Camp in northern Greece. Stay tuned for 
future Pop-Up Shops in the coming days and weeks.***


29 November 2016

Pop-Up Shop: Leather Boots Made By Hand

Friends, this pop-up is off the hook.

I've decided to sell some boots from my shoemaker in Cuenca.

Since I've been here, I've purchased (3) pairs of boots from the husband and wife duo. They've had their shop for 50 years.

And the boots....!
They are soooo well made. We're talking the quality of Frye Boots for 50% less. They are the best handmade shoes I've seen in Ecuador (and trust me, I'm always looking.)

Also, how fun is it to know these will literally be made BY HAND in a little workshop just for you. I really, really ADORE these boots. They're comfortable and sturdy. They hold up extremely well. I think with some periodic polishes and infrequent sole repairs, these boots will last for years and years. I would not sell anything here unless I didn't think it was the best!

Here are the (3) styles for sale...


Riding Boot:





Lace-up Boots:






Bootie:






Price for The Riding Boot: $260

Price for The Lace-up Boots: $220

Price for the Bootie: $180

Size: 8 1/2 (regular width)

[I am so sorry to say that sizes are really tricky here in Ecuador (they're not as standard, like the U.S.)- and I personally think they require a try-on. I am a classic 8 1/2, so I'll be trying these on for you to ensure a proper fit before sending them to you. If you'd like to take a risk and order a different size, I am happy to do that and we can cross our fingers. But regardless, we won't be able to accept any returns.]

Shipping: $20. Approximately 4-6 weeks. (The earlier orders will be shipped first.)

To Claim It: Write SOLD in the comments and indicate which pair you want. Send payment immediately to mara@ablogaboutlove (dot) com via Paypal. Please include your shoe size and shipping address in the notes. Thank you!!SaveSave

***This sale is part of our #HolidayServiceProject. By purchasing, you 
allow 100% of the profit to be given to Lifting Hands International 
on behalf of the Serres Refugee Camp in northern Greece. Stay tuned for 
future Pop-Up Shops in the coming days and weeks.***

10 Things I've Learned Recently About Being a Woman



1.

It feels down right healing to see lots of men, women and even children standing up for women in light of so much blatant degradation. I notice it, I feel it in my core, I am comforted by it as a woman, and I thank you all!


2.

I recently got to experience a massage technique called Mayan Abdominal Therapy. (A woman from our blog community was so generous to offer a treatment.) It's great for connecting with your body and it actually helps to correctly position your organs, which affects blood flow and lymph flow. (What?! Your organs can be repositioned?) Yes. And the whole thing was so fascinating - it was like nothing I'd ever experienced! I could feel the effects of it for days after. This certified practitioner I know is from San Diego and if you'd like her info., let me know (she is amazing and one of my favorite women.) Otherwise, see if there's a practitioner in your area. I highly, highly recommend this for all women.


3.

Mascara mystery solved: I have "hooded eyelids" and that's why my mascara usually doesn't stay on very well (as my lashes touch my skin.) Who knew that there was a name for this. Oh, what you learn from Google.



4.

I've thought more and more about Heavenly Mother over the last few years - something near non-existent in my upbringing and church experience. My friend, Rachel, is a scholar and once boldly spoke at a church women's event about some extensive research she did on the topic of Heavenly Mother. Her research felt trailblazing as it's a topic hardly spoken of - usually in hushed voices, with no elaboration, let alone celebration. I love the idea of a divine, feminine source - and the practice of openly aligning with that power. I'm thankful for the other women in my life who have claimed this relationship with the feminine divine and showed me the way. How about you? Do you feel a connection with a divine feminine source? What does that look like?

5. 

With a one-piece bathing suit on, when you go pee, you can just pull the suit to the side. haha. Say what?!? Never ever once thought of doing this. And then a bunch of women I know said they do that all the time. I guess it's never too late to learn something new. Is this news to you, too? Please tell me I'm not the only one.  :)

6.

This book with a shocking name is actually one all women should read ASAP. This interview with the author will convince you. The book is called Pussy: A ReclamationVery fitting for these times. Don't be scared! :) This book is sooo good and uplifting for women. It's about learning to be radiant and free and giving more honor to your feminine, despite a world culture that devalues women. I can't recommend this book enough.




7.

Sitting in a patriarchal church meeting where only men preside and claim to have authority over me - and where men are celebrated nearly 100% of the time feels increasingly more uncomfortable to me as a woman. It no longer fits in with the way I view women in this universe. I'd love to hear what that experience is like for you. Have you experienced any shifts lately? Sending love for anyone who has...as I know it can really rock your core. Though, to me, it's liberating to see the inequality - because seeing it opens up completely glorious possibilities - ones that you would not trade for anything.


8.

Pantsuit Nation remains a beating heart in America right now. It's a "secret" Facebook group with nearly 4 million people. You really just have to witness this and see the floods of American stories, mostly from women. Let me know if you'd like an invite.


9.

There's a Facebook gem called Aspiring Mormon Women and it's for women in the workforce or in school, or considering either option. The discussion group provides support, encouragement, networking, and mentoring surrounding educational and professional pursuits. I have a Mormon friend here in Cuenca who was a recent single mom with two young children and is in grad school. She was saying this forum is her favorite place on the internet. I, too, can't get enough of it. I just love seeing women supporting women in pursuits. And I looove seeing women pursue their dreams!!


10.

8 ways to take care of yourself while the patriarchy loses it's shit. So good.


--------------------------------

There you have it! Thanks for the sisterhood here all these years. I think we will need sisterhood more than ever in the years to come. As always, would love to hear any of your thoughts or comments. And, what have you learned recently about being a woman?

With Love,

Mara

Registration Open Now For Love Boot Camp: 
Santa Cruz, CA - 1/28
St. George, UT - 2/4
Provo, UT - 2/11
Washington D.C. - 4/22
Atlanta, GA - 4/29

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27 November 2016

Pop-Up Shop: Colorful Candy Baskets

Today I have some amazing round baskets for sale. I call them "Candy Baskets" as they are as pretty as a candy store. I can't get enough of them. 



These baskets are a specialty in Cuenca! They're all woven by hand, most always by women. They use toquilla palm leaves to do the weaving - and it's the same plant that they use to make Panama hats (which actually originate in Ecuador.)

I have quite a collection of these baskets myself. To me, they're pieces of art!

I checked several vendors in Cuenca to curate the most lovely baskets for you...these are even better than most.

Some ideas:

  • Display your collection of baskets at home on a shelf, for a pop of color. 
  • Use as little gift boxes for sweets, homemade candy, pretty cookies, or macarons. 
  • Package gifts for Christmas, Valentines, or Easter.
  • Use them as a party favor at each place setting on your festive holiday table (and make all your guests swooon!) 
  • Stack them in a tree shape for a centerpiece!
  • Hang them on the wall in a grouping. 
  • Use for your next advent calendar (um...hang on the wall in a tree shape! yessss.)


I have (4) sets for sale:

Set #1:





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Set #2:





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Set #3:





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Set #4:




(4) Sets of Baskets Are For Sale.

Price: $35 per set (or $60 for two).

Size: The larger baskets are approximately 4 3/4 x 2 3/4". 
The smaller baskets are approximately 3 1/2" x 2". 

Shipping: $15. Delivery should be within 2 weeks.

To Claim It: Write SOLD in the comments and indicate which set(s) you want. Send payment immediately to mara@ablogaboutlove (dot) com via Paypal. Please include your shipping address in the notes. Thank you!!

Waitlist: If these sell-out, I can get more. So please write in the comments if you want a set and I'll post another pop-up very soon.

***This sale is part of our #HolidayServiceProject. By purchasing, you 
allow 100% of the profit to be given to Lifting Hands International 
on behalf of the Serres Refugee Camp in northern Greece. Stay tuned for 
future Pop-Up Shops in the coming days and weeks.***


P.S. It's been a rough few weeks for me personally - so finding these gifts to sell here for a good cause has been a bright spot in my days. Thank you! Have you found a way to raise $100 for the #HolidayServiceProject? It's so good for the soul. #WeAreSmallButMighty

P.P.S. Still have a few embroidered shirts. Buy one here! 100% of profits go to refugee families. 

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26 November 2016

Pop-Up Shop: Another Chunky Wool Sweater



Today I have (1) More Chunky Wool Hand-Knitted Sweater For Sale.

This is in very high demand, so jump on it right away!

Price: $80. Brand new.

Size: One Size Available. (Will fit most X-Small, Small, or Medium.)

Shipping: $15. Timeframe is approximately 2 weeks.

These sweaters are made by my favorite knitter in Cuenca, Ecuador. You can see I have one of these myself and the sweater is sooooo thick and warm. It's made with 100% wool and wooden buttons. I do not find the wool to be scratchy, but very soft and comfortable. This really is my favorite sweater I've ever had. It's simply the best for wearing around the house or wearing out the door if I need a bit of warmth. I recommend hand-washing this sparingly, as needed, and line-drying.

To Claim It: Write SOLD in the comments and then send $95 immediately via Paypal to mara@ablogaboutlove.com.


***This sale is part of our #HolidayServiceProject. By purchasing, you 
allow 100% of the profit to be given to Lifting Hands International 
on behalf of the Serres Refugee Camp in northern Greece. Stay tuned for 
future Pop-Up Shops in the coming days and weeks.***



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