I don’t know about you, but I get so tired of the commercialism of Christmas. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I get caught up in the whole shopping, spending, and gift giving/receiving cycle just like everyone else. I find myself questioning the nonsensical spending on items that I’m not even sure will be appreciated or used. My favorite gifts to give and receive come from companies like the ones listed below. I LOVE supporting businesses that empower individuals by giving them employment opportunities so that they can provide for their families. I cannot imagine the fear these women must face when they are uncertain whether or not they will have what they need to get through another day. These are gifts you can really feel good about buying, giving, and receiving this Christmas.
I love this company so much. The women behind this seem to have hearts of pure gold and they are impacting so many people with their business model. Noonday partners with artisans around the world to design beautiful jewelry and accessories based on each country’s traditions, talents, and available resources. The artisans are empowered by this partnership and are given the means to provide for themselves and their families. Noonday also promotes adoption by donating 10% of sales at trunk shows to adoptive families.
The best part about Noonday? The jewelry is GORGEOUS! I drool over each new season’s Look Book. Your friends and family will be thrilled with anything you buy from here. Since Noonday features jewelry from artisans world wide, there is a fabulous variety of styles and colors. There is also a wide range of prices from which to choose. If you have a friend who’s adopted internationally or if you buy for someone from another country, find something special from their country of origin to give them this year. A friend of mine has children adopted from Uganda and Ethiopia. She bought their teachers each a small piece of jewelry from those countries to make the Christmas gifts more meaningful.
This organization’s mission is to eradicate jiggers in Uganda. Jiggers are parasitic sand fleas that can burrow into the skin of bare feet causing pain and broken skin that allows for the introduction of dangerous infections. Sole Hope sends medical teams around Uganda to remove the parasites, treat infections, educate about foot-related diseases, and fit people with proper, protective shoes. This mission is life-changing for these people. The pain in the feet can be so intense that people are unable to walk. This leads to further malnourishment and keeps some children from attending school. Many times, the communities have no idea that this is actually a parasitic illness that can be completely prevented with proper footwear. Sole Hope empowers people in the community by employing Ugandans as the shoemakers for their business.
There are a couple different ways you can get involved with Sole Hope this Christmas season. You can purchase gifts from their store. They make unique, handmade shoes for babies and a gorgeous pair of leather sandals for ladies. There are also T-shirts, sweatshirts, and other items available for purchase. You can also host a shoe cutting party. You purchase the shoe-cutting kit from their website. This will come with patterns and detailed instructions. You and your friends bring some pairs of old blue jeans to the party to cut up as the material for your shoe pieces. You will also need to bring your own fabric scissors and straight pins. The 10 person packet is only $15. This would make a great Christmas party idea. Read more about it here.
This is another company with beautiful jewelry and accessories. FashionABLE’s mission is to empower women by offering them an opportunity for employment as an artisan. They work with marginalized women globally as well as locally. They help provide a chance for freedom for women who are fighting poverty, escaping from the sex trade industry, and overcoming addictions or abuse. They give these ladies the opportunity to start fresh by teaching them a profitable skill and employing them to create these beautiful items. This company offers a wide variety of colors and styles and you’re sure to find something for everyone. I bought a leather tote similar to the Mamuye bag as my graduation present to myself and I LOVE it. It’s big enough to hold my laptop, the straps are long enough to throw over my shoulder, and the leather is a beautiful color. I only own two purses and this is one of them. It has been my airplane carry-on several times. My Christmas gift last year came from this company as well. It was the hand-stitched Hailu leather wallet. I have not been easy on it, but it has held up perfectly. It’s roomy and has plenty of pockets to organize all my store rewards cards. Take a look at this Christmas sneak peek. Swoon.
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This company also employs artisans near and far. They have established Daughters of Hope, an organization that provides training and employment for impoverished women in India. Glory Haus also started Repurposed on Purpose. This ministry employs people transitioning out of homelessness by training them to recycle clothing and accessories to make beautiful new products to sell on this site. This website has a huge variety of products from home and holiday decor to aprons and clothing to jewelry and accessories. All items are handmade and beautiful. Just look at their Christmas page below… sigh.
This one is an oldie, but goodie. This company was built around their “One for One” model and has remained true to that mission ever since. The product line has expanded from the original bedroom-looking shoe to several trendy styles, fair trade coffee, sunglasses, and other items. When you purchase a pair of shoes, Toms donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. Proceeds from Toms sunglasses help restore sight to those with correctible vision loss who do not have the means to pay for surgery themselves. Coffee purchases help pay for access to fresh water in the areas where the coffee was harvested. If you’ve decided in the past that Toms aren’t your style, give them another chance. The styles have broadened and the mission is still worth supporting.
*Update because I just recently stumbled across this wonderful company.
This website sells lovely jewelry created by women around the world who have been saved from sex trafficking. This company provides these ladies with meaningful, profitable employment to help them remain free and independent. I am drooling over so many of these necklaces! You’ll want to add a few of these to your own Christmas wish list.
I know there are many more companies like these that I haven’t yet come across. Which companies do you love to support?
You might enjoy these other Christmas posts. Click the pictures to keep reading: