Lucky 13: Michelle Jane Lee

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“I Don’t Want To Stare At Your Feet All Night” ​

 

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“Dear, You’ll Never Guess”

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“I Wish I’d Never Seen Your Face”

When I first found Michelle Jane Lee on instagram I was captivated by her simple wooden bowls and the quiet artistry of her photos.  Then I saw her painting series in which she uses a color alphabet to transform personal letters into abstract beauty and I was sold.  Sarah and I couldn’t stop looking at her paintings trying to crack the secret code all the while marveling at the refined artistry.  Her Lucky 13 interview is a reflection of her work.  You can tell this girl is brilliant, that she has a million things rolling around in her mind at once, yet she somehow manages to produce a thoughtful, eloquent and simple answer.  As her artist statement says “There is a complexity, density; to put it simply, there is a lot of heart in the often times sparse drawings and paintings.”

And I’m just going to say it- Best titles of paintings and drawings EVER.

 

1.What are you working on at the moment?

I keep a full time studio practice with a focus on my paintings and drawings. Currently I’m in the middle of a series called “But Now You’re Just Los Angeles And, Everybody Lies” that’s about two years old, exploring and developing within certain set of boundaries pertaining to experiences I’ve had with people I’ve met since living in LA for the past 4 1/2 years. I’ve also begun creating my own line of functional objects, right now in wood and concrete but I would love to expand my materials as I become familiar with others. I also have an on-going collaboration with an incredible dancer/choreographer – trying to bridge the gab between the ephemeral experience of dance/theatre with the permanence of visual art (at least in the case of drawings, paintings, etc.) These are some of the main projects but there are another few handful of ideas and projects going. Every single moment of my life is filled with some sort of creation and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

2.What drives you to do what you do?

Love and feeling (too much.) And a relentless devotion to and faith in, Beauty.

3.What is it like to be a woman in your line of work?

Being an artist isn’t easy for anyone, but I do think there are still disadvantages to being a female artist. There’s no hiding the fact female artists are grossly under represented in museums and in galleries. I get excited if I see a list of names for a group show of 8 artists and if there are even two women among them. How sad the expectation is set this low? Women are no less talented than men, so this lack of opportunity and representation has to reflect something far more, sinister? But it is getting much better. People are speaking up and fighting for it, both men and women. I have a beautiful and supportive family of artists that see no gender in art and I’m hopeful little by little this gap will lessen and will one day disappear completely.

4.Do you have any regrets?

I have so many of them. But to me ‘regret’ is not a dirty word and I hate the shame behind it. It’s a reminder of mine and all of our imperfections. It keeps me growing, learning and maybe mostly importantly, humble. I’m still evolving but I’m happy to be who I am with big thanks to mistakes and regrets and lessons learned from them.

5.Do you have any scars?

Most memorable ones would be my tattoos and a tiny graphite dot embedded on the palm of my left hand from accidentally stabbing myself with a pencil while working. I like to think it gives me super drawing powers. Kind of like Spider Man after his spider bite.

6.What do you believe in?
Love, beauty, sincerity, compassion and devotion.

7.What is your best dream?
Twice I dreamt the exact same dream where I helped the smurfs fight Gargamel. We built this incredible contraption – frames built around my body with compartments for the smurfs to be positioned in with various weapons. I heard somewhere if you have the same exact dream three times, it becomes real. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just living my life waiting for that third smurf dream and finally be a hero.

Sometimes I also wonder how I have friends.

8.What could you not live without as an artist?
Working set of hands, a curious and insatiable hunger deep in my heart and in my gut.

9.What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I personally don’t feel guilty about any of these but some may say it’s my love of terrible Korean pop music, craving and having cheeseburgers and chocolate sprinkled donuts for breakfast.

10.Who is your Woman Crush Wenesday?
Rashida Jones is my woman crush every day.

 

11.Which woman artist out there today would you love to shine the spotlight on?
I’m going to go close to my heart and choose my bestfriend of 14 years, Emily White.  She’s a singer-songwriter. We’ve talked about this “crazy dream” of ours – being a musician and an artist, since we were teenagers together. We’ve gone through so many ups and downs, and it’s hard to say how well we’re doing now or how far we will go, but the fact we are still doing it makes me so happy and proud.

12.Where can we stalk you? (websites, blogs, social media info)

http://michellejanelee.com

http://instagram.com/squirreljtree/

You can also follow http://www.homelahello.com for a dance project I’m hosting/participating in during the month of August.

13.Anything else you’d like to (over)share?
Rashida Jones

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In the Werkshop: Sold!

We sold our first piece today! It was for a wonderful couple who are hosting a memorial this weekend and are using the experience as a motivation to complete their home projects. We feel so honored to add a little ray of happiness to their process. What made it even more special is that they spotted the first piece Sarah ever made behind some other boards and fell instantly in love. We will make sure to post pics of the first Miss Morningwood in her new home soon!

In the Werkshop: Sold!

Lucky 13: Dancing with Ghosts

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I first stumbled on Ghost Dancer while looking for divine feminine inspiration on Instagram.  She had posted beautiful pictures of Georgia O’Keefe along with the caption “Use your hands.  Use your hands to create that which has no word, use your hands to love, use your hands to heal, to redefine your perception. Use your hands to leave your legacy and use your hands to bring out the good in humanity.  Bring on the hand woven, hand blessed, heart in hand felt and hand made revolution.”  It was exactly what I was seeking at the moment.  The beautiful words matched her incredibly intricate weavings and jewelry.  But what I admired most about Rhiannon was her respect for the women who have come before and her ability to incorporate their stories into her art.  Her Lucky 13 interview is as eloquent and insightful as the caption that first captured my attention.

1.What are you working on at the moment? Presently, all of my attention is devoted to prototyping the fall/winter 2014/2015 collection of woven textile jewelry. I released my first collection of tapestries this past April full moon and it was a new exciting endeavor for Ghost Dancer. Switching mediums from bead work to woven art begs for full attention and experimentation.

2.What drives you to do what you do? That is the ineffable force that is the heartbeat of the universe, that which I like to think of as the cosmic fuel in every living thing. Creating anything just feels like the wind blown down some starlit tunnel channeling into me and it pours out of me. I believe it’s an obligation to share a gift that lifts people with joy, inspiration and beauty so creating what I do and knowing it touches the hearts of the wide open world makes me feel good.

3.What is it like to be a woman in your line of work? Awesome. The art of adornment has been carried both by men and women around the world through the ages so this path seems quite natural.  I’m a woman and I’ve got sensibilities that strengthen me to hack my way through a male driven world and walk my path confidently. When it comes to designing jewelry, as a woman, I’m designing for a woman and I can say twisting my perception to cater to men has been a challenge I haven’t overcome yet. I hope to do so with the alliance of men who have a hawk eye for detail.

4.Do you have any regrets? Taking life too seriously at times. I’d like to say that whenever faced with self doubt, I’d say I gracefully encourage myself to trust in the larger picture and that seed of truth replaces any dark seed of regret or doubt.

5.Do you have any scars? I have a heart shaped scar on my left hip from flying off of a scooter on a bridge in Greece years ago. After landing on dry gravel, the wound formed a little misformed heart. Any emotional scarring finds resolve and strength with time..and the willingness to heal.

6.What do you believe in? Just be.

7.What is your best dream? Impossible to share one but I frequently imagine myself with a ranch in New Mexico, raising rabbits and using their hair to spin and weave with.  I imagine my ranch fully sustainable with a wood working studio, ceramic studio, weaving, and casting foundry for jewelry/home furnishings. Arabian horses, a black Frisian, a Palomino,and 25 miniature horses are absolutely necessary along with wonderful friends and a good community.

8.What could you not live without as an artist? The reflection of those dearest to me.

9.What is your guiltiest pleasure? A full bag of salt and vinegar chips and devouring before anyone else gets a hand near.

10.Who is your Woman Crush Wenesday? Petecia Le Fawnhawk. She is the ethereal fawn from a different realm, somewhere between elvin forests and dust bowl prairies. I really love her voice and the artist splendor that emanates from her.  Very dreamy.

11.Which woman artist out there today would you love to shine the spotlight on? I would happily say Le Fawn Hawk. www.lefawnhawk.com

12.Where can we stalk you?  www.ghostdancercollection.com is my personal website, pardon the need for a site update. My tumblr blog is connected to my website too.  My instagram is : TheGhostDancer where I share musings, recent work and beauty.Ghost Dancer on pinterest as well.

13.Anything else you’d like to (over)share? I love meeting like minded artists and muses in the area so I always welcome new friends.

 

How To: Hammer

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What is it? A Hammer

noun: a tool with a heavy metal head mounted at right angles at the end of a handle, used for jobs such as breaking things and driving in nails.
verb: hit or beat (something) with a hammer or similar object.

There are many kinds of hammers, in the GingerPino Werkshop we have a claw hammer, a mallet, an upholstery hammer and a chisel hammer.

How do I use it?  Hammers can actually be really dangerous, trust me I hurt myself a lot!  Let’s just trust the experts at WikiHow on this one

When do I use it?  When can’t you use a hammer?  Miss MorningWood uses it to pull nails out of lathe and to push our lathe pieces into place on our panels. We use it with a chisel to chip bark off logs and we use it with nails for…many things. You should absolutely use both “hammered” and “nailed” as verbs as often as possible.  If you are a lesbian, you will certainly need to use a hammer once or twice in your life to impress a girl.  We suggest splitting wood for a fire while sporting a red flannel (which should work for men trying to “nail” straight girls too.)  Check out The Family HandyMan for a few other uses and the amazing Hammer Like a Girl blog for inspiration!

Lucky 13: Abs for Days

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Miss MorningWood is about women following their dreams, finding their passions and supporting others along the way.  That is why we thought Jibby from Abs for Days was a perfect woman owned shout out.  Just reading her Lucky 13 interview gets me pumped to reach my goals. Whether you are aspiring to carve a new six pack or to carve a new live slab table, her enthusiasm is contagious.

1.What are you working on at the moment? I’m currently working on a brand new fitness training technique that I plan to launch January 2015. I can’t share much about it, but it incorporates my love for music and fitness! I’m changing the “workout experience” and taking it to the next level!

2.What drives you to do what you do?  Passion. It’s the core in all that I do. I LOVE what I do every single day. I care about every email I write and every interaction I have. Passion is KEY.

3.What is it like to be a woman in your line of work?  It’s definitely a challenge to be a woman in my line of work; especially with where I plan to take my business. My goal is to get more women into gyms and to break that “intimidation” that is expressed by most women about stepping into a gym. I remember when I “earned” my spot with hte boys at the gym…. it shouldn’t be like that! I’m a small petite thing and physique is judged intensely in the fitness industry. It’s a lot to keep up with my own personal fitness journey as well as working with others. But, I do know people see what I’m doing and that I am unstoppable; so it’s been worth the hard work!

4.Do you have any regrets? I don’t think there is space for regrets. I am an entrepreneur and everything I do is a lesson. If something doesn’t work as planned, I change it. If it works, I see how I can enhance it. All the “rocky patches” are the times I learn the most and gain wisdom and experience from. I do wish I really understood that I was capable of this at a younger age; but again …. I feel I am a pioneer in the entrepreneur realm. So, I do not have any regrets. Everything teaches & inspires me.

5.Do you have any scars?  I have TONS of scars, and I love them all. It’s an addition to my “fingerprint” and I wouldn’t be the same without them all. My favorite is the scar in my dimple … precious right?!

6.What do you believe in? I believe in me. I believe in love. I believe in respect. I believe in goals and dreams of all people. I believe in future generations. I am a believer; of many things!

7.What is your best dream? The best dream I had was when I was DJ’ing in Hawaii underwater at this goegeous secret island. It was complete bliss and you can only imagine how upset I was to open my eyes and not be in Hawaii …. face palm!

8.What could you not live without as an artist? I cannot, and will not, live without music. It is beyond impossible to get through any day without listening to music and being inspired by beats from all over the globe.

9.What is your guiltiest pleasure? Doritos. Ya, I said it. I can’t help it! Add a Snickers in there … I’m in for the night! HA!

10.Who is your Woman Crush Wenesday?  MANKO! Ugh. Melt. Moment of silence. She is a gorgeous woman in the fitness industry; and I have the biggest crush on her because she is 100% real and true to herself. She shows her silly side, but is very driven and works very hard! Plus …. she’s a DIME!

11.Which woman artist out there today would you love to shine the spotlight on? PUSH! She is an amazing Bay Area artist and is now learning the craft of tattooing. Her art is ALL over the Bay and her talent is raw and amazing. Check her out … www.ArtByPush.com

12.Where can we stalk you? (websites, blogs, social media info) I’m all over! FIND ME: IG – @Jibbography FB – Facebook.com/jibby.bond Website – www.AbsForDayss.com

13.Anything else you’d like to (over)share? I just really love to inspire people to do what they love and follow their dreams. It’s not easy. It can get expensive. But the joy that it brings to your soul cannot be beat. Love yourself enough to work hard at what you want…. it WILL come!

In the WerkShop

Last week Sarah designed her first wood panel in our new GingerPino WerkShop (aka our newly cleaned garage.)  It happened to land right on our 2 year anniversary making it a perfect gift for one lucky Ginger.  Swoon. I guess that’s why Sarah is the only magic man in my life.  I must be a pretty good Ginger Muse too, because the magic kept on flowing this week with several gorgeous reclaimed lathe panels.

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Lucky 13: Flux of Fierceness

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As soon as Sarah and I booked our tickets to Stage Coach, I went on the search for my perfect summer adventure necklace.  That’s how I found Flux of Feathers, aka Arieana Michelle Grills, and her fiercely beautiful handcrafted jewelry. Her pieces are made of  bones, feathers, claws, taxidermy and stones and like Sarah, she is committed to breathing new life into the broken and dead.  You can check out the flux of feathers necklace I scored on our GingerPino Trippin page.

1.What are you working on at the moment?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         At the moment I am really trying to work on my social networking and media. Taking pictures of all the pieces that I make and getting them out there for the world to see. It doesn’t help that Im not that tech savvy but Im getting better! Im also currently working on two collections for different online shops and a handful of custom orders.

2.What drives you to do what you do?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 What drives me most is the excitement I see in customer’s faces when they find the right piece of jewelry thats unique just like them. Its a lot of fun to uncover that bit of shining handmade underground that most people don’t get a chance to see.

3.What is it like to be a woman in your line of work?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Two major portions that make up my life are cooking and making jewelry. Being a women and a chef is a lot harder than you’d think. Ive been in positions where Ive had to work twice as hard as everyone else just to prove that I can cook with the big dogs when I was such a young girl. This gave me an extraordinary amount of confidence, once I was able to prove myself. Making jewelry is a bit easier in a sense but I really think I feel that way because Ive gained so much confidence working so hard in the kitchen industry. Making it in this world you really have to be 100% secure with yourself and what you’re putting out in the world.

4.Do you have any regrets?
As a young adult I had to choose between going to school for art or going to culinary school. I figured that if I went to culinary school Id at least never be a starving artist haha. Sometimes I do think about how my life would be if I chose to go to school for Jewelry design and Metal Smithing but then I realize I can use both outlets, I don’t have to choose just one. Working in kitchens full time and trying to start your own small business is very hard and Ive just recently made the switch to working 2 to 3 days and creating jewelry the rest of the week. I feel that Ive worked hard and deserve to excel in my dream of making jewelry

5.Do you have any scars?
Too many to count, Im quite the clumsy lady. Working in kitchens didn’t help my case much either. If you looked at my hands you could tell they’ve done a lot of hard work

6.What do you believe in?
I believe that people can be anything and do anything they want in life. Its just up to them to acquire the tools to build their dreams

7.What is your best dream?
Ive been wanting to move to Austin for a few years now. Ive only been there about 5 or 6 times but often dream about being out there. At the end of the year my boyfriend and I are making the move and I couldn’t be happier to see what a new city will have to offer for Flux Of Feathers

8.What could you not live without as an artist?
Music! Its such a huge part of my life. Punk Rock and Rock n Roll were my saviors as a confused little girl. The first place I felt I fit in. It opened up a whole new world for me as a kid and I don’t think Id be the person I am today if it wasn’t for music

9.What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Stance and Huff socks. I can’t get enough of them! Ive never been one to buy fancy pricey socks but after I got a pair as a gift I couldn’t help but buy all the pretty colors and patterns. Not to mention they’re made so well!

10.Who is your Woman Crush Wednesday?
Chelsea Wolfe. Newest music crush and she’s a total babe! I love the songs she does with her brother King Dude. She’s got such haunting voice and great lyrics

11.Which woman artist out there today would you love to shine the spotlight on?
My dear friend Alexz Sandoval of Bird Trouble. Ive always looked up to her for what she made out of her small business. She makes purses, clutches and bags from repurposed fabrics and also does a lot of custom work. Most of the work she does ends up being one of a kind and I absolutely love that. Recently she moved from Chicago to Mexico to further her dream and has been flourishing. Its wonderful to follow her blogs and Instagram and see all the fun and colorful things she gets into so I highly suggest you follow her too!
IG: @birdtrouble
Shop: http://www.BirdTrouble.com

12.Where can we stalk you?
I post most often to Instagram @fluxofeathers
http://www.Facebook.com/FLUX787
http://www.Etsy.com/people/FluxOfFeathers
And you can find a video interview at http://www.RawArtists.org/Flux787

13.Anything else you’d like to (over)share?
If you’ve got a dream, follow it! Sometimes its so crazy to me that Ive made this small business out of absolutely nothing. Hard work does pay off if you have good intentions. My one and only intention with making jewelry is that I want to be able to give the dead and broken new life.

 

Lucky 13: tat that a$$

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The only thing better than a tattoo is a tattoo that is woman made. Sarah got the coordinates to the exact location where we first met  (awww!) from Ms. Maseuli.  She specializes in Samoan tats, geometric designs and gentle kindness.  Support your local lezzie artists!  Share this post, follow her on insta or call her for a dope tat and a good time.

Elizabeth Maseuli has the honor of being our first to share with our Lucky Thirteen Q&A

1.What are you working on at the moment?
I relocated to Tacoma, WA from San Francisco, CA to study tattoo/technique from the artists at Island Sons Ink: Greg, owner of the shop specializes in Polynesian, Gil does photo realism, and Wibur does American traditional. Together they have 40 years of tattoo experience, have all owned their own shops and have traveled the world through tattoo. I can’t believe how fortunate I am to have been welcomed into their shop and family.
2.What drives you to do what you do?
Definitely not logic (; tattoo is a high stress profession, but my passion and culture has become tattoo. I appreciate the relationship I have with my clients, and ability to utilize my creativity.
3.What is it like to be a woman in your line of work?
As an androgynous female in the tattoo industry, and especially in Polynesian style, I am somewhat of a rarity. I have found that women clients are more drawn to female artists, but men also appreciate my calm and inviting demeanor.
4.Do you have any regrets?
Absolutely. But I’m grateful for the lesson(s) learned (:
5.Do you have any scars?
I have lots of scars, probably more than most- thankfully I don’t recall the pain but I do remember the stories- I appreciate all my scars.
6.What do you believe in? 
“Make a habit of two things: to help; or at least to do no harm.” Hippocrates
 7.What is your best dream?
….a long, happy and healthy life for myself, and my beloveds – with lots of laughter
8.What could you not live without as an artist?
My thumbs.
9.What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Romance- I feel so alive when showing appreciation for another.
10.Who is your Woman Crush Wednesday?
At the moment, Cassie (:
11.Which woman artist out there today would you love to shine the spotlight on?
My dear friend, Sarah C. She is so talented and I love everything she creates. I wish her a life & career full of creativity.
12.Where can we stalk you?
Tumblr : novemberthefourth
InstaGram: noblenaturetattoo
Facebook: Beth Maseuli (Grey Wolf)
13.Anything else you’d like to (over)share?
No, thank you (:

 

The muscle behind Miss MorningWood


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Sarah Cobillas tells us why she does what she does, proving that she is more than just a pretty face and a strong arm:

 

I believe that women are mentally and physically stronger than the limitations that society has put on us. I believe that women are strong enough to make lives that challenge the status quo. I believe that as a woman, the art that I create can inspire other women to have the confidence to also create. I want to learn about sustainable design and master my craft so that I can teach women how to make things for themselves. I know first hand what a transformative experience it can be to create something from nothing.

 

As a girl who was interested in things that are traditionally dominated by men, I was always told I would never be good enough to compete. Looking back at my career in the military, in a position where women were rarely represented, I proved to myself that not only could I compete with men, I could also surpass them. My life in the military was incredibly challenging, but I am grateful for the wisdom I gained after my experience. It opened my eyes to the limitless possibilities that myself and other women can achieve. At the end of my enlistment I was given a chance to move up the ranks and become an officer. I turned down the offer because I believed that outside of the military I would have a greater chance to impact my community.

 

I am creating my own ideal of what success can mean for me.  I know that creating things and helping people is what fulfills me. My goal is to make sustainable design accessible.  I want to open the doors for the women who never imagined they were strong enough to handle machinery and create quality pieces for themselves.  I want to create beautiful and affordable furniture for people who never thought that they could afford to own a piece of art. I want to be a part of the movement of sustainable design, not only to preserve our environment, but also to sustain our most under-priviledged communities.

 

My art is a process of renewal and transformation. I try to infuse new life into discarded objects whose fates are otherwise limited to decay. In this same way, I want to inspire people to unearth the blessings in their alleged deficits. My dream is that people like me realize that our perspective is necessary in the art world and our lives are worthy of beauty.  I believe that creativity has no limit and by supporting one another, instead of fighting each other, we all have the ability to unlock our full potential.

Miss MorningWood says…


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To fur or not to fur?  For me, the question has the same answer as many other conscious consumer quandaries.  Here is my checklist for feel good shopping:

1. Buy old: A great thrift find, a vintage steal or a refurbished master piece- it’s already made, it’s already taking up space in this ever shrinking world.  The best shopping you can do is the kind that doesn’t create more excess in this consumer culture.  Turning trash into treasure is an essential for our own art and what we look for in other art.    When it comes to fur- yes, I actually think it is more ethical to buy an old fur (like this $40 mink steal from the Alameda Antique Fair) than to purchase a new vegan leather jacket.  Other bonuses: it is often cheaper, nobody else has the same one and we all know rescuing a dog is better than breeding a dog

2. Buy human: There is just something undeniably beautiful about things made by hand.  Maybe it is the minor flaws or the unique nature of each piece.  The quality just doesn’t compare- things made by hand are durable enough to sustain wear and tear.  (Hence, why buying old is another good guideline.) I love the actual connection in small shops and etsy stores that Target doesn’t offer.  There is nothing better than meeting the person who made what you are buying- it also ensures you aren’t wearing something made by little hands or underpaid workers.   Other bonuses: You can often make  a connection to the artist that can lead to promotion of your own work, possible bartering and collaboration on future projects.

3. Buy Woman Made: First of all, we are lesbians- so we kind of have a crush on any woman who makes anything… But more importantly, there is a long and vibrant tradition of women making things (food, clothing, house goods, etc.) and having their art discarded as mere “craft.”  These functional arts have made our daily lives more beautiful and have the ability to empower women to live life on their own terms.  We have all heard that investing in a woman is often more beneficial to a community than investing in a man.  They are more likely to reinvest in the community and more likely to teach someone else their craft.  Other bonuses: We also know first hand how hard it is to break into a male dominated industry,  like upcycled furniture.  We are out there, fund us, support us, buy us (er, our goods.)

4. Buy Local: So much could be said about buying local.  We live in a peak oil world, anything to cut back on the toll shipping takes on the environment is a worthy venture to us. In addition to the eco benefits, you get the same benefits of human made and women made.  You are investing in your community and getting to make actual human connections.  Other bonuses: buying local tends to come in the form of fun events  like art walks, craft fairs, farmers markets and neighborhood exploration.

5. Love above all else:  You can’t always help what (or who!) you love.  I’m not going to lie, sometimes Target is the most practical, affordable place to find a good interview outfit or some cheap heart shaped shades that you know you will lose in a week.  I believe if you practice the prior rules, they will begin to be organic choices that you make more often.  And in the meantime, if you find a dope t-shirt made by a guy in Mexico- GET IT!  We live in troubled times and sometimes piece of mind requires a little less self judgement.  If you are being a conscious consumer most of the time, you are already making a big difference.