We're always on the search for ethical jewelry and fashion brands that create beautiful collections for a cause. Our Simply Inspired shop only features socially and ethically responsible jewelry and fashion collections. These companies are doing incredible work to end cycles of poverty within some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities by empowering artisans and persevering traditional crafts.
We love to celebrate these amazing artists and artisans, and women-founder companies who are making a difference. And we also love to celebrate YOU.
We’re all about generosity and kindness here at Simply Inspired, so we put together a Give-Away Contest to share a fabulous collection from b.u., Purpose, and MZ – three gorgeous fashion and jewelry brands that are truly, simply inspired.
You, too, make a difference every time you shop thoughtfully and responsibly. Thank you. :)
So, if you haven’t already, be sure to enter our wonderful Holiday Give-Away Collection contest. Entries close midnight Dec 16th. We’ll select a winner at random Dec 17th, in time for holiday shipping.
Here are the featured companies and incredible women-founders for our Holiday Give-Away Collection.
b.u. stands for "Be You", a beautiful reminder to "Be Yourself".
Each sentimental and inspirational bu jewelry piece has a personal symbolic meaning that is detailed on a message card in the designer gift box that comes with it. They are designed in Rome, Italy and the charms are hand caste in sterling silver and precious stones. These petite, handmade pieces are lovely gifts.
Mary Steratore, the creator and designer of b.u. jewelry did her PhD work in religion and archeology at the university of Pennsylvania. After leaving a career in archeology she went on extensive world travels. She then settled in Rome Italy and began sculpting and painting. Mary goes to great length to ensure the quality of the stones and castings are extremely high, that the aesthetic balance and relationship of the charms yields great beauty and the message woven into each piece is presented with integrity.
The purpose of MZ (formerly Manos Zapotecas) is to perpetuate the beautiful traditions of the Zapotec artisans by connecting them with socially conscious consumers around the globe. In 2009, MZ founder Shelley Tennyson was volunteering with a microfinance non-profit in the small Zapotec village of Teotitlán del Valle in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. She was offering business classes to the female loan recipients, many of whom were weavers. Shelley realized that no matter how exquisite the product, or how savvy their business skills, without buyers, these hardworking and skilled artisans were not able to support themselves or their families adequately.
Three years later, MZ was born out of a belief that commerce can, and should, change lives for the better. What began as a wild idea to sell Zapotec bags globally, in a village where most of the women had never even left the state, has grown into a fair trade fashion brand run by a team of five women in the US that supports over 50 weavers in Oaxaca.
MZ srives to make a positive impact on the lives and communities of the artisans, by nurturing lasting relationships and always abiding by fair trade principles. MZ designers work closely with the weavers to incorporate traditional handwoven tribal designs with modern styles, the results of which are beautiful, expertly crafted and unique bags.
Each MZ bag holds an element of discovery. From the significance of the Zapotec designs, to the bold color combinations, and most importantly, the distinct story of the artisan who wove it.
Purpose Jewelry is handcrafted by young women escaping human trafficking in India, Uganda and Mexico. Purpose has worked with hundreds of young women around the world for the past 10 years. The art of jewelry making paired with holistic care ensures every artisan receives freedom and hope for the future. Holistic care is provided through our non-profit, International Sanctuary, and includes education, health care, and counseling. These programs provide every artisan with the life skills and opportunities to succeed.
The artisans at Purpose Jewelry take pride in each beautifully-crafted creation and each jewelry tag is hand-signed by the woman who created it. By Purchasing with Purpose you are providing freedom, dignity and hope for these amazing artisans.
Purpose was founded in 2007 by two women, Stephanie Pollaro and Wendy Dailey. Stephanie read about human trafficking in a magazine and decided she had to do something about the issue. Soon after, she found out that her church was going on a short-term mission trip to India and knew she had to go. On that trip, the country really resonated with her, and she decided to move there to figure out how to help human trafficking survivors. She soon discovered that the real need came after the women had been rescued, as there were no means of support—reintegration was difficult for many of these women.
Stephanie decided to start out with a few girls and try to give them jobs through jewelry making, which had just been a hobby of hers. The girls would make simple jewelry and send it to Wendy, who was based in California. Wendy would sell it wherever and however she could, including from the trunk of her car! Stephanie and Wendy found this model to work and in 2007 they officially founded International Sanctuary to provide holistic care and support to these young women escaping human trafficking.