Celebrate International Women’s Day with us!

Here at Grace & Able, we believe all women are worth celebrating!

That’s why in honour of International Women’s Day,  we’ve teamed up with our Artisans to offer you a very special project that is especially close to our hearts. Introducing…

Empower Subscription Boxes

A monthly subscription box that directly supports an Artisan through Vocational Development Training!

Sponsor an Ugandan Artisan through vocational training for a year and receive a box of their handmade jewellery on your doorstep each month. It’s a win win! Not only do you carve a path for future income but you #wearthechange your commitment is making every day.
 
How it works:

  • Sign up your preferred payment plan through the website her
  • We send you out a box each month with their beautifully hand-crafted jewellery.
  • your money supports them through vocational training, widening their future and carving sustainable paths out of poverty.

This is truly a limited offer. We have 8 packs to fill for our Artisans in Uganda. And we need them filled as soon as possible to begin the Vocational training course. This is a truly life changing opportunity!

If you can’t snap up one of these packs for a year, could you consider telling friend and encouraging them? Every little bit helps!

Click here to learn more

*Please note: Jewellery varies each month and will be different from the contents shown in the photo.

How pigs are making a difference too!

You’ve heard us say it over and over again – your purchase makes a difference! Not only are our Artisans paid a fair price up front but money from your purchase is further invested back into our Artisans through our development training programs. You are making a difference with your Grace and Able purchases! But did you know pigs are too?

How? Well, let’s start at the beginning. Despite significant improvement in recent years, Ugandan still remains one of the world’s poorest countries. It continues to suffer from corruption, political and social unrest and child labour in agriculture. 

Uganda is the fastest of Sub-Saharan countries to reduce the percentage of its population living on $1.90 or less per day. Between 2006 and 2013, that population went from 53.2 percent to 34.6 percent. Yet in rural areas of Uganda, poverty particularly affects women. While the men in rural areas work eight to ten hours a day, women carry out their domestic tasks for nine hours. Then in addition, 90 percent of those women also work in the fields. It is also estimated up to 29% of rural households are without access to a toilet.

Livestock plays an essential role in the rural economy of developing countries. More than half of the rural population depends at least in part on livestock for their livelihood, and 12% of the world’s population is entirely dependent on livestock production.

Raising and managing pigs is also a real economic benefit to rural families. Breeding pigs helps gain extra income to spend on health, education and other family needs. 

By following a simple pay it forward philosophy, Winnie and Ibra are drawing the community up with them. Simply put, they give one piglet from a litter to a family in need. That family rears the pig having more piglets. One piglet from the litter is then returned to Winnie and Ibra, one piglet is paid forward to another family in need and the remaining is a source of income for the family. They can keep rearing more, sell at a market, etc.

One healthy sow can produce as many as 20 piglets. Each of those piglets quickly grows to weigh as much as 200 pounds and fetches a hefty price at market. That means school supplies, medicines, meals and more for families.

This project directly contributes to a long-term poverty-fighting opportunity for many within the community. And it’s thanks to the ongoing purchases you make through Grace & Able that it can be.

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How to Marie Kondo the ethical way

Last week I posted on Instastories about my concerns over the popular Marie Kondo trend. Thanks to her well timed show released on Netflix, we are all busy purging and decluttering our homes and wardrobes of anything that does not spark joy.

While op-shops become the quick fix for us to give not so joyful things to, they are over-subscribed and over January our op shops have imploded. While all this joy sparking make us feel better in our homes, at what cost is coming at? What price are others paying so we can spark joy for ourselves?

What price are others paying so we can spark joy for ourselves?

Emma Woodcock, Founder, Grace & Able

Australians already threw away 6000kg of clothing every 10 minutes (watch ABC War on Waste for more revealing stats), of which only 5% ends up in store with the rest shipped off shore to be treated by those countries less privileged than us. (Another great watch which highlighted this was the film True Cost – a must watch if you haven’t done so already).

These developing counties either then turn them into rags or send them to their landfill. Not a great solution to be honest. Nor does it really spark to know that those already struggling in life are dealing with our rubbish.

“The idea that everything is purposeful really changes the way you live. To think that everything that you do has a ripple effect, that every word that you speak, every action that you make affects other people and the planet.”

Victoria Moran, Author

Author Victoria Moran’s quote has long resonated with me. Every decision we make has an impact somewhere. From the food we eat to the words we say to the job we do, the choices we make have an impact. It is simple cause and effect principles. And it can be powerful! But to truly cultivate change, I am arguing we need to go back and address our consumer habits in the first place.

Our consumer demand has increased production of fashion. Fast fashion is a modern term for an increased demand that has its roots as far back as the alter 1800s with the industrial revolution. (for a fascinating insight into the fashion expansion go here: it is a good reason. I’ll guarantee you’ll learn something)

But it is not just the fashion industry that has increased its pace. Technology has faster turnouts and updates than ever before and some of our children no longer know seasonal fruits and veggies are. We wanted watermelon all year round, we got it. Maybe without even realising it!

Some argue that marketing made us that way. But truth be told, the marketing would not have worked if we had not bought so the point remains: as consumers we have power. So let’s be intentional with it.
Let’s realise the value of our purchases, our habits and wants.
Let’s be aware of the cause and effect our consumer demands has had, can have and should have.
Let’s make a change the lasting way. The sustainable way. The true way to spark joy.
Why? Because the people behind the purchase, the hands that make it matter.

The hands that make it matter.

Grace & Able

New Year = Time to care!

Have you ever caught yourself thinking “how can I help others with all that is already on my plate?” or  maybe “I want to make a difference but i just don’t know where to begin?

They are familiar thoughts to me – still – even though Grace & Able is now 4 years old! For me, 2019 started with an unexpected bang here at Grace & Able, with some good and bad news. Our bad news is that our Artisan partners in Uganda were robbed and we have all been set back several months work. But we are resilient. And our Partners are strong, inspiring over-comers so we will bounce back!

What’s the good news, I hear you ask? Well, grace & Able has now welcomed two Ambassadors into our community!

Wait, what is an Ambassador?

A Grace & Able is a justice advocate, entrepreneur, compassionate and savvy business person who creates opportunity – for yourself, for your friends and family and for our Artisans., It’s truly an opportunity that will change the world. And how many opportunities do you have that you can truly say that for?

By using our kits, essentially a business in a box, our Ambassadors help us fight poverty and make a difference by using business as an agent for change. I am so excited to introduce you to them over the coming weeks.

I know some of you must wondering Why? I am actually a big fan of this questions as shows a hunger to learn more and take our understanding deeper. So why Ambassadors? Because I am passionate about seeing people thrive. I am passionate about encouraging each other. And I am passionate about seeing poverty ended and justice reign.

But times are changing, not just in the developing world but here too. Businesses are struggling and people are shopping differently. Social is key and our narrative matters. And we are seeing a huge rise in the side gig economy.

As you know, Grace & Able is a direct manufacturer of Artisan made jewellery and homewares. That means we design, import and work directly with the Artisans ourselves. We are our own brand and do not buy in. It’s truly unique. While our Artisans are in partnership with us, we come alongside to provide further opportunity such as literacy education, skill training and qualifications, community health initiatives and more. There is more to every piece we carry because the hands that make it truly matter.

Yet how we manage those trade partnerships matters too. I admit to not knowing what is best for Uganda, Kenya and any other country we forge partnerships in. How could I? I’m not from there. That’s why our partnerships and development training are Artisan led. It’s a truly unique approach that many do not employ because it is often easier to tell than to ask questions and listen. Here at Grace & Able we take the time to do so.

Now our Ambassador Opportunity offers you a similar opportunity. We provide the structure and partnership but leave room to listen and for you to make it uniquely yours.

Our Artisans do not want handouts or charity. They have great self-belief and take pride in their work. What they truly want is opportunity to compete in the global market, with their beautiful products. Our Ambassador Opportunity is about making that happen and is an integral part of making a difference and ending poverty today.

I know we are feeling times are tough and unsure here. This week alone I have friends tell me how difficult businesses and jobs are getting. Every sector seems to be feeling a squeeze. We can react in fear or we can take action. I believe the true action takes are changing business as result. More and more people are tapping into earning potential with side businesses and opportunities. Even more are thinking about it for themselves.

We’ve done the work for you and taken out the scary cost factors and risk. In one handy Grace & Able Ambassador Kit, you will get tools to start making a difference, for you, for your family and for the world’s most vulnerable. You’ll also get comprehensive training to soothe the nerves. You won’t go it alone!

Find out more about becoming an Ambassador today!

If you can’t accessorise at Christmas, when can you?

Christmas is all about the accessories. From the twinkling lights to the baubles to the candles and table top crackers, we dress up our homes to sparkle and shine for Christmas!

So why not accessories your wardrobe too? I mean really, if you can’t accessorise at Christmas, when can you? Plus, let’s admit it, most of us love to find a piece of jewellery or two under the tree.

At Grace & Able we believe that no outfit is complete without the finishing touch of the perfect earring, bracelet or necklace! In the words of design icon Michael Kors “I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman’s outfit”. It’s true, accessories offer the most opportunity to express yourself!

Christmas is the perfect time to make a statement! And make a difference while doing so. So here are our top 5 favourite pieces for adding the style statement to your festive wardrobe or for wrapping up underneath the Christmas tree for someone you love:

  1. Nanga Earrings: Handmade from brass in Kenya, these stunning earrings certainly make a statement! Perfect for dressing up with a little black dress for this season’s parties or dressing up a plain t-shirt and jeans, these earrings make the perfect gift or the perfect addition to your wardrobe!
  2. Starburst Necklace: Handmade form recycled magazine paper in Uganda, this necklace comes in two colours and features a longer style that is easy to dress up or down. Our style hint with this necklace? We love layering it with other pieces such as our Half Moon Necklace
  3. Joy Earrings:  Aren’t they perfectly named for this holiday season? Handmade by our artisans in Uganda using recycled magazine paper, these earrings capture the Bohemian spirit of wanderlust and adventure while making a statement all about ending poverty. Perfect with maxi dresses, you can’t wrong this summer with the popular pink/red combo!
  4. Woven Basket: Accessories are not for every woman, and so we carry a small home-wares line too! Our hand woven baskets are made in Uganda from dried banana leaves and stem. A truly resourceful basket as it makes sure that nothing from a banana plantation goes to waste, giving one of these as a gift serves to not only be a unique and useful item around the house but ensures that the hands who made it get income this Christmas.
  5. Children’s Bead Kits: At Grace & Able we believe it’s never to young to start teaching our kids the importance of knowing where things come from and how they can make a difference. These unique kits can’t be found anywhere else. Each bead is made from recycled magazine paper in Uganda and not only will it keep the young and the young at heart busy over the holidays, they give back to the hands that make them.

See something you love? Shop directly from the links above or by clicking the button below. Need to leave a hint for hubby dearest? We suggest grabbing a screenshot and sending it to him as a not too subtle hint. Handy reminders for the win!

SHOP NOW

PS: Follow us on social media to stay up to date and get more insight on all we do!

Already following us? We’d love to hear from you and see how you #wearthechange. Tag us in or leave a comment! We’d love to say hi!

Giving back this Christmas

This Christmas there are approximately 75 Million people work directly in the fashion and textile industry across the globe. 80% of them are women. Many are subject to exploitation, unsafe working conditions, verbal and physical abuse and very little pay.

While we gather with our families and friends, many workers are separated from theirs. While we enjoy roasts with all the trimmings, many cannot even feed their entire families. It doesn’t sound like the ideal Christmas to us! But there is good news….

… As consumers we can do something about it.  By shopping purposefully, you can provide income for artisans living below the family line. You can give hope for the future.

To quote author Victoria Moran: “The idea that everything is purposeful really changes the way you live. To think that everything that you do has a ripple effect, that every word that you speak, every action that you make affects other people and the planet.”

This Christmas why not grab hold of purpose and give gifts that make an impact. There is always till time to make an impact.

  1. For the beauty love, we can’t go past Conscious Kin. Based in New Zealand, there’s a wide variety of choice and every product is environmentally friendly. What’s more they don’t test on animals and they promise to offset carbon footprint with all shipping via Sendle! We love the conscientious approach.
  2. For the little ones, we love Modimade. They have the sweetest range of toys, clothes and baby things. The company works closely with the makers in Cambodia. They promote fair and sustainable practices.
  3. For the coffee love, there is plethora of choice! But our go to for convenience and fair standards is Just Fair Coffee.  Find it in Ritchies IGA and some local supermarkets near you!
  4. For one stop shopping that gets the whole family in one hit, we love Thread Harvest. They offer women’s, men’s and children’s clothes, accessories, home-wares plus skincare, covering a wide range of brands – all the supporting ethical and fair trade causes. Plus our favourite feature is that you can shop by the value that matters most to you!
  5. And of course we had to do it – us! Grace & Able. Did you know that the income our Artisans receive from working with us feeds families and improves communities?

We hope you have found some helpful hints from this list! Happy Christmas Shopping!

Wear it Wednesday: An Interview with Katee Blizzard

Katee Blizzard is one of the warmest, most enthusiastic young social entrepreneurs out there. Navigating new business can be tricky and she has done so with genuine integrity and honesty. Our partnership goes back about two years now and I still would not hesitate stand beside this gregarious woman in what she does.

In today’s Wear it Wednesday Interview, she kindly gave her time to give her us an insight into her world.

Katee wears the Cascade Earrings in blue.

So Katee, some of our readers may not know you are an American. Tell us, how did you get come to live in Australia?

Well, I arrived with the intention of coming and exploring while working as an Au Pair for 3 months but life had other plans for me. The second month in I ended up meeting a boy and we have been together ever since. 2 Years later and we live together in a tiny house on a farm and he is finally coming to the US for the holidays to meet my family!

We are curious, what motivates you to get up in the morning?

The opportunity to help make someone else’s life easier to be honest. Everything I do is to help others in whatever way that they need in that moment and it fuels my life each day.

Katee wears our Half Moon Necklace and Rose Hoop Earrings

Can you let us in to what a day in your life looks like?

Typically I wake up around 6am with Billy to have coffee. Once he is gone for the day, I go and feed the chickens and dog, do some morning affirmations, a bit of gratitude journaling before launching into full on work mode. From there you can typically find me on either Instagram or Facebook building up my clients engagement, or writing blog posts for the brands that I partner with through my new Impactful Influencer blog.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be? Why?

I would love to spend a day in Richard Branson’s Shoes. I just find that he has such an incredible life and always keeps goodness at the core as well as kindness.

Yes, he is a fascinating man, and so full of energy! building on this theme, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

It is okay to say no. Life is constantly changing and a few months ago I made the tough decision to “Fire” my clients to focus on my own wellbeing and mental health. That time away was incredibly needed and now, I feel that every day I can show up as 100% versus the 80% I was giving before.

Katee wears our Jani Earrings

And lastly, where to next?

I am actually in the process of creating a collective of Influencers that are making an impact by promoting purposeful products with their causes at the core of their content! I am so excited to see where it blossoms and how it evolves in the next few months. Also, I have just launched my new blog KateeBlizzard.com and hope to see that grow as well into a hub for those looking for the next great business for good.

So inspiring Katee, We can’t what to support and empower you in all you do!

Visit Katee at her website KateeBlizzard.com, on Instagram or facebook here. And don’t forget to shop her favourite pieces worn in the photos by clicking the button below!

Shop Impactful Jewellery

Wear it Wednesday: An Interview with Cat_bytheSea

As we move into summer here in Australia, we dream of idyllic beaches and long, lazy days but the sea. Our recent collaboration with the beautiful OCean Child, Catarina of @Cat_bythesea has our travel dreams well and truly covered! Recently, we had a chat over email, Catarina is based in Singapore and asked a few questions.

Cat wears our Nanga Earrings and Katie Necklace

How did you get into travel and starting @cat_bythesea?

Ever since I was little I remember wanting to travel everywhere. My mother tells the story that when I was old enough to have an ID card my next sentence was: “Now I just need a passport!” I always loved to explore nature (especially the ocean), see other cultures and meet different people from what I was used to in my country.  I continued my studies as a marine biologist always travelling everywhere I could. From there I started posting pictures of my trips on my Instagram account and that is how cat_bythesea started!

What motivates you to get up in the morning?

Breakfast! Just kidding! I love to wake up slowly, do some stretching while deep breathing and giving thanks for being alive another day! I believe it is a privilege to be alive each day. When I was 23 I had heart surgery and I guess that it opened my eyes to how finite life is. So enjoying each day is what motivates me every day.

Tell us what a day in your life looks like?

Right now I am working in the University in Singapore so typically my day is spent there. I love to be in a learning environment on a top institution, surrounded by young people with great and new ideas. I also really enjoy education as I feel like I plant a little seed for future generations. I also do yoga at the university twice a week (I wish it was more!). Weekends are exploring as much as I can of this awesome city-country usually! I am originally from Portugal so my holidays are all about exploring this side of the world!

Cat wears our Half Moon Necklace from the Sanyu Collection.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be? Why?

That is a really hard question. There are so many inspiring people. (So true!!!)  I want to say Gandhi or Mother Teresa but don’t want to sound pretentious! It would be heart breaking to see some things but to spend a day in their shoes would make it real and impossible to ignore. Which motivate a lot to work to make a difference.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Do it now. “Later” may become “never”.

That’s amazing advice! Love it!  And lastly, where to next?

Going to hike and dive in Permuteran in the north of Bali! So excited!

Thanks for your time Cat and for sharing with us how you #wearthechange!

You can shop Cat’s look by clicking the links above or clicking here to go to our shop.

Shop Cat’s Look