Friday, May 15, 2009

Little Gifts in Pretty Boxes

I have recently become somewhat obsessed with stationary. For years, I received it in Christmas stockings or as a birthday gift, but rarely thought of much use for it. In the event that I needed to send a card, I would go to the drugstore and buy one. This all changed with two happenings. One, I found a similar interest in my stepmother. She collects stationary, buying individual pieces, making surprise discoveries in tiny stores across the world. She tucks away these intricate beauties, waiting until the marriage of special recipient and specific card is realized. The second was that I began to want to buy stationary for others. It is an age of electronic everything and a rare time to receive a snail mailed message, so I started giving people material with which to send an unexpected nicety. My favorite gift is a package of simple stationary and a stamp of an animal, flower, or shape of the giftee's liking, with favorite color and style in mind.
As I grow my collection, I am constantly peeking into stores and admiring cards I receive in the mail, looking for the next best. But I have also realized that these unique cards are a reflection of what you like and who you are, making them personal and individual. Like a special person, they must find you, and as we know...that always happens when you least expect it.

My most recent discovery, from Kate's Paperie.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

TOMS Shoes for Change

On May 5, TOMS Shoes celebrated its 3rd birthday and a plan to give over 300,000 shoes to children in need in 2009. In 3 short years, TOMS has not only become a fashion statement and volunteer and donation organization of choice, but has also traveled the world and donated over 140,000 pairs of shoes to children across the globe. The best part? TOMS works with a One for One model - for every pair of shoes that you buy, TOMS will give a pair away.
What intrigues me most about TOMS Shoes is the risk. If no one bought their shoes (and later shirts, sweatshirts, hats and babywear), TOMS wouldn't be able to afford to send free shoes overseas. It seems like that's what business is all about these days - taking a risk because you have the confidence to stand behind it and know that it, or you, will succeed. People are doing this everyday as they launch new plans and strategies for how to recover in the economic climate, or become more daring in the hopes of drawing in a new audience. It is invigorating to see people, companies, and organizations prosper under this mentality, and it's inspiring to watch consumers continue to support what they believe in within their current means. I can only imagine how amazing the changes and advances that people choose to make will be when security and stability are restored.