Throughout the later part of this past week, Columbia was hit with some of the best weather that we’ve had in a long while. With 75 degrees and full sun, I was able to spend some quality time with a few great friends. I had some coffee dates, a photo shoot with my lovely friend Brea of Ciao, Brea, and a trip to the Farmer’s Market. It was a much needed weekend especially in the sense that the last week was a long week of recovering from the jet lag following my spring break trip to Spain and Portugal! 

After some really quality conversations with important people in my life, I began to realize how thankful I am for the gift of transparency, and in this instance, the fact that such wonderful people have been placed in my life who can be so open and honest with me and that I can share with them in return. Coming to college, I was always afraid that I wouldn’t be able to find people that I’d be able to share everything with. Not only did I leave high school with some extremely close friendships, I also feared that these kinds of relationships would be harder to make in college since no one from my core friend group in high school came to the same school as I did.

Thankfully, within my first few days at school, I met several people who would become extremely important roles in my college career, including one of my absolute best friends who later became, and still is, my roommate. Then, sophomore year, I chose to study abroad in Spain. There I met another one of my now absolute best friends and we were able to become so close over the course of a few months simply because we shared everything with each other.

Those kinds of relationships are the ones I thrive on. The ones where everything can be out in the open and we can share our hearts without fear of judgement. The quality of transparency in a friendship is a vital one and thankfully, I have been blessed with a handful of friendships where this quality is prevalent. My favorite author, Brené Brown, said something that I feel sums up these friendships quite well. She said, “Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: “Who has earned the right to hear my story?” If we have one or two people in our lives who can sit with us and hold space for our stories, and love us for our strengths and struggles, we are incredibly lucky. If we have a friend, or small group of friends, or family who embraces our imperfections, vulnerabilities, and power, and fills us with a sense of belonging, we are incredibly lucky.” 

How would it feel to be connected to brand in such a way? That’s what I longed for…to be able to connect with a brand like a friend. To know the stories of the items that I purchase in such a way that I feel deeply connected to the items as I use them each time. That’s where Hiptipico came in. I found out about the company a short while after I came back to the U.S. after having spent some time living in Guatemala. 

Upon following the brand and their founder Alyssa on Instagram, I realized that this was exactly the kind of transparency that I wanted in a company. From behind the scenes stories and trips to meet their Guatemalan artisans, there is an instant connection with the brand. Ethical fashion to me isn’t about the trend. It may be something that’s a popular idea right now and a lot of people seem to be excited about it, yet I want this momentum to last. This movement not only provides transparency as to where our garments and accessories are sourced but it also can connect us with people around the globe who are using their dignified job as a means out of poverty.  

My outfit details include the Utz Backpack from Hiptipico of course! 

Thankfully, there are companies out there that really do go above and beyond in regards towards sustainability, fair wages for their workers, and quality product. That being said, it really does bring transparency full circle. I strive to be transparent in much of what I do; whether it be in my friendships or in my shopping habits. I just want to encourage you to pursue the same! 

Happy Sunday, friends! Enjoy the rest of your day. Now that you know all about Hiptipico, feel free to go buy yourself some goodies and use the code oliviaxxhiptipico for 25% off your purchase! 

Much love, 

Olivia

 

 

Thank you to Hiptipico for the beautiful backpack. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Thank you to my photographer, Brea Cubit.

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Hey guys, 

Josh and I have never really done anything too crazy when it comes to gift-giving for Valentine’s Day. For us, we are usually saving up for a trip or an experience like an event or a concert that we want to attend together, so Valentine’s Day presents aren’t usually top priority. However, in case you’re obsessed with the holiday yourself, I created a little gift guide for Her that you can send as a “hint” to your significant other. 😉 

Otherwise, I came up with some fun Valentine’s gifts you can give to anyone in your life that you love. Whether you’re celebrating Galentine’s Day in the spirit of Parks and Rec, or simply wanting to send your bestie a fun pick-me-up in the mail, most of these items are at a pretty affordable price point and very festive. My personal favorite? The Sriracha bottle “Hot Stuff” pouch! How fun is that?! 

 

Chai Really Like You Tea $15

Nike Air Max Thea Flyknit Woven $150

Bow + Drape Hot Stuff Pouch $39

Herringbone Pom Pom Throw $65

You Are My ___ Valet Tray $28

Kaden Jelly Rainboot $35

NARS Matte Lipstick $28

Love Potion Thermal Coffee Mug $14

Valentino Cat Eye Sunglasses $70

However you celebrate Valentine’s Day, and whoever you end up spending it with, I am so thankful for you all and love you all so much! Thanks for supporting me on my blogging journey ~ I’m sending lots of love out to you guys! 

Olivia 

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I have always been a “yes” person. I think it comes from two things. Mainly, I want to make everyone happy and I used to think that by telling everyone yes, I was solving this problem. Second, I genuinely have such a wide range of interests and hobbies, that it a lot of times is hard for me to say no to something, because I want to do everything. For example, I started college getting one major. I now have one major, three minors, and two certificates. A little much, huh? Well, it’s because I just wanted to take all kinds of classes that appealed to all of my interests, so I did. Because of this, I know that I will be a more marketable person upon graduation, and I have also made so many different friends from all kinds of different programs around my campus.

There are definitely a lot of pros to wanting to be involved in as many things as possible, but I also want to touch on the fact today that, it’s okay not to be so involved. I’ve realized that saying yes all the time isn’t necessarily something that works best all the time.

Last semester for example, I had three internships, a job, and was enrolled in 20 credit hours of classes. At some point, it began to feel like an addiction, this feeling of needing to say yes to everything. To being constantly busy and never having a waking moment of free time to spend wth anyone who I care about. I began to realize that while my resume was amplified, my personal time for growth was dwindling, and at times I felt like it was nonexistent. As someone who considers herself to be a creative, this kind of schedule didn’t work out so well. There was no time for me to sit back to grow and process when I don’t allow myself time to even eat at times because my schedule was so busy.

I’ve identified that this is something that I want to change for 2017. Already, I have signed up for a smaller class load, turned down one of my internships for this next semester, and built in time for myself in my schedule. Looking ahead to the next few months, I’ve already planned trips and fun activities that will give me time to get away and tap into my adventurous side.

While I still am very much someone who likes to have everything planned out, I’ve realized that I can also plan out time to just simply be excited for growth. Over this past month of being at home on winter break, I worked on making videos, creating art, listening to podcasts, and  journaling. It’s like an explosion of my creative self was what I needed to tap into my normal self again. 

I’m so ready to hit this semester running with a spirit that’s back to feeling my creative best! 

Love, 

Olivia

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If you read my last post, which was the Ethical Christmas Gift Guide, you might have seen one of my favorite necklaces of late, which is from Haiti Design Co. I also promised that my next post would give a little more details about why I love this line so much.

So when my friend Rachael was actually able to visit the brick and mortar Haiti Design Co-op located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and start carrying some of the items in her coffee shop in St. Louis, I was so excited! If you are local and not yet finished with your Christmas shopping, this is a perfect last minute gift to add to stocking stuffers or give as gifts on their own. You can find the line being sold at Silo Coffee + Goods!

Silo is my favorite place to grab an ethically sourced coffee in St. Louis and simultaneously be inspired by all of the goods they carry in the shop! 10% of all profits from the cafe go towards lifting coffee farmers around the world out of poverty. So, it’s not a surprise that they also want to help other around the world, like the men and women who are the artisans behind Haiti Design Co.

A few of the things that Haiti Design Co. helps with {but isn’t limited to} are…financial management classes, women’s counseling, and simply consistently employing over 150 people in Haiti! Their goal of mentoring these individuals to ultimately leave them as independent entrepreneurs is so incredibly impactful.

When I lived in Guatemala, the thing I saw so much of was that there were so many incredible artisans, yet they weren’t equipped with the proper business skills to thrive. To see this model so effectively be put in action makes me so incredibly excited to be a part of it.

My hope is that in these posts about ethical fashion, you’ll be provided with sources to shop at that can make such an impact with every dollar you chose to spend. There are so many incredible companies out there supporting the ethical and sustainable way of doing things, and my desire is to equip you with as many options as possible to make your life a bit easier so all you have to do is shop! There is so much power behind each and every purchase you make. Don’t forget to stop by Silo Coffee + Goods to check out their coffee and their current selection of everything from Haiti Design Co!

Merry almost Christmas!

Olivia

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I have forever been a fan of ethical fashion. When I came into college here at the University of Missouri and decided to major in International Apparel Marketing and Merchandising, I came in thinking that upon gradation, I wanted to work in the fashion industry with the goal of making it more sustainable and ethical. This passion hasn’t died down, and ultimately I would love to pursue that goal. In fact, when I was living in Guatemala, I happened to meet the founder of Noonday Collection, Jessica, when I was in Antigua. This was such a memorable experience because I was able to go to the hotel she was staying at and chat poolside with her and some other world-changing Noonday ladies all about ethical fashion and the challenges and advantages that can come with all things sustainable and fair trade.

My life experiences have really culminated to make this passion in my life so strong and it only makes sense if I would end up at a company that places an emphasis on the ethical treatment and payment of employees. If you haven’t heard much about ethical fashion, I would check out the documentary The True Cost or THIS article I wrote a few weeks ago on fast fashion.

In my mind though for a long time, my opinion of ethical fashion was that, while it was for a good cause, it wasn’t necessarily the most fashionable. In my mind, I’d seen some wares that were made around the world that were advertised as fair trade that were simply just not that great. While they helped other people, I would have never just picked them out because I liked them.

However, the future of ethical fashion is definitely changing and there are so many companies that work with artisans all over the globe that create some of the most gorgeous products that I have ever seen. Later this week, I’ll be highlighting an ethical fashion company that makes some of the most beautiful things with an outfit post, but for now, I have created a gift guide stocked with some of my favorite current picks from my most favorite companies! What ethical fashion companies are you currently crushing on?

 

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My Most Favorite Ethical Gifts I’m Loving Right Now

1. Antonia Scarf ($65) from Noonday Collection

2. Saddle Bag ($55) from Hiptipico

3. Camera Strap ($78) from Nena + Co.

4. Coasters ($4 each) from Mayan Hands

5. Bottle Stopper ($10) from Roots of Creation

6. Leather Backpack ($238) from Nisolo

7. PomPom Keychain ($8) from Macvilho

8. Basket in Sea Foam ($42) from Wolof Weavers of Senegal

9. Necklace ($15) from Haiti Design Co.

10. Boots ($178) from The Root Collective

11. Tasseled Pouch ($12) from Mango + Main

There you have my roundup of favorite goodies perfect for Christmas gifts for family and friends! Not only are they beautiful and thoughtful choices, but they are also ethically purchased, so it’s kind of a win-win all the way around. If you have any favorite companies that you love shopping from, drop the name down in the comments below because I want to know!

Each and every one of us holds the power to make a difference as a consumer with every purchase we make. Why don’t we make our purchases count towards something and make the lives of others better?

I’ll be back later this week to share more about one of my favorite ethical fashion brands!

Olivia

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