Carrie Bears is not only one of the sweetest companies we’ve ever heard of, but they’re complete masters of upcycling! Their motto is “It helps to have something to hold on to” and they focus on creating adorable stuffed bears out of a lost loved ones clothing in order to help children (and adults) have something tangible to help them connect with someone they have lost.
“Sometimes, when it’s hard to let go, it helps to have something to hold onto. Carrie Bears comfort those who are grieving by helping them feel close to someone they have lost.
To create your bear, send a favorite shirt, blanket, or article of clothing to Carrie Bears. We will turn it into a soft, huggable 20-inch stuffed bear. It is heartwarming to see what happens when we can actually hold something that connects us to someone we have lost.
Bears can also be made to match a baby nursery or a bedroom set. If a loved one is confined to a hospital bed or has moved far away, a Carrie Bear can make home feel so much closer.”
While their main focus is to help the grieving, they also make bears out of baby blankets, maternity shirts, and old favorites that have been grown out of – to help preserve good memories.
Quokkas are one of the smallest wallaby species in Australia. They have thick, coarse, grey-brown fur; short, rounded fluffy ears, a tail about 10 inches long and shorter hindlegs than other macropod species.
Even though quokkas are considered some of the friendliest, happiest animals on earth, they’re a “vulnerable species”!! (meaning they’re not far away from being endangered!)
Quokkas are very unusual for a number of reasons. They are able to survive in an environment virtually devoid of freshwater and they can climb trees.
Quokkas have been used in medical research on muscular dystrophy as they suffer from the same disease.
This one is napping and we just want to cuddle him!!
HANDMADE, ANCIENT INDIA WEARABLE ART: 100% cotton, printed by hand using organic dyes in the ancient Indian kalamkari print process, then hand cut and sewn by women rescued from sex slavery, restored to health and paid a fair wage.
PUNJAMMIES™ are pajama pants (full length and capri), shorts, tees, tanks and sweatshirts that are created in after-care facilities for women who have been rescued, released or escaped from a life of forced prostitution. Their lives have been marked by a message – you are a commodity – to be used for others’ gain.
Whether sold by her own family, trafficked from another country or driven by desperation, she was a slave to this life. Each story is as unique as each woman.
When a woman escapes from this life, she has few options. Beyond their emotional and psychological trauma, women in India who have been forced to work as prostitutes cannot easily enter schools, return to family systems or secure jobs to support themselves. A high-quality after-care center is one of the best options a woman has for rebuilding her life.
Holistic aftercare involves quality medical care, emotional safety, education along with the tools and community to create a new way of living.
PUNJAMMIES™ is the vehicle used to empower each woman. Instead of the vicious cycle of her former life, the making of PUNJAMMIES starts her on her own virtuous cycle of self-reliance and dignity. A simple thing like making pajamas is what it takes. With the brothel behind and opportunity ahead in a new, supportive community, she is gradually restored to health. When its time, she is trained to sew — and more importantly, to contribute as an integral part of an inter-dependent team. Here is where she learns that she is valuable, to take pride in her work, and to trust again. To trust again–in herself and in others! Her past diminishes and her future brightens. She is becoming the kind of person she was made to be!
When one woman was asked about how her life has changed, she said, “In the brothels, I was alone. But now I have sisters.”
Every pair of PUNJAMMIES™ tells the story of a woman who was, once, voiceless. When you buy her PUNJAMMIES, you are key part of her path, out of modern-day slavery, into a life of hope, dignity and freedom.
Hello b&b family! My name is Kitt and I am an art therapist based in New York. I work with kids and adults, helping them express themselves through art, when they are struggling to verbalize their feelings. I’ve been asked by the lovely Jodie to share a project I have been working on for a little less than a year, called Reconstructed Runway.
I am thrilled to be able to talk about Reconstructed Runway, because it is so close to my heart, and I hope that you share my passion for it as well.
This arts based project is looking to empower those individuals who are looking to put the pieces of their lives back together in sobriety, by using art as their main source of expression. Through fashion and art we at Reconstructed Runway are hoping to use t-shirts as a safe metaphor for the refashioning of their present and their past to create a new, healthy life.
Funding for this project goes directly towards art supplies, an art space to be used during the projects 6 week timeline, and the final art gala event, which everyone who donates will be invited to!
As an artist and an art therapist, I have always been drawn to how we express ourselves through artistic means, and what those expressions look like, this is a chance to help others who may never have been able to express themselves in healthy ways, do so, and show the world.
Please check out our Fundly donation page at this link:
Kyle is always saying how much all of you love my blog posts – Make Something Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Fun Facts Friday were all my ideas and I have spent so much timing sharing with you all, but never actually sharing much about myself. Well here goes:
I grew up on 74th street in Rockaway Beach, NY. The two bedroom apartment was on the 11th floor and if you looked outside to the right there was the most amazing view of the beach (that was just across the street). To the left was Jamaica Bay, and a great view of the NYC skyline. I learned to swim in the ocean, to fish and sail on the bay. I walked everywhere, and on days I couldn’t stand cutting through the projects, I would walk out of my way to just walk on the boardwalk. When teenage angst was overwhelming, I would sit on the beach (day or night, even in the snow) and just watch the waves until I was calm.
The media isn’t covering it very much, but Hurricane Sandy destroyed the Rockaway Peninsula. The ocean that Rockaway natives love, are proud of, that made us who were are , has shoved its way all the way across to the bay. The beach that The Ramones sang about has swallowed the city. All that is left of the iconic boardwalk is the supports. Over 100 houses burned down to their flooded basements. Well over 1,000 buildings have been condemned. There’s no public transportation in or out, no gas for those who have their own cars.
My own mother has been without power or running water for 5 days now. She has to walk down those 11 stories in the dark just to get outside. Today she walked all over Rockaway looking for the RedCross and FEMA sites that are rumored to be there, and there’s nothing. NOTHING.
A good majority of residents are either a part of NYPD, FDNY, EMS, or related to someone who is. Our community has given so much to NYC, by way of these services. We lost over 70 Rockaway residents on 9/11, inlcuding people who worked at WTC and FDNY/EMS personal dispatched. We’ve given so much to NYC, and NYC isn’t responding to this disaster nearly as much/fast as they should. It’s….. horrible.
We at Barley & Birch, in true world-changer fashion, are working on our own fundraiser. Details to come. In the meantime, keep an eye on my twitter posts for more information on what is going on back home, and how to help.
This was my view growing up.
All of that is gone now.
“I did not want an arranged marriage…but my father, in keeping with Arab custom, was determined to see me wed before I turned twenty-five and exceeded my marriage expiration date.
On New Years Eve when I was turning twenty four, my dad announced ‘starting next week, I’m going to bring a man for you every Friday so that you can see if you meet one that you like and get married.” For the next fifty-one weeks, my dad kept his word.”
The witty, intelligent, beautiful, fabulous Faiza started her blog to record the “51 Fridays” of meeting the suitors her father brought home. Her writing shines a light on a culture that most of us know nothing about. During that year, she kept a clear head and a humorous view of it all – she’s an inspiration to people anywhere who are being told to do something they don’t want to do.
Her blog was re-launched this week to include not only the “51 Fridays”, but two new categories as well.
“Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda” – where she lets us know her a little better and talks of things she’d like to find in her true love.
“Secrets & Confessionals” – where readers like myself (and maybe you) of all cultures and ethnicities can write in their stories of falling in (and out) of love, going against their cultures/religions/parents , etc.
The NoHo Hair Salon will be offering purple spirit streaks starting today, May 1st in hopes to raise money for their Relay For Life team! NoHo Hair Salon proprietor and Master Colorist Robbie Wilson is generously supplying the spirit streak materials, and stylist Monica Paul will be donating her time to preform the applications.
Wondering what a spirit streak is? It’s an amethyst extension, made of 100% human hair. For a donation of $5 a streak is applied with a professional grade adhesive, which lasts one to two weeks. For a donation of $15 a streak is sewn in and can last one to two months.
I went in today and got an awesome haircut from the lovely Monica, as well as my first sewn in extension ever! The best part is (other than Monica, I adore her) was that I got to enter my donation straight to NoHo Hair Salon’s Relay for Life page, so I can guarantee you that your FULL donation is going straight to The American Cancer Society.
A friend sent me this video this weekend. The subject of the e-mail was, “Wow. You. In a nutshell.”
I then watched it in utter grin-y enchantment.
This video very oddly captures the vibe behind the scenes of barley & birch.
Everyone involved with barley & birch is a (slightly larger) child. Not a single person behind the scenes is a real adult. We are all easily enchanted and inspired and we believe in magic and fun-having. We love happiness and laughing and funny things and cute things. We love story books and speaking in jokes and rhymes and funny photos for the day.
We also all have tattoos and gravitate toward the gritty and the weird… because we’ve found that those things and people that the rest of the world believes to be weird are really just the things that are the most alive and fun and exciting. The weird things in this world make life full and worth living. I’ll post more about Burning Man sometime, but this video captures the whimsy that makes the people there inspire us. Some might see them as strange, we just see them as childlike. (:
“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” is a favorite here. Its… perfect.
A copy of the book was given to me when I graduated from high school, then again when I graduated from college, and again when I graduated from law school. I know it by heart. Its words have encouraged me on to places (literally and figuratively) when most that I have ever known have stayed settled and safe.
The part I love most of all:
“…Everyone is just waiting.
That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!
Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!”
In honor of a day celebrating the visionary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we want to give away two copies of ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go!’ to you and your future world changers. Two winners. One with a note from me in it and one with a note from Jodie.
1. Comment here or on Facebook to tell us what weird, ridiculous, fun, or strange childlike thing you do or will do to make your life even more fun than it is already. Or your favorite part from the story. Or your favorite character in the video.
Extra entry: Tweet about the giveaway using @barleyandbirch and then comment here letting us know that you did.
(Giveaway closes midnight PDT on Friday, January 27th.)
I give talks to crowds of hundreds, from Ivy League MBA students to middle schoolers, and in the Q&A portion I ALWAYS hear, “Kyle, you are changing the world and are really inspiring to us, but who inspires you?” And its at that portion of my talk that I lose the facade of cool (okay okay, who am I kidding, that is gone in the first 30 seconds). After they ask, I pause, usually let out a very swoony, smily sigh reminiscent of a 14-year-old girl when asked about Justin Beiber or something, and I say, “Yvon Choinard. He is my hero. I just…. love him.”
Now, I’ve said this enough times, in magazines ranging from Fortune to Inc. to Entreprenuer, that some incredibly kind soul reached out to him and told him that he has a huge fan over here. And he sent me this.
Yes, a signed copy of my most favorite book. I cried.
And when it came time to make small plaque dedications at my childrens home? He was the first name to be stamped into metal as an inspiration. (I will tell you all more about this soon.)
And then today I get that e-mail. From the store. Just like… a normal customer. And my heart starts racing, I check the date, I call the Palo Alto store, speak to a nice guy named Aaron, “HI…. UH… YVON IS SPEAKING?! IS THIS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC?!” I ask. “Yes,” he responds calmly, “it is.” “OH MY GOSH! OKAY!!!! THANK YOU!” I scream. Poor guy. And just like that, tonight, for the first time ever, I get to hear Yvon Chouinard speak. I am already emotional. So excited.
And yes, I have a million other blog posts that I owe you all, but I just had to share this moment as soon as I found out.
Tonight I get to see my hero in person speaking about responsible business. I can’t even tell you all when this means to me. And I am overcome with excitement. Like a 14 year old with Bieber.
My friend suggested I introduce myself after Yvon’s talk tonight, I about melted with discomfort. “No no no no no,” I said, “I will just sink in my chair and soak up his air and brilliance and walk out hyperventilating and wanting to change the whole world.” I’ve met Presidents and movie stars and icons and heroes of the world. I can keep it together like a champ. But the thought of speaking to my hero? I disintegrate.