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Stories Of Bloom: An Introduction

You cannot deny that this season of Spring does certain things to the mind. You think of key words; flourish, growth, renew, bloom. You call to mind certain concepts as the world turns to start anew.

With the launch of our new Spring/Summer Line, we feel this more than ever before. We asked our friend and talented writer, Meredith Kane, to capture the essence of this line. We want to share with you our feelings surrounding Beginning Of Bloom and the hope we held onto as we pushed through Winter.

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We made it through another winter, and while not my most loved season, I find value in winter’s ability to strengthen our character and to teach us patience. The last few months have encouraged us to persevere, to appreciate, and to practice presence.

Our lives move in seasons. Just like the trees and the earth and all living things undergo growth and transformation, so do our lives. And we need that — it’s not healthy to stay the same, to remain stagnant.

I’ve never once experienced a winter that wasn’t followed by a spring. Spring always pays us a visit. [Not to mention that after living through the colder months, it feels even sweeter.]

But the best part is — winter provides time to prepare for the bloom.

Spring welcomes back the abundance of buds and blossoms that have been in hiding, eagerly awaiting the reveal of their vibrant selves.

Spring embodies joy; it is beauty unveiled. It is the celebration of life that is once again fresh and full and flourishing.

For me, the beginning of bloom signifies possibility. There’s something about the newness this season ushers in that reminds me anything can happen.

Author Anne Lamott describes the spirit of spring in her book, ‘Help, Thanks, Wow.’ She writes: “When all is said and done, spring is the main reason for Wow. Spring is crazy, being all hope and beauty and glory. She is the resurrection.”

It’s my sincere hope that we all slow down enough to cherish what this season has to offer. Let’s take time to delight in spring. Let’s take time to dance in the bloom.

 

| Written by Meredith Kane |



Beginning Of Bloom: Artist Profile

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This is Kandace Parker. A talented graphic designer and most importantly a friend, we reached out to her to do a little project for us surrounding our S/S line, Beginning Of Bloom. Here is a behind the scenes look at her + the project.

 

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- What does art mean to you -

Art is the way an individual sees the world. It’s so amazing to watch someone create because you get to see their feelings and emotions come to life. Art is a terrifying thing. It’s vulnerable. I think the adrenaline rush of showing something you made is what keeps me creating.

 

- From where do you draw inspiration -

Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert, but my greatest inspiration comes from the hikes I take by myself. It’s in those peaceful moments where I generate my greatest ideas. As far as artists go, Marian Bantjes is the designer I admire the most. I have learned a lot from studying her work.

 

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- Describe your creative process -

My creative process is a lot spring cleaning. It’s like things have to get really messy before they can become a cohesive design. I begin my process with research. I read all of the time and practice what I learn. Once I get an idea, I sketch it- a lot- maybe 50 sketches. After that, I find 3 solid ideas that I love and complete them from start to finish. Then I pray to God that it doesn’t suck.

 

- If you could be any animal, what would you be + why -

Panda bear. Easy. If I could just lay down and eat bamboo all day with my panda friends, I’d be set for life.

 

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- What advice would you give to aspiring artists -

Everyone just needs to stop trying to be so damn cool. The saddest thing is to watch an artist try to mimic the people around them and watch their creativity shrivel because they’re scared of what others may think of them. Don’t be afraid to try something out of the ordinary – if it ends up being stupid, then you’re humbled. If it’s awesome- then you’re ground-breaking. Work incredibly hard, and be incredibly grateful.

 

- How did you first hear of/get involved with Red Earth -

I first heard of Red Earth from my small group leader my freshman year of art school. He explained the company’s values and I immediately fell in love. Through Red Earth, I was able to travel to Kenya and Uganda and experience the journey of their beautiful work from start to finish. It’s so amazing, I’m just so excited.

 

 

- What does Bloom mean to you -

Bloom is a new beginning. Spring brings new flowers out of cold winter months. There’s nothing more beautiful than seeing something fresh and unique come to life. I think this new line is doing the same thing.
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| Kandace Parker Design | Photos by Katie Childs |



Business for Good: National Geometric

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National Geometric is a philanthropic + photographic print store that connects the needs of the third world with the resources of donors in the first world through photographic prints. By purchasing a 10×15 print from National Geometric, you are directly helping the person in the photograph. The cost of the print directly reflects the amount needed to help the person photographed. Most prints are limited to a run of 1/1, making them completely original and unique.

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National Geometric’s sole purpose is to put faces to the statistics that we often hear about social issues, to show compassion to those suffering, and to bring vision to the act of charitable giving. Using this new model of giving and receiving, philanthropy no longer has to be a blind and impersonal experience. National Geometric serves as the creative platform that removes the blinding barriers that separate the giver from the receiver, and unites them through the impact of art and the interconnectivity of the internet. Through photography, we are bridging the gap between the first world and the third world. There’s no need to trust a large organization to properly distribute your donation when you can see the impact that you are making for yourself. This approach to philanthropy ensures complete transparency, personal connection, and furthered humanity.

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The impact and value of National Geometric is measured not only through the amount of people that they are able to help in the process of making photographs, but also in the depth of personal connections that are established between the giver and receiver. Whenever possible, a follow up photograph will be emailed to the donor showing the change that they have caused in the lives of others. Our overall goal is to unify people through art.

| Our process can be summarized in three steps |

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1) Creative portraits are made of a person with a specific need that needs to be met.

Example: Lakshmi, a young girl from the Delhi slums, needs treatment for a severe burn

2) The resulting photograph is uploaded to NationalGeometric.com and listed in the store as a 10×15 print and the price of the photo is the price needed to help the person in the photo.

Example: Lakshmi’s portrait is listed in our store as a 10×15 print for $45

3) A giver/donor purchases the photograph. The funds are allocated to the person in the photograph. The giver receives a print in the mail within two weeks as well as a follow up photo via email.

Example: Lakshmi is taken to the regional hospital, where her injuries are treated for the cost of $45. A photograph is emailed to donor showing Lakshmi after her treatment. Then, the donor receive a 10×15 print of Lakshmi through the mail.



Beginning Of Bloom: Artist Profile

 

 

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We knew we wanted to capture the essence of our S/S Line early on. We wanted to be able to share with you all our headspace and feelings surrounding this line in a beautiful, latest way. Becky Jones is the talented artist who helped us capture all this and more in our Beginning Of Bloom artwork. Here is a closer look at her and her creative process.

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- What does art mean to you -

Art has always been a very meaningful aspect of my life. It has been the most effective method of communication for a shy person, such as myself, who has a tendency to burrow deep within self-doubt. Art has, in a sense, lent me a voice when words have a tendency to escape me. My paintings and illustrations are visual manifestations of my internal psyche, weaving images, lines, and color to tell a story or convey a feeling.

Where did you study -

I studied at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where I earned a BFA in graphic design.

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- From where do you draw inspiration -

I tend to gravitate toward a minimal aesthetic and draw inspiration from the subtle beauty that exists in nature, such as the way in which light illuminates an array of colors across a single plane, which would otherwise go unnoticed at a glance. Microscopic details within mundane façades fascinate me and rouse the compulsion to create pieces that divulge the mysterious allure they possess.

- Describe your creative process -

Much of my art has evolved organically, yet slowly and meticulously. My creative process begins with countless hours of staring off into the void, allowing my mind to wander through a library of images and concepts. I visualize the layout and components necessary to communicate a feeling or sense of a story, and then proceed to selecting colors and textures. Images unfold slowly onto paper, with either a fine tipped Micron pen or paintbrush saturated with color, as I hover inches from the surface of the illustration to ensure certain details are locked in. Though I approach each new piece with a specific plan of attack, I often improvise, finding new solutions to the problems I face along the way, and the final results always surprise me.

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- If you could be any animal, what would you be + why -

I would want to be a pygmy donkey because they are affectionate and playful. Plus, they are ridiculously adorable.

 

- What advice would you give to aspiring artists -

The advice I would offer any aspiring artist who lends me an ear would be the same that I have recently been muttering to myself under my breath. Abandon your insecurities and fears of failure and rejection. Instead, embrace your inner child and dreams and propel yourself into the unknown with a bold new sense of adventure. Translate your visions into beautiful works of art. Whisper if you must, but shout at the top of your lungs at every opportunity. Someone out there in the vast wilderness of life will hear you.

 

| Here are some of Becky’s other works |

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ROLL CALL: Benson

Meet Benson. He is our Artisan who focuses on one of a kind bone works. His business is called Ideal Bone Creations and is based in Nairobi, Kenya. Learning the skill of bone working at a young age, Benson first began hand craving with his brother. He is now a talented craftsman and an entrepreneur in his community.

Working within his local community, Benson strives to give idle youth a positive outlet. He feels that having an opportunity for success is the key to avoiding a booming crime rate and wasted youth. His desire is to pull members of the community under his wing, and into his employment, so they can have a honest means of providing for themselves and their families.

We are coming up on our sixth year of partnership with Benson, and we are excited about the growth that is on the horizon. Since partnering with Benson, he has been able to relocated to a bigger, more productive space, his staff has grown, and his business has flourished. It is our dream that through Red Earth we can help Benson, and Ideal Bone Creations, realize their dreams.

|  Shop Benson’s Full Collection  |

 



RESTOCK: Liz II Necklace

With our team just returning from their trip to Kenya, our ever popular Liz II Necklace is back in stock. These are limited and move quickly, so act soon. A hand cast, detailed brass pendant hanging from a delicate chain, this simple necklace is perfect for easy everyday class or layered fun. Shop now, they go fast!



ORIGINS: Gatherer’s iPhone Wallet

We always get a little extra excited when we get to work on a new leather piece. Leather is tough. It is a challenging and lengthy process to access good hides in Kenya, but this is just half the fun.

Around this time last year, we set aside days to focus on a few leather pieces we were eager to produce. Our leather Artisans, Tom + Matua, are some of the most talented craftsmen we have ever met. Being able to watch them work is a joy, and we were thrilled about these days spent creating. The piece we were focusing on was our Gatherer’s iPhone Wallet.

Striving to make something purposeful with simple style, our Gatherer’s iPhone Wallet was a design we spent time perfecting. Easily now one of our favorite pieces, no one on staff is ever spotted without theirs.

With skills as undeniable as these, the work speaks for itself. A single piece of hand-cut leather, this everyday carry is effortlessly beautiful. I still catch myself admiring each fold and mark, thinking back on days spent in Kenya and the smell and sounds of the leather shop.

/ / [SHOP] today to simplify your pockets with this timeless piece \ \
www.redearthtradingco.com



ROLL CALL: JaneRose

Allow us to introduce you to JaneRose. Designing jewelry since college, her unique pieces caught our eye in the market, but it was her beautiful personality that kept us wanting more.

JaneRose is passionate about her art, seeing it as her ability to touch peoples lives. Currently working from her home alongside her mother, she is striving to grow her business to be able to train the young girls in her community.  She views every necklace as a chain of progress and hope. Both her and her husband have a heart for their community and actively pursue positive growth.

As we get ready to head back to Kenya, we are thrilled to see our friend JaneRose and make further steps to growing her business. We look forward to chats around her kitchen table about hope, and maybe we’ll even get one of her famous homemade smoothies.

/ /   [SHOP] JaneRose’s full collection + [VIEW] JaneRose’s full story   \ \