Friday, June 24, 2011

The June Issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor is Now Available

Dear GGD Reader,

Welcome to the June digital issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor Magazine.

This Month's Featured Content:
• Homegrown Talent
• Out of the Box
• Market Finds
• Shelftalk
• Last Look
• Helping Hands
• Calendar

New Feature:
Now Viewable on Ipads

Please Note:
GGD Digital requires NO special downloads or applications to view in its entirety.

Please click HERE to begin reading now!

We hope you enjoy this issue and all future digital issues of GGD. Feel free to contact us with your thoughts and feedback at

The GGD Team

Monday, June 6, 2011

Companies That Give Back: PeopleTowels

Name of Company: PeopleTowels

Years in Business: 2

Main Products: PeopleTowels, reusable personal hand towels

In what ways do you give back? “PeopleTowels is a proud member of 1% for the Planet,” says co-founder Linda Lannon. “Through 1% for the Planet we donate one percent of our revenues to the Breast Cancer Fund of San Francisco. We also created special edition Breast Cancer Fund PeopleTowels, for which we donate $1 per towel back to the organization. Being a mission-based business, we also give back simply by virtue of how we conduct business. Our products are made not only to preserve natural resources and reduce solid waste, but the products themselves are responsibly made using organic cotton and low impact dyes and packaged in minimal, recycled and recyclable packaging. The organic cotton is also certified to be Fair Trade, which means the people who grow the cotton work in safe, clean environments and are paid fairly for their commodity.”

How did you decide what to do/donate to? “We chose The Breast Cancer Fund because its mission to eradicate the environmental causes of breast cancer, aligns closely with our commitment to making the planet a better and healthier place for future generations. Breast cancer touches the lives of so many women and their families. Many of our supporters are women, so The Breast Cancer Fund is a natural choice for us.

Why is giving back important to you? “To quote Arthur Ashe, ‘From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.’ At PeopleTowels we want to make more than a living.”

Companies That Give Back: Flaunt by Faith Nicole

Name of Company: Flaunt by Faith Nicole

Years in Business: 1

Main Products: Travel bags and accessories

In what ways do you give back? Donating a percentage of gross sales on Palazzo Pink Tote Bag

How did you decide what to do? A personal connection to breast cancer

Why is giving back important to you? “My family has instilled in me the importance of giving back,” says Faith Nicole, Flaunt designer and owner. “I have worked at my church and with my family on projects like Hope for Haiti. I have seen the differences giving back can make in people’s lives. Now it is my turn. In my business plan, I have a long-term goal of establishing a foundation to support women’s issues. I believe I can achieve this some day. For now, I have set up a portion of the profits from my Palazzo Pink Tote Bag to go to a cause very dear to my heart, the Susan G. Komen Foundation. My grandmother and aunt were both diagnosed with breast cancer. The thought of losing them was devastating. Early detection and early treatment saved them. Our family was lucky. Susan G. Komen’s goal is to make early detection and treatment available to every woman no matter what her means. And with their research programs, we may be able to at last overcome breast cancer with a cure.”

Companies That Give Back: Zhena’s Gypsy Tea

Name of Company: Zhena’s Gypsy Tea

Years in Business: 10

Main Products: Organic, fair trade tea in gift tins

In what ways do you give back? “We are 100-percent organic certified, 100-percent fair trade certified,” says Mistress of Tea, Zhena Muzyka. “We are helping to fund college scholarships and programs through our direct trade programs in Sri Lanka and India. In the U.S., we support Women’s Economic Ventures, Tribal Trust Foundation, and many other groups who are working to end poverty for women and children through education.”

How did you decide what to do? “We wanted to ensure our products were a gift that kept giving, to the Earth, to the workers and to the children of the workers.”

Why is giving back important to you? “There is no other way to be. Giving is so much more fun than receiving and when I started the tea company, it was with a mission to end poverty for tea workers through education, healthcare and funds for social programs. I believe that business is our best bet to fix the problems with the world. I wanted to be the gift that kept giving.”

Companies That Give Back: Global Handmade Hope

Name of Company: Global Handmade Hope

Years in Business: 2

Main Products: Fair trade accessories, cards and bookmarks, Christmas, children’s items, home decor

In what ways do you give back? “Global Handmade Hope (GHH) is a fair trade company located in Park Ridge, IL,” says Cynthia Glensgard, president. “I opened the company in November of 2009 after completing a mission trip to Rwanda. I was so touched by the people. They work so hard for so very little, yet their generosity and faith is so great. What I have found is that people in developing countries may not be monetarily well off, however they are often richer in their generosity and faith than those of us from developed countries. After the trip, I felt as if this area is where my skills and training could best be put to use. GHH’s mission is to promote social justice, help families provide food, shelter, education for their children and gain access to health care by offering artists a place and opportunity to sell their goods.

While the items my company sells are from developing countries, I also firmly believe in the importance of working within my own community. As a way of giving back to the local community, I offer free meeting space to any non-profit. After years of volunteering, I became keenly aware of how tight finances are and how expensive meeting space can be. Through the gifts of others, I am fortunate to have office space and I want to pass that blessing along to others.

Education is the key to eradicating poverty; these children deserve the right to receive an education. Therefore, each year Global Handmade Hope sponsors an essay contest for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. The goal is to help educate youth in the U.S. about how fortunate they are to attend school, to broaden cultural awareness and acceptance and to facilitate the pride our children can feel by helping others. Students write an essay about daily life of children in Africa who are their age. All participants are honored at a ceremony where the winning students receive a $50 award and a matching award is donated in their honor to help pay for the education of an African child.

Global Handmade Hope continually offers promotions in which we donate a percentage of sales to local community funds, national organizations, churches, etc. Since inception, Global Handmade Hope has donated 20-percent of the revenue to charities.

Why is giving back important to you? “Giving back is important to me because I believe that everything we have is a gift from God, a gift that should be shared. I believe that it is our responsibility to help care for the needy and vulnerable. To share the story of fair trade and not profiting from the misfortune of others and to share the joy of Christ’s love through my work. The motto I run Global Handmade Hope by is, “Together, we can make a difference in the world.”

Companies that Give Back: Santa Barbara Design Studio

We received more submissions than we could fit into the print edition of Giftware News for our June feature on companies that give back. Given how dedicated these companies are to supporting worthwhile causes and helping neighbors, we decided to share the rest of the submissions here on the blog.

Name of Company: Santa Barbara Design Studio

Years in Business: 35

Main Products: “Beautifully designed, high-quality giftware products that consumers are inspired to give — and want to keep,” says Gary Trumbo, president.

In what ways do you give back? “A percentage of our proceeds are donated to various cancer research charities. Also, we give 50-percent of the proceeds from Kimmidolls and/or Kimmijunior sales to benefit the Japanese Earthquake Relief Fund.”

How did you decide what to do? “This largely depends on the brand. At Santa Barbara Design Studio, we offer a wide array of giftware products. Since much of our giftware is geared toward women, it was only natural to support women’s related causes. With the news of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the coast of Japan, we felt the need to help with their aid efforts as well.”

Why is giving back important to you? “We as a company feel it is the responsibility of all Americans to give back; we are only doing our part.”