KAI Collections Supports Some Brave African Girls

10 08 2009

When I was in high school, I did a research paper on the horrors of Female Genital Mutilation. Young African girls (as young as 9) are sometimes subjected to the act as a right of passage. The gruesome act not only inflicts pain on the girls at that momemt, but as they grow up, there are often many complications and infections from the procedure. Jessica Censotti, a Chicago artist, is using her artwork to raise awareness and support young girls who stand up against FGM. In addition to great sculptures and vessels, Censotti also features dazzling earrings from the KAI Collections at her shows and on her website.

Red Feather Earrings, $65

Red Feather Earrings, $65

The jewelry is handcrafted by the Maasai women in Kenya and 100% of the proceeds will go to build a home for girls who’ve refused Female Genital Mutilation. To learn more about the school and the Mwavido organization by visiting www.mwavido.com. I’ve picked out my three favorite designs but all of them are beautiful!

Lavender and Green Earrings, $65

Lavender and Green Earrings, $65

Tear Drop Earrings with Turquoise Stones, $55

Tear Drop Earrings with Turquoise, $55


Thanks to Three Peas Art for the info!

L*Space Unveils Swimwear Line for Charity

14 07 2009

L Space "Stardust Fringe" Swimsuit, $97

"Stardust Fringe" Swimsuit, $97

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim kicks off tomorrow in sunny Miami and runs until Sunday, 7/19. The five day extravaganza will feature shows from swimwear’s hottest designers, parties, and many star-studded events. L*Space by Monica Wise will be this season’s “Mercedes-Benz Presents” designer. The Mercedes-Benz Presents program provides “support the designers that demonstrate dedication to quality materials, unique style, and innovative design.”

During the presentation of her 2010 designs, Wise will unveil a collection of swimwear in partnership with OmniPeace, a brand of clothing which raises funds for charities which promote peace, human rights, education, and the end of extreme poverty in Africa by 2025. The designs, named after African villages, are inspired by the natural landscape and beauty of the continent. The collection will retail for about $130 and 20% of all proceed will be donated to OmniPeace.

The design featured above is just a peek at some of the great pieces created by L*Space. Check out www.lspace.com to browse other items!


Casual Charity – Tees for a Cause

30 06 2009

Four years ago, my former professor/mentor said to me, “You know one thing that I never saw coming? Wearing t-shirts with random sayings on them. I just don’t get it.” And, we had a great laugh about it. But, in all actuality, tees with catchphrases or eye-grabbing logos/designs have virtually cemented themselves in our society. I mean, how many different versions of Obama shirts exist in the world?

From school pride to peaceful demonstrations, here is a posting of some of my favorite tees out here raising money for some great causes!

Save The Tatas

These sassy tees not only draw attention to the wearer but they also raise breast cancer awareness in a fearless way. Five percent of all sales of the tees will be donated to The Save the Ta-Tas Foundation. Proud partners of the Concern Foundation and the Revlon Run/Walk for Women, the foundation exists for the advancement of cancer awareness, education and prevention, and to aid in the fight to find a cure. You can find this shirt and more at www.savethetatas.com!

Gold Metallic Tank, $25.95

Gold Metallic Tank, $25.95

First Lady High

This tee is not just a nod to Whitney M. Young High School, the oh-so-great institution responsible for First Lady Michelle Obama’s high school education, but is also a fashionable means to raise scholarship funds for the students. WY alum and Redefine the Tee owner, Monique Spence, created the shirts to give back in a proud way. As a WY alum myself, I’ve decided that I must have one of these tees. Browse the collection at www.redefinethetee.com.

First Lady High Tee, $35

First Lady High Tee, $35


The eco-friendly tees playfully display the peace symbol with hopes that you will help spread awareness about world causes. The tees are 100% organic and the company is working on being completely green. For every shirt sold, the company donates 1% to Doctors Without Borders. If you’re looking for one of these crafted tees, you will either have to locate a retailer nearest you OR send the company an email to arrange a transaction (via MC, Visa, or Paypal).

Peace Cap Tee, $34

Peace Cap Tee, $34

Common Threadz

Common Threadz’ plan is pretty simple. For every tee that you purchase, they will provide a school uniform to a child in Africa. For the most part, children are required to wear uniforms and sometimes something that seems simple to us can stand in the way of an education. The t-shirt designs are often done by artists, but in the case of the shirt below, the children in Africa also lend their talents to the cause. You can learn more about Common Threadz, as well as view the collection here.

Designed by Thatdo Zonndi, $38

Designed by Thatdo Zonndi, $38

Have a cool tee that I missed? Email me a pic…I’d love to see them and share!


“Style Your Sole” at AKIRA

22 06 2009

Egg Yellow Stripe TOMS, $44

Want a pair of TOMS but have your own design that you would like to rock? Well, then head on down to AKIRA (1849 W. North) this Thursday, June 25th from 4-9p for “Style Your Sole.” At this painting party, you can have your TOMS customized by SARO, a local artist, or you can do it yourself!

With a purchase of TOMS, you’ll get a free gift bag courtesy of LUSH Cosmetics. The store will also offer drinks courtesy of Ultimat Vodka, raffle prizes, and giveaways. Whoo hoo! If you’re planning to attend, send an email to brittany@akirachicago.com.

Check out some of my TOMS’ picks in a previous post!


Jeannette, Juvenesse, and a Journey

12 06 2009

“When you decide to do something for the good of mankind, the universe comes behind you and supports you.” – Jeannette Kravitz Last month, I attended a charity spa event at Juvenesse Spa (520 W. Erie, Chicago). The  proceeds of the event went to a nonprofit organization called Peace Journey. That’s really all that I knew. That is, until I was introduced to the owner of the spa, Jeannette Kravitz. She is full of energy and life, but at the same time is extremely centered. As we sat there talking, I found myself being more and more drawn in to every sentence.

Jeannette Kravitz

Jeannette Kravitz

Jeannette, like myself, had a background in corporate America and often wondered what was her life purpose. While traveling the world with her husband, she encountered many individuals who slammed the US for its policies without knowing about the many giving and selfless individuals who were proud Americans. In an effort to increase the dialogue between America and the world, she started Peace Journey in 2000.

After 9/11, she decided that she would use this organization to introduce middle schoolers and high schoolers to teens around the world, and build partnerships based on open and honest communication. On Peace Journey’s first overseas trip, students from Chicago high schools, Roberto Clemente, Kennedy, and Latin, participated. “It was like the UN of students,” Jeannette chuckled.

Peace Journey continues to sponsor groups of students and teachers  on trips to select foreign countries. They travel with a computer lab as our gift to each culture, opening doors to communication and lasting friendships online and offline.

With Peace Journey underway, Jeannette came across the opportunity to purchased local Juvenesse Skin Care line in 2006. Within 2 years, the Peace Spa collection was added and Juvenesse Spa opened on International Peace Day in September 2008.

Juvenesse’s motto is “beauty with a conscious,” and it absolutely rings true. The skincare line includes cleansers, toners, masks, and much more. You can also purchase makeup products including mineral eyeshadows, skin primer, and gorgeous glosses. The products can be purchased at the spa or online at www.shopjuvenesse.com. Proceeds from the skincare line, as well as the spa, benefit the great work that Peace Journey is doing around the world.

In the past, Peace Journey has visited countries such as Tanzania, Morocco, and Mexico, and produced a documentary which received a Telly Award for Excellence in 2006. So, what’s next?  Well, all eyes are looking towards 2010 when Peace Journey will mark its 10th anniversary! Celebratory plans include starting an organic farm in Brazil, along hosting with a concert in conjunction with UN International Peace Day.

So, a nonprofit, a skin care line, and a spa? Whew! That’s a lot! With so much going on, I asked Jeannette about her keys to success. Her response? “Reaching out to the right people, not getting caught in an ego, and collaborating with other organizations.”

Sounds like a good strategy to me. 🙂

You can learn more about Peace Journey by visiting their website at www.peacejourney.com. To browse the Juvenesse Skincare line and to learn about the spa offerings, be sure to stop by www.shopjuvenesse.com!

(Make sure that you check out the Rescue Gel, for on-the-spot blemish treatments…I’m a fan!)


DC Event: Guess Store Opening Benefits Fashion Fights Poverty

27 04 2009

If you’re in the DMV area, you are probably already familiar with “Fashion Fights Poverty.” Fashion Fights Poverty is a campaign “that celebrates the work of socially responsible designers, and organizations which use fashion, artisanship and creativity to build sustainable economic opportunity in the world’s poorest communities.” This great initiative is the brainchild of the Style Image Network (SIN), a boutique PR firm based out of Washington, D.C. Every fall, they host a fashion show featuring both stateside and international designers (I’ve heard great things), but there are also various events which lead up to the main event.




This Thursday, April 30th, Guess and Teen Vogue are inviting DC’s style mavens to the grand opening of the new Guess store located at 1155 F Street. From 6:30-8:30p, guests will enjoy mini-makeovers by MAC, manicures by Essie, and the opportunity to save while shopping. If you donate $5 to Fashion Fights Poverty, you will receive 20% off your purchases that evening. 😉

Your purchase will also score you a Guess Green reusable tote bag full of products from GUESS, Teen Vogue, M.A.C. Cosmetics, philosophy, ESSIE, Rosebud Perfume Company and more! You must RSVP by Tuesday, April 28th by sending an email to RSVP@teenvogue.com.

You can visit FashionFightsPoverty.org to learn more about the campaign, the events, and the past beneficiaries.


Basa Body Products Help Build Kenya’s Economy

20 04 2009

I’m all about spoiling myself and spoiling others. And, one of my favorite ways to do so lately is with bath products. I used to laugh at people who went overboard with luscious soaps, silky lotions, and fancy scrubs. Now, I can’t get enough of them! I’m always trying something out or adding something to my wish list. Last summer, I got into the habit of incorporating more natural products into my beauty routine. You know, my small yet significant nod to the whole eco-movement 🙂

Anyways, I’m wondering if any of you have ever heard of the products from the Basa Body line! The products are all natural and made using organic virgin coconut oil from wild coconuts harvested along the coast of Kenya. Essentially, they are free from harsh chemicals and don’t have any artificial fragrance, color or preservatives. 


Cherry Chocolate Truffle Soap


If that didn’t already earn them a big thumbs up, Basa Body has strong ties to the people and economic future of Kenya. Basa Body (named in honor of the women of Mombasa) uses pure coconut oil from the Coast Coconut Farms, a social business which has provided employment for over 100 Kenyan families. Not only that, but the company donates 10% of their profits back to a variety of humanitarian projects in Kenya to help fight poverty.

There are four signature products for your enjoyment: 

  • Mint Chocolate Truffle Soap
  • Cherry Chocolate Truffle Soap
  • Basa Body Stick
  • Basa Body Natural Coconut Oil Body Lotion

You can purchase the lotion and the body stick individually, but the truffle soaps are only available in the Kiss Me (below left, $29.99) or Hug Me (below right) Gift Pack.


The products are currently on sale, so if you’re looking for a great gift or a treat for yourself, now might be the right time to act! Oh, and it is my duty to remind you that although the truffle soaps contain pure dark chocolate, you are not to eat them. No matter how strong your craving 🙂

For more information, visit basabody.com.


P.S. Coast Coconut Farms is a beneficiary of Yehu microfinance loans. Visit yehu.org to learn more.