See Things Closer x KNEAD Bakehouse

St. Louis! Knead Bakehouse + Provisions is turning one...can you believe it?! If you’re like me, you might be surprised because it feels like Knead has already been a part of the community forever but it's true, they’ve only been around for a year and they have for sure made their mark. It has quickly become a favorite of ours for breakfast and especially a place to bring out-of-town guests to as well.

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The first time I ate at Knead, I felt transported to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. I was swept straight back to when I visited Aaron’s hometown for the first time when we were dating. It was that good. I love it when food transports you to a certain place and makes you forget you’re in your hometown. That's why I am so passionate about trying new things, both when you’re traveling and when you’re exploring your own town (#seethingsclosercityfind).

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I was even more excited when I learned that AJ, one of the owners of Knead, went to culinary school in Lyon, France. Are you kidding me?! I’ve only been to two cities in France (Lyon and Paris) and one of them is where he studied at culinary school? The coolest. Another reason I must have felt transported to a different place.

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If you have yet to try Knead out, you must go. Knead sells loaves of its sourdough Rustic Loaf and its brioche to go. My first few visits were for breakfast because I could not turn down their kolache, but I recently tried their lunch menu and it was to die for. I can not believe I have been missing out on an amazing lunch spot this last year. I tried their butternut squash soup and grilled cheese and holy moly. You just have to go and try it for yourself.

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And speaking of trying it for yourself...you should go this weekend! Knead is celebrating their first birthday BIG! Both on Saturday, November 17th, and Sunday, November 18th, from 8am to 3pm! They will be offering 10% off as a thank-you, @rudysflowertruck will be selling flowers from 9-1 on Saturday and Sunday, and @redletteredgoods will be selling hand-lettered products from 9-1 on Saturday. And I hear they will have ridiculous amounts of birthday cake, too! ;)

I hope you will pay them a visit soon (this weekend?!) for breakfast or lunch and come back and share what you got. But have no fear, it's all good so you can’t choose wrong. And be sure to tag your photos with #seethingsclosercityfind, as I would love to see you out exploring our city and trying something new!

Knead Bakehouse & Provisions, 3467 Hampton Ave., Southampton, St. Louis, Missouri

www.instagram.com/knead_bakehouse

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*this post is sponsored by KNEAD Bakehouse, an amazing cafe in St. Louis, MO. #seethingsclosercityfind

A Health Guide to St. Louis

After I’d been living in St. Louis for about three years, I suffered a stomach infection in 2016 and then again in 2017. I’ve been rebuilding my gut health ever since, and an unexpected result of this journey is that it has changed the way I live my life here. 

Right around 2016, so many great healthy options started popping up all over St. Louis. If there was any time when I needed to rebuild my gut health, then I’m glad it happened when the health and fitness lifestyle was becoming so trendy. In this post, I’m excited to share some of the places that are not only helpful if you struggle with food allergies or other related health issues, but will also allow you to still get out and explore this awesome city.

Here's a complete guide to all my favorite healthy things to eat, see, and do in St. Louis!

Favorite Healthy Restaurants + Cafes

Revel Kitchen

Revel Kitchen has two locations, one in Brentwood and one in Clayton, and they have kombucha on tap. Whattttt?! Oh, and they have great fresh pressed juice, salads, bowls, and smoothies too. 

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Wicked Greenz

Visit Wicked Greenz for all your L.A. lunch needs. I love their fresh ingredients and the beautiful lighting in there. 

Clover & the Bee

This beautiful new brunch spot opened in early 2018 in Webster Groves and it’s 100% worth the drive outside the city. Any spot that combines gorgeous design with tasty food is a win in my books. Oh, and their fresh juices are a must when you visit.

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Hello Juice

Hello Juice is almost too cool for St. Louis. Jk. We can hang. It is so cool, delicious, and healthy for all your smoothie bowl and avocado toast needs. Get there stat!

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Kaldi’s Coffee

To start your weekend off caffeinated, I highly recommend any of Kaldi’s Coffee shops, which are each beautiful and cozy in their own way. If I had to pick a few favorites, the Demun, Laclede Ave, and City Garden locations would be my top three. City Garden feels like you’re in NYC, Demun is like a second home in a darling neighborhood, and Laclede Ave’s location is just stunning. But no matter which location you go to, their vanilla latte can’t be beat.

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Blk + Mkt

Did you know sushi burritos are a thing? Well, now you do. Bulk + Mkt is killing the game. And the poke bowl game. 

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Nudo House

It’s not often you can find Pho and Ramen in the same place. Look no further. Nudo House is definitely worth the drive out to Creve Coeur (until they open their second location on the Loop in 2019). 

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Pure Vegan Cafe + Yoga

I’m not 100% vegan, but I try to eat that way a few times a week. Vegan Cafe does it so well you forget you’re eating vegan. They do such a good job and their carrot smoothie tastes like carrot cake — what more could you ask for? Their yoga classes are also great, and most are drop-in and donation-based. 

Knead Bakehouse

Knead makes the most amazing sourdough bread and pastries from their sourdough. Eating here truly made me feel like I had been transported to San Francisco. I also love their homemade juices and that they serve delicious Blue Print coffee. They’ve got it going on!

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Favorite Health Destinations

Tints | A non-toxic nail salon

Tints was everything I didn’t know I needed. Not only is it beautiful and clean, but they have a selection of polish that is five-free (free of five of the most hazardous ingredients typically found in nail polish, that is).

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I love getting my nails done as a guilty pleasure, but I also try to use “clean beauty” products. Before Tints, I had even stopped getting mani/pedis. I love their online reservation system, no tipping policy, and self-serve coffee and wine selection. Oh, and while you’re there, pop over to The Juice Bar next door!

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Palm Health

I joined Palm Health in January for medical assistance with the stomach issues I mentioned earlier. In March, I took the plunge and joined their wellness side as well, to take advantage of their work-out classes, gym, steam/sauna/salt room, and cafe. It has added so much value to my life. If you are in need of functional medicine, I couldn’t recommend Palm Health enough - it has totally changed my life for the better.

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Flowers and Weeds 

Flowers & Weeds is probably my favorite plant store in St. Louis, with Bowood Farms coming in a very close second. It’s perfect for city dwellers. Not only do they have brilliantly healthy plants and beautiful pots for sale at affordable prices, but they also have a potting station in the back, in case you don’t have a patio or yard for potting at home. There are giant bins of soil that you can scoop into your pots right there in the store. Oh, and they have a terrarium-making station—what more could you want from a plant store?

Holistic Fitness - Massage with Emmy

Who doesn’t love treating themselves to a massage every so often? I found Emmy at Holistic Fitness and am never turning back. She specializes in scoliosis and has been such a gift!

Float STL 

I’ve been hearing about “Floating” from friends for a few years and my husband even tried it before me last year, but I finally took the plunge (pun very much intended) in February and danggggg, it was incredible.

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Here’s how Sean Lavery from Float-Toronto has described the experience:

“You are floating in 850 pounds of epsom salt so you won’t be fighting gravity and the water is kept at 93.5 degrees which is skin-receptor neutral, which means you lose track of where your body ends and the water begins. Your ears stay just below the water, and the tanks are insulated against sound. After you shut the door and turn off the light, you float in total darkness. During your float the outside world is gone, and amazing things happen. It turns out that when you’re not fighting gravity or constantly taking in information, your body has a lot of extra resources at its disposal. Your mind is free to mull things over without distraction, your brain pumps out dopamine and endorphins, and your body gets to rest, de-stress, and heal.”

Needless to say, Floating is 100% worth the hype. I have literally never experienced something where you can truly escape from being overstimulated. No sound, no gravity, no light. For living in such a tech-heavy world, the gift of disconnecting from all the stimulation is really surreal.

And, if you’re in St. Louis, I loved my experience at Float STL and they will give you $10 off with this code: pb-640692.

Favorite Fitness Studios

Pure Barre 

I love the low impact yet high intensity workout that Pure Barre offers. No ballet experience needed, we all just meet at the barre ;) The instructors are so talented and make you feel so known. They make working out fun, which is no easy feat. 

Vegan Cafe + Yoga (see above)

Palm Health (see above)

Favorite Activities

Go Ape! 

If you don’t mind heights, take the day to drive out to Creve Coeur and do the ropes course at Go Ape! This brand knows how to do it. It’s so much fun and will make you forget to check your phone. 

Creve Cour Kayaking 

While you are climbing the tree tops at Go Ape! go rent a kayak or paddle board at Creve Coeur Lake. It’s $10 an hour and is such a great escape from city living. 

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Forest Park Paddle Boarding

If you don’t want to drive out of the city to get your paddle boarding on, check it out at Forest Park at the Boat House. You will never feel more like a St. Louisan than paddle boarding in front of Art Hill. 

Curling 

After becoming obsessed with curling this past Olympics, I did some research and found out that there is a curling club in Creve Coeur where you can take beginner lessons and play a game. They even have beginner leagues that my husband and I hope to join in the future. In the freezing temps of winter, it’s so fun to find escapes to have fun indoors. This is definitely our newest favorite. 

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Rent a Limebike + Scooter 

You’ve most likely seen the bikes and scooters taking over the city. I love seeing how they are helping us city folk be more active and spend more time outside, away from our phones. I hope these are here to stay. 

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City Garden + Kaldi’s Coffee

If you need a getaway but can’t actually leave town, may I recommend City Garden? The Kaldi’s  location in the garden makes you feel like you’ve been transported to Madison Square Garden in NYC and all the sculptures scattered around are so much fun to admire while sipping your favorite coffee or tea. It’s a must-see.  

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I would love to hear of any of your “healthy” St. Louis stops below! What am I missing?! :)

Newest Favorite Ethical Fashion Brands

Today I’m excited to share some ethical fashion brands you all might have not heard of, or maybe you have and just want to know more about them. Whenever I have a “hole” in my closet, I often try to find an ethical fashion brand that could fill it.

Quality over quantity is the key in this post.

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Key

$ - $5-50

$$ - $55-$100

$$$ - $100+

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Athleta ($-$$)

I recently learned that Athleta was a B Corp, which is a responsible, accountable way of doing business, so it’s been so fun to know that a store that you can shop at in the mall is making strides to do better business — not to mention their sale section is where it’s at!

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Albion Fit ($$)

If you are ever shopping for quality, sustainable swimsuits (one pieces, bikinis, mom & me, they have it all!), Albion is your place. Their suits are handmade in Guatemala, and they are so well-made and stylish. I love all the patterns and how confident they make me feel.

Patagonia ($$)

I heard about Patagonia’s business practices on NPR’s podcast, “How I Built This,” and I was blown away by what I learned. Not only do they use fair-trade business practices, they care so much about the environment that they are trying to change the fast-fashion industry by offering a lifetime warranty on all their clothing.

You can ship your Patagonia (even if bought second-hand and you don’t have a receipt) to them and they will patch it, fix a zipper, etc. on your items and then ship them back to you just to extend the life of your products. Talk about amazing. That will definitely keep me coming back, and I also just love how timeless their pieces are.

P.S. They have a great 50% off sale twice a year and it’s usually when I make my Patagonia purchases.

 Marine Layer | Chicago, IL

Marine Layer | Chicago, IL

Marine Layer ($$-$$$)

I found Marine Layer via Google while searching for a fun, unique gift for my husband. I was first drawn to their charity T-shirts that change a few times a year, but they also have great staples for men and women. They have many locations around the U.S. and I even got to visit them in Chicago — I highly recommend finding a store to see their quality for yourself.

Amour Vert ($$-$$$)

I have yet to purchase anything from Amour Vert but I have a serious crush on them. If you ask me, they are the Zara or Anthropology of the sustainable fashion industry. Their pieces are stunning and so well designed. When I have a need for a quality, well-made dress, Amour Vert will be the first place I look.

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Faherty ($$-$$$)

For my last recommendation, I wanted to share about Faherty. Even though I have also yet to personally purchase from them, a friend of mine has and raves about them. They have great flannel and outdoor pieces. If there is a specific piece you like but it’s not in your budget, I recommend signing up for their email newsletter — you can find out about sales and promotions, like the great deals they had this past Christmas.

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Tried & True

($-$$) Everlane

I’ll never tire of writing about Everlane. They have brought so much value to me, I can’t write an ethical fashion post without mentioning them. From my personal wardrobe to work attire, they have everything, including underwear that I am currently loving. And, all of their products are so well made and the quality is great.

 Frank & Oak | Vancouver, Canada

Frank & Oak | Vancouver, Canada

($-$$) Frank & Oak

I’ve posted about Frank & Oak a few times before, but just like with Everlane, they are so worth bringing up again. Like most of the brands I’ve mentioned, they carry men and women’s clothing and are an Ontario-based brand. I love the pieces I have from them — they are made with such care and have lasted me many seasons already. My newest favorite pieces are a crop top blouse and a green cargo jacket for fall. They also have lots of locations around the world that you should for sure check out if you are ever near one. :)

 ABLE | Nashville, TN

ABLE | Nashville, TN

($-$$) ABLE — shoes + clothes

ABLE has recently been renamed from FashionABLE, for those who know that name, but they are a longtime favorite of mine. They are a Nashville-based company that got started with making beautiful leather purses, but they now have recently started lines of clothing, shoes and jewelry. Their mission is to empower women to believe they are capABLE. I’ve had their black bucket purse for 3+ years, as well as their flats for work and their sandals, and they all still look incredible — so I highly recommend ABLE for yourself or for gifts.

($$-$$$) Nisolo

Nisolo is a handmade shoe company also based in Nashville, TN, and their shoe makers are based in Peru. I loveeee my Nisolo shoes and when you have a need for a new pair of quality shoes, definitely check them out. Their shoes cost more than I would typically spend, but I put them on my Christmas list last year (I’ve found that my birthday or Christmas list is a great time to invest in a bigger ticket item). Their black leather Oxfords have been so comfortable and such a good fit into my lifestyle for both personal needs and for my work wardrobe. Every few months I visit my local shoe shiner and he makes them look good as new ;)


See Health Closer: 5 things I'm loving

I'm excited to be back for week two of my favorite things blog post and I realized I have so much health and wellness things I want to share I'm going to make the month of May all about it. Cheers to a great weekend and moving our bodies and resting well. I'm excited to try out a new trail in Missouri plus taking a nice Sunday nap - it's all about balance. :)

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Om and the City Blog

I randomly found Jules's instagram sometime within the last few months and I have become a quick fan of it and her website. I love the topics she covers, whether it's yoga, wellness, or her diet, and how she does it all in such an authentic way. I love following her daily insta stories and she might even get me to try match even though I hate green tea. The jury's still out. 

Motivate podcast

"After struggling with her weight her entire life, ABC News correspondent Mara Schiavocampo finally discovered the keys to living a healthier, happier life, losing 90 pounds along the way. She shares her journey in her bestselling weight loss memoir “Thinspired: How I Lost 90 Pounds: My Plan for Lasting Weight Loss & Self-Acceptance.” Now, in this podcast, she takes a look at all things health, wellness, nutrition and spirituality with top experts and regular people."

It’s scary how much this podcast actually motivates me to be the best version of myself. Whether it’s helping me not go through the fast food drive-through or actually show up to yoga class that day, it has been a great podcast to listen to while I'm getting back into working out, reminding me that it really is good for my body even if I don't feel like it at the time.

The hashtag campaign #doingthings

Outdoor Voices is changing the game (no pun intended) in the athleisure trend. If you don’t know them, Outdoor Voices is focused on “freeing fitness from performance and not being so serious” about activewear, according to founder Tyler Haney, who launched the line two years ago in Austin.

I’m also pretty obsessed with their hashtag campaign ‘Doing Things.’ “It is a super non-prescriptive, inclusive, and approachable idea,” and having a day (and a hashtag) devoted to the phrase is about “seeing how people use our clothes, instead of telling them how to,” Haney said.

To me, I translate this campaign into a life mantra, to just get out and move your body. Don't worry about looking a certain way or being a certain weight — it's just a celebration of moving your body, and to me, that is how we change our mindset of working out. It’s not a fitness goal, but more about being healthy and the best version of our self we can be and loving the skin we live in!

The best part? They’re sustainable. I love this question that is on their FAQ section of their website:

How do you ensure OV products are ethically produced?

"Before we craft a single pair of leggings, our partners agree to abide by our vendor code of conduct. On par with industry leaders in sustainability and social compliance, we support places where employees are safe, paid fairly, given benefits, and work regulated hours.

Our team visits each factory and mill in person a few times a year. Start to finish, we aim for OV to have a positive impact on the people and resources that bring our gear to life."

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My new Swell waterbottle

I’ve been a S’well believer for a little over two years now and I haven’t turned back. When I first heard it keeps your beverages cold for 24 hours and hot beverages hot for 12 hours, I thought to myself, “Does that really make a difference — would I really care?” but boy, have I come to love it, especially during the hot, humid Midwest summers.

And, not only does it have personal benefits, when you purchase a S’well, you are helping to reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles and supporting their Million Bottle Project. The Million Bottle Project helps demonstrate that we can create big change in the world by making small changes in our everyday lives, which I firmly believe in, and it’s an important step towards a zero waste lifestyle.

I also believe that if you get a water bottle you love, you will drink more water and treat the planet kinder along the way. Before you know it, you will completely replace buying plastic water bottles at gas stations, airports, and coffee shops because you're both stylish and you care about the environment. Win win.

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Thrive Market - Nut pods

I joined Thrive Market by default because I forgot to cancel my free month (lol) but I have currently saved $125 purchasing products on my grocery list I would be buying anyways. I have been shocked at how much I love Thrive Market. And, it's allowed me to try new products I see at Trader Joes or Whole Foods but don't want to spend full price on. My favorite finds so far have been the French Vanilla Nut Pods,  Siete Lime Grain Free Tortilla Chips, and the Cocokind MyMatcha Moisture Stick

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The Inside Scoop: Becoming a Noonday Ambassador

To celebrate my four year anniversary with Noonday Collection as a Noonday Ambassador, I thought I would share what it has been like being an Ambassador and why I've loved it and I'll start with introducing myself for any new faces around here.

I’m Brooke, wife to Aaron and a St. Louis transplant from Virginia Beach, Virginia — we moved here so Aaron could attend grad school and earn his Ph.D in Research Psychology. It’s been an adventure growing together in a city that is new to both of us! I work full time at Washington University in St. Louis for Olin Business School, but after work or on the weekends, you can find me partnering with women in St. Louis, sharing Noonday Collection with their communities, or cuddling with our labradoodle, Rosie.

Before sharing more about my journey with Noonday Collection, however, I should probably begin by explaining what it is for those who haven’t heard about the company before. Noonday Collection is a socially responsibly business that uses fashion and enterprise to create meaningful employment opportunities for people around the world. All of our pieces are handmade by 29 artisan business partners from 12 countries who earn a fair wage for their work.

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I’ve always loved jewelry. My first “real” job outside of cleaning my dad’s business growing up was at a local silver jewelry store called Hi Ho Silver. I loved helping my customers find that perfect piece for their friends or family and I especially loved the relationships we got to make with our repeat customers who soon turned into friends. Even though that job was only for a summer, it clearly left a mark on me as I embarked on my journey to be a Noonday Ambassador seven years later.

Noonday Collection first caught my eye at a local fundraising event at my church. There was a table set up with Noonday samples and lookbooks for us to browse the whole collection. I was immediately drawn to the creative ways the paper bead necklaces were made. I also owned multi-colored papered necklaces, but I had never seen them styled in the way Noonday was designing them: Solid color beads, some with gold accents, was a totally new way of designing artisan-made jewelry. I was hooked from the design aspect alone, but then I found out how it was made, how it was fair-trade and ethically made, and how it was helping break the cycle of poverty — and I knew I was done for.

I hosted my first Noonday trunk show a month later and had a blast. I gathered girls from my community group who I had just started getting to know and we had our very own grownup dress-up party, complimenting each other and changing the world right from my first little apartment in St. Louis, MO.

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A month after my first trunk show — and two months after the initial fundraiser at my church — my heart and mind wouldn’t stop thinking about the impact Noonday Collection was having on the world and how I could be apart of it: By purchasing Noonday for myself and for gifts, hosting a trunk show, or — best of all — becoming an Ambassador myself to share Noonday with anyone and everyone who would listen!

The first two options were simple. I love to shop, so purchasing Noonday was easy. I also love having people over and earning free jewelry, so continuing to host trunk shows was another no-brainer. But, becoming an Ambassador in a city I had just moved to eight months earlier? Now that was something I would need to think about.

Still new in St. Louis, I didn’t have the security of close friends and family to support me and show up at my launch party or host my first trunk show. What if no one showed up? What if I didn’t meet anyone to share Noonday with? I knew it would be a huge risk to begin selling this world-changing jewelry in a place where I was still building my new community — especially because I’ve always loved staying behind the scenes. Becoming an ambassador for Noonday would not only require me to push outside my comfort zone, but I would also need to find the courage to be vocal about the jewelry and share the vision and heart behind the beautiful jewelry I was wearing.

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After wrestling with my decision for weeks, I finally said “yes” to my new role as a Noonday Collection Ambassador and I can honestly say that my life has been changed forever for the better — and it is all because of one thing:

The incredible community of artisans that Noonday partners with around the world.

Over the past several years, two of my biggest highlights as a Noonday Ambassador have been the two opportunities I have had to travel to Guatemala and Peru and to meet our artisan partners who make our gorgeous jewelry in person. On both of those trips, I have seen with my own eyes and felt with my own heart the impact we can have when we decide to shop fair-trade with our money. Noonday also partners with leaders in the communities we work in, so we are empowering local leaders across the world to create change and help their artisans and employees break out of the cycle of poverty.

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To Americans, it’s a no-brainer that we earn at least minimum wage at our jobs, if not more, but in workshops and factories around the world, this is sadly an exception. Fair trade means Noonday artisan partners are paid minimum wage or higher, on time, every two weeks, and that they are only working 40 hours a week. This is a game changer in helping to alleviate poverty. Poverty often means living day to day, and doesn’t allow anyone to think about the future because they don’t even know if they will have money for their children the following day. Earning minimum wage or higher allows parents to dream about their future, save money for a house, and pay their medical bills.

The knowledge of Noonday’s impact never fails to give me fresh energy and encouragement. In the moments when I might feel tired of loading my Noonday Collection samples into the car one more time or asking again and again if someone in my community in St. Louis will host a Noonday trunk show, I simply think about meeting Ana in Guatemala and José in Peru, who are running incredible businesses in their communities. And I think about how lives are being changed by business — and by things as seemingly simple as earrings, necklaces and accessories.

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Being part of Noonday Collection has done more than help me be more connected to my local community in St. Louis — it has opened my mind, widened my worldview, and given me a passion for making every purchase count. Every sale matters — no matter how big or small — and they all help towards making positive changes around the world. So when you wear fair-trade jewelry in the future, you should always smile, knowing you are helping to end poverty right where you are.

If you would like to support myself & Noonday Collection, you can purchase through my Ambassador page here. Thank you for supporting fair trade & artisan made goods!

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