All in good time: Getting to know JORD Wood Watches

I've been slowly trying to create a more thoughtful closet over the last two and a half years that is full of more ethically made pieces that are also closet staples and will stand the test of time. Recently, I've begun the same process for my accessories and wanted to share a great company that I've recently learned about and couldn't love more. JORD Wood Watches is a local St. Louis company that makes beautiful watches almost completely out of wood! How fun is that?! 

I've worn the same watch for the last six years that has different materials and textiles so the simplicity of the Fieldcrest watch was quite a departure for me but I absolutely love it! This watch doesn't have any bells or whistles but instead is just a well-crafted, gorgeous, timeless (pun-intended) piece. I am not the only one who loves this watch; quite a few of my friends not only noticed I switched watches but complimented this watch. This Fieldcrest watch is a real head-turner!

I took some time asking JORD some questions about the watches and I'm excited to share what I learned with you!

Could you tell me more about the artisans who make the watches?

"Though the watches are all hand finished, we do a great deal of the manufacturing with specialty tooled machines.  Wood is a fluid substance, and it will contract and expand to a certain degree based on its environment.  We can’t change that property of the wood so we’ve found that machine tooling allows us to create pieces to exacting standards so that even when slight expansion and contraction occur the fully assembled watch retains its structural integrity. If we were to do those processes by hand there would be the opportunity for variation that creates a negative effect further down in the assembly process and possibly in the future during wear.

"Part of the craft, we feel, lies with our team who choose the wood to go through the manufacturing process.  That cannot be accomplished by a machine! The grain of the wood, the coloring, the density – that all has to be evaluated prior to the process.  Even more challenging, almost like putting a puzzle together, is when the watches are being assembled.  A single piece of wood can produce a wide variety of grain and coloring, so our team sorts through the individual pieces, matching them for shading and the strike of the grain, and making sure that the finished piece has a natural uniformity."

Where are the watches made?

"Our watches are manufactured in China in a facility that we manage.  We have a team on site, who follow production and are in charge of quality control, as well as a team who works specifically on prototyping.  Our designers are here in St. Louis and after the initial drawings, specs, and materials are chosen our team in China evaluates the design, considering production and long term wearability, makes whatever changes are necessary, and builds out samples. Prior to putting a new design in full production, several of the JORD partners will fly to China to oversee the final design and approve the materials. 

"We wanted to ensure the people working on our watches were trained adequately, treated fairly, and paid appropriately for their positions which is why we choose the facility that we did that allowed us to manage it. And to top it off, all of our watches are treated with natural substances, no hazardous chemicals. Not only for the sake of the environment, but for those who work on the watches."  

 Noonday Collection bracelets and JORD W

Lastly, I'm so excited to be partnering with JORD to offer See Things Closer readers a special $25 e-gift code! Once you fill out the form, you will instantly be emailed your $25 e-gift code. You will have until 12/18/16 to redeem the code. I can't wait to hear what watch catches your eye below and if you have a favorite! Here's to shopping locally and supporting small businesses this holiday - cheers! 

Why Dressember has become one of my favorite winter tradition

The first year I learned about Dressember also happened to be my first winter in the Midwest—a coincidence I now find pretty comical. I moved from the mild winters of Virginia to Missouri, where December is more of a “real” winter, in the truest sense of the word: cold, windy, and oftentimes snowy. I’m now used to bundling up in the winter, running from my car into work, and spending as little time as possible in the freezing temperatures.

 Of course Dressember has their own dresses!  C  heck it out!

Of course Dressember has their own dresses! Check it out!

The idea behind Dressember is simple: Wear a dress every day of the month, while raising money for women’s injustice through the International Justice Mission (IJM) through having your own fundraising page or by joining a team and raising money as a team of women. 

Even though the founder of Dressember, Blythe Hill, says it “started as a silly idea, born out of boredom,” I also don’t think it’s a mistake that it takes place in winter—during a month when women might normally prefer to wear pants, for the sheer sake of staying warm. Dressember thus happens at the most inconvenient time to make the biggest impact for women. 

This year marks my third year taking part in Dressember, and it is now as important a Christmas tradition for me as decorating the tree is. In the hopes of encouraging you to take part in the movement as well, here are three tips (and myth-busters!) for participating in your first Dressember:

1. Have an “you can do it” friend. 

I have been lucky enough to take part in Dressember the last two years with my best friend. I realize not everyone might be able to do this, but I highly encourage you to have a friend alongside you to do Dressember with—especially for those colder days or on mornings when you wake up late. The encouragement it provides is so beneficial. 

My best friend and I don’t live in the same state, but for the last three years we have celebrated New Year’s Eve together, meaning we also celebrate the end of Dressember together. Traditions are big to me and I love that we can now also include Dressember in our holiday traditions.

 Courtney & I got creative with celebrating the end to Dressember & New Years Eve together and wore sequins skirts under our black dresses!

Courtney & I got creative with celebrating the end to Dressember & New Years Eve together and wore sequins skirts under our black dresses!

2. The “I have only have 2 dresses” myth

This comment comes up every time I talk about Dressember—and it was my first thought, too. I didn’t really want to spend lots of money on new dresses just so I could participate in a fundraising event. 

Slowly, I developed my own approach to Dressember. I now get one to two new dresses on ThredUp to accent what I already have in my closet. I also use cardigans, scarfs and tights to make my summer dresses winter-appropriate, and to help me not freeze :) Also, If this is the only thing keeping you from participating in Dressember, be encouraged by its founder, Blythe, who wears the same dress every day with different accessories and clothing. 

The motto I repeat over and over again is, “I can do anything for 31 days.”

Keeps your perspective outside of yourself

I don’t think it’s an accident that Dressember also happens during the same month as Christmas. The month of Christmas lists and presents and focusing on ourselves, no matter how hard we try not to. I’m so guilty of it—making Christmas lists of what I’ve wanted during the year, even while telling myself “this is the season of celebrating our Lord and Savior was born.”

I’ll never forget visiting Guatemala in July of 2015 with Noonday Collection, and visiting IJM’s headquarters there. When their leader asked our group of 15 women if we had participated in Dressember the previous December, over half of us raised our hands. Without hesitation he said “thank you” for participating in one of their most effective fundraising incentives to date. 

A fundraiser that entails wearing a dress for 31 days. That’s it. It's a powerful thing when women come together for good, and Dressember is one heck of an example.

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed with the injustive and poverty in our world, but together, we can see things closer and take small steps towards creating a better world—steps as small as wearing a dress for 31 days. 

Are you in? Let's be on the same team and let’s change the world together through fashion! And, if you've participated in Dressember before, what tips or myth-busters do you have for us going into another Dressember? Let's encourage one another as we create a better world together!

Brunch Beauties

One of my favorite things to do since moving to St. Louis in July of 2013 is to explore. Not growing up here, I've taken upon myself to get to know the city and to love where I've been planted. After a hard first year of not having people we knew, I finally got connected and met some wonderful people from our church, The Journey! Some of those people are the girls below. God has given me some great friends here and I'm so glad He hears our prayers! 

When you visit St. Louis, you need to stop at Bowood Farms and have brunch. Bowood farms is a natural greenhouse-style facility that has a cafe inside. Cafe Osage is "located within Bowood Farms, and features fresh vegetables and herbs grown directly on-site." It has the ability to transport you to another world inside the city limits. It's such a fun 'girls day' spot and does not disappoint. 

Eight months after moving to St. Louis, I began my journey as a

Noonday Collection

Ambassador

, and, to be quite frank, I was nervous due to not knowing many people at all. The girls in my community group at church were such a driving force at giving me the strength to go for it and the support I needed to "take the plunge" to be brave! Their support has meant the world and they wear it SO well. I love how everyone has a unique style and how Noonday still offers variety to fit everyones different styles! Emily totally rocks the

Quito Necklace

with her stripes. Swoon.

One of my favorite pieces is the 

 Rustic leather tote

. It is handmade in India out of goat leather and is the perfect size. I love that it can go dressy or casual too. We are best friends forever.

Krissy is rocking the gorgeous 

black diamond earrings

. They are just what Krissy needed to finish off her outfit. Perfect mix of edgy and sparkle. I love how see connects with the pieces made in India. It's so special seeing your friends and family connect with a certain country that our artisans are from!

I am grateful for community and that I get to explore St. Louis with these beauties. Friendship is so special to me and it's so great when you meet others who value the same things you do!

Lastly, Erin just rocks this vintage Noonday piece. She is such a support to me and has even

hosted a Noonday trunk show

. God knew what He was doing when he placed us as neighbors and I'm so glad he did.

Moving to a new place where nothing is familiar is hard. Growing up is hard. But find people who encourage you and can walk beside you through it and I think you'll see alot of growth. Take the risk and be brave. Now, go enjoy the weekend and never stop exploring!

Noonday Collection & WH Clothier Collaboration

I am SO excited to share a company that is so dear to my heart, Wholehearted Clothier! After becoming a Noonday Collection Ambassador last May, it's completely opened my eyes to how we have purchasing power and can actually play a part in changing the world through our purchasing!

I found 

Wholehearted

 Clothier on Instagram and loved what they were about. Sunny, the founder, was tired of the corporate world and knew she was born for something bigger. WH Clothier was born out of her passion! You can read all about her

here on her blog

.

Sunny mentions on her blog that her "dream for this company is to celebrate fashion and individual style while supporting our neighbors both locally and around the world. How do we do that? Well, here at WHC, 10% of EVERY PURCHASE is set aside for a family, person, charity, or organization that is in need. To date, our world changers have raised almost $1500 which has gone to help a teen mom purchase a car and to CASA of Collin County."

This goes hand in hand with what Noonday is all about. The moment I found out about WH Clothier, I knew I had to be apart of the work they are doing.

This black pleated skirt is my current favorite in my closet and comes from

Whole Hearted Clothier!

 It is for sure the most comfortable skirt I have ever owned; it's like a fancy sweatshirt!

It was such a fun skirt to style and I love how it gave me a french vibe with the stripes. It would also look so cute dressed down with a graphic tee and converses! The sky's the limit!

Just how Noonday Collection's name was named from Isaiah 58:10 "When you satisty the needs of the oppressed, your light will become like the Noonday" 

Wholehearted

 Clothier was also named after a Bible verse:

"

Driven by Jeremiah 29:11-13, WH Clothier intends to seek God wholeheartedly in this venture 

and encourage others to do the same."

Another thing that immediately drew me to WH Clothier was how Sunny pairs Noonday with her pieces on her Instagram! I love how it's such a beautiful example of women empowering women and how when we support each other, everyone wins. 

If you know me and follow me, you know Noonday continues because of women joining hands with their local ambassador, and creating a marketplace for our artisan partners by opening their homes and inviting their friends over. If you're in Texas, WH Clothier has trunk shows as well! I mean, world changing accessories AND clothing? At the same place? Yes please! 

If your in Dallas, TX (or surrounding areas) learn all about having a WH Clothier

trunks show

here!

I should probably not leave out my current necklace crush too.

The Quito Necklace

 made in Ecuador is my surprise favorite from the Noonday Collection Spring line that launched last month

! "This gorgeous necklace combines natural tagua seed and coconut shell with a graphic Ecuadorian fabric. When Noonday discovered this printed fabric on a trip to Ecuador, they knew it would be a perfect addition to this special piece."

p.s. because of the fabric, it is SO comfortable! The red tagua seed is the perfect pop of color this summer.

I am just so excited to introduce you to 

Wholehearted 

Clothier and all they are about. And, as a huge thank you for shopping ethically and continuing to learn more about fair trade, Sunny at Wholehearted Clothier has given you a 10% off coupon to 

shop

At checkout, use code 

BROOKEJVG10 to take 10% off your order until March 31, 2015. I can't wait to see what you purchase. Make sure to tag me (@brookejvg) and @whclothier on instagram to show off your newest, world changing outfit! 

p.s.s. TOMS Jutti flats are my favorite. They give one pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair purchased. And, the Black Jutti flats are currently on

SALE

! Bonus! 

Now, I'd love to continue shopping ethically and find out about new fair trade brands. Write below with your favorite brands! 

xoxo, 

Brooke

Outfit Details:

Quito Necklace

Cubed Studs, Silver

Head of the Class Pleated Midi Skirt

TOMS - Black Jutti Flats 

Glasses: Wilkie, Warby Parker

Shirt - Old Navy (last season)