Posts in the ‘Giving Back’ Category

Spruceling

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

spruceling-clothes

I don’t know about you, but after the holidays I am totally ready to clean the house and get organized. The first place I am going to start is my son’s closet. And this time I am going to try using a brand new company called Spruceling to help me de-clutter, make a few bucks and help others too.

Have you ever taken clothes to a consignment store? It is nice to get rid of things and clean out your closet but I found that I hardly got any money, and the money I did make was spent on gas to drop off the items and to go pick up the ones that didn’t sell. And it is never fun to have a stranger inspecting all of your clothes and telling you that the $75 dollar sweater your son wore once (for about 7 minutes) just wasn’t good enough. Uggh – never again!

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Spruceling is great because it is all online so you can do your selling and shopping any time of the day or night. For sellers, they make it easy with free shipping labels so it is easy to just drop off your box and go. And they handle all of the returns too so you don’t have to. Best part of all, you get a full 60% of the sale instead of the typical 25-35%. And for buyers, of course you get the perk of saving money (who doesn’t love that?) and not having to walk into a mall with your small children (so not fun!). The other thing that is kind of cool is that you basically purchase a box of items that are all the same size, instead of picking out items one by one. Just like getting a whole new little wardrobe. The interface of the site is super easy to navigate and you simply find a box that has cute things you think you and your child will love. And if you end up not liking the items, there is even a 30 day guarantee. You get to rate the seller too, and Spruceling makes sure that people who try to sell dirty, ripped, or worn out clothes will get a permanent time out. Who has time for someone else’s dirty clothes?

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So you are probably thinking that there are many options when it comes to selling and buying gently worn kids clothes. Yes that is true. But there is one thing about Spuceling that made me love it – the charitable giving component of its business model. They donate a percentage of all sales to a different children’s charity every month. And for the month of December they are actually donating 100% of their proceeds to St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital. Love that!

Rockin’ Baby Slings

Monday, November 5th, 2012

rockin-baby-Haiti

Look at all of these beautiful mommies! I have always been a huge fan of the ‘one-for-one’ idea. You buy one of something and the company will donate one to somebody in need. We have seen it be so successful with TOMS and Warby Parker and now Rockin’ Baby Slings has joined the wave.

The company and its mission is spearheaded by mother of 5, Kathryn Wiley. If you purchase one of their cotton baby carriers they will donate one to a parent in need. The moms pictured above are in Haiti where Rockin’ Baby has been focusing their efforts after learning that Haiti has the highest infant mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere. As part of their ‘mother-to-mother’ mission, not only do they provide baby carriers, they also provide education. Rockin’ Baby educates mothers on the impact as sling can have on their lives. “In addition to making it easier to nurture and love, as well as bond and breastfeed, these slings will allow mothers to continue to gather food and water for their families. As the attachment of a mother and her infant could be a matter of survival, education and slings will impact this need dramatically.”

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I am so impressed by Kathryn and her growing company. It is always so cool to see a busy mom venture out into entrepreneurship and wonderful that she has made giving back such a core part of her company.

Stella & Dot Scarves

Friday, October 5th, 2012

stella-and-dot-pink-scarves

Have you heard the great news?? Stella & Dot has just launched a line of chic, colorful scarves. I am so excited because I love love love to wear scarves. These scarves are the perfect accessory for modern moms everywhere because they are so versatile and so easy to wear. In two seconds you can add a pop of color to any outfit with a luxuriously printed rayon scarf. Love that! The Stella & Dot scarf collection offers 5 different colors and each one has a unique pattern. And yes – it will be hard to choose just one so yes – you can buy 2 or 3….

Shop this pretty pink scarf during the month of October and all net proceeds will be donated to the Noreen Fraser Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to raising women’s cancer research funds and promoting early detection awareness.

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I know there are many of you out there who are thinking, “Yikes! I just don’t know how to wear a scarf.” A few of my dearest friends find scarves to be a much bolder accessory than a necklace or bracelet and are simply too scared to give them a try. I happen to think they are the easiest accessory to just throw on over a simple t-shirt or even a big sweater. Depending on the rest of your outfit (and the weather of course) you can let it hang down, wrap it around closer to your neck, or do just about anything. Scarves are not just for bundling up in the winter! Stella & Dot created a little video called 10 Ways to Wear a Scarf in case you need a little inspiration. You will see the video icon on this page to check it out.

And for moms with little ones… a colorful designer scarf can easily cover up any ‘little mishaps’ your child has on your favorite top so you should always have one tucked in your bag.

Sugarpova

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

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Super chic and super talented tennis star, Maria Sharapova has just launched a fabulous new candy company – Sugarpova. And I have to tell you – there is so much to love about Sugarpova. First of all, a portion of every purchase is given to the Maria Sharapova Foundation for helping children across the world achieve their dreams. Maria has always been a huge philanthropist so it is no surprise that she has made giving back a core mission of her first company.

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Secondly – I love the graphic design of the website (pink and orange chevrons – my favorite color combo!) and on her candy packaging. Everything is clean, modern and bursting with sweet colors, and I just love the logo with the brilliant kissy kissy red lips. Maria and her team have created a perfect mix of humor, glamour and fun in every bag.

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I have recently started playing tennis again and I can’t wait to order this lemon lime ‘Sporty’ chewing gum. How cute are these little tennis balls?

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And for my fellow fashionistas….dig your hand into a bag of ‘Chic’ gummy candy and you will of course pull out yummy edible handbags and shoes.  I can’t wait to put these out at my next party or add them to any gift as a little extra sweet treat. So much cute candy to order…I have to run….

Donna Karan & Me!

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Alisa and Donna Karan at SF Ballet Saks Fifth Avenue fashion show

Can you guess who I am talking to here in this photo? YES – It is me and Donna Karan! She is such an amazing woman and it was wonderful to get to talk to her last month in San Francisco. I first met Donna Karan at an event almost 20 years ago and I remember walking into the cocktail party in Las Vegas and noticed that there were only 2 people in the room wearing tennis shoes – me and Donna Karan. (At least mine were Paladiums I had picked up in Monaco…and I remember hers were white canvas sneakers that looked utterly perfect with her ensemble.)

Fast forward all these years and this time I actually got to speak with her about her incredibly talented late husband, Stephan Weiss, and the work she is doing to continue to share his artistic works. (He designed her very first perfume bottle if you remember…) We also talked at length about the phenomenal work she and her team are doing in Haiti. You may have noticed that her recent ad campaigns were all photographed on location in Haiti. Donna was wearing this fabulous dress for the occasion and the fabric was designed by Haitian artists and the incredibly cool black leather and wood jewelry she was wearing was also made in Haiti. And the white leather jacket on her shoulders was amazing too I might add. I mentioned my love of shopping for a good cause and she reminded me of the work she and her team are doing through her Urban Zen Foundation. Check out their website to learn more.

I wanted everything Donna was wearing and even more I wanted her passion, fearlessness and love of life. Donna Karan – the mom, the grandmother, the wife, the artist, the business tycoon, the philanthropist – she is an incredible inspiration to us all.

Donna Karan and girls at SF Ballet Saks fashion show

So here are me and the girls with gorgeous Donna in the middle. We are at the Ritz Carlton for the Donna Karan fashion show benefitting the San Francisco Ballet. The collection was amazing, the food delicious and it was great to be able to support such a wonderful cause as the ballet.

Huge thank you to Drew Altizer Photography for the great pics and to my friends Rhonda and Lillian for inviting me to join them for the lovely afternoon in the city.

The Giving Keys

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

the giving-keys-custom-key-charms

When you purchase a custom made key necklace from The Giving Keys you are asked to give it away at some point to a person who you feel needs the message on the key. It will hopefully travel from keeper to keeper, collecting stories and inspiring people. I love that each and everyone of them is different and every key has its own story to tell. You select a word that is meaningful to you and they will take care of the rest. The Giving Keys employs homeless women and men to create these wonderful one of a kind charms. These jobs help them unlock the opportunity to get off the streets and lead a better life. It is amazing to read the stories on their website, and hear first hand how these keys have made a transformational impact on people’s lives.

ModeWalk & Samasource

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

modewalk

Yesterday afternoon I was certainly one lucky girl. I was invited (thank you Rhonda!!) to attend a ModeWalk trunk show in Los Altos Hills where a portion of proceeds benefitted Samasource. I was so excited because I have been a huge fan of Modewalk from the time they launched and all of the gorgeous clothes and accessories they have in their online showrooms. In addition, I had recently read an article about Samasource and was totally inspired by the great work they had been doing all over the world. And behind each of these organizations are super smart, super chic women. Love that!

modewalk-logo

Do you love fashion? Do you wish you could pop over to Paris for a little shopping trip? “ModeWalk is for the woman who treats her closet as a collection.” What I love about ModeWalk is that they celebrate the people behind the clothes – the designers, the seamstresses, and the muses who inspire them. The ModeWalk shopping experience is different because you feel like you actually get to meet the creative minds behind the impeccable designs and creations. Just one click and you are off to Paris!

samasource

Samasource enables companies to save money and time and do good at the same time. Who doesn’t want to do that? They also bring hope, pride and a livelihood to people who are smart and driven – they just need the opportunity to demonstrate the value they can bring. Samasource’s mission is to bring dignified, computer-based work to women, youth, and refugees living in poverty.

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Leila Janah and her team have already created jobs for people all over the world and are partnering with top corporations to prove that this idea is one that works. Please check out their website to learn more, to be inspired and to see how you can help.

 

The Honest Company Product Review

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

the-honest-company-products

Many of you have probably read about Jessica Alba’s company, The Honest Company by now. They have been getting a lot of press lately and I must tell you – the products are fabulous! This picture shows a number of the products we have been trying at my home and I am here to fill you in on my thoughts.

1 – The packaging is close to perfect. I swear – even the cardboard box that arrives at your doorstep is cute. (I actually converted it into a recycling bin in my office because I didn’t want to part with it.) And then you open the cardboard box and you are greeted with vibrant turquoise blue happiness and a surprise ‘thank you’ note at the bottom. They have not skipped a single detail and have been incredibly thoughtful in making every aspect of interacting with, and consuming their products a delight. The colors and flowers on the individual packages are so pretty too. These are not items that you will want to hide in a cupboard under your sink. They are so fabulous you will want to proudly display them near every sink and bath in your house. If I was giving out grades here, I’d give a hands down ‘A+’ to the graphic designers and packaging team at The Honest Company. Kuddos!

2 – They smell so so so so good. I hate most scented products for the bath and end up sneezing away whenever anyone lights any sort of scented candle. Of course I love the smell of warm chocolate cookies baking in the oven – but this is not about cookies… (Maybe I am just hungry tonight for something sweet…) All of the products from The Honest Company smell incredibly clean and fresh. Not that powdery fresh – just really crisp and clear and clean smelling. The items that are in fact scented, like the tangerine dream bubble bath and sweet orange vanilla conditioner, are farmer’s market fresh. The scents are subtle but delicious. My son has been asking me why I have been putting so many bubbles in his bath lately and the answer is easy – because they smell so darn good.

3 – Light but effective products. It is one thing for the products to be pretty and for everything to smell yummy, but do they actually work? Yes! The face and body lotion is so sheer – perfect for an infant and his 40 year old mother alike. The conditioner, the hand soap, everything I have tried, I have honestly loved. When I first saw that they had dish soap, I thought it would be good for baby bottles and sippy cups. I have to tell you it has actually worked on all of my pots and pans too.

4 – Giving back in an honest way. At the heart and soul of The Honest Company is a foundation of giving back. “That’s why with every product you purchase, The Honest Company donates product, money, time, and effort to addressing critical health & social issues affecting children and families.” It doesn’t get better than that.

I want to thank the team at The Honest Company for their generosity in sending me some of their products to try out. I can honestly tell you it has been a sheer delight to use them.

Book Cover T-Shirts

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Charlotte's Web Womens T-shirt

Out of Print celebrates the world’s great stories through fashion. Their products (t-shirts for men, women and kids, totes, coasters & more) feature iconic and often out of print book covers. The t-shirts are even treated to feel soft and worn just like a well-read book. Love that! And for every product they sell, Out of Print donates one book to a community in need through their partnership with Books For Africa. Help spread the joy of reading today.

Altruette Charm Bracelets

Friday, February 24th, 2012

altruette-charm-bracelet

How gorgeous and utterly fabulous is this charm bracelet? Love it love it love it! So here is the scoop. I was reading Maria Shriver’s site (which I also love) and I read this great article by Julie Schlosser and Lee Clifford, two former Fortune Magazine journalists who left their day jobs to start Altruette, a line of jewelry that raises money and awareness for non-profits. The article reminded me a little of my own adventures of starting a company.  As an added twist to their story both Julie and Jane got pregnant in the midst of launching their company. Can you imagine? Holy cow.

This wonderful charm bracelet has a unique philanthropic twist: each charm represents a different non-profit organization, which receives a substantial portion of every sale. How cool is that? In addition to the spectacular shopping I must admit I was in awe reading about these non-profit organizations and the variety of unique services they provide. Check out their site to learn about these inspiring organizations.

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So yes, you too can look good and do good in 2012…yeah!