All Posts By:

Mindy Trujillo

ALL/ EXPERIENCE

It’s Only Fair! (Changing the World; Changing the way we Shop)

A few years ago I started thinking more about where I spent my money and what I spent my money on.  Honestly, words like fair trade, locally sourced, and ethical shopping were not part of my vocabulary.   Now, the times I get really jazzed about buying stuff (you know I’m an experience kinda gal) is when I’m supporting social causes.  I love that in the spirit of gift giving, I can buy cute and comfy lounging pants for my mom and support women in India who have survived human trafficking.  I can buy the most luxurious lavender lotion and support women in Nashville find healing and economic independence. Pretty sure that’s the definition of a win-win situation!

If you’re not familiar with fair trade, essentially, it’s a way to make sure fair prices are paid to producers, often in developing countries.  My favorite place to shop both locally and responsibly is It’s Only Fair in Covington, KY.  The owner of this adorable shop has a heart for empowering and providing economic freedom for survivors in places like India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangkok, and Guatemala. 

Reegan, the owner of It’s Only Fair, began simply by buying fair trade products for herself.  She connected with a nonprofit organization in Bangkok- loved their story, and wanted to do more.  Their answer?  Market their products in the West.  And that’s exactly what led her to open her own store.  The products sold at It’s Only Fair come from companies like Sari Bari, an ethical fashion business that employs women who have been exploited by human trafficking, and Freeset, a business that trains women rescued from the sex trade. These artisans create beautiful handmade items; they just need buyers.  That’s where we come in.

Yes, I love the mission of It’s Only Fair, but I honestly love the products even more.  Every single thing is unique.  Gorgeous jewelry.  Handcrafted bags.  Sweet children’s gifts.  Essential oils.  Adorable booties.   Such special pieces that you just can’t find in other places. It just feels good to shop here.  I bought a blue kurta (made in India) and it’s one of my most favorite pieces of clothing!  If you don’t own a kurta, you need one in your life.  Kurtas are long so they cover all the parts I like to hide!  I also bought a stunning leather bound journal to house all my deepest darkest secrets. 

By choosing fair trade and shopping at places like It’s Only Fair, we can become part of the amazing stories of hope, change, and empowerment that are being written all over the world.  If I can spend my money in a way that provides justice and freedom, strengthens communities, breaks the cycle of poverty, and assists in fighting for freedom, count me in.  No brainer!

Let’s make the world a better place and let’s use our dollars to do it.  Let’s lift others up and let’s buy precious products in the process.

GO THERE (It’s Only Fair)! TRY THAT (change the world the way we shop)! 

ALL/ EXPERIENCE

Jack O’Lantern Spectacular

It is good to be back, friends!  After a short break of getting into the oh-no-back-to-school mode, it’s nice to be writing again!  There are so many places I want to talk about!  And, time is of the essence for this particularly illuminating post.

It’s probably no surprise that I love all things holiday! If there’s a way to celebrate a season, I’m in!  But, I am too cowardly to enjoy Halloween Haunted Houses.  While I can appreciate a teeny weeny amount of scare, I prefer Fall events that feature the changing and falling of leaves, hot cider, pumpkins, cool temps, and lots of lights!  That’s why I am super excited to share my recent trip to the Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular in Louisville, KY.

I’ve been trying to go to this event for three years, and life keeps getting in the way!  Not this year!  And it was worth the wait.  Think five million pumpkins (okay, more like five thousand), themed music, lights in trees, a dark forest (well, it’s more like a dark park), and a cool, autumn breeze.  Just what the season calls for.

As you journey through the woods, you will see a variety of carved pumpkins: scary, happy, dopey, sad, angry, silly, and more; it’s pumpkins galore.  There are also themed sections which showcase professionally carved pumpkins that truly are works of art.  A few of my favorite sections included Fairy Tales, Edgar Allan Poe, Mother Goose, and Inspiring Figures.  It’s pretty cool- the music changes with each section as well.

If you want to check out the Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular, you have a couple options.  You could drive down, arrive by 7 pm, spend a couple hours, and drive home.  Or, you could make it an overnight.  That’s what we did.  I’m such a fan of Louisville.  We stayed in NuLu– an area full of cute shops, restaurants, and coffee shops.  In fact, our favorite restaurant, the Mayan Cafe (local, seasonal Mayan food), was just across the street from our Airbnb.  We also stumbled onto a new Vietnamese restaurant, Chick’n & Mi, that served, hands down, one of my favorite pork ramen dishes. Trust me, I’m still dreaming about those noodles.

So whether it’s this season or next, be sure to make the drive down to Lousiville for the Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular.  The show runs daily from dusk to 11 p.m., during the week (Sunday-Thursday), and closes at midnight on Friday & Saturday.  You can find out about buying tickets here.  

 Tips:

  • Wear tennis shoes or boots (boots if it’s been raining).
  • Speaking of rain, you can still go if it’s drizzling.
  • Most of the path is paved, but it is dark.
  • The line gets long; show up early.
  • Take your time- even if that means going against the crowd.  You want to see both sides.
  • Grab some hot cider or cocoa first.

GO THERE (Louisville, KY)!  TRY THAT (Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular)!