Saturday, July 23, 2011

Giving is a Gift: One Leaf Creations, Fashion with a Cause

I just finished submitting a post on the "Glorified Fanny Pack" where my "new" favorite bag belt (as I called it) just so happened to be from One Leaf Creations. I found them on, so I knew them by their username leilamos and didn't research the company name until I decided to look them up on Facebook. All I have to say is, WOW, how the Universe and the good Lord hear the song of your heart! I cannot only stress how much charity and doing for others mean to me, but also how much I cannot believe how closely it's related to a project that I've decided to start that I came up with in January (you will all see the first and beginning fruit of that labor next month!). I woke up this morning feeling as if I was never going to make a difference with my project (it's sooo much work on so many levels!), but coming across One Leaf Creations was a clear sign from God to continue working hard on my path; an idea was created quickly, but it takes much more time, work and practice to make it materialize.

One Leaf Creations is a North American fair trade market place which brings a variety of creations from artisans of remote impoverished communities. Among these creations are yak wool blankets, shawls and leather belts. You know, like my new favorite Glorified Fanny Pack that is now on my wish list (hint, hint... mom? ;-p) One Leaf also returns to these communities to actually work with and design with the artisans they help. The inspiration to create One Leaf Creations came from a 2008 visit through North India to set up micro-credit schemes and income generation skills for women in marginalized communities. They were deeply effected by the poverty that they witnessed, endeared by the love and generosity exuded by the people of these communities and, clearly, impressed with the talent. They endeavored to develop a way that the talents of these wonderful people could be used to provide them a better and more empowered lifestyle. You can read their story by clicking any of the text that says One Leaf Creations and I encourage you to visit their Facebook page and view the pictures in their album of India (and “like” them while you’re at it!). Their online store is currently closed while they are working on new designs with co-ops, but click here to be redirected to their stock on I recommend you contact them first if you are interested in a product, as they are now in India and I do not know if there is someone here handling those orders.
This photo warms my heart. Taken from One Leaf Creations Website

 The work of One Leaf Creations is a perfect example of good intentions being put to good use, as taught by Peter Drucker when saying that the goal of any non-for-profit (or charity for that matter) should be to make the user a doer. I agree, because for me it gives people a great sense of accomplishment and empowerment. It keeps them moving, productive, utilizing their talents...all which is the most useful for them in the long run. I admire that One Leaf not only brings back the art of impoverished communities, but goes out there and creates with them as well. Whether intended or not, this collaboration allows the artisans to create additional work that would appeal to an even larger audience here in North America, an opportunity that these talented artisans didn’t have before the creators of One Leaf discovered them.

On an end note, and to demonstrate further how funny life can be, I just read this on One Leaf’s Facebook Fan page after writing the last paragraph above and while editing to make sure I got all of their information correct. Chills down my spine:

“One Leaf is a social enterprise that supports and promotes economic development in remote regions of the Himalayas, and Western India, by creating an international market demand for the unique crafted goods produced by traditional co-ops. These creations offer high quality and great value to consumers, while empowering the lives of the producers. Each piece tells the story of the creator.

We are determined to ensure that our business integrates concepts of fairness, social empowerment, and environmental sustainability. By promoting the work and welfare of a single artisan, a positive change can be made.”

Peter Drucker would be impressed.

Thanks for reading my wonderful friends, I hope their story moves you as it did me and if so please support One Leaf Creations in any way that you can!


Lisa xo

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