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Every-so-often I bring you an interview and giveaway with one of Clean's sponsors. It's a great opportunity to discover a new small businesses and also a friendly reminder that there are alternatives to the mass-produced products, big-box stores, and the status-quo.
Each sponsor is carefully hand-picked and their interviews never cease to inspire me. Enjoy!
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I'm so happy to introduce you to my almost neighbor Bren of goodkarma. Bren is from friendly Viroqua and she crafts some amazing things! Beauty and function, stitched together with loving hands.
Read on for a little inspiration from my 'hood (and a coupon code and giveaway!).
What is your company and how long have you been in
I am Bren of goodkarma and I've been making and selling an array of
hand-stitched goods on and off for about 12 years now. (Oh, wow, can
that be right?! I triple-checked my math.)
This current incarnation
of goodkarma has been going for 5 years and is ever evolving.
design and sew housewares and personal accessories with
earth-friendly materials such as upcycled wool sweaters, vintage
thrifted finds, and a hemp/certified organic cotton blend that I
hand-dye myself using low-impact dyes. I strive for sustainable
functionality in everything I create.
What inspired you to go into this line of work?
I wanted to purchase products that were made in an ethical way using
materials that weren't filled with toxins, and was frustrated with
not being able to afford them. Why should only rich people be able
to buy organic textiles?
So I was determined to figure out how to
create them myself and offer them to others. I wanted to give normal
people the opportunity to purchase quality eco-friendly products at
a price that wasn't outrageous. One part of that puzzle was starting
from the most raw materials I could get and dyeing my own fabric,
which has been an incredibly fascinating and rewarding experience.
Learning new techniques will keep me happily busy for a lifetime.
How do you believe you and your business are bringing good
into the world?
I'm giving people and alternative option ot mass-produced, questionably made product bought from stores that don't value their
employees or the planet. A way for people to feel good about what
their money is going to support – both directly and indirectly. The
money I make goes to support other local and independent crafters,
farmers, and businesses, and the cycle keeps going. I use materials
that are grown without pesticides because I care about the health of
the farmers who grow it and the people that process it. I give
people affordable reusable alternatives to wasteful disposable
On a smaller – but equally as satisfying – note, my customers often
tell me that every time they open their wallet/cook dinner/drink
their tea, they see my 'goodkarma' label and it makes them smile.
How could I not love that?
One improvement that I look forward to making is purchasing hemp
fabric grown and produced right here in the US. We are the only
industrialized nation that prohibits growing this amazing crop, so
unfortunately it all has to come from overseas. But I can see the
tide turning and after some encouraging legislation was passed in
Washington and Colorado this past November, I'm confident that
US-grown industrial hemp is in our future. And I will be the first
one in line to get it when it is.
Thanks, Bren! On a personal note, I purchased one of goodkarma's cast iron handle huggers over a year ago. And we've used it daily ever since. It lives on my favorite cast iron skillet, and evey morning makes the hop to my tea kettle. (Hmm… maybe I need a second one…)
Want some goodkarma of your own? Bren has generously offered to send one winner the following gift:
- one pot holder of your choice (square or oval)
- one cast iron
handle hugger of your choice
- and one medium size hemp/organic
To enter just leave a comment below! (One comment per person, please.) You can also find goodkarma on Facebook if that interests you. I'll select one lucky person next week.
Comments are now closed. The winner is Beth who said:
"I love the look of her items – the swirls especially! I'm headed over to check her out :)"
Everyone can enjoy 10% off of a goodkarma order with the coupon code "LUSA13". This discount includes the custom listings where you can just let
me know what colors you want your pot holder/handle
hugger/wallet/crochet case to be, and Bren will stitch one up just for
Discount code good through the end of April.