Mindful Living

Tips for Shopping Intentionally

Shopping intentionally and with purpose is a growing movement, and for good reason.  Realizing that with every dollar you spend, you are casting a vote about what you are willing to accept from companies is very empowering.  It means that collectively we have the power to change company practices we find unacceptable through spending our dollars elsewhere.

I still struggle with shopping intentionally at times, and thought it would be helpful to share with you some tips I’ve found useful on my new style journey so far.

~ Prepare by Researching Companies ~

If there is a clothing store or boutique that has caught your eye, before stopping in do some research online into the brands that they carry and the company itself.  Many boutiques have a separate page on their website that lists the brands that they work with and carry.  If your favorite boutique doesn’t have a listing, send an email to request the information.  Once you have a listing, you can look further into each brand online and reach out to them individually if you are unfamiliar with their corporate practices.

~ Distinguish between a Want vs. Need ~

Ask yourself why you want to buy the item in the first place.  Will the item add value to your life, or is it because you just want something new?  Get honest with yourself about your motivations for the purchase.


~ Consider Quality ~

Buying a higher quality item may cost a little more than something found at the big box retail stores, but it will last longer.  It will save you time and money in the long run if you focus on quality over price, especially for classic pieces.

~ Shop Local, Fair Trade, and/or Ethically Sourced Products ~

Purchasing some quality pieces from a local boutique and/or company representative is a great way to start putting money back into your own community.  It’s even better when you can find Fair Trade and/or Ethically Sourced products.  Fair Trade products are designated as such by a label.  Buying a Fair Trade item not only puts money back into your own community by supporting a local business, but also gives back and empowers others around the world.

Stories Collide

~ Consider What the Item is Made of ~

What are the materials used and are they sustainable?  Many Fair Trade fashion accessories use recycled materials and are a great way to make an empowering fashion statement, while being kind to the environment.  For clothing, check and see if the item is made of organic cotton.  The main benefit of organic materials is that the crops aren’t treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and Genetically Modified Organisms. These toxins are harmful for farmers and workers, us as consumers, and entire wildlife eco-systems.

~ Does the Company/Brand Give Back? ~

There are so many ways to give back, and one is through purchasing and supporting brands that incorporate “giving back” into their company culture.  If you’re familiar with my blog, you know that I work as a Compassionate Entrepreneur with Trades of Hope.  Trades of Hope is not only a fair trade certified company, but also gives back through a program called Gifts of Hope.  This is one of the reasons I’ve chosen to represent the company as a CE.  More information on Gifts of Hope can be found here.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have about shopping intentionally.  You’re welcome to share your tips in the #StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective as well by clicking here.

Sparkle & Shine!

~♥xo, Ruth~

~ Ruth.TradesofHope@gmail.com~

Business & Empowerment

10 Empowering Quotes to Inspire You

I love quotes because they can automatically change my perspective if I’m finding myself in a difficult situation.  They can fill me with the positive energy I need to move forward and tackle the task in front of me.  I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.  I hope these amazing quotes inspire you and empower you to tackle the challenges that come your way.

10 Empowering Quotes to Inspire You

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou

“A strong woman accepts both compliments & criticism graciously, knowing that it takes both sunshine & rain for a flower to grow.” ~Mandy Hale

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” ~Dolly Parton


“I only move forwards, not backwards, darling.” ~Grace Jones

“Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself. Keep fighting for your dreams.” ~Gabby Douglas

“Nothing is Impossible, the word itself says I’m Possible.” ~Audrey Hepburn


“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else.” ~Judy Garland

“A wise girl knows her limits, a smart girl knows she has none.” ~Marilyn Monroe

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” ~Oprah Winfrey


Sparkle & Shine!

~♥xo, Ruth~

~ Ruth.TradesofHope@gmail.com~


3 TOH pieces, 5 Sisterhood Arm Parties

I love Arm Parties, especially when they are done TOH Style!  So much positive energy, hope, and inspiration from around the world shines through our Sisterhood Arm Parties.  After all, each piece is handcrafted by women that have been empowered and are now able to share their special talents and stories with us.

The 3 pieces I’ve chosen to inspire you to create your own Sisterhood Arm Party are:

Jubilee Bracelet Set made by Empowered Artisans in Haiti

~Handmade Beads made out of Haitian Clay~

Pure Love Bracelet made by Empowered Artisans in Haiti

~Handmade Beads made out of Haitian Clay & Cereal Boxes~

Imani Necklace made by Empowered Artisans in Uganda

~Handmade Beads made out of Magazine Paper~

If you would like to familiarize yourself more with the empowering stories behind these groups, please check out my blog articles on our amazing artisans in Haiti at this link and in Uganda at this link.

Let the partying begin…..

Sisterhood Arm Party #1: Jubilee Bracelet Set & Pure Love


Sisterhood Arm Party #2: Pure Love Bracelet, Imani Necklace, & Jubilee Bracelet


Sisterhood Arm Party #3:  Pure Love Bracelet & Imani Necklace


Sisterhood Arm Party #4:  Jubilee Bracelet Set & Imani Necklace


Sisterhood Arm Party #5:  Pure Love Bracelet & Red Jubilee Bracelets


Please share your inspiring #StyleSlowlySisterhood ArmParty here and join in the Sisterhood & fun!  You can always shop these looks at my online shop – you’re just one click away from inspiring hope here.

~♥xo, Ruth~

~ Ruth.TradesofHope@gmail.com~


Mindful Living

My Gratitude List

As I write this I’m sitting outside on the patio of my home in Raleigh, North Carolina sipping some iced tea….I breathe in the fresh air and smile.  What an abundance of blessings I’m able to enjoy and be thankful for in my life.  I am blessed to be blessed, and  realize there is responsibility that comes with those blessings.


I decided to take some time to make a list of some blessings in my life for which I am grateful.  I challenge you to take some time to do the same.  It helps keep the daily annoyances you face in perspective.

My Gratitude List

  1. I am thankful for my husband, who is my biggest supporter in everything I do.
  2. I am thankful that I have a loving family.
  3. I am thankful that I am healthy and have the ability to enjoy regular workouts and peaceful walks in our beautiful neighborhood.
  4. I am thankful for the wonderful community we live in, that is full of opportunity and interesting people to meet.
  5. I am thankful for being able to have work that positively impacts others around the world.
  6.  Most importantly, I am thankful for the Creator that made me who I am, and allows me to inspire others in my own unique way.

Feel free to join the #StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective here and share some (or all) of the items that made it onto your Gratitude List today.

~♥xo, Ruth~

~ Ruth.TradesofHope@gmail.com~


Join #StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective

How to Join #SSGC

So many people & hearts are behind the fashion accessories & products that we enjoy everyday.  Part of the joy in purchasing a Fair Trade accessory is knowing that those people & hearts were treated well & paid fairly.

Let’s start a #StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective to spread even more Hope+Dignity with our mindful purchases.  Here’s how to participate:

3 Steps to Participate & Join the #StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective: (1) Share a pic of yourself wearing/using the Fair Trade purchase you love & state WHY you love it; (2) Say “Thanks!” to the people & planet for making it; & (3) What is at least one positive action you plan to take while wearing/using the product? (just in case you can’t read my writing 😉 )

To share your pic and connect with other #StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective members, I invite you to join my Facebook Group page at this link.  You can also post your picture on your instagram and/or twitter with the hashtag #StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective.

Let’s show that together a mindful lifestyle of Business, Fashion, Gratitude, & Empowerment is possible!








Some Thoughts on Styling with Authenticity

If you are working on clarifying and defining your “Style,” it can feel like you are in a true battle each day.  You may feel that those around you will judge you either to have lost or won depending on your choice of outfit or accessory.   As women, we need to work to turn this thinking upside down!

“Style” should not have winners or losers.  “Style” should be seen as an expression of your Authentic Self to the world around you.  If thought of in this way, we are raising each other up and celebrating individuality.  This is one way women can Empower each other.

One of the reasons I love Trades of Hope and enjoy styling with their products is that each piece makes an Empowering Statement.  It Empowers a woman to be her Authentic Self, the Hero of Her Own Story.  At the same time, I’m able to express my own Attitude of Authenticity while sharing their stories with other women.

“Style” can be Beautiful, Empowering, and Change Lives!

I hope that today’s post encourages you and inspires you to Listen to Your Own Stylish Voice.  And, as always, feel free to reach out to me to style yourself with our Fair Trade handcrafted products that Empower women around the world!

Inspire Hope. Create Change. We Dare You!

Trades of Hope’s Revive Necklace crafted from recycled steel oil drums & accented with pink thread tassels; made by Empowered Artisans in Haiti.  In Haiti, mothers are often forced to give up their children because they cannot afford to feed them.  By crafting jewelry such as the Revive Necklace, a mother or father now earns an income and a family can stay together!
Compassionate Entrepreneur · Distribution Center · Empowered Artisans · Holly Wehde · The Arc · Uncategorized · United States

The Arc & Trades of Hope

Something about Trades of Hope really hit home for me when I learned that the company partners with their local Arc Chapter for employment opportunities in their Distribution Center.


The Arc is America’s leading advocate for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The packages customers receive are packaged by these amazing men and women.

One of my cousins has Down syndrome, and I immediately thought about her when I learned this.  My cousin is fortunate in this country to have respect and opportunities through programs like those at The Arc that so many similarly challenged individuals in developing countries struggle to find.   Trades of Hope is changing this through its partnerships with artisan groups.  Having these opportunities is life changing to those that have disabilities here and in developing countries.  This is just one more reason I’m passionately pursuing my Compassionate Entrepreneur business with Trades of Hope, and sharing the opportunity with others.  Together, we can truly make a difference & touch so many lives!

Feel free to reach out to me if you are interested in learning more about this opportunity!