Help Us Start Some Good!

Our new crowdfunding campaign went live today on StartSomeGood! We are raising funds to support our new social enterprise, Herban Crafts. The first two versions of our DIY crafting kits shipped today, and are available in our Etsy store. Sales from the kits will help support the social mission of Herban Crafts. Our social mission is to help address the problem of unemployment, a contributing factor to homelessness, by offering a hands-on job and social skills training program for homeless women living in transitional housing with the goal of fostering economic independence.

Our StartSomeGood campaign has a goal of raising enough money to cover salaries for our part-time job skills facilitators for one month and production of 400 kits, the profits from which will cover their salaries for an additional four months.

Our awesome team of job skills facilitators!

I hope you will check it out, share the link with your friends and contribute if you can. We only receive funds if we meet our goal. We are offering some great rewards for donations starting at just $5.00 (I have listed them below, so you can see how awesome they are :) You can also sign up on the site to volunteer or support our efforts in other non-monetary ways.

StartSomeGood is a peerfunding platform for social entrepreneurs to launch and grow innovative ventures we need to improve our communities and our world. They were the winners of this year’s William James Foundation’s Sustainable Business Plan Competition. Here is a video featuring StartSomeGood co-founder, Tom Dawkins, talking about this crowdfunding site’s mission and offering some very helpful tips for those of you who plan to start your own crowdfunding campaign.

I hope you will check out our story on StartSomeGood. Here are our donation levels and corresponding rewards:

$5

Your name will be listed on the Herban Crafts website. You’ll get kudos on our Facebook page and Twitter feed, along with our undying gratitude! + You’ll receive a free download of the full version of “Going For It” by Wytold from his album “When Fulvio Finds Celeste,” featured in our video.

$10

Everything included in the $5 reward + a handmade upcycled Herban Crafts bottle cap magnet.

$25

Everything included in the $10 reward + a two Herban Crafts lip balms

$50

Bud – Everything included in the $10 reward + your choice of one (1) Herban Crafts kit!

$100

Everything included in the $10 reward + your choice of two (2) Herban Crafts kits!

$180

Everything included in the $10 reward + your choice of four (4) Herban Crafts kits!

$250

Everything included in the $10 reward + your choice of six (6) Herban Crafts kits!

$500

Everything included in the $10 reward + your choice of twelve (12) Herban Crafts kits! Perfect for a party activity, or bridal party gifts!

$1,000

Everything included in the $10 reward + your choice of twelve (12) Herban Crafts kits! AND you will receive a feature article in our blog singing your praises. PLUS, you’ll be invited to an exclusive Herban Crafts launch celebration dinner party in DC or NYC, date and place to be determined.

Back to the Start

In her blog today, EcoKaren wrote about a very cool Chipotle ad, “Back to the Start,” that was shown during the Grammy Awards last night.  As Karen put it, “This short film depicts the life of a farmer as he slowly turns his family farm into an industrial animal factory before seeing the errors of his ways and opting for a more sustainable future.” The soundtrack is Willie Nelson’s moving cover of Cold Play’s “The Scientist.”

I was so moved by the video that I wanted to share it with you. I downloaded the song on iTunes for 99 cents. For each sale, 60 cents will be donated to Chipotle’s Cultivate Foundation, whose mission is to help fund initiatives that support sustainable agriculture, family farming, and culinary education.

I have been impressed by Chipotle’s sustainability efforts. It’s a good place to get a quick, relatively healthy vegetarian meal. Plus, some of the Virginia Chipotle’s use pork from Polyface Farms, a sustainable farm that was featured in Food, Inc.

Join Us on 12/1 for the West Elm + Etsy Handmade Holiday Workshop & Mini-Market!

On Thursday, December 1st, West Elm stores across the country will be featuring gifts from local Etsy sellers, and Herban Lifestyle will be representing at Tyons Corner, in McLean, VA! At the Handmade Holiday Workshop & Mini-Mart, guests will have a chance make a holiday craft with an Etsy team and support a local charity. The Capital Region Etsy Street Team (CREST) will be at the Tysons event, and handmade ornaments and gifts donated at the event will benefit Jill’s House, a Vienna, VA non-profit that provides respite for children with intellectual disabilities and their families in the Greater Washington, DC area.

If you live somewhere other than the DC area, you can visit one of the other 37 West Elm locations to participate in the festivities, and contribute gifts and decorations to local charities chosen by each store. For more details, visit the West Elm website or RSVP on the Handmade Holiday Workshop & Mini-Mart Facebook Event Page.

So, I hope to see you on December 1st, from 6pm to 9pm!

West Elm
7866 L. Tysons Corner Center
McLean VA 22102

CARBON Hosts Eco-style Event to Benefit Fairfax Non-profit

On Saturday, November 19 CARBON, DC’s eco-boutique, will host a fun event to help raise money and awareness for FACETS, a Fairfax-based non-profit serving homeless families and individuals. We will be collecting toiletries and food for the families – bring a donation and receive a coupon good for 10% off at Carbon. There will be food, drinks, giveaways, and a portion of proceeds from the sale of both Herban Lifestyle products and Melissa Lew will go to FACETS.

image copyright Melissa Lew

On the 19th, I will be offering a special day of pampering, with free demos of my line of natural and organic certified cruelty-free bath and body products for men and women. The day will also feature a special collection by eco-friendly jewelry designer, Melissa Lew.  The Virginia-based designer combines elements of nature and architecture to inform her collection of refined recycled silver necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and Vitality, a unisex series of necklaces featuring Chinese symbols such as Peace, Trust, and Happiness.

November 19, 2011

Noon to 6 p.m.

CARBON

2643 Connecticut Ave., NW

Washington, DC  20008

(Woodley Park-Zoo Metro Station)

CARBON is committed to reducing your carbon-footprint by offering fashion-forward sustainable clothing, shoes, accessories, and handbags.  We carry small, independent designers and companies both locally and internationally who operate from a corporate social responsibility mission.  Several of our designers create hand-crafted and fair trade products.  CARBON is generated by 100% local wind turbines, implements the 3 Rs religiously – reduce, reuse, recycle – and supports local environmental and human rights initiatives.  CARBON also offers wardrobe consultation and personal shopping.

Movember: Just the Facts, Man

An estimated 240,890 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011. And, this year, it is expected that 33,720 men will die from it. Overall, men have a 1 in 6 lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer. Given that the estimated 2011 risk for breast cancer is 230,480 women, with an estimated 39,520 deaths and a 1 in 8 lifetime risk, it is shocking to me that there hasn’t been more of an effort to educate the public about the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer.*

Here are some more prostate cancer facts you might be interested in knowing:

  • It’s the most common cancer in men
  • It’s second most common cause of death from cancer among white, African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Hispanic men.
  • Black men are at the highest risk – twice that of white men who have the next highest risk
  • Prostate cancer has been increasing steadily in the US for the last several decades. Data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and Results program (SEER) are adjusted to take into account the fact that the US population is gradually growing older, so this trend is not due to the aging of the population.
  • There are many potential causes for prostate cancer, such as genetic factors, which account for as much as 5-10%.
  • This leaves 90-95% unexplained. It appears that the great increase in prostate cancer during the second half of the 20th century is likely due to a change in environment and/or lifestyle. I will talk about the known risk factors next time.
Because this is a very serious issue, and much education needs to be done to raise awareness about prostate cancer and men’s health overall, I love the lighthearted approach that Movember takes. Movember is a mustache-growing charity event held annually throughout the month of November to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer and depression. The gents at Movember have definitely met their goal of  creating an “innovative, fun and engaging annual Movember campaign that raises funds and awareness globally.” You can visit their photo gallery to take a peek at some of the fun, yet awe-inspiring, facial hair that participants have cultivated.

Anthony: Movember, Day 1

For the 3rd year in a row, Anthony Moriello is participating in Movember. When I asked him what motivated him to participate, Anthony responded, “I became involved with Movember because I find it to be a creative and effective way to raise awareness about men’s cancers and men’s health in general.  It’s gone viral and I’d bet that when people see mustaches this time of year they stop and think ‘Hmmm, it’s about time for a doctor’s visit.’  It also gives me a a great reason to grow a mustache that, as you will soon see, I have no business growing.”

As the face of Movember for my blog, I will post Anthony’s weekly progress photos as he goes from clean shaven to Mario Brother lookalike. You can support Anthony and his Movember team, the Wade Bogg All-Stars, by going to their Movember team page and making a donation. The funds raised by Movember go to some great organizations that promote true cancer prevention research, as well as screening, treatment and survivorship initiatives.

Age-Progression image of Anthony at Day 30

*Statistics from SEER (The National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results)

The Thrifty HoG: A Golden Find in the Flat Iron District

On a recent business trip to New York City, I was wandering through the Flat Iron District, making my way to Penn Station. I turned down 25th street onto the block behind the office where I used to work, and made a wonderful find. The Thrify HoG’s bright and cheerful window display caught my eye, and welcomed me to enter the store. Once inside, I beheld an airy and beautifully colorful boutique, which belied the fact that it was a “thrift shop.”

There was a huge array of chic, gently-used men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories, as well as books, home décor, and small home furnishings. Each and every item was obviously very carefully chosen since they were all in impeccable condition. And by the cash register sat a big golden piggy bank along with brochures and cards for Hearts of Gold, a non-profit that was benefitted by the sales from The Thrifty HoG. I asked the woman who was tending the store to tell me a bit more about the relationship between the two.

As it turned out, the woman with whom I was speaking was Deb Koenigsberger, founder of Hearts of Gold and creator of The Thrifty HoG shop. Deb had founded Hearts of Gold in 1996 to help homeless mothers develop sustainable change in their lives. In addition to providing many programs and services through Hearts of Gold, she had opened The Thrifty HoG in May 2010 to provide job opportunities and job training to the moms. Net proceeds from the shop go to support Hearts of Gold programs. What a wonderful concept!

In reading through their brochure, and their website, I saw that there are many ways to support this great organization. They hold fundraisers throughout the year, and you can shop guilt-free at their store at 11 West 25th Street. For those of you who don’t live in the New York City area, they have an online shop. To learn more about Hearts of Gold and The Thrifty HoG, check out their website.

Join Us at DC Craft Mafia’s Spring Thing May 21st!


Herban Lifestyle is thrilled to be vending at the DC Craft Mafia’s Spring Thing on May 21, from 11am-5pm. The show will be held in the parking lot of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at the corner of P Street & 15th Street, NW in Washington, DC.

Over 40 amazing artisans will be exhibiting, including several of my crafty faves, including: Craftgasm, Namoo, Lil’ Fishy, This Little Piggy, Bette’s Bags, EHL Creations and Blugrn Design!

There will also be music, food, and Lucky Dog Animal Rescue will be there from 11am-4pm with information and dogs available for adoption. There will also be an artist raffle with all proceeds going Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. It should be a great show. So please stop by and say hi! We’ll be at Booth #7.

For more info on the DC Craft Mafia and the Spring Thing, check out this great Washingtonian article!