Artist of the Month: Soyini George, YiniBini Baby

Booties10BThe following post is by Soyini George, owner of YiniBini Baby, Herban Lifestyle’s March 2014 Artist of the Month.

When Soyini George was a little girl living in Guyana, South America, her mother used to take her to visit her Great Aunt Jean. Aunt Jean was a vibrant conversationalist, often waving her scissors about as she pinned and gathered the fabric to make the most pretty dresses. It was here that Soyini learned about the love of handmade. Aunt Jean’s husband, Uncle Reggie had an award-winning, colorful garden, that all of the bees seemed to fight over. These special memories serve as an inspiration for Soyini’s line, Yinibini Baby, adorable handmade clothing and accessories for little ones.

screenprinted organic bibs2

The Yinibini Baby collection comprises of dresses, onesies, booties, bibs, burp cloths and more! Pieces are made out of cotton, organic cotton or cotton blended fabrics. Her original illustrations are based off of childhood stories and memories. Soyini went through a rapid growth spurt as a child, and so became much taller than her classmates. This was the inspiration behind the “Too Tall Birdie and Friends” illustration that can be found on onesies and the Organic Reversible Bib.

Too Tall Birdie and Friends

Soyini’s Yinibini Baby collection of organic cotton onesies, organic bibs and booties will be at the Herban Lifestyle store for the month of March. Stop on by to get cuteness for the baby in your life!

yinibini-baby-and-bump-82For more information about Yinibini Baby, visit http://www.yinibinibaby.com.

Thank you to Everyone for Celebrating with us!

photoby Lisa, Operations and Outreach Associate. 

Last week, we celebrated our 5th birthday with a fundraiser for Miriam’s Kitchen.  It was great! The event had a great turnout, and everyone had fun bidding on the items in the auction.

What I loved the most was getting the chance to talk with everyone.  I met some of the people who donated items, and others who were just there to support Herban Lifestyle.  It was great to talk with people who shared my passion for handcrafted and handmade things.

We especially want to thank all of our generous donors – Catherinette, The Green Mop, Florence Novarro, Moonlight Bindery, Tranquil Space, Third + Grace, Holland Cox, Wildflower WrapUps, Catoctin Creek Distillery,  Divine Chocolate, Tigerflight, Alexander Castro Cycling Consulting, Tesla, Bouquets and More, Thankfully Yours, Andi Ipaktchi, Wunderaround, The Happy Tart, Jenn Crovato, Clare and Don’s Beach Shack, Arlington Automotive, Sunflower Bakery, and Miriam’s Kitchen.

Thank you to everyone for celebrating with five years with us!

Brick and Mortar Friends: Bouquets and More

We want to highlight some of our wonderful brick and mortar stores.  These are stores that  carry Herban Lifestyle’s products. This series will give you some insight into some of our newest brick and mortar friends. Enjoy!

Bouquets and MoreThe U Street Corridor is a great little section of DC, filled with personality and wonderful little surprise stores along the street.  Bouquets and More is one of those little treats.

The flower shop is owned by Vickie and Carmilla, two wonderful ladies who will not hesitate to chat with you when you come in.  The shop itself is filled with wonderful smelling flowers and great little details in the displays.

Bouquets and More has a wide selection of beautiful bouquets, centerpieces, green plants for the office, and even terrariums.  And, of course, your favorite Herban Lifestyle products!

So check out Bouquets and More at their store, or on Facebook! They will be having workshops in the Fall of 2013, so make sure to check their page for more details!

Hello Again, DC: Everything Old is New Again

The 1922 Lincoln Model 117 Seven-passenger Sedan

The 1922 Lincoln Model 117 Seven-passenger Sedan

My great-grandfather bought one of the first Ford motor vehicles available for the mass market in the U.S., and my grandfather was brand loyal, owning nothing but Fords throughout his long lifetime.

Named after President Lincoln, the Lincoln automotive company was founded in 1917. Their rival Ford Motor Company purchased Lincoln in 1922. Fast-forward to December 2012, when Ford changed the name of the Lincoln division to the Lincoln Motor Company, granting it its own design, product development and sales teams. And now they are celebrating this new era in their 90-year history of making cars by re-introducing the Lincoln Motor Company, and unveiling their new take on the luxury automobile.

Through the “Hello, Again” tour, Lincoln is introducing a series of projects with artists who share their vision of re-imagining the past to create something new and innovative. Herban Lifestyle has been invited, along with other select local artisans, to be part of the Hello Again, DC event from June 6-16. Tours are available Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00am – 4:00pm and 6:00pm – 10:00pm. You can sign up for this event, including a test drive and interactive tour of DC, by visiting the Hello Again website.

During your tour, you’ll be given behind-the-scenes access to the Pleasant Pops mixing rooms to exercise your imagination and blend unique flavors. You will experience a private art drive as you cruise through an 18th-century alley curated by local artists. You will have a chance to touch and smell various herbs, spices and other ingredients Herban Lifestyle uses in our products. And you will have the opportunity to vote for your favorite flavor combination to be used in our new products to be launched later this year!

An assortment of Pleasant Pops

An assortment of Pleasant Pops | Image ©Pleasant Pops

IMG_6442

Hello Again, DC

Besides our shared respect for history, design, and innovation, I applaud Ford and the Lincoln Motor Company for making great strides in building environmental sustainability into their business models and their vehicles.

The 2013 MKZ Hybrid operates up to 62 miles per hour on electric power alone, using no fuel and has an EPA-estimated 45 city/hwy combined mpg. And here is a website that outlines some of the sustainability efforts that Ford, Lincoln Motor Company’s parent company is undertaking. This website lists Ford’s Top 10 green initiatives of 2008, including their Dearborn Truck Plant, which has the World’s Largest Living Roof (10.4-acres) according to Guinness World Records, and their leadership in being the first U.S. auto company to use 100% recycled fabric seating surfaces. And this website lists their Top 10 for 2011.

Lincoln 2013 MKZ Hybrid

Lincoln 2013 MKZ Hybrid

You can sign up to be a part of the fun and innovative Hello Again, DC event at the Hello Again website.

Join us on 11/10 for our 3rd year at Crafty Bastards!

The following post was written by Katie Perugini, Herban Lifestyle’s Creative Communications Strategist.

Between the weather, the elections and Herban Lifestyle being super busy, it has been a crazy fall. And we’re more than ready to have some serious fun!

That is why we are so incredibly excited for Crafty Bastards return on Saturday, November 10th for it’s 9th year in Washington, DC. With temperatures projected to be in the 60s, over 140 vendors and an estimated 30,000 attendees, it is guaranteed to be an amazing show!

We are super honored and excited to have been chosen to be a vendor for our third year in a row! It’s not only a great place to be a vendor; it’s also a dream-come-true for the shopper looking for unique, high-quality handcrafted gifts. Typically the show is held in October but this year’s November date makes it ideal for holiday shopping.

You can take a look at the vendor gallery to get a preview of the who will be selling what, then download the official Crafty Bastards vendor map so you can make sure you find us and all your other favorites!

It’s also important to note that Crafty Bastards is showing a different hip DC neighborhood some love this year with its move to Union Market, located at 1309 5th Street NE in Washington, D.C., and accessible via the NoMa-Gallaudet University/New York Ave. station on Metro’s Red line.

If you are in the DC area this weekend, come visit us at booth #16 and say HI! In addition to everyone’s favorite fuzzy soaps, we’ll also have a variety of beer soaps, men’s grooming products, curiosity soaps and gift sets.

The show will be held from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is $5.00 and 2-for-1 tickets are available for sale through tomorrow.

We hope to see you there!

Join Us at the Farm-to-Street Party on July 21st!

FARM-TO-STREET PARTY!

Saturday, July 21
1-7 p.m.
$15 (includes four $2.50 tickets for food/drink and beer garden)
1300-1400 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

Please join us at the second annual Farm-to-Street Party being held in the awesome U Street neighborhood! Enjoy scrumptious dishes made with fresh ingredients from local farms, drink local craft beer and wine, shop local retailers and take craft food classes in the pop-up park. Entertainment will by provided by musicians via Listen Local First!

Here’s a taste of the great businesses that will be there:

13th Street Meats featuring Ben’s Chilibowl    |   Busboys and Poets  |   Clean Currents   |   The Diner  |   Eagle Bank  |   Eatonville  |   Flavor Magazine   |   Goldilocks Goodies
Herban Lifestyle   |   Local 16  |   operation:eatery |  Ripple  |   Sonoma Wine Bar  |   Sweetgreen  |   Tevolution  |   United Tables   |   Whisked!  |   Zipcar DC  |   Arden Jewelry Design  | Coastal Nut Company   |   Dreaming Out Loud, Inc.  |   Gouter   |  Just Peachy Organics  |  Kew Park Farm  | Langdon Wood   |  Live Green  |   Logan Hardware  | Loulies |  Mid City Businesses  | MTO Kombucha, LLC  |  My Great Garden|  Neighborhood Farm Initiative|   Pawgevity  |   Penn Quarter Bodega  | Pleasant Pops  | Prospect Solar, LLC  | Route 11 |  Rutabaga Sweets  |  Scout Mob DC  |  Seasonal Pantry  |   Slow Food DC  |  Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative  |  Waldo, Sluggo & Me  |  YB Green

Beer garden:
The Pug featuring DC BrauChocolate City and 3 Stars Brewery.

Music by:
Flo Anito   |   Justin Trawick with Drummer Duo  | Bumper Jackson  | Lucky Dub Trio 

Food, Fun and Funk: Smithsonian Folklife Festival Celebrates Its 46th Year!

I have attended the Smithsonian Folklife Festival every year since moving to the DC area. And I am a big fan of this event on the National Mall that features art, dance, food, storytelling and other exhibits that highlight various American and international cultures. So when I was asked to supply huge amounts of my soaps and such for sale at the Folklife Marketplace, I was thrilled!

At the end of last week, I dropped off a rented SUV-full of boxes of products for the Marketplace volunteers to do their magic. And yesterday a friend called to tell me that my products were prominently displayed in the Marketplace tent, so I headed down to take some photos. When I entered the Marketplace, I found that the first three tables were filled with my soaps, men’s products, and Herban Crafts kits!

And the Marketplace is just one of the many features of the Festival. This year’s themes are Campus and Community, Citified, and Creativity and Crisis. I took some photos while I was there, and look forward to really exploring the exhibits when I have more time.

The Festival kicked off last night with a free concert on the Mall featuring George Clinton and other funk legends. The was the first of many free concerts being offered during the course of the Festival.

Citified celebrates the art, music, food and community of the area of DC that sits east of the Anacostia river. As the Folklife Festival website explains, “Citified alludes to the fact that many African American residents living east of the Anacostia River have parents or grandparents who migrated from the rural South, particularly North and South Carolina, and who continue to maintain connections with their southern (although often no longer rural) heritage.”

image copyright Washington Post

Campus and Community features exhibits from several land grant colleges and the USDA, both of which are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year. Several of the colleges have exhibits focusing on the theme of sustainability, such as UC Davis’ exhibit on the ubiquitous problem of plastic bags and the University of Tennessee’s Solar House.

And Creativity and Crisis features the AIDS Quilt, now celebrating its 25th anniversary. In 1987, The NAMES Project Foundation offered hands-on quilt panel-making sessions that allowed individuals and communities to commemorate loved ones, find support and engage in dialogues about how to address the crisis. Today, The Quilt contains nearly 48,000 panels, a portion of which are on display on the Mall.

For those visitors who want to have a hand in adding to The Quilt, participants of all ages will have the opportunity to learn quilting techniques, make panels, and share stories from their own experiences.

The Festival is being held from June 27–July 1 and July 4–8, and is open from 11:00am to 5:30pm.

Showing Some Love to the National Parks

2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the gift of the blossoming cherry trees to Washington, DC from the Mayor of Tokyo, Japan. This year the Cherry Blossom Festival, hosted by the National Park Service, runs from March 20 to April 27, with the Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Street Festival), to be held today, April 14.

Three Fridays ago, I spent most of the afternoon at the Tidal Basin admiring the cherry blossoms at their peak along with thousands of other people from around the world who were taking advantage of the perfect weather.

On my way to the Tidal Basin, I saw several bikers and runners on the path that runs alongside the George Washington Parkway (also run by the National Park Service), which is actually pretty gorgeous as far as parkways go, with several nice spots where you can picnic among the tress along with a close-up view of the Potomac River.

Right next to the Tidal Basin sits our National Mall, which isn’t looking quite as pretty. The National Mall’s last renovation was 30 years ago, after the country’s bicentennial in 1976. Between the reduced Park Service budgets, which haven’t allowed for adequate upkeep, and the over 25 million annual visitors (more than Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon combined!), the Mall is in pretty sad condition.

Our national parks are an incredible resource, and I highly recommend visiting them. Being outdoors has so many benefits for the body, mind and spirit. Even if you don’t have a lot of vacation time, you can search the National Park Services’ website. to find a National Park near you that can be visited in just one day or afternoon.

Even if you don’t have time to visit them right now, there are a few ways you can help support the health and vitality of our National Parks. First, the Eco Etsy team is holding their Annual Handmade for Earth Day Auction. All proceeds from the year’s auction go to support the National Park Service. I highly recommend you check out the beautiful eco-friendly items being auctioned off for this good cause.

A second way you can help is by supporting The Trust for the National Mall, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, which is dedicated to “restoring and improving the National Mall while providing new educational and volunteer activities to connect visitors to the Mall’s rich history.”

You can also join the L’Enfant Society whose members support the Trust for the National Mall in its mission “to raise funds to restore the National Mall and build awareness for the current state of the country’s most visited national park.” You can download a PDF of the L’Enfant Society Membership Brochure. Another fun way to support the park is by attending the L’Enfant Society’s 4th Annual Ball on the Mall will be held on Saturday, May 5, 2012!

It’s Not Just a Bikeshop. It’s a Lifestyle.


Falls Church has a quirky little treasure. As their website landing page states, “It’s not just a bikeshop. It’s a lifestyle.” The Bike Club is not exactly a club, but rather a place where you can buy new or used bicycles. They also sell a variety of bike accessories and offer bike repairs. In nice weather, you can just drive up on your bike to their tented repair area, and wait while they make adjustments, add air, etc. Most repairs are done within the same day, if not immediately. And the store is open seven days a week, which makes it very convenient.

a glimpse of the outdoor repair area, bikes waiting in the queue to be repaired and my bike in the foreground

The Bike Club’s website also announces, “If you like bikes…come see us …if you want to hang out…come see us…” And on any given day during the nice weather, you will see a variety of people, all ages and ethnicities, hanging out talking about bicycles.

The inside of the store is organized chaos, with bikes and accessories placed everywhere, including hanging from the ceiling. And the totally random decorations (the bust of a military general, live green parrots, a miniature Vietnamese temple, a Spiderman figurine, and much more) reflect the quirky personality of the owner, Phuoc Van Pham.

some of the controlled chaos of the interior

another view of the interior of the shop

Pham is clearly passionate about bicycles. A friend who was visiting from Montana, who is a bike enthusiastic and spends his off-time working at a bike shop, commented that the Bike Club is a bike nerd’s dream come true, and that the owner really knows his stuff. And he supports bikers – he sponsors a team of four BMX riders, who one year brought home 37 trophies, many of which are on display at his shop.

Pham, a champion kick boxer and expert bike assembler who was named by the Bicycle Exchange as its “Mechanic of the Year” in 1990 and in 1991 he was Bicycle Exchange’s “Service Technician of the Year.” In 1993, Pham set up a bike repair tent in the front yard of a mattress store owned by a friend in Falls Church, and soon opened the store in his current location.

A couple of weeks ago, the shop was temporarily closed to address some building safety concerns by the City of Falls Church. I found this interesting given that a new bike shop moved into town (the only other bike shop) just two months earlier, while he has been in his shop for almost 20 years without prior incident. But, anyway…

a cool retro-style bike a man was buying for his daughter to take to college

Luckily, the Bike Club expects to be open within the next two months. I drove past the shop today and got a glimpse of the repairs being done. The store is completely empty now, but I am hopeful that it will be restored to its full eccentric glory. I look forward to the grand re-opening in time for spring, the perfect time to go biking!

The Bike Club is located at 438 South Washington Street, Falls Church, VA, just 11.1 miles from The Mall in DC :)

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.