For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


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Friday Finds

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

Friday Finds 1.22.16

 

1. When I was younger, I definitely would have loved one of these “normal” looking dolls.

2. A few things to start doing in 2016.

3. A trashcan for the ocean.

4. Rhode Island celebrated a great cause this week for a new holiday called D-Strong Day.


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Malas, Mantras, and Meditation

A little over a year ago I started doing yoga. Since starting my journey with yoga I have noticed many of the physical benefits, but also some of the mental ones. Yoga was my first introduction to mindfulness and meditation. I began to find there were times when I craved that peaceful, clear mind, everything is good in the world feeling you get after yoga. So I made it my new year’s resolution this year to meditate more often hoping to bring that post shavasana feeling to my daily life. I read numerous articles about the health benefits of meditation, but I quickly realized that sitting and doing nothing was a little harder than I originally thought…

I began trying different variations. Guided meditations have been a great introduction to the practice. The guides give you a focus and help me concentrate on the present moment rather than what I want to eat for lunch tomorrow, why didn’t my boss respond to my email, will I have time to work out later, what was the name of that book I wanted to read, or is that new crossbody bag I’ve been ogling is worth the $$$… You know, the “important” stuff. _MG_2149While my meditation practice has improved from constant fidgeting to being able to sit still for five minutes, I’ve looked for other techniques to broaden my experience. I read about using mala beads for meditation and was immediately intrigued by the idea. It felt like the right step between a guided meditation and sitting in silence. Mala beads, which are very similar to prayer beads, help you keep count of mantra repetitions. There are 108 beads on every mala and you repeat your mantra once for every bead. There are many different beliefs that explain the importance of the number 108. Here are a few:

  • 108 multiplied by the diameter of the sun equals the distance between the earth and sun and the same thing goes for the Earth’s relationship with the moon (mind.blown.)
  • 108 is said to refer to the number of Hindu deities
  • 108 is the number of energy lines converging to form the heart chakra

If you’d like to learn more about 108, click here. _MG_2154 The biggest challenge I’ve come across while using mala beads instead of guided meditations is that in a guided meditation you are given a point of focus or mantra and while using mala beads you have to come up with your own. A mantra is a word or sentence that is repeated during meditation. Often times a mantra focuses on an intention. Picking a mantra is a very personal choice. I’m still playing around and finding what works for me. I’ve even gone as far as using hakuna matata – it does mean no worries. But finding the perfect mantra isn’t something you should worry about. That pretty much defeats the purpose. For starters you can check out this list, Google mantra inspiration, or simply use “Om”. _MG_2150 Once I decided I wanted to incorporate mala beads into my practice, the first step was to find the perfect mala. I knew I wanted to find one that was meaningful and could serve as a reminder of my intentions. I ended up buying one from Blooming Lotus Jewelry for a variety of reason. I will admit that these pieces are on the pricey side, but I justified the price knowing that I would have and use it for many years to come. There was also an inner force in me saying, “Annie you paid this much money, now you better use it!”.

I liked that the products are hand made out of high quality materials. I also love that each set has a special meaning and the sales give back to charity. 5% of every sale goes to support the Kid for Cancer to help children who are battling cancer. Also, keep an eye out in October for limited edition breast cancer awareness bracelets that donate a portion of the sales to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

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I decided to buy the free spirit necklace from the wanderlust and adventure collection, which is made up of the following:

  • Amazonite= helps to develop intuition and communication; emits soothing energy to help diminish worry, fear and anger; helps to balance mood
  • Onyx= balances, grounds and absorbs negativity while letting through positive vibrations; increases concentration, stimulates thinking and logic and encourages better decision making
  • Aquamarine= a vital tool in cleansing and clearing the water element (symbol of our emotions and feelings); clears away toxicity and brings inner peace; maintains a connection between the heart and throat chakra so you can speak your heart
  • Sandalwood= promotes humility and its scent (which is amazing!) is believed to aid alertness during meditation

_MG_2163 I feel in love with the meaning of each stone in this set. Wearing my mala as a necklace also serves as a reminder of my intentions. Everyone will be drawn to different types of stones depending on your desired intention. Meditating with mantras and mala beads is only one of many ways to practice. Besides using mantras you could focus on breath, music, an object, or mental visualization. And there really is no right or wrong way to meditate. What technique works the best for you?


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Trend Tribe: Doing Good While Looking Good

Today I am excited to introduce you to Samantha Cooper. She is a former Babson classmate of mine and is currently a trendsetting entrepreneur. She started her own company called Trend Tribe, which aims to sell the trendiest jewelry at affordable prices.

Believe it or not, at one point Sam struggled to get a job. The summer after her freshman year in college she attempted to get an internship without any luck. But rather than giving up and taking any old summer job, she took the entrepreneurial approach and decided to design and sell her own jewelry. Now Samantha is on a mission to help other women going through the same struggle she did.

Her group of college campus ambassadors, also knows as Trendsetters, sell jewelry on their campuses at trunk shows they organize and host. The goal is to provide these lucky ladies with hands on entrepreneurial experience.

Trend Tribe also believes in giving back! Portions of trunk show sales are donated to a philanthropic cause chosen by the Trendsetters. And along with that, Trend Tribe is honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month by donating $5 for every purchase of these hot, hot, hot, pink studs.

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Trend Tribe is donating $5 for every sale of these hot pink studs.

So I reached out to Samantha for an interview and here is her inside scoop on fashion, starting your own business, and giving back.

What is a typical day like in the shoes of Samantha Cooper? Walk me through a typical day in the life…

As they always say, no day is a typical day. I have a joke that I hardly sleep in the same bed for more than 3 nights in a row because I’m always traveling. 

On days I’m not traveling, I start my day by checking in with our Trendsetters and providing one-on-one mentorship, training, and support. I make sure not to schedule any meetings from 9-11 so that I can focus on the Trendsetters 100%. 

After that, it’s all up in the air! I’m usually on the phone with our team of interns and freelancers – mostly everyone works remotely. At night, you can find me at networking events or grabbing dinner with other entrepreneurs. Building relationships is essential when you’re starting a business.

What have been your most and least favorite parts of starting your company?

My favorite part is seeing Trendsetters succeed on campus. One of our Trendsetters did over $1,000 in sales at her very first event and we were able to raise $300+ to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. 

On top of all that, she now has a killer resume with tangible results that not just shows, but prove her skills in fashion and business. It’s a huge confidence boost and at the end of the day our mission is to empower young women while giving back. 

It’s a win-win and nothing is more exciting than seeing your vision come to life.

My least favorite part is dealing with the legal and accounting side of the business. Boring, but so essential. Having enough discipline to deal with the things you don’t love is not easy! 

What’s one piece of advice you would give to budding entrepreneurs?

“It may not all happen today, but it’s all going to happen” is a quote I came up with when I realized I was beating myself up for not having everything “perfect.” 

When you have so many ideas, but limited time and resources it can feel like you’re chasing your tail. No matter how many hours a day you work, it’s impossible for everything to be perfect. Beating yourself up about it isn’t going to help either. It sucks the fun out of living your life’s dream. 

Now, I focus on putting one foot in front of the other and taking everything one step at a time. Have faith that it will all happen, even if it doesn’t all happen today.

Why did you choose to make giving back to philanthropic causes a part of your business plan?

It actually wasn’t in the original business plan, but once I started bringing on Trendsetters and working with them to plan their monthly events, it was clear that philanthropy was something that was near and dear to all of their hearts. Of course, I’m all about giving back and I was inspired to see that Trendsetters were more passionate about donating their commission than keeping it for themselves. 

Now, we donate 10-20% of all product sales to the different philanthropies that Trendsetters choose to work with. I’m so proud to say that it was our Trendsetters who sparked this crucial element of our business. No matter what everyone says, millennials are passionate about giving back and they’re going to change the world. I believe that 100%

How would you describe Trend Tribe’s style?

As the name says, our style is trendy! We’re all about bringing the latest fashions to the mass consumer at a super affordable price. Everything in the collection is $50 and under. Oftentimes people say our jewelry reminds them of Kate Spade or J.Crew which is a huge compliment!

Finally, what is your favorite accessory?

Is this a real question? I can’t pick! Hmmm, I guess I would have to go with statement necklaces. They’ve become my signature. When I traveled to Boston for a big trip I had so much jewelry with me that I couldn’t bring clothes. I wore an outfit and brought an outfit and just rotated the statement necklace. It does the trick! Statement necklaces are also great for networking – people are always complimenting my jewelry which gives me an opportunity to talk about the company and spark up a conversation. 

And there you have it! Great advice, great prices, great deeds, and great jewelry! Does it get any better? Why yes it does.  My lucky readers can use the code forthegreatergoods25 to receive free shipping on orders over $25. So head over to trend-tribe.com and pick out some stylish pieces. You know you want to. I’ve already got a few on my wish list…

Trend Tribe Wish List

Black Cord Layering Bracelet / Deco Blush Statement Earrings / Tortoise Statement Necklace

If you’re a college student and interested in becoming a Trendsetter, you can apply here. And if you still haven’t gotten enough fashion and entrepreneurship inspiration, you can head over to the Trend Tribe blog to get more career, life, and fashion advice.


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Battling Cancer With Song

When it comes to music, I don’t like to limit myself to one genre and I am pretty open when it comes to listening to new songs. I would even give a modern pan flute polka dub step remix a whirl. I love finding new songs. So when I read a buzzfeed article about Harry Hudson and his music, I was very intrigued.

Harry had just released his first single and was well on his way to his dream of becoming a recording artist when he was diagnose with stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. But rather than let this get in the way of his dreams he said “I wanted to show the world that you can still be positive no matter what you’re dealing with, even if you’re dying, if you’re just happy with yourself. When I lost my hair, I shared a photo. No eyebrows? That’s funny”. With this positive attitude, Harry was able to write and shoot a video for his song “Learn 2 Love” all while going through chemo. Today Harry’s cancer is in remission and going forward he hopes to inspire others with his music. You can download “Learn 2 Love” on iTunes and 100% of the proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

I think the electric beat contrasts nicely with his melodic voice. I could definitely imagine it among other pop/hip-hop songs that are on the radio. And I have had it stuck in my head the past few days, but the only words I know so far are “if you learn to love”. So it is kind of annoying. And now I hope you get it stuck in your head all day too. You are welcome!

Harry’s journey reminded me of the story of Zach Sobiech, which was a pretty big in the news last spring. If you haven’t seen his Soul Pancake mini documentary, I highly encourage you take a gander. But I suggest grabbing a box of tissues beforehand. This video could make Lord Voldemort tear up.

You can also download his song “Clouds” on iTunes and 60% of the proceeds go to the The Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund.

Although each song has a very different tune, they share a very similar message: be kind, be positive, and enjoy your life.