Always Look On The Bright Side

Always Look On The Bright Side

Candles are the perfect way to make your home inviting and smelling delightfully. Finding the perfect scented candle is as tedious as finding the right perfume. But, when you find THE scent, it’s magic.

During the winter, the Pumpkin Chai candle by Bright Endeavors was exactly what I needed – a comforting scent during the cool Chicago days. Now that spring is officially here (YAY!), I’m loving their Lemon Tea candle that’s pleasantly invigorating.

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A fresh batch of Bright Endeavor candles

But, Bright Endeavors is more than a candle maker. It’s a social enterprise that offers paid job training to young moms, so they can build the skills to land gainful employment after graduating from the program. Get this – during the 2016 fiscal year, 45 young moms were placed in permanent jobs at employers like Rivers Casino, Evanston Hospital, Loretto Hospital, Holiday Inn, and O’Hare Airport!

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A participant measuring hot candle wax. Photo by Genevieve Lauren.
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The candles aren’t the only things that can light up a room. Look at that smile! Photo by Genevieve Lauren.
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Colorful labels for the Bright Endeavor candles
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During my visit to Bight Endeavors

Do you want to smell the scented candles before buying? Visit Chicago retailers Greenheart ShopPlanet Access Co., and select Whole Foods Markets to get a whiff.

In addition to making candles, Bright Endeavors has even collaborated with The Little Market to make soaking salts. They make everything you need for a splendid self-care day!

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Soaking salts made by Bright Endeavors in collaboration with The Little Market

Who knew that helping out a new young mom is as easy as purchasing a candle and smells so good!

With a lot of heart,

Carly

P.S. – Thank you so much to the wonderful employees of Bright Endeavors for taking me on a tour of the facility and teaching me about the incredible organization.

My Journey Toward Conscious Consumerism

My Journey Toward Conscious Consumerism

Recently, my FAVORITE boutique in Chicago Greenheart Shop asked if I’d like to be their guest blogger! Excitedly,  I took this opportunity to explain how I became the conscious consumer I am today. Below is the post that is featured on the Greenheart Shop Blog.


During a family vacation in Hawaii, I was sunbathing by the pool when my mom struck up a conversation with a fellow hotel guest. This hotel guest explained how her daughter, who was a high school student at the time, had created a fashion blog. My ears perked up. I absolutely loved that a teenager began a blog out of pure passion for a topic such as fashion – something I also love.

This conversation stuck with me. Then, a few months later, while taking classes in Fashion Studies at Columbia College Chicago, I was learning about the environmental and humanitarian issues within the fashion industry. I NEVER thought about where my clothes were coming from and who was making them. Why would I? I never thought the brands I loved would manufacture their clothes in unethical ways. Thankfully, I had the most knowledgeable professors at CCC who taught me about the not-so-glamorous side of the industry. It was left up to us students to decide if we’d help amend this industry we love so dearly. I decided to do something about it.

My monthly – okay weekly – visits to my favorite department stores weren’t as enjoyable as before now that I knew the hidden truths about the industry. I would investigate the garment tags of potential purchases to see where they were made. Basically, if the tag didn’t read “Made in USA,” I wouldn’t buy it. I used to LOVE shopping, but then it became a dread. I needed to find clothes that were both beautiful and made by brands that were environmentally and socially responsible.

While searching online for eco-friendly stores in Chicago, I came across Greenheart Shop. After clicking through the boutique’s website, I was filled with excitement and anticipation to visit . The moment I walked in, it felt enchanting and inviting. The clothes and accessories were fashionable, the home goods had a touch of exotic, and the body care products were made with mostly natural ingredients.

I. Was. Hooked.

After learning about, visiting, and loving this boutique, I couldn’t contain the news (well, news to me) that there are brands that make stylish clothes and accessories environmentally and socially responsibly. But, how would I let other fashionistas know what I’d learned? Since that conversation in Hawaii, I’d wanted to create a fashion blog, but, up until that point, I didn’t have a direction for it. This was it! I would create a fashion blog highlighting brands and boutiques that aligned with my ethics.

Today, I’m the founder of HippieandHeart.com, where I promote brands that are creating products ethically and the boutiques that are selling them. Greenheart Shop has been invaluable with helping me discover brands I can trust. Because of Greenheart Shop, shopping’s no longer a dreaded necessity, but an empowering, motivating, and, most of all, fun experience!

Some of my favorite purchases from Greenheart Shop:

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Raven + Lily was one of the first responsible brands I fell in love with. I wear this blouse almost once a week!
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I’m a sucker for anything celestial. I’m always getting compliments on this Milky Way themed ring from Roost.
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Living in a city, I try to surround myself with images of nature. That’s why I love this butterfly poster by Timbergram.

With a lot of heart,

Carly