In the last few years, there’s been a major shift in the fashion industry towards a more ethical design, manufacturing, and shopping experience. From employment practices abroad, to real financial impact closer to home, it’s encouraging to watch this movement grow and blossom into something truly impactful… And truly beautiful!!!
Christmas is near, but if you still have shopping left to do, check out some of my personal favorite companies below for inspiration! Some items are available locally, and most are also online. I’ve chosen these products and companies because I have either connected directly with the fine people selling them, or have a deep personal passion for the mission behind their products.
But think of this list as just a beginning! Please (pretty please with sugarplums on top!) tell me YOUR favorite give-back-biz in the comments below. Post links, pics, anything you love; share your faves, so we can spread the joy, together!!!
Bought Beautifully is a lovely online shop founded by Colin & Emily Betzler, two-huge-hearted entrepreneurs from Wyoming. The Betzlers believe in changing the world by living generously, and to that end, have built “a marketplace that empowers you to create dignified opportunities for people around the globe, one purchase at a time.” Every item in their shop, from jewelry to Christmas ornaments, is both beautiful and fashion-forward.
I fell in love with Bought Beautifully’s Brass Stud earrings from Sasa (pictured above, lower right), a brand that empowers and supports deaf men and women in Nairobi, Kenya, and on the Island of La Gonave, Haiti.
Bought Beautifully sells handcrafted items from 36 partners in over 16 nations across the globe, and you can search by category, or by the cause that is close to your heart!
Speak Your Silence
My friend Matt Pipkin founded Speak Your Silence in 2012 as a place of healing, recovery, and empowerment for men and women around the world who are victims of sexual assault. Speak Your Silence’s unique zigzag pattern can be added onto any piece of apparel or accessory, as an unspoken sign of solidarity and support among those who have suffered.
Whether you have personally experienced sexual violence or not, wearing the zigzag pattern shows you care, and want to inspire others to prevent sexual assault and share your voice for those affected.
Speak Your Silence has partnered with Boutonné, a San Diego-based brand that produces leather goods, to create a special Swivel Clip, Envelope Laptop Case, and the Mills Tote I am wearing in the photos above. Click hereto purchase the tote ($190), and find out more about Boise-based Speak Your Silence! T-shirts, decal kits, and other products are also available for purchase.
Corbin’s Legacy Bracelets
No child should have to go an entire school day without lunch. That’s the basic, and passionate anthem behind Corbin’s Legacy bracelets. Founded in honor of Corbin Leafman, a beloved and compassionate kindergarten teacher who passed away at 31 years old from cancer, Corbin’s Legacy bangles give back 100% of their proceeds to food & medical care for disadvantaged elementary school children.
Corbin was known for “always walking through the lunch line holding up a $20.00 bill to make sure that the cafeteria lady knew that none of her students were to go without a hot meal.” She bought backpacks, school supplies, and gifts for children in need, and her giving heart lives on in those who knew and loved her! Bracelets are $30 in downtown Boise, at Swank Boutique.
Did you know our local Buckle store is a major force for good in the community? Through their Buckle Believes program, they offer multiple give-back lines of clothing and accessories, all with great style and affordable prices! I loved these soft, cozy sweatshirts by tentree, available in multiple colors, and all fleece-lined. Ten trees are planted for every item you purchase, and the tag comes with an extra seed for you to plant! These tops are great for stocking stuffers, and cold winter nights. Shop the entire collection here, and at your local Buckle store, $35-76.
Girl Power for good!
All right, I get to toot my own horn on this rad project! But don’t worry; no money goes in my own pocket. 😉 It’s all for giving back! I teamed up with brilliant Boise designers Fourthwave Apparel for a special collaborative design, Nobody Puts Girl Power in a Corner. For every shirt sold, 40% of the profits go directly to Leap Charity, a local non-profit org that helps house and support refugee families arriving in our community.
If you live anywhere in the Treasure Valley, you know about Proof Eyewear! We all love this local company that’s made it big in the fashion industry, but did you also what big HEARTS they have as well?? Through Proof’s Do Good program, thousands of dollars have gone back into health and vision projects around the world. From micro-loans for entrepreneurs to building orphanages, Proof ‘s commitment to socially-conscious programs across the globe is unmatched.
Click here to read more about Proof’s Give Back program, and all the amazing projects they support, or visit their new downtown flagship store at 314 S. 9th Street, Boise, for last-minute gifts!
Those who know me well, know that I am passionate when it comes to fighting bullying. My son went through some horrific experiences at a very young age, because of his Asperger’s. Please read more about his story here; Ethan is an incredible kid, and I will fight tooth & nail for the life he deserves to live.
When I stopped by Buckle to look for give-back brands, these Buckle Believes t-shirts made my eyes leak a little. The Be Buddies, Not Bullies top was my fave, and I’m proud to wear it to help raise awareness for my son, and all kids everywhere!!! Proceeds from all three of the tops pictured above go to The American Cancer Society, and Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center. These designs (and more!) are available for $28.95 online at Buckle.com, or available at your local Buckle store.
Don’t forget to add your voice to the conversation!
Please comment below with your favorite give-back gifts and companies.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may all your days be merry & bright!
Both the historic town of Ketchum and its ritzy neighbor Sun Valley are packed with restaurants, art galleries, furniture and gift shops, and boutiques. And trust me, the fashion alone is worth the drive. I recently headed up to the Wood River Valley with a group of girlfriends for an overnight shopping trip.
It’s easy to get around Ketchum, and many shops are within walking distance of each other. And parking spots abound (with no meters — yay!). Up the road, nearly everything is close by once you get to Sun Valley, too. So pull in, grab a latte and get walking.
Elle Rose is a couture-packed treasure trove, spread out among two sister shops: designer and contemporary. On the designer side, you will find a polished array of luscious luxury items from Valentino, Versace, Chloe, Hermes, Manolo Blahnik and more. On the contemporary side, you can unleash your inner posh-rock-goddess with stunning pieces from Alexander McQueen, Theory, Stella McCartney, Rag & Bone, The Row, etc. This is a couture shop so expect to pay couture prices, but check out the clearance racks in the back of the contemporary store for last-chance deals. 641 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum; 208-726-8871; ellerosesv.com.
The Sheepskin Coat Factory was opened in 1971 by David Norton. He operated a tannery at that time, and manufactured and designed coats and jackets from shearling (sheepskin), selling wholesale to large stores on the East Coast as well as retailing directly in his Ketchum shop and his other regional stores. Although Norton no longer personally produces all the pieces in his store, Sheepskin Coat Factory has stuck to its high-quality values, and it imports inventory only from U.S. and Canadian vendors. The store sells predominantly outerwear and accessories from multiple brands in a range of price points, and it has added several ready-to-wear ladies lines. Our group was particularly impressed by the winter-to-spring transitional travel jackets, like one by Diana Rosh that’s super lightweight and rolls up into a tiny bag. 511 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum; 208-726-3588; sheepskincoat.com.
When I walked into Theodore, for a moment I thought we were in a London boutique. Tall shelves stacked with denim and walls of glass adorned with color-categorized racks of clothing entice the eye and pull you deeper into a shopping heaven. The fashions in Theodore are right on trend. The shoes, the attitude, the vibe … very urban chic. 511 Leadville Ave., Ketchum; 208-726-3544.
Déjà Vu is an otherworldly treasure trove. For more than 20 years, owner Suzy Hart has cultivated a collection that must be seen to be believed. From vintage Chanel necklaces to Valentino blouses, fur collars to crystal tiaras, every nook and cranny of Hart’s shop is packed with awe-worthy finds. Déjà vu is not a consignment shop, but an estate and couture boutique. 511 Leadville Ave., Ketchum; 208-726-1908; dejavuvintagestore.com.
On trend, on budget
Fly fisher and local legend Dick Alfs opened Silver Creek Outfitters in 1963 after years of tying and selling flies that he would hand-deliver to local customers. Decades later, his landmark shop has grown to include men’s and women’s clothing (both functional and fashionable), shoes, accessories, eyewear, luggage, gift and home décor, and everything you’d need for hunting or fishing. Silver Creek Outfitters carries what you need to “take you from a day on the river to an evening on the town.” It carries classic fashion brands like Peter Millar, Scott Barber, 34 Heritage and Patagonia, as well as TRASK shoes. The store also offers outfitted tours and trips. 500 N. Main St., Ketchum; 208-726-5282;www.silver-creek.com.
Sway is a bright and airy shop packed with fashion-forward and accessible styles. With a vibe reminiscent of Malibu or Beverly Hills, this store was one of our group’s favorites. Soft colors, uber-trendy denim, must-have blouses and the latest Instagram-worthy accessories stock every shelf and table. Owner Roxanne Harris has impeccable taste, and brands include MiH, Free People, DL 1961, Rails, Elizabeth and James, Paige, Maison Scotch and Joie. 511 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum; 208-928-7884.
Ketchum Flower Company-Girl Friday is your one-stop shop for all things lovely. Michelle Ferris opened her shop 18 years ago to bring “beautiful fresh-cut flowers, tasteful arrangements and eclectic affordable gifts to the valley.” Girl Friday, the clothing side of the shop, is packed with denim, shoes, shirts, scarves and more, from brands like Bed|Stu, Gentle Fawn, Larissa, Free People, Raffi, Sanctuary and Good hYOUman. 440 E. Avenue N., Ketchum; 208-622-7364, ketchumflower.com.
Farmer’s Daughter, founded by self-proclaimed “treasure-hunters, nostalgia keepers, memory creators and magic makers,” is a sweet store with more home décor and less fashion, but the fashions the store does carry are indeed magic — from vintage flannels to repurposed Louis Vuitton handbags draped with fringe, feathers and riveted belt shoulder straps. If you’re on the hunt for unique, check out Farmer’s Daughter. 331 Leadville Ave., Ketchum; 208-726-6433; thefarmersdaughtersunvalley.com.
Ketchum is home to a couple of fun and fabulous consignment/second-hand shops:
Worth Repeating, downstairs from Atkinson’s Market grocery store, is packed with fabulous designer wear, funky décor items, art and jewelry, as well as vintage and resale furniture. Owner Merilee Hansen moved here 51 years ago after she visited from California and fell in love with the area. About 15 years ago, Hansen decided to follow her passion for collecting cool and eclectic things and opened Worth Repeating. In Giacobbi Square at 451 4th St. E., Ketchum; 208-726-9440.
When you shop at the Gold Mine Thrift Store, you are supporting Ketchum’s Community Library. How cool is that? Also cool: sifting through racks of $3-15 clothing and finding a pair of glittery black Diane Von Furstenberg pants for only $10. When I took them up to the register to pay, the cashier was so excited to see the pants go to an appreciative home that she proceeded to regale me with tales of similar finds, like the Burberry coat scored here for under $30 a couple of years back. If you are looking for an “Are you kidding me?” fashion discovery moment, this is the place to shop. It’s also a great place to find skis and slope gear, jeans, coats and even children’s wear for when you’re in town with the whole family, and you have that one kid who always forgets their swimsuit. For designer treasures, head to the thrift store’s Gold Mine Consign on the very next block. Our crew found previously loved Prada pants, Betsey Johnson fur coats, Gucci bags and more at deeply discounted prices. The Gold Mine Thrift Store is at 331 Walnut Ave. and the Consignment Shop is at 591 4th St. E., Ketchum; comlib.org/goldmine, 208-726-5544.
While we didn’t visit on this trip, the Barkin’ Basement Thrift Store in nearby Hailey is packed with fun finds, and proceeds benefit the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley. From fabulous dresses for all occasions to shoes and boots, there’s a bargain waiting here for you. 111 S. Main St., Hailey; animalshelterwrv.org/activity/barkinbasement.
Shoes and more
Susan and Mark Nieves opened Independent Goods in late 2016 after leaving Seattle in search of adventure and community. They specialize in handmade gifts and collectibles ranging from copper flasks to restored vintage axes. They also have jewelry, T-shirts, household goods and handbags, all made in the United States, including a selection from Idaho. Independent Goods is also set up like the coolest campground you’ve ever visited. Wooden chairs line the walls as display shelves, and a massive canvas tent divides the register area from the clothing part of the store. There is a massive mural inscribed with John Muir’s famous quote, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” 330 Walnut Ave., Ketchum; 208-720-9004; independentgoods.com.
Ozzie’s Shoes owner Steve Carlson stocks brands that are fashionable and yet immensely functional for mountain winters. During snow season, stop in for a cozy pair of Uggs, rugged waterproof Sorels or chic Freebird by Steven boots. For year-round footwear, Ozzie’s also carries brands such as Superga, Franco Sarto, Dansko, Born and Birkenstock for men, women and children. 406 Leadville Ave. N., Ketchum; 208-726-3604.
Huck & Paddle owner Brandy Herold first ventured into retail when she began creating candles for a friend’s boutique in Washington state. She opened her gift and accessories shop in 2014. Along with her signature homemade candles, Huck & Paddle is stocked with scarves, hats, gloves, jewelry and home décor. Huck & Paddle’s vibe is kitschy/posh, ranging from fur blankets to laser-stenciled suede bracelets, and a wide variety of things you never knew you had to have — until now. 400 Sun Valley Road, Ste. 101, Ketchum; 208-928-6550; HuckandPaddle.com.
If you’re looking for a place to touch and feel all the soft, cozy things your heart craves, step into Madeline & Oliver and run your fingers through a rack of bathrobes. This shop is all about texture. From pajamas to lotions, candles to comforters, they have everything you need to indulge yourself — both “Above and Below the Sheets!” 460 Sun Valley Road, Ste. 103, Ketchum; 208-726-7779, madelineandoliver.com.
The area’s newest lingerie and sleepwear shop, Undercover, is coincidentally one of its oldest, too. Kim Donald first opened Undercover back in 1978 but moved away after about 10 years. Nearly two years ago, she moved back to Ketchum, and friends and family began asking her to reopen her beloved shop. At the end of 2016, she did just that, taking her original lingerie store concept and expanding it to include sleepwear, loungewear and luxurious body products. Undercover carries lines such as Wacoal, Natori, Chantelle, Bedhead, Cosa Bella, Hanro and Spanx. Be sure to sample the scents of the incredible lotions, bubble baths and bath salts by K. Hall. The Lemongrass body lotion was my favorite; you have to smell it to believe it. 320 Walnut Ave., Ketchum; 208-928-7002.
Sun Valley Resort
From downtown Ketchum, take Sun Valley Road up to the world-famous Sun Valley Resort, a village in its own right that hosts skiing championships, music festivals, celebrity events and, of course, the renowned Sun Valley Film Festival. The resort boasts dozens of skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing trails, as well as biking and hiking paths, a golf course, a spa, several delicious places to wine and dine, and a plethora of delightful fashion and gift shops. Here are two of our Sun Valley favorites:
Brass Ranch has two locations: one in Sun Valley and another in Ketchum. The huge modern boutiques are packed with large collections of European and American ski and sportswear, plus off-slope fashions, handbags and shoes from designers such as Arc‘teryx, Bogner, Canada Goose, Eider, JetSet, Kjus, Moncler, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Zadig & Voltaire, Rossignol and Toni Salier. There’s also a great skin care and makeup bar. We enjoyed the store’s cheerful customer service and the wide variety of fashions for every budget. There’s even a men’s section.
Panache fashion boutique opened in 1981 in Sun Valley and now has a second location in Park City, Utah. Stop in for a wide range of fashion-forward brands, including Mother, Helmut Lang, Diane von Furstenberg, Velvet, Juicy, Brunello Cucinelli, Goldsign and more. You’ll get personalized assistance. Be sure to check out the clearance rack in back for off-season finds. 3 Sun Valley Road, Sun Valley; 208-622-4228.
Note: My “Sun Valley” article first appeared in the Idaho Stateman’s “Treasure Magazine,” under the title “Hit the road to Sun Valley for shopping and fun,” dated April 14, 2017. I’m reposting to my blog with their permission; the original is linked here, if you’d like to view it.
And the Grand Opening promises to be HUGE, believe me! Here are just a few of the details:
~~~ Grand Opening Official Festivities are Thursday June 25, from 4-8pm (Event details on FB here.)
~~~ Everyone who mentions this article by showing the photo below on your smartphone gets a $5 Gift Card towards your first purchase! (I sold them some of my under-appreciated wardrobe pieces and made $80 cash!)
~~~ The first 50 customers in line will get a mystery gift card with a value up to $50!
AND THE GRAND PRIZE: Your chance to win a V.I.P experience! A meet and greet with Nick Jonas at the Boise Music Festival as well as a pair of tickets in the cool zone, private seating up close to the main stage!
Disclaimer: MUST be present June 25th from 4-6pm (until raffle prize is drawn), and you must be 21 years of age to win the grand prize! Make sure to bring a valid drivers license.
What to wear, when you’re not in the mood for a ton of effort? Stripes + Denim + Hat = Fab Look! Most women have some type of striped piece in their closet, and of course some denim. Put them together, and you get a laid-back ensemble with a hint of Parisian chic! Now, you may have heard that horizontal stripes are a no-no, because they make you look wide. The key is to use those stripes where you want to widen, and use a jacket or sweater over the areas you want to slim down! I have narrow hips, so I chose a cropped jacket; this makes the stripes stand out – and widen me visually – right at my hips. See?
I’ve had great luck lately at the crazy-awesome winter sales happening around town, so finding fab styles on a tight budget has been fairly easy-peasy. That always perks me up!
Earlier this week I scored a destroyed denim jacket at Urban Outfitters for only $20 – gotta love those clearance racks! Ruby Lou in Eagle is having a 50% off winter sale; I picked up a couple lovely blouses you’ll see in photos soon, and this rad wool Soho fedora that will go great with EVERYTHING from now until the weather warms up, lol! For Boise, that’s around… March, sigh.
1.MEMI silver tech bracelet $150, Memi.com. First wearable technology made for women, by women! Smartbracelet discreetly vibrates when you receive important phone calls, text messages, and calendar alerts. Silver and White, pre-order only. / 2.BLOOM Necklace $79.99, connects with SHINE Fitness & Sleep Monitor (sold separately.) Hand-finished stainless steel. / 3.MOTA Smartring $99.99, MOTA. Pairs with any Bluetooth enabled device. Notifications vibrate; simply scroll through the screen to view your latest updates! Midnight Black or Pearl White. / 4.CUFF “Lisa” Necklace $119 marked down to $59 pre-order! Never miss an important call or text; notifications with a buzz, and safety alert with just a touch. / 5.MICA Tech Bracelet $495, by Opening Ceremony. An intelligent communication accessory designed by Opening Ceremony, and powered by Intel. Delivers discreet text messages, email alerts, Facebook notifications, calender reminders, and more! 18k gold finish and adorned with pearls, lapis, obsidian, and tiger’s eye. / 6.Limited Edition Dive Bar Ringly $195, Crafted with a rhodium plated setting and a tourmalated quartz semi-precious stone. Stargaze Black Onyx Ringly $195, Crafted with an 18K matte gold 3 micron plated setting and precious and semi-precious stones. Connects to your phone and sends you customized notifications through vibration and light!
Support your homegrown boutiques, jewelry stores, clothing designers, artists, musicians, bakers, and everyone in-between.
Show some #LocalLove!!! (Want your biz on this list? Email me at Tanya@stylespygirl.com)
CLICK ON THE PHOTO ABOVE TO ACCESS THE TREASURE VALLEY SMALL BUSINESS BLACK FRIDAY DIRECTORY!
Every Fall, I voraciously inhale stacks of fashion magazines, like most people consume Thanksgiving dinner! There are so many fun and fascinating styles emerging on the fashion scene this season! Lately, however, I’ve been changing the way I shop and view fashion – moving away from loading-up on seasonal trendy pieces, and choosing instead to invest in long-lasting, well-made classics that (hopefully) won’t wear out before I grow tired of them. It’s a mental shift in how I utilize my budget, and has been an interesting learning curve…
Recently, instead of buying a bunch of new fall outfits, I saved up & splurged my entire budget on one amazing Coach handbag, the Borough (see photo, above!). I fell in love with its clean, classic lines, hand-stitched workmanship, and luxurious materials. This, I decided, is my first big “investment piece.” I intend to get much bang for my buck from this bag, because of how many times I will use it, year after year! This classic style won’t go out of fashion, anytime soon.
But then I spotted this dress “Etienne” dress at Anthropologie, and fell in love! Sigh, I’m not going to spend $178, even though it’s oh-so-lovely; my budget is tapped out!
Some time later, I received an email from online shopping site Pink Blush, offering to let me try some of their fun clothes & accessories to highlight on my blog. Lo and behold, I found this Navy Blue Mesh Striped Dress, for only $37! Looks pretty similar to the Anthropologie dress, doesn’t it??
I added a glitzy necklace for $11, a unique bracelet for $13, and $27 Chinese Laundry shoes from Ross, and I’m all set for a fashionable business meeting downtown. My swing coat is vintage from a local thrift store; I paid around $10 for it, seriously!
Put everything together, and my entire look is LESS THAN $100, apart from my Borough bag!!!
The key to looking luxe for less is in the details. Focus on investing in statement pieces that people will notice; quality shoes, iconic handbags, and stand-out coats are a great place to start! And if you ARE going to buy inexpensive clothes and jewelry, look for materials and craftsmanship that LOOK more expensive than they really are. This is called mixing high and low… And it’s brilliant, because not all of us can afford to wear head-to-toe designer brands every day, like Kim Kardashian.
Do you have a favorite “bargain” treasure shopping find? Tell me about it in the contest below! One lucky person will be drawn at random to receive a $25 gift card to Pink Blush, where a little can go a long way.
I am personally crazy about Fit & Flare dresses, and oh so happy that they’re a hot trend item for Spring 2014! My body type is a Strawberry, which means I’m busty on top and narrow through the hips. Fit & Flare dressed are perfect for my body type, because they’re form-fitting on top and voluminous on bottom, which balances out my proportions! I spotted this gorgeous lace fuchsia dress at The Threaded Zebra in Eagle, and just had to have it!!!
Fit & Flare dresses can be great for any body type; it’s all about the proportions! They’re perfect for slimming-down curvier hips & bum; a woman who’s a Pear body type should aim for a higher waistline, which will emphasize the bust and elongate legs. A Fit & Flare dress with a slender belt can also help define curves and a waistline, if you’re a Celery Stick or Apple body type. (Not sure which type you are? Read my tips for how to dress for Body Type here!)
Nearly every girl can wear a fit & flare dress – is it any wonder it’s such a hot trend this spring? Enjoy the flowers, the sunshine, and the pretty dresses of summer, my lovelies!!!