Sharing lovely and unique gift ideas is one of my favorite things about DoSayGive. Today I am sharing beautiful and vibrant hand-crafted accessories by Ara Collective, whose current collection will appeal to both the wanderlust and desire for good in all of us.
Sarah Contrucci Smith was born with a global mindset. With a childhood spent in Indonesia, a Master in International Studies, followed by a stint as a lead designer for the Akola Project in Uguanda, Sarah understands how impoverished communities around the globe can gain economic freedom by selling their goods to consumers (like us!) who appreicate gorgeous detail and fine craftsmanship.
It was while she was traveling through Central America on a backpacking trip with her husband – and discovering so many talented artisans off the touristy beaten path – that the idea of Ara Collective came to Sarah.
She spent a year researching and designing before launching Collection One in June, which features goods exclusively from the Mayan regions of Guatemala and Mexico. Collaborating with master artisans to blend their traditional designs with modern style, her first collection is made up of home goods and travel bags.
One thing I was intrigued to learn is that Sarah does not employ these artisans herself. She utilizes the existing cooperatives and entrepreneurs that are working well in these impoverished regions, ones that pay above fair-trade wages and are taking initiative to positively impact their communities. In addition, 10% of the proceeds from each purchase are invested into projects the artisans have started to provide for their communities, such as artisan education, youth academic scholarships, and health care.
What I love about Ara Collective is that it allows the heritage and traditions of these families to continue while giving us an opportunity to give and receive gifts with a bit of depth and meaning. With every item shipped, Ara Collective includes a tag describing the region in which the item was made as well as how it was made (techniques, tradition, dyes, etc.).
One of my favorite gift ideas from this collection is the Indigo San Pedro Clutch ($55). Generous in size, you can use it to store essentials in a beach bag or purse.
Or use it as a clutch and you will receive compliments galore because the Ikat design is just beautiful in person!
People are always e-mailing me to ask for wedding gift ideas for the couple that didn’t register and has everything. Well, one of Ara Collective’s exquisite throws ($129) would be the perfect gift idea in that situation. One would also make a lovely housewarming or birthday present.
Combined with a throw, some of Ara Collective’s pillows ($55-98) would turn a covered outdoor space into a lovely little retreat don’t you think? A nice housewarming present, too! The brocade pillows take up to 15 days to make.
And for a chic overnight bag ever or pool bag, Ara Collective’s magnificent Weekender Bags ($245) are to die for.
Available in an indigo Ikat pattern, a neutral stripe, and a cyan blue pattern, each bag has adjustable straps and an interior and exterior pocket. Any woman would love having one of these bags. (And she will for years to come because it is so well-made!).
And last, but not least, Ara Collective’s tassel pouches ($35) are the perfect price point for many gifts. Give solo or coordinate with a blanket or weekender for an amazing gift!
To spread the word about this fabulous collection, Ara Collective is giving away the FABULOUS Aqua Laguna Weekender Bag (a $245 value!!) to one lucky DoSayGive reader. Enter in the widget below. All you do in follow both of our companies on Instagram (click on link provided below) and then check that you did! Get two bonus entries for visiting Ara Collective on Facebook and signing up for my newsletter!
It is the first time I have used Rafflecopter (it just makes verifying the winner easier for me!) so please email me if you have any questions. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.
Thank you to Ara Collective for this generous giveaway! Be sure to visit their website for more beautiful products and photos.
Lace Vest (Get Extra 20% off right now with code SALEAWAY)
Pilcro Jean Roll Up Shorts
Photos from Guatemala and Central America: Sarah Shreeves
Photos of Lee and gift ideas: Megan Weaver