5 Reasons To Visit A Local Outdoor Market

Here in Florida, the outdoor market season is starting to heat up since the weather is finally cooling down! Here are the top 5 reasons why you should get out to your closest local market this weekend:

  1. Get Healthy, Local Produce– We all know we’re supposed to eat our fruits & veggies, but who wants to eat a flavorless tomato? At outdoor markets, the produce comes from someone’s local farm or garden, so the fruits & veggies are picked at their peak freshness. You’ll get what’s in season and ready-to-eat. That tomato will taste wonderful and have the highest amount of nutrients possible. Usually, you’ll be talking to the farmer who planted, raised and picked it, too!
  2. Find Great Gift Ideas for Friends & Family– or Get Something Custom-Made! The holiday season is coming up, and it’s so hard to find the perfect gift for every friend or family member. Craft & retail shopkeepers at outdoor markets either make their own products by hand or work directly with artisans who do. If you have a quilt-loving friend, get a one-of-a-kind quilt made. Need that perfect picture for the spare bedroom? Have one done by a talented local photographer. Native Source works with artisans who love special requests and design challenges.
  3. Unwind From A Busy Week– What’s works better to get over a bad week in the office but going outside, soaking up a little vitamin D, enjoying live music, and watching the world go by? There’s always something interesting happening at the market.
  4. Free Samples– Have you ever tried a homemade pasta sauce made by an Italian grandmother? Or a hot sauce that makes your tongue tingle for a half-hour, it’s so fresh? Or cheese that is made right in your own town? It’s time to try it all!
  5. Put Money Back Into Your Local Community– All of the shopkeepers at a local outdoor market are just that- local! They are small business entrepreneurs with great ideas and great ambitions. The purchases that you make at a market go directly back into the community you live in. Every dollar that you spend at a market is making a difference and helping that business to grow!

Native Source will be at the following markets this weekend, so come out and have some fun with us. Look for our tent with the flowery border!

Sat 10/6- Fresh Market @ Shops at Wiregrass, 10a-3p

Sun 10/7- Fresh Market @ Hyde Park Village, 10a-2p

Next Weekend:

Sat 10/13- Ybor Saturday Morning Market, 9a-3p

Sun 10/14- Seminole Heights Fresh Market, 9a-2p
Also, here’s a great list of markets that you can check out in the Tampa area:

http://www.tampabay.com/features/events/fresh-markets-sprouting-with-the-fall-season-around-tampa-bay/1254272

Children & Fair Trade Part 2

Last week, I talked about an energetic group of kids that we met in Pondicherry, India. They came from a poor area of the city, but as unfortunate as the situation they lived in was in some ways, in others they were extremely fortunate. They went to school, were clean and well-fed, and lived in neighborhoods with families to care for them.

Remembering those kids made me think about the ones that we saw fleetingly- shoe-shine boys on the main square in Sucre, Bolivia, insistent trinket-hawkers in Mumbai, street jugglers in Medellin. They’re ubiquitous. Many of them are helping out their families, bringing in extra income, but 1.2 million children per year are trafficked illegally throughout the world. It’s s huge problem, but there are many organizations intent on eradication through education, to help us start asking our own questions of the purchases that we make and to bring it closer to home for us.

One group doing this is MTV EXIT. A few years ago, they used a song from Radiohead, one of my favorite bands, to help spread the message. “[It’s] a video of two parallel stories, one of a little boy in the West and one of a little boy in a sweatshop in the East. It’s actually quite powerful,” Yorke said. “It’s the sort of images I have in my head anyway. Sometimes when you’re walking down High Street and you’re looking at the incredibly cheap [sneakers], you sort of think, ‘Hmmm, well how did they manage to make that so cheaply?’ It sort of reminds me of one of my preoccupations, so I’m touched that the music goes with that. I think it’s great.” I think it’s great, too, and hope that you enjoy it & share it with your friends!

Events this week

We don’t have any events scheduled next week, but will see you at Wiregrass again in two weeks! 

www.TheNativeSource.com/events  – Check out the events we have coming up in July!

Best,

Sarah McHugh

The Native Source

sarah@TheNativeSource.com

www.facebook.com/thenativesource

Children & Fair Trade

The Big Impact That Your small decision Can Make

We meet a lot of kids on our travels and they always turn memorable experiences into unforgettable ones. One that makes me laugh happened in Pondicherry, India. Our friend Christine was showing us around a small fishing village close to where she was doing an internship, just on the outskirts of the city. The area is very poor, but the view of the Bay of Bengal is breathtaking. We meandered along the dirt roads, past the small shacks with corrugated tin roofs, as school was getting out.

One thing that most Indian children are not is shy. They love to talk to you in English- “HI! HI! How are YOU?” – love having their pictures taken, and, like all kids, love candy & treats. Some travelers are against giving out sweets or little gifts to kids, thinking that it makes them expect handouts, but seeing how little they have, I can’t help but want to indulge them a bit.

We didn’t have any sweets, but Bref had a sheet of shamrock stickers in his pocket (being the good Irishman that he is!) A group of four kids posed for a photo for us, and as a thank you, Bref gave them each a sticker. We started to walk along again, when suddenly, four more kids came tearing around the corner, asking for a sticker, and another four, and another four, all jumping up and down saying, “Hi! Hi! Hi!” Before he knew it, he was completely surrounded. A few adults popped their heads out of their homes, checking to see what the commotion was, and laughed along with Christine and me as Bref attempted to worm his way out of the crowd once the stickers were gone. The kids were so excited, showing off their stickers to each other with huge smiles on their faces. Their happiness was so simple, like nothing else in the world mattered but having that cool new sticker.

 

 

 

 

 

That simple joy was what we encountered with kids everywhere- from India to Peru to Ecuador & Colombia. No matter what conditions children may be living in, their constant enthusiasm and openness surprises me every time. I loved reading this article about the amazing impact of fair trade on children in the communities that it is practiced. It illustrates how making a small decision as a consumer in the first world can either help or hinder the lives of future generations in the developing world. We give our kids the best that we have to offer, and buying fair trade helps parents in developing world to do the same for their children, too.  That’s why we love working with certified Fair Trade Co-ops and with the artisans that we do, because the effects of improved living are felt and shared within each community.

Events this week

www.TheNativeSource.com/events  – Check out the events we have coming up in July!

Best,

Sarah McHugh

The Native Source

sarah@TheNativeSource.com

www.facebook.com/thenativesource

 

India’s Recycling + Handmade Jewelry Industry

Indian Recycling + Jewelry Industry

India’s Thriving Recycling Industry

India is an incredible country, not just because of its vastness or beauty, but also because of the people. They say that Indians must have more love for each other than the rest of the world because if other cultures had to exist in such close proximity, they would tear one another apart. Everything there happens on the street and can be overwhelming to witness. Life, death, baths, poverty, cooking, joy- it’s all right there for anyone to see. The machine of life is constantly in motion and the people are a part of that.

When we first arrived in Mumbai, I was in awe of it, but there was one thing that completely disgusted me. People just threw their trash right on the ground, on the street, not bothering to find a garbage can, if there ever was one. Having the American sensibilities that I do and being a (somewhat) orderly person, it was a constant source of disdain. So I mentioned it to my friend Charmaine, who is from there and still lives there. That’s when she pointed out what I had missed.

“Sarah, there are whole communities that make a living off of that. The ragpickers bring the trash-plastic, glass, metal- that’s thrown away back to the slum, where it is processed, recycled, and sold back to the general population. It’s not a perfect system, but it was made into one out of resourcefulness and need.”

And she’s right, it’s not ideal. But these people created and industry and income for themselves by doing what they could to survive. After she pointed that out, I started to see that resourcefulness and eagerness in many of the personalities I met and behaviors that I noticed. That idea of fighting and making something out of nothing is one that India taught me.

So this weekend, we’re having a sale on bracelets from our partners at Community Friendly Movement, a fair trade organization based out of New Delhi, India. They provide support and sustainable income for artisan communities in the rural regions of India. Many of the pieces are made of recycled materials- discarded wood, glass, wire, etc- that are then repurposed into beautiful, unique jewelry that you will love!

Impulse of Color Five Turn Bracelet

cfm-community-friendly-movement

Wood Bead Wrap Bracelet

 

 

 

 

 

Events this week

 

www.TheNativeSource.com/events  – Next week we’ll back in Ybor and Harbour Island, too!

Best,

Sarah McHugh

The Native Source

sarah@TheNativeSource.com

www.facebook.com/thenativesource

 

Non-Profit Medical Organization: Amigos de Salud

Amigos de Salud in Ecuador

When Bref and I left on our trip to India and South America, I knew that we would see scenes of real poverty and would get an opportunity to help out along the way. One of those opportunities was with Amigos de Salud, literally “Friends of Health”.

Amigos de Salud is a volunteer non-profit medical organization which provides medical and surgical care to underserved areas of the world. They recruit doctors and medical professionals from the US to fly to these places (on their own dime and vacation time!) to set up a clinic and see patients…THOUSANDS of patients, many of whom have never seen a doctor before. They hand out medications, medical advice, eyeglasses, etc. They perform much needed surgeries- gallbladder removals, hernias, treat unhealed fractures, club feet and others, procedures that are usually unattainable for people in the areas they go to.

We met up with the group in Riobamba, Ecuador, thanks to my dear friend Kiris, who organizes the trips. The experience in one word? INCREDIBLE! The experience in multiple words? Exhausting, touching, eye-opening, hilarious, mayhem! We weren’t sure exactly what we would be doing, not having any medical experience, but didn’t have to wait too long to find out. Bref wins my award for Most Patient Waiting Room Organizer. My six-foot tall, red-headed husband had about seven, five-foot tall local women surrounding him at all times, each one “next in line” for all of the doctors available, and over a hundred people in the waiting room at any given time. I don’t think I’ve seen him with that much patience before or since.

Mostly, I stayed in the pediatric clinic, translating and bribing children with Dora the Explorer stickers and toys to keep them from crying. This was the first time most of them had ever been to the doctor. Mothers and caretakers piled in with three kids and a baby in tow, taking long buses from the mountain villages where they lived. The children were all adorable, with smiles on their faces but also windburn on their cheeks from the climate. The mothers worried that their children were too skinny, too short, “gordito” (chubby), weren’t doing well in school- worries any mother has- but most of the kids also had signs of intestinal parasites, a common problem when drinking water is not clean and purified. There are a few I still wonder about- the two-week old baby with a full cleft lip and palette- when he cried you saw all the way into his nasal cavity, a three-year old boy with signs of autism, two pretty sisters with angry, red eczema rashes covering their bodies. By the end of the week, the pediatric group saw hundreds of families and had given out most of what we had- badly needed medicines, vitamins, clothes, shoes, and toys.

                         

This year’s destination is Matagalpa, Nicaragua in July. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America after Haiti. As I mentioned, volunteers of Amigos de Salud pay for their own transportation, hotels, food, and all other expenses, but the really important things- the medications, medical equipment, and supplies- are paid for by donations. So, if you’re looking to donate to a grass-roots non-profit medical organization, this is a wonderful cause. www.amigosdesalud.org and click on the donate button. We certainly will be!

Events this week

Out enjoying the sunshine and the breeze this weekend. Come and see our beautiful new hand-woven bags from Colombia!

www.TheNativeSource.com/events  – For more info and our full schedule.

Best,

Sarah McHugh

The Native Source

sarah@TheNativeSource.com

www.facebook.com/thenativesource

Planning A Year-Long Trip

San Blas Islands

 

 

 

 

 

Planning a Year-Long Trip

Since there’s a three-day weekend coming up, let’s talk TRAVEL! I love telling people the story of The Native Source and how it started- it was borne of a desire to travel and the will to do it. And anyone can do it, no matter what the circumstance. Just like any goal, with preparation, will, and a little luck, you can make it happen.

  1. DECIDE: A little after Bref and I got married, we had the “planning talk”- “Where do we go from here? What’s the next step?”  We both had great careers, lots of friends, and were basically happy in Tampa. But we each had traveled when we were younger and wanted to see more together. Traveling was the first topic of conversation the day we met. We looked at each other and said, “Why not?” The decision was made.
  2. MAKE A PLAN:  I’ve always been the planning type, blame it on my sign (Virgo), that I’m the oldest child, or maybe my brown hair, but the idea of planning a whole year with little to no information was a little too much for me. Where to start? So we didn’t. We just saved, and that was the plan: Save up until we hit our goal dollar figure, DON’T tell anyone our plans (in case they were jinxed or derailed) and figure out the rest once we got going.  This plan let us work toward our goal without any pressure from the outside.
  3. RESEARCH: This was the fun part. Bad day at work? Look up a country! Procrastinating housework? Look into teaching English programs abroad! Tired of talking to each other about the A/C bill and who’s picking up the dry cleaning? Let’s talk about the benefits of a Round-the-World plane ticket vs. a one-way fare! Researching was the 2nd best part of pre-travel, opening up a world of possibilities for us.
  4. GO! This, of course, was the best part. We picked a continent (South America with a month in India), worked out the visas, bought tickets, and took off! It was exhilarating, from the moment we stepped on our first plane from Tampa to Mumbai (via Miami & London) to the last plane (Panama City, Panama to Miami) I never once regretted it, never once wished I had stayed home. And if it’s something you really want to do, you will never regret it, either.

With that in mind, if you’re curious about it or just want something to do to make the day go faster, two killer sites to check out are www.MeetPlanGo.com and www.travelindependent.info . I used Travel Independent a lot while daydreaming and researching. Meet Plan Go came around while we were in the middle of South America, but I wish I knew about it before we left because it would have calmed many of my “what if…” fears. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

 

Events this week

We’re in downtown Tampa, The Shops @ Wiregrass, and Jackson’s Bistro this weekend, so come meet up with us! We have gorgeous new designs of our Irish wood necklaces by Fretmajic, too!

www.TheNativeSource.com/events  – For more info and our full schedule.

Best,

Sarah McHugh

The Native Source

sarah@TheNativeSource.com

www.facebook.com/thenativesource


Kids Taking Initiative for Fair Trade

 

 

 

 

 

In the News

Loyola Elementary School (in Minnesota) has been designated the first Fair Trade K-12 school in the US, and the third school nationwide. The school went through a year-long application and review process that was spearheaded by a student committee. Criteria for becoming fair trade certified included demonstrating a commitment to education about fair trade, making fair trade products available in the school, and procuring items with the principles of fair trade in mind.

I think that a group of kids showing the kind of commitment, understanding, and dedication to a cause, that this group has shown is an amazing thing. I didn’t think about these things when I was in school- how much a farmer got paid picking cocoa beans for my chocolate bar, who stitched together that new pair of Nike’s, or whether the person who cut the fabric for my clothes was my age or younger. Talking to kids about these kinds of issues, whether it’s at school or at home, helps them to open their minds to the greater world around them, a world that gets smaller and smaller every day. Hopefully, these kids will help to make it better, too!

Events

Here’s where we’ll be this weekend, come meet up with us! We have new designs of our Irish wooden necklaces by Fretmajic!

www.TheNativeSource.com/events  – For more info and our full schedule.

Don’t Forget World Fair Trade Day $100 Shopping Spree!

Wo
At The Native Source, we’re helping to promote this important day with our first contest of 2012. You still have a chance to win a $100 shopping spree at www.TheNativeSource.com! Go to www.TheNativeSource.com/contests for the simple steps to register, and tell your friends about it, too!rld Fair Trade Day is this Saturday, May 12th! It is the first global campaign for the Fair Trade movement to increase awareness, educate, and promote Fair Trade throughout the world.

Wishing you a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Best,

Sarah McHugh

The Native Source

sarah@TheNativeSource.com

www.facebook.com/thenativesource

Inspiring Quotes & Weekly News/ Events- April 20th

Take a deep breath, the weekend is almost upon us!  So when you’re thinking about what your plans are, remember this:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

I hope that you get a chance to do that this weekend. Go out and have some fun, go to a show, a museum, a local market!

Here’s where we’ll be the next few days:

We just received some gorgeous new pieces from Colombia, so check them out at the market this weekend or online (more info next week!)…

www.TheNativeSource.com/events  – For more info and our full April schedule.

World Fair Trade Day $100 Shopping Spree!

World Fair Trade Day is coming up on May 12th! It is the first global campaign for the Fair Trade movement to increase awareness, educate, and promote Fair Trade throughout the world.

At The Native Source, we’re helping to promote this important day with our first contest of 2012. Go here for three simple steps and you could win a $100 online shopping spree at www.TheNativeSource.com!

Have a great weekend!

Best,

Sarah McHugh

The Native Source

sarah@TheNativeSource.com

www.facebook.com/thenativesource

 

New Artisan, Events, and Contest from The Native Source

We have someone new to introduce you to this week!

In Ireland last December (side note:  wait until summer), we traveled to Galway, on the west coast. If you haven’t been, it’s a lovely old city known as the cultural heart of the country. It has a lively traditional Irish music scene, the Irish language is kept alive in many areas around the city, and it’s well-known for its craftsmanship- Aran wool sweaters, Claddagh rings (hands, heart, and crown), and handmade goods. We were looking for something a little bit different than the normal Irish craftmanship, however, and we found her…

Celtic Triskel Design Wooden Earrings

Nighttime Tree Wooden Necklace

 

 

 

 

 

Juliette has been living in Galway since 1998, and learned the skill of woodworking from local instrument maker, Paul Doyle. He taught her how to use the fretsaw to make Celtic inlay decorations for the guitars and harps that he made. She mastered this quickly and then began learning the craft of making the guitar, harp and bodhran. With the wooden pieces that she didn’t use for her instruments, she started making jewelry, and found a beautiful new way to express her creativity. We’re very excited to be working with her and to share her talent with you! Read more of her story and see her work… http://www.thenativesource.com/collections/fretmajic

Local Events in Tampa Bay:

Go to www.TheNativeSource.com/events for more info and our full schedule for April.

World Fair Trade Day $100 Shopping Spree!

World Fair Trade Day is coming up on May 12th! It is the first global campaign for the Fair Trade movement to increase awareness, educate, and promote Fair Trade throughout the world.

At The Native Source, we’re helping to promote this important day with our first contest of 2012. Go here for three simple steps and you could win a $100 online shopping spree at www.TheNativeSource.com!

Win a $100 Shopping Spree at The Native Source

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend and we hope to see you out & about!

Best,

Sarah McHugh

The Native Source

sarah@TheNativeSource.com

 

What is Fair Trade? The 10 Principles of Fair Trade

What is Fair Trade?

 

 

 

 

 

What is Fair Trade?

“It is a human relation. Not just buying the product and selling the product. It’s not just that, it’s more than that.”

During the 2011 Biennial Global Conference of the World Fair Trade Organization in Mombasa, Kenya, participants discussed how to define what Fair Trade is for their future. This video, WFTO and the 10 Fair Trade principles, outlines what the World Fair Trade Organization deems most important in Fair Trade.  They include:

  • Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers,
  • Payment of a fair price for to producers,
  • Non-exploitation of children,
  • Ensuring good working conditions,
  • Creating work for people in villages and communities by teaching or promoting use of work with their hands and increasing valued skill sets, and
  • Helping producers to keep their own culture & traditions.

When we started The Native Source, I was more inspired by the artisans that we met in our travels- their talents, their resourcefulness, and their originality- than starting a Fair Trade organization. It always seemed to be a complicated web of regulations and clashing factions, until you strip it down to its basic essentials.

So, what is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade is about appreciating true workmanship and rewarding it instead of exploiting it. It’s deciding that instead of buying the same necklace that twenty of your closest friends and their twenty friends own, you buy one that is unique– that means something to you, to an artisan, and to a community. It is about realizing that in your every day decisions, you have power to make life better for others, and yourself in turn.

In starting The Native Source, we knew that we wanted to pay our providers a fair price, upfront, for their goods, partner with organizations that have safe working conditions, and give artisans the opportunity to sell in a larger market to grow their businesses and communities. To me, it’s the only way to do business- treating others the way you expect to be treated- fairly, justly, and rewarded for one’s talents, not exploited for one’s situation.

 

Food Trucks and Fair Trade at the Ybor City Market! Feb 4th

Food Trucks Fair Trade

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our timing seems to be perfect this year!

We’re kicking off 2012 by participating in the Ybor Saturday market, along with some of Tampa’s favorite food trucks. I’ve heard all about the food truck craze, but haven’t had a chance to make it to one of the big rally’s yet due to all of the travelling we’ve been doing lately. But really- what could be better but Food Trucks and Fair Trade? Get a little something nice for your stomach, and a little something nice for your style, while doing something nice for a handcraft-maker! Sounds pretty win-win all around…

For details, check out the event here. We’ll be in Centennial Park in Ybor City, Tampa, FL from 9am to 3pm. See you there!

– Sarah

Live Event @ Ybor Market

We are excited to continue our successful live show this coming weekend with an appearance at the Ybor Market, in Tampa Florida. On Saturday, December 3rd from 9am we will be showcasing many of our new handmade items, fair trade gift, and artisanal products.

We will be introducing new products and gift ideas that are exclusive to the event including our new ‘Alegre’ jewelry, and Bolivian Alpaca knitwear!

Kuna Tribal Items
Kuna Tribal Items

Among our new product ranges, we will have Molas from the Kuna Tribe who live in the San Blas Islands in the Carribean, just off the coast of Panama, and amazing handcrafted jewelry from Lleno de Alegría in Colombia.

We’d love to see you come out to support us and learn more about our products including handmade jewelryalpaca scarves from Bolivia, and unique handbags from South American artisans.

In addition to having a competition and prize giveaway, we’ll also be happy to chat with you about our amazing recent adventures which inspired us to bring you these gifts and items.

The Ybor Market is on every Saturday from 9am – 3pm

Location: Historic Ybor City, Centennial Park, (corner of 8th Ave and 19th St.)

For directions, click here.

Ybor market

With the holidays approaching, you will be able to find the perfect gifts ideas for you, your family and friends.