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April 22, 2021
PRETTY THINGS & COOL STUFF = PEOPLE + PLANET
That's what I scribbled on a well-used notepad in a Eureka! moment I had one afternoon after months of contemplating how to condense all I wanted Pretty Things & Cool Stuff to be and do into one overall, guiding principle, purpose.
I didn't want to open just another shop to sell things. I wanted to do something that could help make things better in different ways. I wanted to do so while helping to enhance and improve customers' lives by offering discoveries that would inform, enlighten, educate, engage, connect, help start journeys and deepen experiences and of course, add joy and delight. (mission) And, I wanted to do all of that in a way that was aware, appreciative and respectful of Mother Nature and the home we share here on Earth with all of her children.
I believe that all things are connected in some way. I believe that positive change starts with awareness that ignites interest that progresses into an ongoing effort to understand and learn that evolves into the desire to participate, to do something to make things better. And, I believe that small actions can bring about big changes, like the flapping of a butterfly's wings in the Butterfly Effect.
So, I began by structuring Pretty Things & Cool Stuff on the foundation of People + Planet, with a core list of values that support such. While everything we did/do is driven by the founding principle, we knew/know that we had/have a lot to learn and that things, ideally, progress and improve, and that we must always work to do the same.
We are doing things today that either we did not know yet to do, could not afford to do or simply were not available on our Day One. We know such will repeat itself, and we know will keep moving forward, working to make things better, one step, one day at a time.
Here is where we are today:
WHO WE WORK WITH & WHAT WE OFFER YOU
To the best of our ability, we vet every potential partner, looking at their values, how they run their businesses, how they treat associates and partners with whom they work. (Of course, we apply the same guidelines and values here.)
We inquire about materials, ingredients, where and how they are grown/sourced/made. We strive to find handmade, homemade, small batch with truly high quality, natural ingredients and materials.
We also curate for quality in materials and design, durability and functionality.
Other than the books in our main Book Shop (which has thousands of titles) we do not offer anything at Pretty Things & Cool Stuff that we personally have not tried or consumed.
On the speciality/gift side of the Pretty Things & Cool Stuff, we do have many books that we and folks we know and trust are familiar with and highly recommend.
Our preference is always for organic, chemical and preservative free, clean. We do understand, however, that while there are significant efforts underway to produce more organic items at centuries-old farms and plantations like those that grow tea, coffee, etc., it is gong to take some time before such are available in larger supply and selection. In the meantime, we find partners who are helping to make such happen in different ways.
Yes, the sachets used for the various wonderful teas we carry from different artisans are plant based.
Yes, we look for yummy treats that focus on a few, high quality ingredients with little to no processed sugar, etc.
We prefer to work with individual artists, small farmers and artisanal food producers, locally, across the country and around the world. We look for those who are working hard in their respective spaces to make things better for all, too, and to break the molds of how things have been done for too long and create inclusive new pathways.
We also understand that getting an "official" organic certification can be a long and very expensive undertaking. Such isn't always a viable one for small and young farmers who are following organic — and even better — regenerative agricultural practices, but cannot yet afford to undertake and pay for an "organic" certification.
We try to work with as many B Corp-certified businesses as possible. I remember when B Corp started and what a wonderful concept and mission it was, and it is so exciting to see so many more businesses making that commitment today. Yes, we have it on our list to do, too.
We believe that every dollar we invest in one of our partners is helping to make things better on many levels. And, when you shop with us, you are investing your money to do the same thing!
OUR BOOK SHOP & GARDEN SHOP — All Under One Sky-Blue Awning
Positive change requires curiosity, understanding, imagination, creativity, persistence and shared stories and experiences and what better way to encourage all than to have a Book Shop. So we do!
And, what better way to connect with Mother Nature and understand how everything is connected to Her, than to grow something. What better way to really see — not just look — how incredibly amazing Nature is than to learn how to observe and respectfully co-exist with it in all of its splendid genius and wonderfulness up close?
So, we decided to add a Garden Shop. And, we are very, very proud to be an affiliate for Botanical Interests, a highly respected, family-owned seed and gardening company in Colorado. Among other things, Botanical Interests was the first to achieve non-GMO certification for all of its very high quality seeds.
We have been a proud customer of EcoEnclose for our boxes and packaging materials since Day One. We have learned a lot from them as they are constantly working to create even more Earth-friendly items, and we have enjoyed watching them grow, too.
We also use recycled tissue, and the little bags we use for the lagniappe we love to add to each customer's package is fully biodegradable.
We work to keep our packaging to a minimum while also working to do what we can to help your purchases arrive in gift-giving condition.
STEP BY STEP, ALWAYS MOVING FOWARD
This is an overview of what we are doing to try to get and help keep ourselves balanced with Mother Nature and the Earth. We know we have a lot more to do, step by step, day by day. We hope that perhaps we help you to do so in some way, too.
As always, thank you so much shopping with us and for helping to support our PEOPLE + PLANET mission here at Pretty Things & Cool Stuff.
Kim, Bill and MiniBoots and our associates and partners
April 12, 2020
December 09, 2018