At this point, it's been about 7-months since most of us have been stuck at home. We have watched holidays come and go, special moments adjusted for the NEW "safer" versions of them, and the way we do life has changed, for now.
One of my favorite things to do during summer is search local thrift stores, visit boutiques and charge toward my local street fairs, art shows and pop up shops.
I LOVE small business so much because I know the impact that supporting and purchasing has on the life of the owner because I am one. Small investment often times = BIG return, which is why I was thrilled with the ladies of UPNEXT reached out to me to co-host their "Endless Summer" Virtual Pop-Up alongside Ana Christie (another influencer).
How does a Virtual Pop Up Work? You Ask.
UPNEXT partners with small brands and businesses to facilitate matchmaking to form creative collaborations with influencers and/or communities, which then allows those same businesses to test the market, launch their concept and build their brand. As a result of that, we get these really incredible virtual pop-up markets with products that we've never been exposed to before, available to us for purchase.
I love this concept because now more than ever it is imperative that we support our makers and artisans, our local restaurants and shops, our entrepreneurs, so that they can come out of Covid-19 fully able to operate and support the families and the communities that rely on them to serve.
Working with these brands has been such an rewarding opportunity. I have found products I didn't know I needed, made connections with small business owners and had things created and developed with my particular needs in mind AND that's the beauty of small business.
When you purchase from a small business....
more often than not, your product is being handmade by a Craftsperson. Your purchase is being packaged and mailed by a person, not a machine. The Artisans, the Makers who have created these products with heart and their audiences in mind are commitment to quality and their intention to design is something that will bring joy to their customers, and it is unmatched.
This is why I am overjoyed to share these brands with you, what I love about each of them and the special offers they have EXCLUSIVELY for you!
What I love most about Swedish Jealousy, besides the fact that they are a brand that are Paraben-free, cruelty-free and gluten-free and comes in killer packaging is the story behind the product. The diversity and the friendship and the fact that its women owned. I absolutely love that they found the perfect lipstick shade that works on every skin tone and that in their package you can find one color for the week (to get you through Monday and Friday) and one color for the weekend, when its time to turn up and party and life is a little more exciting! I have loved trying it out and look forward to continuing to follow the brand.
Use code "UPNEXT" for 10% off your next purchase.
One of my favorite brands from this pop up has been Weather & Story. I love the heart and thoughtfulness that Lainey, the owner, has put into creating a brand that tells our stories and can "weather" the storms of life. She sells handmade leather goods that are thoughtfully handcrafted, sourced with the most ethical materials and and every single product is made by hand with a lifetime guarantee.
My most favorite part about the bags, camera straps, leather goods she makes, is that I know they will stand the test of time and will become heirlooms I can pass down to my own children one day.
To buy your own heirloom leather good, visit the site and use code "UPNEXT" for 15% off your next purchase.
Fair Seas Supply Co. specializes in unique beach and bath towels. They have mastered the art of creating woven towels that are ethically made by artisans in Turkey from the highest quality of ingredients.
When I received my Turkish towels, I was so excited about all of the ways I could use it. Head wrap, sarong, spread for a picnic, a sweet place for my babies to nap. The possibilities are truly endless. I love how soft it is and the fun colors they come in. Every modern woman should own one.
Use code "UPNEXT" for 20% off and free shipping.
Sarah B offers original screen printed, Eco-friendly handbags and accessories that are made RIGHT here in the USA.
The bucket hat that my sweet girl was SO excited to receive and is proudly wearing is 100% cotton dyed with natural mineral pigments and hand screen printed.
You can wear it the way Wisdom is our turn the lip up for another look. Bucket hats are all the rage and I love the way Sarah B has added a modern twist, paying homage to the 90s. You can also find gorgeous screen printed bags, bandanas, face masks, totes and work bags, and so much.
Take a spin around and use code "UPNEXT" for 10% off & a FREE GIFT with purchase.
I love these gorgeous earrings. I especially LOVE how bright and vibrant they are and that they can be dressed up or down for a casual day x day look or an evening night on the town. I particularly LOVE the tassel earrings and have become obsessed with them in copper!
Mary Bret has earrings in an assortment of different shapes and gorgeous, colors so head over and find the pair that is right for you. Can't find the perfect fit? No problem. She will design a pair with your custom colors.
Use code "UPNEXT" at check out for 15% off and a portion of sales donated to No Kid Hungry.
East Avenue Press is a high end, quality design and letter press company They offer beautifully designed stationary and paper products for every day life and you guys EVERY SINGLE THING in the shop is PERFECTION.
When I received my items I instantly knew how to incorporate them into my life and how they were going to make things easier for me moving forward day to day. Not only are there organizational items but there are t-shirts and original paintings too. I could happily own every single thing made in the shop.
To get 20% off on your next purchase, use code "UPNEXT."
Encircled is a high-quality, stylish and sustainable women's clothing brand based out of Toronto Canada. They make thoughtfully-designed convertible and versatile capsule wardrobe essentials and you guys.... they are incredible. I am a capsule closet believer so this brand was RIGHT up my alley.
Have you ever heard of a dressy sweatpant? Neither had I! and NOW I will never be the same. I am obsessed with how convertible Encircled clothing are and how their pieces merge perfectly into my capsule wardrobe. PLUS their company is zero waste, so I can be proud of the investment I am making.
Not sure what to purchase or where to start on capsuling? No problem. Head their their website, fill out the style guide and they will send you a style map with a list of pieces you need to get started, how many, how to use and wear them, and how they can meet your needs.
Use code "UPNEXT" for 10% off your purchase.
Ethically-made and sewn in the heart of the Garment District of NYC, these dresses are professional, timeless, elegant and practical dresses perfectly sized with you in mind. Whether you are petite, regular or plus size you can find dresses, dresses with sleeves, shirt dresses with timeless silhouettes that are stretchy, comfortable and never wrinkle. (Mine is only wrinkled in picture because I took it out of the packaging and put it straight on to shoot).
The pockets don't bulge, the buttons are hidden and they are lightweight and moveable. I chased my toddler in this dress. Ran errands in the summer heat in this dress and finished the day shooting a photography session and the fit was perfect and exactly what I needed to show up classy, professional and comfortable. I highly recommend investing in these dresses, especially if you are the work from home mom that needs to step it up every once in awhile. These dresses will give you the professional look you need, with the comfort you are used to.
Use code "UPNEXT" for 15% off your next purchase.
Nude-shade bras for everyone is the premise and heart behind Naked Rebellion. But not only do they specialize in the brassier. They underwear and NOW custom face masks that meet the needs of a varying array of skin tones.
As a woman of color, who is deeper in shade, finding Naked Rebellion is a godsend. I have spent most of my life believing that nude lingerie and undergarments weren't a possibility for me, but I love that with their line there IS truly a nude shade for every skin tone and a very thoughtful fit and design. I was so happy to be able to match my tone and to also have so many options in fit and style. I will be a customer for life.
Use code "UPNEXT" for 10% off your next purchase.
Quality, American Made Home Accents and Decor products are what set this small business apart. Pieces are carefully designed, handcrafted and packed and shipped from their shop. The beauty of small business.
If you are looking for custom gifts, wedding presents, baby shower gifts or home goods, Rustic Marlin is for you. They have everything you can think of and if they don't you can make it custom, like my gorgeous "Tacoma" pillow pictured above.
One of my favorite parts about this company, is you can shop by collections, by product, by room, or by apparel and accessories. To get started on shopping NOW, visit their site and use code "UPNEXT" for 15% off your next purchase.
Perfumes created in small batches, crafted in New England to whisk you away to other times and places. Sandy Carr, the perfumer created BLUEHILL Fragrances to share the joy and natural beauty of Boston and New England with the world.
With four gorgeous scents, Beach Rose, Metrogarden, Back Bay and now Zest, there is a magical scent for everyone. I have Metrogarden.
Metrogarden has vibrant top notes of lemon, petitgrain, bergamot, with middle tons of iris, violet, rose and narcissus with a warm sensual finish of sandalwood, balsam, vetiver and musk and its the perfect end of summer scent.
To purchase your own scented tour through New England head to the website and use code "UPNEXT" for 20% off your next purchase.
Maryland Artist, Rachel Alvarez, paints vibrant watercolor art and illustrations that celebrate the simple joys of everyday living. She focuses on custom art & commissions, United States paintings, food illustrations and landscapes. She also creates gorgeous coloring pages, free of charge and you can enjoy those here
Head on over to IG and visit UPNEXT to print out a gorgeous printable created by Rachel herself and check out her shop for gorgeous images or commission her for your own special project.
Use code "UPNEXT" for 15% off
The Endless Summer Pop Up is still happening now through August 31st so be sure to check it out and snag a fun item for you or a friend to close out this incredible BUT different summer season. A portion of all sales from this virtual pop-up will go to No Kid Hungry to help end childhood hunger in the United States.
To check out what's happening with UPNEXT or to get involved, head to their website now.
with strength, courage and wisdom,