I buy stuff.
I have favorite places and people from whom I buy stuff. Trust matters, experience matters, love matters.
Here are some of the people and places I like:
For saris and draped clothing:
- sarishop.com: once run by a dedicated white woman, the sarishop has been passed on to a South Asian woman with a deep knowledge of the textiles and the country. They specialize in buying direct or nearly direct from the producers, which is rare in the sari world. They are concerned with fair trade practices and keeping artisan work alive. Offers lots of beautiful six yard saris, gamcha and other fabric, and a few other things. Also a source for Chantal Boulanger’s book on drapes. Protips: The menus are kind of awkward–make sure you go through every subsection of every menu to see everything. There isn’t really a browse-by-type option. Also, shipping can be steep–try and buy several things at once to cut the per-piece fees.
- bengalloom.com: I don’t know what their sourcing ethics are, but their saris come with pico and fall already done, and blouse pieces, where they exist, have been cut off to facilitate this. I got my khadi sari here and adore it. Reasonable pricing, a whole section under $50 even.
- saridhoti.com: I haven’t ordered from here yet, but they stock the increasingly hard to find 9 yard saris, as well as dhotis measured in the traditional way as well as in yardage. Based in North Carolina, a South Asian couple.
- borderandfall.com: fabulous 80 video resource for different draping styles, sponsored in part by Google. Based in Delhi, they run a sari school in India, I believe. Also have a longer documentary video project in the works, I believe.
- 20 sari drapes from different parts of India at kraftly.com. This is one of the best articles I’ve seen that describes some of the most well-known weaves from around the country. It is by no means exhaustive.
For beautiful jewelry:
- natashajewelry.com: a friend who now runs a nonprofit rebuilding homes in Nepal as part of the ongoing earthquake recovery, she is also an exquisitely talented jeweler with over 20 years of experience. She still sometimes makes jewelry, if you’re lucky.
- aidenwachter.com: we haven’t met in person, but we know a lot of people in common and they universally rave about his work, which is bold, solid, and stunning. Aiden has a distinctly solid and imposing style–nothing is delicate–but everything is still elegant. He makes everything himself and is booking 18 weeks out as of this writing, so order well in advance.
- Quintessential arts at www.etsy.com/shop/quintessentialarts: PMC work from a friend of a friend, with beautiful botanical pendants and earrings, mostly based on flowers but occasionally skeletons.
For fiber arts:
- Doreen Hartzell: a college friend of mine now offers yarn and fabric dyeing at goldfishlove.com
- Karen at sevensistersarts.com is a former nurse who makes lovely colors and gradients in her dyeshop
- Tanis at stringtheoryyarn.com also makes beautiful dyeing happen
For other things:
- Ealasaid Haas at thebookroadie.com: carefully crafted and gorgeous, Ealasaid’s books are heirloom quality. Ealasaid trained in Germany and has a for-real book studio. Books can be customized, rebound, or repaired. Ealasaid is also a huge fan of Bullet Journaling, and can probably make you a BuJo journal if you like.
For wisdom and art and such:
- Desiree Adaway: a coach who says smart things and works her tail off on the anti-oppression front
- Jennifer Davis: beautiful, radical, black-centering-and-affirming art
- Michele Woodward: leadership coach with rock-solid integrity and bona fides who leads by example
Software and business backend: not handcrafted, but important nonetheless. Some of these are affiliate links.
- google docs…and…
- evernote for writing documents and cloud sharing
- acuity scheduling (and payment systems) for online booking and taking payments
- stripe and paypal for credit card processing
- skedpal (which ties everything together and makes my whole world more organized, it’s a to-do/calendar system)
- canvas host for domain registration and web hosting
- uberconference (by Dialpad) for conference calls
- zoom for video conferencing
- vimeo for video delivery
- Amazon S3 for storage (now with much better interface than it used to have)
- Patreon for content distribution and (along with facebook) community