Category: Shoes

Buy an Item; Save the World

Fish and Cars“To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind.” — Pearl S. Buck

Outer Beauty + Inner Beauty

As a consumer, I attempt to shop consciously. I purposefully avoid spending money at companies that exploit and/or violate the human rights of mankind to make a dime. Thus, I was happy to meet a number of social entrepreneurs at Magic Marketplace in Las Vegas, Nevada whom have started something that matters – and allow you to save the world, one item at a time.

I truly believe that their products will allow you to show your outer beauty, as you will feel wonderful wearing their comfortable, beautiful creations, while, at the same time, empower your inner beauty to shine, as you are saving the world just by purchasing their products – by choosing to be part of something that matters.

1.   José Alejandro Flores, Founder & Jimmy Flores, Marketing, VOS Flips.

José and Jimmy both intended to attend a panel on social media at Magic Marketplace, where we accidentally met. Thinking that they were from the Silicon Valley, I asked, “Are you from San Jose?” No, they are not from San Jose! From Texas and with the motto of “afford to care,” VOS Flips creates soft and comfortable flip-flops made out of genuine rubber from Hevea Brasiliensis (natural rubber trees in Guatemala).

VOS Flips allows you, the consumer, to change the world, to care about the world around you, to make your world a better place. In fact, VOS means “you” throughout Central and South Africa. Thus, you are empowered to make a difference – by simply purchasing a pair of flip-flop.

VOS Flips saves the world not only by aligning with the United Nation Global Compact in its business practices, but it also cares by building on site schools in its sourcing community, providing educational supplies, establishing its first health clinic and of course, making sure everyone’s feet is happy.

Fish and Cars
(A pair of 
VOS Flips)

Providing School Supplies
(Source, VOS Flips, providing school supplies).

Educationd
(Source, VOS Flips, educating children in the community)

2.   Christian and Steven Cremer, Founders, B Frog.

I asked Christian and Steven the meaning behind “B Frog” when I first met the brothers at Magic Marketplace. In the Mayan culture, frogs are a symbol of good luck. Therefore, “B Frog” means “Be Lucky.” I was lucky to have gained deeper insights into the company, as Christian perfectly arranged the positioning of each piece of clothing for a photograph, proudly displaying his creation.

Because the brothers desire to mix contemporary designs with traditional textiles and fabrics from around the world, they launched first with traditional Mayan handmade textiles as they were born and raised in Guatemala. And the apparels are nice. I would wear a B Frog polo with dashes of the colorful and silky fabric of the Mayan culture in the pocket details – for work or for play. And I would be proud that by purchasing this polo shirt, I am vicariously giving back to the community, as Christian and Steven were inspired to care after reading “Start Something that Matters” by TOMS’ founder, Blake Mycoskie.

With a motto of “You Buy We Give,” B Frog provides fifteen (15) meals to children in need for every product sold. And the company provides the meals directly to the children in Guatemala, a country where one of every two children under the age of six suffers from chronic malnutrition, one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world. It implements a School Feeding Program that delivers meals with high nutritional value along with training and supervision for its staff. It asks us to “B Caring!”

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(Polo and Bag – B Frog)

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(Christian at its B Frog Booth, Magic Marketplace)

B CARING (8)
(Source: B Frog, Christian and Steven in B Frog shirts, providing meals to children)

B CARING (12)
(Source: B Frog, Christian and Steven in B Frog shirts, with the children in the community)

3.   Steven Weinreb, Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer, Civic Duty

The sneakers at Civic Duty stood out among millions of shoes at Magic Marketplace crying for attention.  Not only are they cool, they are made out of Tyvek – a lightweight, waterproof and recyclable material. I carefully studied a pair of the Civic Duty sneakers: comfortable, light and durable.

But beyond the shoes is a man who cares about the world we live in.  I could sense Steven’s passion as our conversation led to a discussion on the pursuit of the things we love.  Every year, Civic Duty, with a motto of “conspire to inspire,” designs an exclusive shoe for an American social cause and donates 100% of its profits to the charity.

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(Sneakers – Civic Duty)

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(Steven at the Civic Duty Booth at Magic Marketplace)

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(This year, Civic Duty donates 100% of the profits from the sale of this pair of shoes to Common Ground Relief)

Have a beautiful day! – And let your inner beauty shine!

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.

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Use Your Courage to Follow Your Heart

Fish and Cars
(Dress – Free People, Shoes – Cole Haan, Necklace – Nordstrom)

Photo by Raj.

“And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement speech, June 2005.

Outer Beauty

A knit dress is usually flattering because it fits your body perfectly. Good tailoring and a proper fit could emphasize a person’s most attractive features. Here, I am wearing a red knit dress by Free People, one of my favorite brands. The knit in this dress is not too thick or too thin – just perfect. To match the dress, I am wearing a red necklace made of crystals by Nordstrom.

I love this pair of nude heels by Cole Haan with Nike Air technology as it is made for comfortable walking.

Inner Beauty

Courage is the ability to face fear, danger, difficulty, uncertainty or intimidation. In other words, one chooses to act regardless of one’s fear.

1. Leave your job if you are unhappy. If you are unhappy with your job but you are afraid of uncertainty and a lack of financial security, first be assertive by asking for more responsibilities or a raise and begin searching for a better opportunity. Find an opportunity that aligns with your personal values. You may be a lot happier as a result! If you are looking into a career change, begin research into the new career now. Take small steps to reach your goal until you are fully there. You will demystify the process and will become more confident as you step closer to your goal and and your dream.

2. Have courageous conversations. No relationships are going to be perfect and thus, resolving conflicts will be imperative throughout life. Personally, I prefer deep meaningful relationships over shallow ones, and in order to have deep meaningful relationships that last, one must maintain them. Instead of cutting people you love out of your life, openly and honestly discuss these conflicts, put yourself in their shoes and find resolutions to the conflicts so they will not repeat in the future. Most importantly, while having courageous conversations, remember the big picture – you want to maintain and deepen the relationship out of and with love.

3. Face your fears head on. I am afraid of heights. Thus, I was not thrilled to go zip lining in Costa Rica. However, I faced my natural fear of heights by first admitting that I was afraid. In conversations, I told people that I was afraid of heights and asked for advice that may help me face my fear. Some people told me that they were afraid too but after zip lining a few times, they loved it.  “Maybe it wouldn’t be that bad!” I thought. In addition, I considered other aspects of zip lining that may alleviate my fear such as safety wires and additional precautions that the company uses, encouragement from tour guides and written experiences of other people whom were also afraid of heights. Knowledge is power, and I had fun zip lining in Costa Rica despite my fear of heights!

Have a beautiful day! – And let your inner beauty shine!

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.

Spring Arrives With a Smile

Fish and Cars
(Dress – Lucca Couture from UO, Shoes – HK by Heidi Klum, Bag – Furla)

Photo by Larry.

I am excited that Spring is here!

Outer Beauty

I adore florals, and with Spring comes beautiful cherry blossoms and uplifting colors. Here, I am wearing a floral dress by Lucca Couture that I purchased from Urban Outfitters. I love the V-neck neckline and how the dress flares out gracefully from the waist. It is a simple dress; yet, it is gorgeous!

Not only is Project Runway one of my favorite shows but I also love Heidi Klum‘s shoes! This pair of nude heels fits me perfectly and I could wear it with anything!

To add a pop of colors, I am wearing a convertible bag from Furla, which is one of my accidental wanderlust while strolling the alleys of Chianti during a wine tour of Tuscany. The man who sold this bag to me carried an abundance of warmth. We spoke of the electronics in San Francisco and of course the leather finds in Italy. He listened attentively, wore patience and shared stories with laughter. Sold!

Inner Beauty

By being a warm person, you are showing others that you like them, enjoy being with them and/or are pleased with their accomplishments.

1. Provide a natural smile to convey and invite positive emotions! Sometimes, I smile to random people and I am amazed how many people just smile back! And it makes the day more positive.

2. Show interest in others by paying attention to what they are saying and feeling. Listen to their words with consideration of their body language. Instead of being interesting, be interested in others! They matter.

3. When others are feeling down, encourage them! by writing encouraging notes or using words of endearment. You have the power to positively influence others! and their lives!

Have a beautiful day! – And let your inner beauty shine!

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.

Reach for the Moon One Step at a Time

Fish and Cars

(Top – Grease Gas and Glory, Denim – H&M, Glasses – Vera Bradley, Shoes – Giuseppe Zanotti, Bag – Marc by Marc Jacobs)

The weather in California continues to be beautiful – the beam of the sun shines through crystal clear windows, naturally lightening the room. There is an enchanting chandelier made of antelope ears just right above me. I am thinking of times when someone tells me that I am “short,” “petite,” or “small.” I am an ordinary 5’2″ woman (and I am skinny) so it’s easy for bullies to yell, scream and rage at me either out of their insecurities or their need to feel better about themselves. Fortunately, this doesn’t occur frequently (I do bite!) but occasionally when I am at a random gas station or when I encounter a competitive, comparative and/or insecure male or female whom needs a small dose of esteem boost by pointing at my petite-ness. I thrive to reach for the moon, however, and readjust my perspective – and let my inner beauty shine!

Outer Beauty

If you are fabulously petite as I am, shine in a pair of nude heels! Not only will you be physically taller (not to mention sexier), the color nude will not cut off your height as a pair of black shoes would. Start investing in nude shoes now! And if you do not own any heels, get a pair and practice walking (and dancing) in them. They will boost your self-esteem and help you become more confident.

Wear form-fitting pieces of clothing, ones that accentuate your chest, waist and hips. They will emphasize the beauty of your curves, your femininity, your personality. When in doubt, a pair of skinny jeans and a blouse with a cut that shows off your wonderful chest and waist would allow your beautiful body to shine!

And of course – take care of your skin, the largest organ of your body. Wear sunscreen, eat healthy and be beautiful. Point your chest to the moon. And smile. ❤

Inner Beauty

Confidence and happiness usually come from within.

1. Begin by reminding yourself that you are beautiful,  you are confident, you are unique  because no one in the universe is just like you! You could do anything when you focus on it. Tell yourself that the moon is within reach and take actions to reach it one step at a time.

2. Accept your body as it is. I have curly hair that compelled salon artists to provide me with disclaimers (Ha! Nothing is wrong with curly hair!). And as mentioned above, I could be taller, bigger, etc. etc. etc. However, I love my curly hair. I love how I am and what God has given to me. I am just grateful that I could move and dance and read.

3. And lastly, understand that you are enough. I have been reading a lot of Brene Brown, PH.D., LMSW (author of DARING GREATLY, THE GIFTS OF IMPERFECTION and I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST ME (BUT IT ISN’T)).  It has been empowering to learn about shame, its triggers and resilience. I remind myself to embrace who I am every day no matter what happens. I hope you will embrace who you are as well!

Have a beautiful day! – And let your inner beauty shine!

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.

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