gifts that give back.

My little sister’s birthday was yesterday and being the procrastinator I am, I didn’t get her gift til’ that morning. I’m usually most creative at the last minute. But the gift-buying got me thinking. I like to shop local and when I spend money. I know how hard people who have small businesses work to make their business a success and when they’re making an effort to produce quality pieces, I go to them first. I love being able to talk to the artists and meeting the person who created my next favorite piece! 
I’d really love to share a couple of my favorite local shops. Most are Arizona spots, but you haven’t got to live here to purchase from most of them if you see something that interests you!
Today, I’m featuring…
“Threads is a cause driven business that changes the future of at risk youth. They come from various backgrounds, but all have one thing in common, they want to break the cycle. By employing them, we instill values of self reliance and hard work. They are paid fair wages for the bracelets they make, and in turn are able to pay their way through school. Many of Threads employees are first generation college students. They dream of becoming nurses, broadcasters, writers and engineers. 

Your purchase will directly impact a student. Even beyond financial support, your belief in them is a symbol of hope and trust that they can achieve what for so long seemed impossible. By purchasing Threads you are wearing more than just a bracelet, you are wearing change.”
I don’t know just when I started following The Shine Project, but I know when I did, I saw things in a different light. I know, that sounds cliche, but have you ever had one of those moments where something just clicks? This was mine. Ashley, the writer for The Shine Project, is such an amazing writer and person. I truly appreciate her posts and what she does. Regarding Threads, I’ve never really been a gung-ho advocate for world peace, conservation or anything, but I figure that if I’m going to buy a product, I’d rather my money to go to the little guy than a large corporation anyway! Especially when it’s a favorite blogger of mine who has the most adorable pieces of jewelry! I had lurked on the Shine Project’s shop while reading the blog and lusted over some of the pieces. I thought it was cool how they stood for something while creating quality products and jobs for at risk youth. It wasn’t until I went to Frances (a local shop in Phoenix) that I finally cracked. I not only bought a bracelet for myself, but bought one for my friend Amber, as well. They’re the cutest pieces ever and for a good cause? Sign me up.
You can shop Threads here!
I want the State Stack so badly! 
What do you see that catches your eye? Have you ever shopped the Shine Project? Let me know in the comments below!