The purpose of this page is to introduce you to the people behind our lines. We are truly a curated gift store. We purposely seek out lines which tell a story, have a mission and are committed to making our world a better place. In these stories, you will find common themes. These companies put an emphasis on the methodical process of creating a high quality, hand made item and stress the importance of a happy workplace for their artisans. And lastly, they include in their business plan a way to give back to their communities. All this sounds very familiar in that this is our goal as well at Cameron’s.
On July 6-7, Cameron’s will be hosting a Fair Trade Festival, featuring three of our fair trade lines. We will have enhanced inventory from World Finds, Global Mamas and Maggie’s Organics. Therefore, this month, rather than focus on an individual artist, we will focus on what it means to be Fair Trade Certified. The Fair Trade industry reminds us that the products we sell and buy are directly connected to the livelihood of others. The Fair Trade industry insists on higher standards for farmers, workers and fishermen. In order for a company to be considered Fair Trade certified, it must adhere to the following four commitments.
First, the income paid to workers must fulfill basic household needs. Beyond that, workers must be paid enough to then have additional funds to invest in their lives and work. In many cases, workers are able to start their own businesses.
Second, the work must lead to empowerment. Fair trade workers must be empowered to make choices for themselves and ultimately make choices that are for the good of their community. This empowerment must be regardless of gender, status in the community or position on the globe.
Third, the fair trade workers must be charged with how to invest the revenues generated through their businesses. When companies are committed to Fair Trade, they are creating a pathway for low income artisans to be helped out of poverty. Part of their commitment involves investing in community development funds. For every product sold, the business pays an additional amount into a fund which goes directly back to the community of origin. Depending on the community, the investment could be used in the attainment of cleaner water for their community, a strengthening of the education system or greater access to healthcare.
And finally, the fair trade community is committed to keeping the planet healthy for future generations. The use of harmful chemicals is prohibited and there must be a concerted effort to protect natural resources.
We invite you to attend our Fair Trade Festival where we will share the unique stories of these three Fair Trade companies.
“We, at Maruca believe that creating small production runs of our bags within a cottage industry, creates a consciousness that humanizes our work and makes for a more ‘harmonious society’. The result is that we can tout a product that is unique, well made and moves from heart to hand.”
Though Maruca is now a women owned and run business, the birth of the company occurred when Rex Maruca, who sold fabric for the upholstery industry, crafted a bag to carry his swatches. And thus, the studio nestled in the foothills of Boulder, was born.
Maruca finds their inspiration in the founding principles of the Arts and Crafts movement that took place in America from 1860-1910. The movement embraced the value placed on traditional and decorative craftsmanship using simple design. The movement was opposed to industrial manufacturing and strove to promote the moral, social and economic health of the nation. These values are still so relevant in the 21st century as we as consumers are faced with so many choices from fast fashion to a more slow, hand crafted option. Here, at Cameron’s, we are happy to offer an item that celebrates craftsmanship and the process of creating with love and intention.
Every season, Maruca presents similar shapes but with new invented fabrics. The designers at Maruca had taken great care to listen to their customers and design shapes that are “Funk-tional”. The designs have true style but are also made to be used and appreciated. The fabric is Jacquard which means intricately woven pattern using a special loom in the weaving process. Though the business is rooted in the philosophy of American Made, the patterns of the fabric are inspired from global trends from the beautiful ikats of India to the bold, colorful patterns of Africa. Maruca collaborates with talented textile designers from various small independent U.S. fabric mills. The fabric can vary from cottons to rayons to synthetics-many of which are from recycled plastic. And thus, twice a year, Maruca presents a new palette of colors and designs in shapes that are trusted and familiar.
With their success in business, Maruca is able to give back to several local and national non-profits. These include, I have a dream, Boulder Valley Women’s Health, Children’s Diabetes Foundation, Boulder County Aids Project, Freedom Service Dogs, Community Food Share and Attention Home.
Holly Yashi Jewelry
“We believe that beautiful Jewelry should gracefully gather a patina of our life experiences. We envision a joyful child discovering her mother’s jewelry box, dreaming of the day when she, too, will wear these treasures and be warmed by their rich memories” –Paul “Yashi” Lubitz co-founder of Holly Yashi
When I read this statement, I knew I had found my artist for May! Every second Sunday in May we celebrate our mothers and many of our customers choose to thank their Moms with a jewelry purchase from Cameron’s. I cannot express how much I enjoy watching children, often with their fathers, pick out jewelry for their Moms. For the children, the search is truly a treasure hunt and a delight to find a bit of beauty to give in thanks.
We all are attracted to color and so naturally many customers find themselves pondering the many designs of Holly Yashi, a beautiful and unique line that has stood the test of time. Though every year they introduce new designs, they never deviate from their signature look using colorful, lightweight and easy to care for Niobium. Woven into their designs are materials such as Swarovski crystals, dichroic glass and hypo allergenic metals.
Their story begins in 1981 in a small garage studio. Holly Hosterman had completed a degree in Studio Art with an emphasis in Jewelry. Paul “Yashi” Lubitz held a double degree in industrial technology and music. Together, they discovered the magic of Niobium. Niobium, a dull gray metal, is transformed through an expedited oxidation process in which it is dipped into a bath of electrically charged water. Through this process, the metal changes into rich hues of color. Thus, their signature look was born and not unlike the transformation of Niobium, flash forward to today and their small garage studio is now a 15,000 square foot studio in Arcata, California, nestled between the Redwood Forest and the Pacific coastline.
Through the years, they have stayed committed to creating jewelry in small batches, taking the time needed to create a treasure. Though they recognize that much of the jewelry industry is focused on producing jewelry quickly and inexpensively, without a long life expectancy, they choose to labor longer, with love, and create a jewel that will last.
With the success of their studio, Holly Yashi has been able to set up a fund, Holly Yashi Cares. Holly Hosterman, herself, suffered through a rare form of breast cancer. During her struggle, she discovered the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.
“Having breast cancer has truly been a transformative experience for my faith and my body. I’ve been so blessed to have had skilled doctors, my friends and a positive, supportive environment. I hope to be able to encourage other women to be proactive with their health and by giving to Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, help provide resources and research for breast cancer prevention.”-Holly Hosterman