Monday, December 5, 2011

Satch and Sol { Wool Slippers GIVEAWAY}


These are the gifts of Art, and Art thrives most
Where commerce has enriched the busy coast:
He catches all improvements in his flight,
Spreads foreign wonders in his country’s sight,
Imports what others have invented well,
And stirs his own to match them or excel.
‘Tis thus reciprocating, each with each,
Alternately the nations learn and teach.
--Cowper

Today, I am so very excited to start off this event with the focus of something unique and special!  People would desire many beautiful things from the "Far East Orient" so how about a little wooly something from Mongolia!   Something very special and very much handcrafted with a whole lot of adorable!  

Our first Sponsor in this Verry Wooly Event is "Satch and Sol" 
Satch and Sol is a local shop in Seattle, WA.  I am about an hour's ferry ride away from Susan's Boutique, and from my window I can see the beautiful city everyday!    I do not have to travel to Mongolia to get these beautiful and delightfully fashioned wool slippers for my child (or myself!).  Made with eco-friendly products and dyes that are all-natural (berries and wood)  I think I have found something worth getting that I know would be safe all around for any baby, child, or adult!  Satch and Sol is very much dedicated to leading an Earth friendly business.  Susan, owner of Satch and Sol, has taken a huge effort in making as little waste as possible.  From recyclable packaging to minimal usage of paper wastes--she strives to leave as little footprint as she can.   

Her shop features many handmade children's clothing and items that use felted wool as its fabric.  Her shop works in collaboration with Artists in Mongolia who use very unique techniques to create shoes, slippers, and beautiful felted wool items.  
 

 Here's a little bit of an interview with Susan, Owner of Satch and Sol:
What inspired you to open a shop featuring Mongolian Art?
Satch & Sol is mom-owned and operated in Seattle since August 2008.  I began designing and working with the artists in 2005.  I had always wanted to have my own business.  Having worked for large older companies since 1991, I craved full immersion in a fair trade and eco-friendly focused organization.  When my in-laws were working and traveling in Mongolia in 2004, they purchased thick felted slippers for our oldest son.  I fell in love with the detail and the handmade beauty of the slippers.  It took a couple years to locate the artists and a couple more to establish a set of designs for the Satch & Sol collection.  But, when I first saw my toddler in those slippers, I knew I’d stumbled upon something very special.  Learning about the artists and their story inspired me to work with them.
When the Soviet Union left Mongolia in the 90s, there was very little infrastructure.  Slowly, small groups of women began trying to figure out how to support their families and communities with the help of European nonprofit organizations.  Seeing images of their work and learning about their entrepreneurial desires, I was inspired to start Satch & Sol.



I love that you have picked out such unique and adorable things to incorporate into your shop, So do you find yourself or your family wearing any of these wonderful cozy mittens, slippers, shoes..etc? Do you wear them on a daily basis?

Yes, we all have slippers.  My oldest son likes to wear his moccasins and he occasionally sews things onto his moccasins, like buttons and patches.  My middle son currently wears bumble slippers, and our baby has his first pair now - pup slippers.  My husband wears the low-cut mocs and I wear my raspberry moccasins to work nearly every day.  It's great to work in a home office.

Why have you chosen Wool to be the theme in Satch & Sol?
I am focused on eco-friendly business practices and products.  As a natural fiber, wool is very environmentally friendly.  The artists use a very eco-friendly and low-tech way to obtain the wool from their own herds and to felt in the traditional style.  The sheep herds are native to Mongolia and help maintain the environmental balance.  As a child, I did not discover the beauty and efficiency of wool.  I sort of happened upon my love for wool as thought about favorite items in my closet - a scarf, a sweater, my ski socks.  When my in laws gave the lovely wool Mongolian slippers to our son, I fell in love with them instantly - their thickness, the softness, how they hold their shape, etc.


What has inspired you to be Eco-friendly in all your business practices?
I had always had an interest in our environment and thought I was making good choices.  However, when I was in business school, I was fortunate to listen to several great lectures about the environmental impact of businesses.  It was then that I decided to make personal changes and to strive to make a difference wherever I was employed.  After several more years of working for large companies, I am overjoyed to have more control over the big choices that effect our environment in day-to-day business.




How does your family work together to be more Natural, Green, Eco friendly? 
Everyone in our family makes choices with our environment in mind.  We have been influenced by a grandmother who works tirelessly on climate change and other environmentally-focused projects, as well as by our schools and community.  We maintain an edible garden and we support local businesses, especially farms.   A recent family vacation included working on an environmentally-friendly organic farm in the Methow Valley. We cloth diaper, compost and avoid processed foods and other items that use wasteful packaging, as well as use our own bags.  We truly enjoy our "no car" days.  Our kids make informed decisions as they opt for lunch items for school.  We participate in earth day clean-ups, but most importantly, we talk about our concerns and allow our children to figure out solutions that help our environment.  I always get a big smile on my face when one of my sons advises us for or against something based on its environmental impact. 
Satch & Sol: A Wonderful Family Business :)
I began working with the artists when my first son was a baby and did not begin the business until my first two sons were 3 and 4.  It's a family business, so it is named for them - Solomon and Satchel.  Now that we have a third son, Sage, I look forward to including him, too, somehow.


For the love of family and earth, Satch & Sol partners with a fair trade artisan cooperative in Mongolia to offer a handmade felted wool collection. Artists using ancient traditional skills felt beautiful slippers, hair bands and more for children and adults.  Satch & Sol strives to be eco-friendly through product selection and business practices.

Buy It: Save 15% on everything in the online boutique at Satchsol.com with
Discount Code: Sophie15 Code is good till December 13, 2011~
The Giveaway: One pair of Satch & Sol children's slippers, up to size US 3 youth (EU 34). The winner may select from any pair of children's slippers currently available in the online boutique, www.satchsol.com. To enter please fill out Rafflecopter form! Form may take a couple of seconds before appearing...so please be patient! :)