Life, Death and Growth: A Year in Review

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An open letter to the universe, and all those interested enough to read:

2018 was a wild year of change for me and for this business. To start with, I took on a lease for a brick + mortar space, and began carrying a range of goods from other like-minded vendors creating fair trade and handmade goods. Together with some amazing new friends, we created a collective of women who share the space here on the 101 Highway in funky Leucadia, California.

The Thread Spun shop and collective in Encinitas, California, featuring handmade and fair trade goods.

Owner of Thread Spun, Heidi Ledger, in front of her fair trade and handmade shop in Encinitas, CA.

The Thread Spun shop in Leucadia, California, north of San Diego features unique and handmade goods for you and your home.

We also took the Thread Spun brand in a new direction, adding accessories for you and for your home to our product line. All of our branded goods continue to be hand sewn by resettled refugees here in San Diego using handwoven and fair trade textiles and environmentally-friendly and sustainable materials.

Zippered pouches handsewn by resettled refugees in San Diego using handwoven textiles by Thread Spun.

Thread Spun hires resettled refugees to make womens accessories in San Diego, California, using textiles from developing countries.

Thread Spun hires resettled refugees to make womens accessories in San Diego, California, using textiles from developing countries like Burkina Faso and Mali.

Zippered pouches handsewn by resettled refugees in San Diego using handwoven textiles by Thread Spun.

Speaking of employees, our friend and first artisan partner, Pleh, moved to Nebraska, and we hired three new artisans: Farida, Shakila and Lashta. We were able to create more than 400 hours of dignified employment for these talented makers, paying above a living wage for the San Diego region. We also generated fair wages and meaningful employment for our artisan partners around the world.

This Thread Spun resettled refugee artisan named Farida chats with owner Heidi of San Diego

Thread Spun artisan partners in Guatemala handweave textiles and are paid fairly for their work.

Thread Spun hires resettled refugees like these artisans from Afghanistan to sew all of their fair trade goods in San Diego

I did my first pop-up shop and my first maker's market with Thread Spun, and then I did a few more. I leaned heavily on family and friends to make it happen, and am so thankful. Our family also traveled to Santa Fe for the International Folk Art Market to source textiles. We met two new vendors: weavers from Chiapas, Mexico and from Burkina Faso. You can see some of their beautiful handwoven textiles here.

The Thread Spun popup table at Four Moons Spa in Encinitas featured handmade goods from local and international makers.

Thread Spun artisan weaving partner from Burkina Faso shows off one of his handwoven textiles at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market.

Textiles purchased by Thread Spun owner at the International Folk Art Market in San Diego and now sold in San Diego and online
Speaking of family, we welcomed a daughter, Lou Ida, in March. In October, we lost a close family member to a battle with cancer. It was a year of great love and great loss. Of personal growth, of a lot of questioning others and myself, and of questioning priorities.

Thread Spun owner and mother Heidi Ledger often brings her daughter to her fair trade shop in Encinitas

Thread Spun owner and mother Heidi Ledger often brings her daughter to her fair trade shop in Encinitas

That said, I believe now more than ever that people are what matter. Family and friends, of course, but all humans are worth of our care and attention. Around the world, momentum is building in support of conscious consumerism, fair wages, and sustainable fashion. You are creating real change using your power as a consumer. 

Thread Spun artisan partners in Guatemala handweave textiles and are paid fairly for their work.

Thread Spun, based in San Diego, CA partners with artisans around the world to create fair wages and offer fair trade goods to customers

A textile by one of Thread Spun's artisan partners in Mali is shown

Thank you for being by my side throughout the last year and into this next one. Your interest in the lives of others is uplifting vulnerable people around the world. Your purchases are helping fund the lifesaving work of Circle of Health International, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your support is changing lives.

My sincerest gratitude, from the bottom of my heart.


In Peace,
Heidi

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  • I didn’t know you were blogging! Love this – what a year for you and Thread Spun! You continue to amaze me. Also, so honored to have been included within this post;-)

    SIerra Nichols on

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