WLCA: Shopper's Dreamscape
I am a conscious consumer and I’m a plain old picky eater when it comes to comestibles (and a plain old picky eater). I’m not going to buy anything I don’t really need (jewelry is a special need all its own, as some of you might agree). I want to find products that have been hand produced lovingly, and at an excellent wage; products that show creativity and a knack for reusing materials or using the most organic ones the makers could find. I don’t want to think that little children’s hands have had to make anything I buy/eat/ put anywhere near my skin.
I’ve come to Wanderlust for the meditation, the people around me, and Squaw Valley, of course. I stay late for the shopping, though.
Here are some of my favorite finds, I’m seeking organic, what will I find?
Clothes & Accessories
There are lots of clothes and jewelry at Wanderlust. I’m thrilled to meet Jennifer Ciraulo, the creative force behind Blooming Lotus jewelry, who hand stamps a word of special meaning onto the tag of one of her Mala bracelets for Alaina, and who dreams of starting her own yoga business soon. Jennifer made all the Mala bracelets in 2012 for Wandelust. That’s right, she assembled 3,000 pieces by hand. Though I’m a little envious of those who got one last year, I let this negativity go, and instead peruse her lovely necklaces and bracelets made of sterling silver and natural stones. Jennifer is an expert on the healing properties, and features spiritual dieties and symbols in her jewelry (Ganesh, OM, Hamsa, and more). Sure enough, there’s a lucky little silver elephant with my name on it. Visit Jennifer at the booths up in the food court, and check out bloominglotusjewelry.com to shop from home.
When I asked around about some of the best vendors, everyone told me to find the handmade boots. Found them I did, at the Teysha booth. Teysha will create your own boot custom for you, and its mission is to power artisan communities through micro financing, according to Clay, one of the owners I spoke with. Women in Panama create the textiles (called Mola) used to make the boots and stunning ladies shoes (think ballet slipper style, but way cooler, brighter, hipper), and these women, thanks to Teysha, get paid to create their personal art form. No two pairs are the same. It’s so win-win, and wild-wild. Find these beauties online here.
Autumn Teneyl. I like her name so much that I’d want to meet her even if she didn’t put together the most dazzling dresses I’ve seen in a while. But I didn’t get to meet her; instead, her mom, Zooey, told me all about Autumn’s self-named clothing company. Autumn gets leftover fabric from high-end world-famous designers, then pieces it together. Check out the Calypso dress made from at least six different fabrics. If you have a daughter, you’ll want two. Autumn also features organic cotton, so she meets all my needs. She also uses models in her catalog that are REAL sizes (some above size 12--we’ve come a long way, and one is a mom of five). Autumn also donates to several nonprofit organizations. At least stop by and say hi to Zooey, who is rightly proud of her daughter. Find her on Facebook for more info.
For a really good time, rush over to Silver and Sage jewelry, near the food coop. Co-owner Logan Maldon Milliken exquisitely “designs by aesthetics,” says Tristan, and has created enough magnificent malas, necklaces, bracelets, and more. This members of this family-owned business will tell you everything you need to know about which stone is right for you and why. I went for a lilac lepidolite mala, and I’m totally at peace. Plus they’re right near the inventive yoga acrobats near the food court. At night there’s a wine area right there. Wine, natural stones, conversation, even handmade silver belt buckles. What more do you need on a summer night? See you there. silverandsagejewelry.com.
Linda Lenhoff is a writer and editor who works and meditates in the Bay Area. She’s also the author of the novels Life a la Mode and Latte Lessons. Visit her blog at LindaLatteLessons.Wordpress.com.