Tinkered By | Building Brighter Futures

I love hearing how businesses are born and the Tinkered by story is an especially inspiring one. Australian sisters, Rachael Steadman and Kate Boston, had a vision to create a business together that was both fulfilling to them, as well as being a 'force for good'. With Rachael living in Western Australia and Kate in Kenya, the pair created a sustainable brand that brings superior handmade products to consumers, while having a positive impact on the artisans behind the products.

Artisan businesses in the developing world struggle to gain access to a global market where they can sell their goods. Tinkered by is committed to helping their artisans in East Africa to grow their businesses. They source all of the handmade products and work directly with the beautiful people that create them.

This is positive in so many ways... providing work and growing businesses, empowering women, helping families, cultural sustainability, connecting communities, and brighter futures for many. There's a wide range of products available, all beautiful and you know that each piece is unique. The jewellery is lovingly crafted using raw or recycled materials and each piece comes with a 'story of note'.

You can shop for beautiful homewares and accessories and know that you're not only receiving an amazing product, but also giving back to a community at the same time.

The rugs are also works of art. Raw wool is spun by hand and then dyed in barrels of boiling water over a fire. Dried in the sun it is then woven into beautiful thick woollen carpets with a gorgeous thick texture. The rugs are durable, hard wearing and naturally stain resistant due to the lanolin in the raw wool. Custom-made you can choose your design, colours, and size to suit your home and create a wonderful story that you are very much a part of. You will be guided through the process and have plenty of input.

I am completely taken with the range of Tinkered by toys. My favourites are the beautiful dolls, but the motorbikes and tractors made from wire and bottle tops are so clever!

If this business model has inspired you, Tinkered by has recently launched an extension to their business - the opportunity to become an Ambassador. You can create your own flexible business by marketing and selling the Tinkered by collection at in-home "Trunk Shows". These are parties where you can share the background stories and sell the quality products in a fun, no-pressure setting. As an ambassador you can choose when and where to sell and how much time you want to invest, so it is completely flexible with your lifestyle. This opportunity is currently open to Australian women, but Tinkered by hope to extend it to include New Zealanders in the near future. If you're interested to know more check out the website or drop them an email.

DIY Projects

It's the start of another awesome week, and for all you clever crafty types itching for another project, I've got a few fabulous ideas...

I love these house numbers nestled into a bed of grass and contained in a smart box frame. It's creator, Laura Gummerman from 'A Beautiful Mess' blog, gives you step by step instructions on how to make your own.

Check your local hardware store for fake grass, but I also found this aqua grass mat (below), usually used in fishponds, which is long and lush looking.

My daughter's tiny, wardrobe-less bedroom means that I'm always impressed by hanging storage solutions. This DIY Copper Clothing Rack is right on trend, and really beautiful.

Created from copper piping (again, check your local hardware store), Madelynn Furlong of 'Wide Eyed Legless' photographed her project step by step to feature over on the 'SF Girl by Bay' blog. It's such a great use of space in a small room, so I'm definitely going to try making this for Jessie's room.

Over the weekend I filled a bag with clothes I don't wear much anymore. It's always a good feeling to clear and un-clutter your home, and I'll drop my bag down to the Salvation Army. But if you're doing the same thing, consider holding onto one of your old t-shirts and turning it into this adorable little teddy bear by Evie Barrow.

So many clever ideas! I hope you're inspired to get creating yourself now.

Farmers Gift Globe

How's your Christmas shopping going? Are you one of those super organised people who has it all sorted early December?! If, like me, you're still ticking off that list and need some help, I've got a fantastic app for you to try. It's called the 'Farmers Gift Globe' and it's designed to ease the stress of finding the perfect gift for every member of the family. 

So fun to use, you simply select the age and gender of the recipient, and your price bracket, and the globe will choose a Farmers product to suit. If you want another idea, click 'shake again' and a new product will appear - great huh?! You've got to try it out.

After trying the globe out for myself, and brimming with gift ideas, I headed into our local Farmers store in Napier. The plan was to pick a gift each for my three young daughters.

My eldest has just turned 11, and is all about music, movies and pop stars these days. The makeup and perfume department has some amazing gift sets, and I got some fabulous advice from Christine, one of the beauty consultants. She showed me the huge range of perfumes, a lot of them aimed at the younger market. It seems every pop star has their own perfume - Taylor Swift, Nicki Manaj, Rihanna, Justin Bieber... but the favourite in our household is Selena Gomez.

That was a good start, but I wanted to check out the toy department upstairs before I made any decisions. I only got a little bit distracted on the way - lots of cute things!

Right, back on track... every toy imaginable is available at Farmers, and there truly is something for everyone. My two youngest are twins, and will turn 9 early next year. They're very much action girls, who love the outdoors, and anything to do with water.

After agonising over the choices I finally decided on a pretty impressive looking water gun each. I know they'll love them, as their friends have one, and this has provided hours of fun in the past. So as not to feel left out, I bought a smaller version for big sis and headed back to get her the Selena Gomez perfume also.

Happy days, I can't wait til Christmas now and to see their faces when they open their presents. Make sure you check out the Farmer Gift Globe, which can be found on the Farmers Facebook page. And pop into your local store for lots of brilliant gift ideas.