Prayer flags flying high above the eyes of the stupa at Swayambhunath, or "The Monkey Temple" in Kathmandu Nepal

S.M.I.L.E. - I (Inspired By Community and Culture) 🌍🌎🌏

Nov 3, 2021
β€œWe only buy from, work with, and sell to people who smile.” - Mexicali Owner Pete Erskine

I - Inspired by Community & Culture

The "I" is in the eye of the beholder, and as a company, we take inspiration from every person, place, and culture that we can. Whether it be our coastal community here in Maine, a bustling marketplace in Bangkok, a high-elevation landlocked village in Solokhumbu, Nepal, or a lakeside town on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, the β€œI” is why, it’s what is most important to us, respecting cultures and supporting and empowering communities.

Inspired by Community and Culture is giving back.

We are thankful for this beautiful world we live in, the people in it, and the cultures and communities that have supported our business since its start in 1988. For that reason, we give back whenever we can. We donate 1% of all purchases to organizations that support causes that we consider the most important. When the need arises, we do more to support the communities and cultures that have given so much to us.Β 

When a series of earthquakes devastated Nepal we raised over $25,000 desperately needed for earthquake relief by donating 100% of the sales of prayer flags. One year later, when we learned that children in remote regions of Nepal still didn’t have schools, we donated another $25,000 to help build one with the help of our friends at the dZi Foundation. When we heard that artisans in the Guatemalan highlands didn’t have adequate housing for the rainy season, we began donating 100% of the proceeds of our beaded bracelets to building homes throught the Guatemalan Housing Alliance. When our friends and suppliers reached out to us during the height of Covid-19 in India and Nepal, we raised over $25,000 through the sale of recycled silk bags to help with relief efforts.

We are always striving to make the world a better place. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do… and we couldn’t do it without you.Β 

Inspired by community & culture is celebration.

We celebrate our workers by providing them with a living wage and dynamic benefits and in turn, they inspire us to constantly evolve to be better employers, better coworkers, and a better business. We celebrate our customers by offering them sales, promotions, discounts, and giveaways to thank them for being a part of our community. In turn, you inspire us to stay creative and fun, and remind us to share our story.

We respectfully celebrate international cultures and their traditions with our friends, family, and community members both here in Maine and abroad. These celebrations and traditions inspire how we do business, how we responsibly source and import our products, and how we educate our consumers on the cultural significance of our global goods. From prayer flags fluttering high in the Himalayas to colorful Holi festival celebrations in New Delhi, healing singing bowls to therapeutic incense, yogic practice to mindful meditation, we pay our respects to ancient practices that came long before us.

We celebrate the artisanal origins of our goods, from our hand loomed Guatemalan textiles to our hand woven fleece lined wool gloves from Nepal, and the communities that these handicrafts support. We celebrate the recycled origins of many of our products, from our Indian Recycled Silk Sari Curtains to our Mexican Falsa blankets, and the cultures that inspire them. Most importantly, we celebrate the people in our community, whether it is Imtiyaz in Nepal, Topher here in Maine, or YOU wherever you may be. Thanks for continuing to be a part of our community, it's a good place to be ✌️

Β 

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