One Dress, 31 Days || Introducing the Avery Dress

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I’m the furthest thing from a fashion designer. Oddly, I don’t even think of myself as a “fashion blogger” because I still feel like I’m figuring out my personal style as I go. I don’t know what makes the “perfect” piece. I don’t know how to source fabric, or where to put seams, or how to ensure a design works on multiple bodies.

But somehow, here I am. Wearing a dress that I helped create. For 31 straight days.

Everyone, I’d like you to meet Avery. She’s the dress I’ll be wearing all December long while I raise awareness for human trafficking with Dressember. (To read more of what Dressember is, why it’s effective, and why I choose to join in, read this post).

One dress, one full month, countless ways to style it.

I haven’t always been this crazy, don’t worry. Several years of Dressember under my belt (this year is my fourth), a shared inspiration with my sweet friend Emily of A Day Pack, and a desire to make this year a little different was the push I needed to make a month of dresses even more intense by limiting myself to one dress.

Here’s the story of The Avery Slip Dress, because, friends, I’m so excited and so proud that this actually happened.

Emily and I co-led a Dressember team last year. We’ve both done the challenge for several years and, aside from the privilege it is to raise awareness about an issue so close to both of our hearts, we both love the challenge of wearing dresses for a full month. Challenging my closet’s versatility, my own creativity, and yes sometimes, sanity, has become a highlight of each winter.

This year though, as we were chatting over the summer, we decided to try something we’d never done before.

We decided to wear a single dress all month long, because if we could do it, anyone could. One of the most common reasons for not participating in the movement is because people feel limited by their closet or think that wearing one or two or three dresses all month long isn’t possible. Allow us to prove that it is ;) (You can see an example of a previous “Dressember Capsule” where I wore five dresses here for added inspiration).

The problem was, neither of us owned a dress that felt like “the one” we’d want to wear for a full month. Nothing versatile enough. Nothing comfortable enough.

We chatted about what our “ideal dress” would be and, coincidentally, we both had the EXACT same vision for the dress. A midi-length, rib knit, shift dress, perfect for layering and accommodating changing bodies.

Now all we needed was someone to agree to make it for us.

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Enter Hanna.

Hanna is the founder and badass one-woman-show behind Sotela. If you’ve stuck around over the past few years, you’ll know that her brand is one of my all time favorites and I’ve been lucky enough to partner with her lots over the years.

We pitched the idea of designing a “Dressember Dress” for us earlier this summer, half expecting her to say she was too busy or that the idea wasn’t possible.

We underestimated the woman though, because she was as enthusiastic as we were and took our design and literally made it come to life. Hanna had access to an organic ribbed cotton, offered to dye it black, and one sample later, we had the Avery Slip Dress.

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And the best part?

YOU can buy the dress too. We intentionally designed the dress to fit a wide range of body types without being form fitting. The fabric is perfect for baby bumps (lucky me), holiday food babies, bloat from period week, and everything in between. Layer over and under it with ease. Add heels for a night out, or flats for an easy at-home outfit. It’s the most versatile design we could think of (oh, and it’s reversible). We hope you love it as much as we do.

No, you don’t have to wear it all December long (although we’d love it if you joined us!). You don’t have to participate in Dressember to buy the dress. However, Hanna has generously agreed to donate a portion of the sales from the Avery Dress to Dressember during the month of December, so if you’re interested in the dress, your purchase can have twice the impact if your order it sooner rather than later.

It’s been so much fun bringing this dress to life and I can’t wait to see it on real women, during Dressember and beyond.

Click here to order the Avery Slip Dress.

Click here to join our Dressember team.

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All photos by my sweet sister-in-law and owner of Shutter Story Photography.

Ethical Holiday || Gift Guide For Kids

Ethical Holiday  || Gift Guide For Kids

The last of my gift guides for the year has been the most fun to put together. It's possible that kids are even harder to shop for than men, especially if you're trying to do so ethically. Although I try to always keep our Christmas gifts (very) simple and affordable for my two girls, I went a bit over the top with this guide. I include gifts for a wide age range and an even wider range of budgets ;) 

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10 Products Made By Survivors of Human Trafficking That Support Their New Life

10 Products Made By Survivors of Human Trafficking That Support Their New Life

It's Dressember day three, and fittingly, it's also International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. 

Slavery is far from abolished. In fact, there are 30 million people worldwide trapped in some kind of slavery. That is more than any other time period in history. 55% of modern day slaves are women and children and 45% are men and boys. 26% of them are children under 18 years old. 

These stats seem hopeless, but luckily, there are many organizations working night and day to abolish slavery, both overseas and in your back yard. 

It can feel like there's nothing you can do, but supporting the brands who employ survivors and aid in rescuing those still enslaved is a small, but highly effective way to join in the fight. Each one of the products included on this list were made by a survivor of trafficking or someone who is at risk for being trafficked. Each product provides sustainable income, a safe workplace, and care as the men and women transition back into the "real world". 

Voting with your dollars is one of the easiest ways to take a stand and shopping with brands like To the Market and the others in this list makes a difference on so many levels.  

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Introducing Kennebecker || A Bag That Multi-Tasks As Much As You Do

Introducing Kennebecker || A Bag That Multi-Tasks As Much As You Do

Don't worry, this isn't just another "purse review". Sometimes, I feel like blogging is really just promoting one handbag after another. I've reviewed two others in the history of my blog (which, really, isn't that insane), and each one is ingeniously designed by brands that I've researched, interviewed, and ultimately, respect and recommend. 

I'm not a "purse person" (say that ten times fast...) by nature, but life with two toddlers and with a job that requires me to be prepared to work from almost anywhere, means that a sturdy, sizeable, versatile tote is a must. 

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Ethical Holiday Guide || Affordable Gifts For Her

Ethical Holiday Guide || Affordable Gifts For Her

She may not be hard to shop for, but she may not speak her needs as quickly as everyone else. She may seem to "have it all". Or, she may carry herself so gracefully with what she has that you have no idea where to start when shopping for her. Whether she is your mom, your girlfriend, your sister, your aunt, or your best friend (or, if you're gathering some great ideas for your own Christmas list), she deserves a gift that is as beautiful as she is, but won't compromise on ethics. 

All of these pieces are practical, can fit a wide range of ages/personalities/styles, and of course are made as ethically and sustainably as possible. Each of these brands have been hand selected (by me) for this guide with affordability and practicality in mind, things I've either personally used or think would fit well into a wide variety of lifestyles. 

Whoever she is, she is sure to appreciate one of these consciously beautiful gifts. 

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