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Maker Stories

Uncommon Impact: Practical Design Meets Practicing Better Business

October 1, 2015

As a B Corp certified company, UncommonGoods is excited about sustainability. That means more to us than just being “green” – we strive to offer products that reflect the environmental and social best-interests of everyone. So, when our makers are as concerned with sustainability as we are, we’re always excited to learn more about their process and the positive impact they’re having on the world.

While many of our makers rely on sustainable practices at one point or another in their process, we’re especially excited about those who place the wider world at the forefront of their craft – those who are making an uncommon impact.

Meet Lishu and Leonardo Rodriguez, founders of fellow B Corp El Dot Designs, which specializes in mindfully-sourced home furnishings that have a positive impact on the lives of the people who make them. Their work is as much about sustaining the environment as it is about providing economic opportunity for disadvantaged women and minority artisans, all the while nurturing the traditional craftsmanship behind practical modern designs.

Lishu and Leo Rodriguez

 Lishu and Leo Rodriguez 

Where does the natural environment find a place in the inspiration for and impact of your work?
Nature is our teacher and our muse. We believe in our symbiotic relationship with the natural environment. Our work nurtures this relationship where humanity and the natural environment benefit form one another.

How do craft traditions and modern practicality merge in your designs?
Craft is based on necessity dating back to the beginnings of technology. Our designs appreciate this evolution towards efficiency and durability while maintaining that human touch and our heritage of making with our bare hands.

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The Uncommon Life

Getting Some Facetime

February 25, 2011

How often do you get to meet your favorite authors? Not that often, am I right! Luckily Conor Grennan, bestselling author of Little Princes, took some time off from his book tour to join us today on Facebook, for a quick chat.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Little Princes yet, you’re going to want to after hearing all about Conor’s adventures. Read on for more about coming face to face with a child trafficker, dealing with dysentery, and the joys of eating an apple.

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The Uncommon Life

Meet the Author Update

February 24, 2011

We’re so excited to meet author Conor Grennan tomorrow at 3 pm on our Facebook page, and I can tell by all your questions that it’s going to be a great event!

Conor has devoted his life to helping reunite children in Nepal with their families, after a decade-long civil war, and his book Little Princes is a real call to action for all of us.

I think Conor’s going to have some great suggestions for ways we can all help. But I want to start out by telling you about our Better To Give Partner, Next Generation Nepal. Founded by Conor Grennan, this amazing nonprofit offers temporary care and education for children trafficked into Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu, and slowly but surely are reconnecting these children with their families in rural and remote mountain villages.

Right now, you can choose for Next Generation Nepal to receive $1 from us, each time you make a purchase. And on Friday, February 25, in honor of our Q&A with Conor Grennan, we’ll be doubling our donation amount.

So if you haven’t picked up a copy of Little Princes yet, you can make a difference for children at the Little Princes orphanage, by buying your copy on Friday. Just remember to select Next Generation Nepal at checkout!

The Uncommon Life

Meet the Author: Exclusive Facebook Event

February 14, 2011

If you haven’t read Little Princes yet, here’s your chance! On February 25th, author Conor Grennan is joining us on Facebook for a real-time Q&A. You can ask Conor your questions today, by leaving a comment below, and automatically be entered to win one of five signed hardcover copies of his brand new book.

From his book:

“IT WAS WELL AFTER nightfall when I realized we had gone the wrong way. The village I had been looking for was somewhere up the mountain. In my condition, it would be several hours’ walk up a rocky trail, if we could even find the trail in the pitch-dark. My two porters and I had been walking for thirteen hours straight. Winter at night in the mountains of northwestern Nepal is bitterly cold, and we had no shelter. Two of our three flashlights had burned out. Worse, we were deep in a Maoist rebel stronghold, not far from where a colleague had been kidnapped almost exactly one year before. I would have shared this fact with my porters, but we were unable to com­municate; I spoke only a few words of the local dialect.” Read more.

Little Princes is the true story of Conor Grennan’s journey to Nepal and how he found his life’s focus, helping reunite orphaned children with their families. In the vein of Three Cups of Tea or Mountains Beyond Mountains, it’s one of those feel-good memoirs that reminds us all how much of a difference we can make in the world.

What I loved so much about Grennan’s story was that he didn’t start out with a save-the-world mission. He was traveling around the globe on his own adventure, and only stopped off to volunteer for a month in Nepal to impress his friends and family. But his transformation was truly inspiring.

So join us on February 25th at 3 pm for a chance to talk to Conor, learn more about his work with our Better to Give partner Next Generation Nepal, and win a free signed copy hardcover edition of Little Princes.

RSVP today, by leaving a comment or question for Conor below.

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