March 21, 2011

Spending Power...for Charity

I do not categorize myself as a big shopper, but I do enjoy my rings and pendants--which is why I have a jewelry shop (that sells mainly pendants) on Etsy.  I design and create items that I would purchase, that I adore.  My consumeristic tendencies reflect my items for sale...good or bad?

Am I contributing to the consumerism by women, when women's salaries are still not, for the most part, on par with men's?  The moral dilemma on spending the money that I do not necessarily have is constantly bringing up these moralistic issues in me.  It's a woman thing, I think.

However, I spent the majority of my afternoon and night looking for items to purchase on Etsy, where the proceeds would go to relief efforts in Japan--when I should have been writing (but it was a fun break!).  :/  I just purchased a beautiful gray moonstone ring (see image below) from UmiDesign--she is originally from Sendai, Japan, and is donating 20% of each item in her shop.

JAPAN RELIEF: Moonstone Ring in Sterling


I also like ShihoYamashita's jewelry.  She is also originally from Japan--30% of all sales from her shop will go to disaster relief in Japan.  I especially love this necklace:

Earthquake Relief for Japan - Black and White Necklace

Another very cool item from the husband and wife team, iswasandwillbe  I've been eyeing this pendant (see below) VERY intently--it is gloriously unisex in design.  They've created only 30 of these uniquely subtle pendants, each with 100% of proceeds going to charity.

11 of 30 limited edition every bit necklace FOR JAPAN, 100 percent of proceeds donated


100% of proceeds from the collective shop, loveforjapan, will be donated to disaster relief in Japan.  There you will find my donated my Unique Carnelian and Red Aventurine Pendant.   :)

 Please click on the shop banner below to enter the shop.

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Moral of the/my (spending)story: 
 Spending money for charity is something that I truly enjoy and feel good about; it is spending power at its greatest.  Yet, women are the most prolific consumers in our society, even when our wages are unequal with men's (the facts show this-- last week, my husband and I saw a blurb on the gender wage gap on the national evening news).  I acknowledge that I am part of this group (even if I don't consider myself a prolific shopper).  However, it is okay to treat yourself to something nice once in awhile.  :) 

Good causes are good to donate to, but donation directly to an organization is even better, for what you get in return is more than just an item purchased in exchange for a donation: you relinquish the moral dilemma around purchasing "unneeded," aka "decorative" items.  You feel inherently good about getting nothing in return besides the giddiness that accompanies doing a good deed.  Like opening the door for an elderly man or woman.

Donating anything is a good thing, and is a rarity in our increasingly fragmented society, where donations are needed so greatly--yet are oftentimes unfulfilled.  Instead of the "me, me, me" mentality, we need to get to an "us, us, us" mentality, on a local and global scale.  Technology is a double-edged sword, for it allows us to connect globally, sell our wares for good causes and income, and also is so costly to our pocketbooks (think cellphones, laptops, etc.) and nullifies much of our face-to-face interactions.  Coldness, I say, but with a flickering glimmer of light.

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