Spread the LOVE. . .

Spread the LOVE. . .
with gifts from the artisan's soul

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Helping Haitian Artisans & Families

Living in California for the past 24 years I live with the threat of earthquakes and have eXperienced a few but nothing like what recently occurred in Haiti. Unfortunately sometimes it takes catastrophes like this to call us to action to help those in need. However we arrive at that point is different for all of us but we should celebrate getting there.

Organizations that we believe in are helping the Haitian people now and they all need additional support. Even a simple text that donates $10 can help towards recovery. We invite you to make a world of difference with one small action.

With our social mission being to help support and sustain local and global artisans we would like to ask for special help in assisting Haitian artisans rebuild their workshops so that they can continue to practice their crafts and trades. Artisans in Haiti are key to economic recovery so please help us help Aid to Artisans with their work in Haiti.

Please visit Save the Children's website to see how this amazing non-profit organization is helping the children dramatically effected by this earthquake.

These are just 2 simple ways we collectively can help make a difference in the lives of Haitian artisans and families.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

aesthetyX eXperience No. 1: 2010 - An African Evening

We are looking forward to inviting everyone to join us this Spring (date TBD) for our first amazing aesthetyx eXperience of the New Year and New decade called 'An African Evening'. Our friend and fellow lover of artisans, Sean Coetzee, is from South Africa and we fortunately crossed paths last summer in Los Angeles and he invited us to 'An African Evening' eVent in San Diego. It was so well executed and attended we thought it would be a great concept for an eVent at our Huntington Beach store.

Sean is a very inspired, motivated, and passionate young man with a killer South African accent and a great outlook on socially responsible business. It's fun for us to work with someone as talented as Sean who shares so many of our core business and social values.

Sean founded African Woodsmoke in 2007. Here is his Mission Statement:


This statement with the name of our business sums up our mission statement. Our goal is to bring the Woodsmoke of Africa to the West through our products, people, and culture all while showcasing the unique stories of our artists and their daily struggles. We incorporate giving into everything we do at Woodsmoke. By purchasing a Woodsmoke product you are directly helping an African artist and his/her family.

In the US education is a given, but in Africa it is seen as a privilege and opportunity because the government does not pay for education. Five percent of every Woodsmoke purchase goes to educating children in Africa.

“That’s what brings meaning to my life and this business.” Sean Coetzee, Founder Woodsmoke

AESTHETYX will be carrying beautiful gauzy scarves by one of Sean's talented artisans, Miriam Kamanthe, this Spring at our Huntington Beach store. Visit our store in early February to see her creations.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Looking forward to 2010

I would like to take this opportunity to eXpress my thanX to everyone who has ever visited our store, website, and/or blog. We appreciate your interest in AESTHETYX and our social mission to showcase and sustain local and global artisans.

We are eXcited to work with more global artisans directly this year as well as socially proactive artisan businesses, non-profit organizations that help to sustain artisans and develop global economies, and local artisans who contribute to the world of handmade.

We strive to spread our artisan soul stories to all of you so that you can appreciate and understand them but can spread them to your friends & family and together we can help sustain artisans through word of mouth and commerce.

We will be relaunching our website early in 2010 to allow our customers to easily connect with us and if they have shopped in our brick & mortar store continue shopping with us. We will also use our website as a central place to keep you posted on all of our news, upcoming eVents, and new artisan stories.

ThanX again to all of you out there following us, we wish you a new decade of peace & prosperity!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

December Holiday Sale

Click on image to see full details:

The Day of the Virgin de Guadalupe

On this day in 1531 the Virgin de Guadalupe was sighted by a humble man named Juan Diego at a place called Teypeyacac, in what is present day Mexico City. She asked Juan Diego to go to the Bishop and petition him to build a temple for her at the foot of Tepeyacac. The Bishop was suspicious of Juan Diego and called for proof. The Virgin told Juan Diego to climb to the top of Tepeyacac, where he found flowers growing completely out of season. He wrapped the flowers in his cape and brought them back down the hill to the Bishop, The Image of the Virgin appeared on the cape. The Bishop was humbled and set out straight away to build the Temple.

On this day millions of pilgrims come from all over the world to Mexico City to visit the Virgin de Guadalupe. Skeptics are quick to point out the unlikely coincidence of the Virgin's appearance on Tepeyacac, the very site of an Aztec temple dedicated to Tonatzin (earth goddess, mother of the gods and protectror of humanity) which had been devastated by order of Bishop Zumarraga.

On this special day, all of Mexico, and all Mexican sons and daughters on the other side gather for the celebration of the Virgin. An endless parade of pilgrims from the country’s four points appear at her Basilica with their flowers, songs, chants and prayers. They stream in processions led by indigenous dancers, to every church named for her. Wreaths of flowers adorn the signs of streets, neighborhoods, and towns bearing her name. Religious orders, churches and the millions of men, women, boys and girls named for her are especially joyous, as they share her special day.

The nation releases an immense sign of tenderness and experiences a profound expression of Mexican roots and essence and love for Our Lady, Virgen Maria de Guadalupe.

By the early hours of the morning of December 12th, in every niche and cranny Mexico, the burst of fire crackers is heard and their brilliant lights crown this great fiesta dedicated to the Mother of all Mexicans... Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thoughtful Giving

Here we are again, already gearing up for the Holidays! This season we invite you to join us in consciously shopping with a purpose. In other words, we invite you to make your purchases count towards more than just the act of buying and giving. We encourage you, as patrons of the artisans, to help the local and global community through commerce.

Thoughtful giving is always on our minds at aesthetyX, and this Holiday season we strive to offer you a wide variety of unique products hand-crafted by local and global artisans along with fair trade and socially responsible gifts. We want the meaning behind each one to touch your soul and that of the recipient.

'Tis the season to shop, and so we hope you will think of us and the work we strive to do for change. We are thankful for all the patrons of the artisans out there in the world that support our mission.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Our Day of the Dead

Every year when the air starts getting crisp and days become shorter Dia de los Muertos seems to arrive sooner than I am prepared for and I always want to do some special in honor of this reverent Holiday which I have grown to cherish.

This year we decided to collaborate with our friends Farra & Juan Miron who have started a wonderful foodie project called 'La Mesita sin Nombre' (the little table without a name) where they host wonderful dinner parties once a month that are food and beer pairings that feature farm to table local food and local unique beer selections, usually in their lovely home in North Park, San Diego.

We supplied all of the 'ofrenda' (altar) decor complete with the vibrant orange marigolds and fuchsia coxcomb as well as the papel picados. The ofrenda turned out amazing, Farra & Lucera make an incredible arch complete with handmade paper flowers combined with the fresh marigolds. The arch perfectly framed a piece of artwork by Farra & Juan's friend Emilia of a charming Dia de los Muertos wedding couple, it was the perfect centerpiece. The ofrenda was adorned with momentos from loved ones passed including photos, dolls, notes, candles, and special items in memory of all of the loved ones gone before us. We made sure everyone learned about this wonderful holiday so that they could appreciate the celebration even more.

As always, Farra & Juan outdid themselves both with the gorgeous spread and the delicioso comida! The margaritas welcomed us in gorgeous glass dispensers and beautiful flowers adorned the tables amongst the wide variety of home-made salsas y postres (desserts).

The 'piece de resistance' and star of the show was the 'Mole Magnifico' - a true labor of love that took hours of collaborative work. Everyone participated in stirring the very large cazuela of mole on the hot stove all night long (including Charles and I). The mole did not disappoint and I have to admit that I helped myself to seconds and thirds and gave myself a self-induced stomach ache by the end of the evening.

We look forward to continuing to honor this wonderful holiday and invite you to learn more about it and participate in our celebration next year... stay tuned.

-Judy Compton

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Days of the Dead!

Dia de los Muertos is celebrated to remember those friends and family members who have died. In keeping with this tradition, please join us on Sunday, November 1st at 4pm to celebrate the lives of our loved ones. Please bring an offering (food, beverage or special memento) for the “ofrenda” or altar that honors the departed. Homemade molé, margaritas and micheladas will be served. Come celebrate your loved ones with us! Here's the address: 3673 Grim Street San Diego, CA 92104

¿Que dice? Did you say molé? Ok, count me in! My Dear Grandmother loved molé. I'll bring her even more chocolate for the ofrenda. See you at the fiesta! -D.K.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

An Invitation from aesthetyX and Institute of the Americas

aesthetyX and Institute of the Americas invite you to celebrate and benefit the work of non-profit organization, Barro Sin Plomo (BSP) "Clay without Lead" and Mexican artisans on the evening of November 5th. The evening will include a reception and sale of lead-free pottery, a presentation by BSP leaders Victor Aguila, Anna O'Leary and Cisco Pinedo. There will be a video by Galatea Audiovisual with wonderful footage from the BSP documentary in production, "Tierra Brilliante".

The event will take place from 6-8 PM November 5th at Institute of the Americas on the UCSD Campus: 10111 N. Torrey Pines Road. La Jolla, CA 92037

For more information and to RSVP please visit: iamericas.org

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fair Trade Month

Hopefully, all of that information from our post "Evolving to Fair Trade" has sunk in. We ask you kindly, to take on our mission for you this week. In honor of Fair Trade Month, we ask you to tell three friends about Fair Trade: What is it? What does it mean? Why should you buy it? You can also tell them where you buy you Fair Trade products, and encourage them to do the same. Throughout this month, events will be held around the country to celebrate Fair Trade Month. To find out what events are being held near you, or how to start an event yourself, head to the calendar on the Fair Trade Month website!

Have you attended a Fair Trade Month event already this month? Let us know about it! Comment on this post and tell us all about the event! Thanks for sharing your knowledge of Fair Trade with the world!

Happy Fair Trade Month!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dedicated to Sustainable Development

GRUPEDSAC- Group To Promote Education and Sustainable Development, is dedicated to offering solutions for poverty in the Mexican countryside through training, skill development, ecosystem restoration, and motivating the organizational and management capacities of small farmer communities with the purpose of generating knowledge and allowing them to satisfy their basic needs of pure water, healthy food, appropriate housing, and sustainable energy.

In order to fulfill its mission, the organization has two training and demonstration centers on alternative technologies where the promotion of self-sufficiency and self-development are the main goals. The Center for Education and Rural Development (CEDER) in Huixquilucan, State of Mexico, and the Instituto Tonantzin Tlalli (ITT) in Ejutla, Oaxaca. Both centers were built using appropriate green technologies and Permaculture design principles. They offer guided visits, trainings, and workshops at both sites.

During a recent trip to Mexico, Judy and Charles came across this non-profit organization at the trade show and bought some unique handbags, coin purses and clutches all made from recycled wrappers. Come have a look at the classy, intricately woven accessories made from discarded, colorful and shiny candy wrappers. Talk about sustainable!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Sculptures and Designs by Roberto!

THIS JUST IN- Hurray! We received a shipment of some new sculptures from one of our favorite artisans- Roberto Tirado. They are playful as well as elegant, and range in price from $45 to $450 depending on size and style. There are some adorable little birds that have a tall perch to go perfectly in the garden. I haven't seen Roberto's Woman with the Cat before, but now I'm in love with her. :) Hopefully you'll get a chance to see these exquisite beauties before they go away to good homes. Come have a look- there might even be one your home or garden cannot live without. I'm telling ya, Roberto Tirado has really accomplished great work in these new, unique sculptures. See you at the gallery!

- D.K.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Acholi Beads and aesthetyX- a Big Hit Together!

Thank you Jim and Suzie Pearson of Acholi Beads for the great Trunk Show last weekend during the Leucadia Art Walk. It was a huge success!

We look forward to working with Acholi Beads again soon, and in the meantime we will continue to carry a wide selection of Acholi earrings, bracelets and necklaces in the store. We are proud to be an Acholi Beads retailer. If you missed the Trunk Show this time around- come on down and see what's new. Have a great Labor Day!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Acholi Beads Trunk Show at aesthetyX

This Sunday the 30th, aesthetyX will be hosting an Acholi Beads Trunk Show during the Leucadia ART WALK. Two Acholi Beads representatives will be setting up right outside our door! Enjoy the Arts this summer by strolling the 101 in Leucadia and stop by aesthetyX to see what's new from Acholi Beads.