Posts In: Vendor Profile

I’m so, so excited to introduce our newest American-owned, woman-owned vendor in the shop: Mary Square.

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This company produces some of the most fun inspirational items on the market. Mary Square’s products make a gift expert like myself jump for joy because the quotes on their mugs, tumblers, notepads, and accessories are spot on. Every item I pick one up, I’m thinking “#nailedit.” You’ll love to give Mary Square to the people you love the most because they’ll feel like you “get them” too.

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Why exactly does Mary Square get it? Because owner Kelly Shiley has been there — struggling and in need of inspiration. After the birth of her third child in 2010 she was hit hard with severe post-partum depression. As part of her recovery plan, Kelly created inspirational decals to help her stay focused on Scripture and keep her in a positive mind-set. As local interest in her products grew, Kelly found that she had a passion for making products that inspired others. She hired a designer and recruited her husband to help with manufacturing and shipping. As her garage filled up with product and orders started rolling in, Kelly blossomed as a mother and businesswoman and her company “ScriptureArt” flourished. In 2015, along with her partner Crystal Righton, they rebranded the company and Mary Square was born.

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Today, Kelly and Crystal continue to create lasting impressions with their inspirational gift items. But, where does the Mary Square come from you must be wondering? Well both of their grandmothers were named Mary so of course these wise and strong women named their company after their own inspirations.

So stop by Cooper’s soon and check out our latest gift line. You’ll be glad you did!

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Beautiful and functional — Blessing Bracelets are one of our best sellers here at Cooper’s. But what are they?

According to Made as Intended, the company which created the bracelets: Blessing Bracelets are hand-strung sterling and Swarovski pearl and/or gemstone bracelets that come in more than 20 current colors. The intent behind each bracelet is very pure, to increase gratitude worldwide.

According to company founder, Dawn Sprong:

“I wrote the tag after experiencing a major shift in my own life. I knew how important being aware of all you already have is. I wrote those words to friends that I might help open their eyes to seeing and believing that change was not a someday thing. I wanted them to know that they could change their life immediately by being aware of the world around them and all the gifts they already had. My life changed dramatically when I discovered that most of what I wanted in life I had already received, yet I had never taken the time to appreciate it. I found through the practice of gratitude, most of what I had asked for was not really what I wanted. I learned to be grateful for what I desired now; to be happy. The tag was my attempt to inspire others to slow down and look at life through different eyes. It was my way of giving to others what I had been given, a changed heart and a knowing that life is pretty amazing.” 

The bracelet has not only traveled the world, it has changed lives. We were intent on creating a spiritual company whose mission was to inspire a shift in perspective. Blessing Bracelets gave Made As Intended a gift. We, in turn, plan to continue making products with messages of hope and inspiration, recognizing that when we change, the world changes.

Sprong started Made as Intended because she was looking for more from life than the corporate days she was leading. She feels that the Blessing Bracelets are her way of helping people live more intentionally while providing her own family with a more authentic life. The bracelets are made right here in the USA — the company is headquartered in Oak Brook, IL.

The card that comes with each bracelet reads:

This is a Blessing Bracelet. Whenever you wear it acknowledge one blessing in your life for each pearl on the bracelet. Each time you are drawn to the bracelet, silently find four people or things you can be grateful for. Be grateful for: your children, a flower, your dog, a perfect cup of coffee, a roof over your head — just find something. The more you wear the bracelet and the more blessings you find, the more you will be blessed. In one year, if followed, you will be aware of a profound change in your life.

The bracelets are really lightweight so as not to be distracting but you do catch yourself noticing the large beads throughout the day. It’s a very intentional piece of jewelry. And the beads are so smooth you’re definitely drawn to touch them. Let’s just say it’s a much better diversion than picking up your phone for the hundredth time today.

We try to carry the blessing bracelets in a variety of colors including white, pink, light blue, dark blue, turquoise, and silver. We hope to see you in the store soon so we can help you count your blessings! #ifounditatcoopers

 

communition-msmhI love to support companies that give back to the community — you’ll find many such items throughout the store. One of the most generous of these is the My Saint My Hero Inspirational Jewelry & Accessories. This company is so committed to helping women rise above their circumstances that they created a woven jewelry line of blessings bracelets to empower the women of Medjugorge, a town in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

These particular blessings bracelets were inspired by the company owners’ 2010 pilgrimage to the town of Medjugorje, a place that has been called “heaven on earth.” Similar to a prayer shawl, women there create hand-woven “prayer” bracelets — where they say a prayer for the recipient with each knot they weave.

According to the company: The Mission of My Saint My Hero is to transform the world one life at a time through the experience of being blessed and sharing that blessing with others. With your purchases, you are empowering women of Medjugorje through meaningful work – helping them rise above war-torn poverty with the dignity of their beautiful trade.

You can learn about these women here. My Saint My Hero also gives back locally. In a BIG way. The Los Angeles-based company contributes to over ten different US-based charities.

According to the company all of their pieces are crafted in love and prayer: “Our wearable blessings empower women through meaningful work. Our prayer is that these pieces help awaken souls to live in the presence of God and know I am true, I am good, I am beautiful, I am blessed.”

We currently stock blessing bracelets, remembrance bracelets, and bracelets celebrating First Holy Communion and Confirmation. The woven bands are a beautiful statement piece on their own or look beautiful when combined with other jewelry. They’re lightweight and secure — perfect for even a child to wear.

I especially love the Breathe bracelet which reminds us, “In time of need, run your fingers along the simple string; grasp the medal and breathe. By simply focusing our attention on taking a breath and linking that breath to God, we can dispel chaos and go back to our spiritual roots.”

How can you not love a company who’s logo is a shield to signify their commitment to battle against today’s culture. I think we all need a break today from the craziness of the world from time to time. So come visit us here at Cooper’s soon and let us help you remember to breathe and that you are good, you are beautiful, and you are blessed.

Have you experienced the Camille Beckman hand therapy yet? Camille Beckman is a US based maker of hand and body lotions, bath essentials, and perfumes. I adore this family-owned company that was started in part to create jobs for SAHMs. They only use the best ingredients in their products so the results are amazing. One use of the glycerine hand therapy and your hands will thank you.

The Idaho-based company was started by Susan Camille in the late 1980s. Passionate about flowers, herbs and perfume, Camille wanted to create a “family company that could benefit women while creating a romantic, beautiful experience for customers.”

The company’s mission statement:

Camille Beckman is a family company committed to creating restorative formulas that balance scientific formulation, natural ingredients and the art of fragrancing. Personal care is our passion; peace is our purpose. In all we do, let it empower our minds, bodies, souls, communities and Mother Earth.

We view our products as a labor of love, putting immense creativity and research into each project. From our focus on local suppliers and independent retailers to our ingredients and value for human capital, we are committed to consciously creating the positive changes we wish to see in the world. Our products are more than incredible concoctions for your skin. They are an opportunity to spread light, love and knowledge to every home and heart we touch.

Beautiful, right?

We’re proud to stock the Glycerine Hand Therapy in 6 oz. as well as 1.35 ounce purse size. This lotion is light and non-greasy. The fragrances are not overwhelming so it’s perfect for folks who are scent sensitive. Our favorites are the original Camille scent and the Secret Sea fragrance. Also, the all-natural ingredients are perfect for those of us with sensitive skin. You only need a small amount for the hand therapy to work it’s magic so the tube lasts a long time. It’s the perfect accessory for New England winters and for gardeners.

We have lots of testers in-store for you to experience. See you soon!

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earrings-perspective-sandjewelheartYou know that feeling you get at the end of a really great beach vacation? When you know you have to say goodbye and you won’t be able to walk on the sand tomorrow. And you wish you could take just a little bit of the beach home with you? Well one of my favorite Massachusetts-based and woman-owned businesses has made it possible to do just that.

Boston-based Dune Jewelry, the “Original Beach Sand Jewelry Company” has an amazing line of jewelry with each piece containing a bit of sand from your favorite beach. How do they know which is your favorite? It doesn’t really matter, because they’ve got a sandbank at their headquarters that contains sand from over 3,000 locations around the world.

Actually, it’s not just beach sand you can incorporate into the jewelry. According to the company’s website:

We use sand (and other materials) from your favorite beach, trail, ballpark, mountaintop, golf course and more to create a unique line of collectible jewelry that captures your favorite memories. 

Our patented fine jewelry designs are handcrafted in our studio by talented artisans who incorporate the highest quality materials from around the globe. Let us take your tangible pieces of a moment, a memory or a destination and incorporate them into artisan-crafted, fine jewelry that can last forever.

You can even send the company a sample of sand from your favorite location and they will custom make a piece for you! How’s that for amazing? I had this bar necklace made for my Hometown Hero, Pamela Murphy (you can read our story here) filled with sand from the beach where our astonishing story took place:

The rock and beach sand necklace we gave to Pam

The rock and beach sand necklace we gave to Pam

Dune Jewelry makes bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings. There are so many styles to chose from — a Dune piece makes for such a personal gift for any occasion. Our bestsellers are pieces that contain sand from Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Fenway Park.

The company was founded by Holly Daniels Christensen who is originally from Cape Cod. She started making sand jewelry as gifts in 2007 and the concept was so successful that she started Dune in 2010. The company is now based in Boston.

Another reason to love Dune? A portion of each purchase goes to support coastal preservation. Making sure our favorite beaches may be enjoyed for a long time to come. I know many of my family’s best memories have taken place at Cape Cod. We definitely don’t get to spend enough time there! But with Dune jewelry your best beach memories are never far away.

So stop in the store today and take home a tiny piece of paradise. Then you’ll never have to leave the beach behind. May you always have a shell in your pocket and sand in your shoes…can we go to the beach right now?

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It’s March and we’re celebrating all things Irish here at Cooper’s. One of our most popular products by far is the Inis perfume we carry in store. It’s a unisex fragrance that is manufactured by Fragrances of Ireland.

According to the company:

A sparkling, clean unisex fragrance that captures the coolness, clarity and purity of the ocean, Inis the Energy of the Sea is a favorite around the world. Inspired by the beauty and energy of the wild western coast of Ireland, Inis (the word means ‘island’ in Irish) instantly refreshes and brings a happy feeling.

Fresh, clean and energizing, top notes of lemon and marine bring a fresh feeling, like sunshine on your face, heart notes of lily of the valley are like a soft summer breeze on your body, while base notes of sandalwood and clove give an earthy warmth like sand between your toes.

We carry Inis perfume/cologne, body lotion, hand cream and gift sets. You’ve undoubtedly smelled the fragrance in the shop before. It’s very distinctive and someone is usually wearing it while shopping or working. It’s not only a great product but I appreciate the fact that Fragrances of Ireland is committed to protecting the ocean and the environment.

How could you not want to support a company whose core ideology is “to inspire and uplift and make people happy through their senses. To promote an understanding that we are all connected and we should all strive to make a better world.”

While there are many reasons I love this product, my absolute favorite thing about Inis is how it reminds me of the beach. Some of my favorite family memories have taken place on the beaches of Cape Cod. How about you? What is your favorite beach? Use the comments field below to share your favorite seaside escape and you’ll be entered to win an Inis Discovery Set which includes a 0.5 fl. oz. Inis the Energy of the Sea Cologne, 2.9 fl. oz. seaweed-enriched Revitalizing Body Lotion and Refreshing Shower Gel, and a 1 fl. oz. Nourishing Hand Cream ($29 Value). One winner will be chosen on Friday, March 10.

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Vendor Spotlight: Aranware

February 18, 2017

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Created in Ireland. Created for everyone.

This is the tag line of Aranware dishware made by Kara Irish Pottery. And it’s so true. I love the versatility of the Aranware collection. Its pieces can be added to any dinnerware collection seamlessly.

As you know my mission here at Cooper’s is to encourage the shop local movement so of course I love the fact that the US Headquarters for the company is right here in Massachusetts — in Methuen. Kara Irish Pottery is also a woman-owned business. Two cheers.

Aranware was created by Ann Mullan-Karakatsanis who grew up in Ireland and first came to the US in the 1990s to participate in a Boston College program aimed at developing Irish entrepreneurship.

According to the company’s website:

The name KARA is derived from the Gaelic word Cara meaning friend and the beginning of Ann’s family name Karakatsanis. Working with her former employer Ulster Ceramics and Carrigaline Pottery in County Cork Ann designed and developed the Aranware Tableware Collection which combined a rich heritage with a unique look. The embossed intricate patterns have changed little over time. Aranware has become a popular Collection with customers across the US and whilst aiming to keep it Irish made Aranware Tableware pieces are today both Crafted in Ireland and made of bisqueware (unglazed pottery that has had its firing) in the heart of the potteries in Stoke-on-Trent.

The cosy cablestitch sweater has long a wardrobe staple of rugged fashion traditionalists. Named for the famous Aran Isle stitch patterns, the serving pieces offer the same sturdy practicality as their predecessor, while trading on the popularity of classic creamware. And just as neutrals are the foundation of every wardrobe, the dishes offer simple styling on their own, plus lots of opportunity for dressing it up by mixing with colourful pieces.

I feel that the Aranware pieces are too beautiful and functional to be kept in a cabinet. I’ve given many pieces as shower gifts; and they are always a hit. They go from oven, to table, to dishwasher and clean up is a breeze. I swear, the finish is like Teflon, nothing sticks. And, they are durable! You don’t have to worry about chips and cracks, Aranware is meant to be used. The serving bowl is not only utilitarian on any dinner table, it also makes a beautiful centerpiece with a few pieces of fruit, a tall candle or florals. The tea cup and saucer set are durable enough for daily use, but also lend an elegant touch to any hutch display. But, I think my favorite piece is the pitcher. I have had it filled with a floral arrangement and sent as birthday or sympathy gift to many an Irish friend.

Adding any piece of Aranware to your kitchen is like having that favorite Irish knit sweater in your closet…you reach for it time and time again.  You know it will look great with any outfit and last for years to come. A true classic. #shoplocal #madeinireland

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chocolatesWe’ve been proud to carry Abdallah Chocolates for a few years here at Cooper’s. Not only because they are incredibly delicious, but because they are made right here in the USA and Abdallah is a fourth generation, family-owned business (being a second generation shopkeeper, I’m a little partial to stories like this). The confectioner was started in 1909 in Minneapolis, MN by Albert Abdallah.

According to Abdallah:

[Albert] understood, as a newcomer to this country, he would have to create a product that was so high in quality, that its success would be guaranteed. The ambitious Lebanese native along with his new Swedish bride, fair and beautiful Helen Trovall, would soon tirelessly supply their growing demand for his fine confections. Again and again, a new recipe would be perfected. Together, the family has fought back through bankruptcy as a result of the great depression, rations during World War II and a devastating and fiery explosion that destroyed their business in 1965. footer_background_imageAlbert’s recipes, perseverance and optimism has inspired a lineage of family candy makers through the evolution of this great country that he had risked everything to be a part of.  Using the same wholesome and pure ingredients, intricate small batch candy-making techniques and even some of the same copper kettles, we honor the courage and passion for excellence of family generations before us. We are proud to offer to you, these classic confections.

Who doesn’t love a good comeback story? Continuing on a family tradition is no easy task most days, but it’s always worth the effort. I’m so proud to help support American businesses like Abdallah.

Today, the company is owned by Karen and Steve Hegedus who proudly carry on the tradition of exemplary quality. Their truffles are unbelievably good. I also appreciate the fact that these chocolates come in beautiful packaging ready for gift giving.

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We just received a shipment of chocolate bears, heart-shaped boxes, truffles, pecan grizzlies and sea salt caramels (oh, my). We only stock Adballah chocolate at Valentine’s Day and it always goes quickly so stop by and grab yours today!

#familybusiness #madeintheusa #delish