Monthly Archives: January 2014

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The Base Project

When we look down at our jewelry, we’re ashamed to notice something missing… a cause. We were missing a reminder of noble heritage, and purpose. We were lucky to come across The Base Project, and thrilled when the products arrived at our door. TBP is a “socially motivated” fashion brand, selling jewelry in the US that is handmade by artisans in the developing world. 
We caught up with with Co-Founder, Chris Akin, and found out a little bit more about this inspiring company:

Emily&Abigail: First and foremost, what an honorable and creative concept to raise awareness and funding in societies that need it. Is this your first venture as a charitable entrepreneur?

Chris Akin: Yes, The Base Project is Doug and my first Social Enterprise.    

E&A: Was this project inspired by a trip, or was it something that you had prior interest in?

C: It was inspired by our desire to merge our interest in business with our interest in philanthropy. The Base Project is a convergence of the best aspects of business and the social change that we want to see in the world.



E&A: Tell us more about the formation of The Base Project, and how long you’ve been in business.
C: It all started over dinner one night between Doug and I in NYC. At the time we were both feeling a bit disenfranchised with aspects of our jobs in marketing and media. So, we decided to team up on an entrepreneurial venture that had social good built into the DNA of the company and focused in the fashion industry. The model we piloted with the bracelets is to produce a fashion item in the developing world, sell on the contemporary US fashion market, and then reinvest in development projects in the same producer communities. The inspiration was to find more meaning in our next career while maintaining the things we loved about our past work and volunteerism; like any social enterprise this is a convergence of the best attributes of for profit, non-profit, and government sectors.
Fittingly enough, our first line of bracelets were not part of our initial product test marketing. While we were test marketing a few designs, people kept resonating with one bracelet that I wore; given to me years earlier by a friend. At the time all I knew is that it came from Namibia and it was made from up-cycled plastic. So we decided to connect the dots…which led us to some of the oldest tribes in Africa. That initial dinner took place a little over 2 years ago.

E&A: Do you think celebrities, social media, or both can inspire others to purchase these bracelets and partake in your cause?

C: Definitely! Anyone and everyone can inspire others to wear our bracelets. Our tag line is ‘Wear Your Impact”, which applies equally to a student wearing our bracelets; a blogger telling our story to a larger audience; or a movie star inspiring others to support our cause of poverty alleviation.  Of course if anyone out there knows Angeline Jolie (Namibia connection), I would love for her to wear her impact with a bracelet. J

E&A: What’s the coolest part about your job?

C: Traveling and working within Southern Africa.

E&A: Tell us something about your company that we don’t know from reading your website?

C: The people that work for The Base Project in the US are super passionate about their work and have a deep connection with the artisans in Africa. We started sharing stories of our employees within our social media channels because they express such inspiring reasons for working with us and connecting with the artisans on the ground.

E&A: If you had to pick a Disney cartoon character to represent your company, who would it be, and why?

C: That’s easy. Rafiki from the Lion King. ‘Rafiki’ means friend in Swahili, and he is both wise and playful.

E&A: Are you considering bringing your cause to other locations?
C: Yes. We already work in Ghana with the women of New Seed Orphanage who sew all of our packaging from remnant pieces of fabric. We are also exploring work with the San Bush Women of Namibia and Botswana, the oldest tribes in the world. In the long term we plan to work in many more developing countries in Africa and beyond.


Forewarning: These bracelets are so lightweight, and so smooth, that you’ll want to cover your whole arm in them. The stackability is unreal. Can’t wait to wear these out during Fashion Week!


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(Photos by Spencer Kohn

On Abigail: Hat, Aldo. Scarf, IMPROVD. Dress, Mark & Estel. Shoes, Sam Edelman.
On Emily: Jumpsuit, Black Halo. Shoes, Jonathan Simkhai x Aldo.

A free Friday in our schedule = calling up Spencer Kohn, picking up a (really nasty) bottle of wine, and heading to the photo studio. A few shots in Spencer realized we looked like Tim Burton characters, and told us to run with it. 11am and some shitty chardonnay led to a load of fun. It actually looks like we’re delirious off of bad wine… in a cool way. More looks to be posted this week :)

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You gotta have Grit

 (Photos by Maggie Wall)

Collars, bones, furs, plaid, metal, and leather. Pretty much all of our favorite thing rolled up into the most badass boutique in the L.E.S. We were psyched when Grit n’ Glory let us come by and play in their store. Combined we tried on just about everything, which is no less than one of our more normal adventure to their Orchard street shop. We even sipped coffee and played Operation! 
We’ve been dreaming about this plaid bralette, and epic 90′s inspired fur crop since the shoot. It doesn’t help that they are in walking distance from us. Regardless, stay tuned for more Grit n’ Glory outfits and even some Macaulay Culkin. 
“Buzz’s girlfriend, woof.” 

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Swan Lake?

(Photography by Stuart McConaghy)
Wearing ballerina tutu’s, gifted from one of our favorite costume designers, while dancing on our rooftop, overlooking our beautiful city, amongst the snow. This can’t be real. 
For those of you who didn’t already take note, we’ll use any excuse to get into a tutu, and the snow seemed… I’m not sure if fitting is the right word when everything is fitting? Regardless, we saw snow- tutu time! Still trying to figure out how we didn’t bust our asses?! 
Seriously shocking, not just because of the snow and ice, but because of the impromptu trip to Dorian Gray, our favorite little Irish bar, a few doors down. So happy they enjoyed our ballet moves as much as we did ;) Performance paid for in shots. Thinking about doing business like this all the time? 
Cheers! 

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10 degrees

(Photography by Ryan Albahary & Colin Jacques)

(On Abigail – Fur, Adrienne Landau. Shorts, One Teaspoon. Chain, Guess.)
(On Emily – Fur, Adrienne Landau. Shorts, LF Stores.) 
Fur and Daisy Dukes in 10 degree weather… it’s the best we can do. We have somewhat of an issue dressing for the weather. However, these Adrienne Landau furs kept us snuggly as we jumped around in our roommates bed, chained up Abigail, and ate delicious skull lollipops, yum. 
What’d are you doing in this polar vortex?  

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New Year – New GIVEAWAY!

(All images from Target.com)
Every year is the same… you realize a few months in that there are store giftcards in the back of your wallet, “money” from some website you don’t understand mocking you, and some miscellaneous bankcards collecting dust.
We’ve surpassed our quarter-life crisis, and realized how to feel better: by spending money on others when there may be “no reason to.” Well, there is a reason to, it’s a brand new year, and if you’re not upping your friend-game, you could be NIXED! Yep, game on. #MyKindOfHoliday
Our resolution is to show our friends what they mean to us by finding them fun and unique personal gifts. Time to find that extra cash, or those mysterious giftcards, and put it to selfless use!
Target is the perfect place to start, with affordable prices, and a kickass home decor and appliance department. We’ve selected our fav items above, and want to know what YOUR fav is…
Comment below with your favorite Target gift, and be ENTERED TO WIN a:

$25 Target Digital Giftcard!

(Winner will receive giftcard via email by Friday, January 17th.)
(Oh, and next time you give a giftcard, make it a Target Digital… you can email or text it, rather than wasting plastic, or worrying about it getting lost!)

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Fishnets & Furs

(Photography by Ryan Albahary)

Fishnets, furs, and a few cocktails later we found Heaven. Laying in a pile of Adrienne Landau furs. What could be better? We’ll be honest, not much.

New Years resolution: surround ourselves in luxury, don’t wear pants, and workout? Ha. That last one is absurd. More fur and fun to come ;)

Speaking of the New Year, we’ve partnered with an incredible new e-commerce company, ShopBeam, which will make linking to items we wear way easier. For the jacket we are both wearing above, SHOP IT HERE!

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