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LOCAL CREATIVE SERIES No. 2

The Local Creative Series is a collection of interviews with people who contribute to Miami’s growing creativity. We pick their brains and share their musings in hopes that others are inspired to see the potential not only here in Miami, but perhaps in their own cities as well.

Our next featured creative is Igor Shteyrenberg, the executive director of Popcorn Frights Film Festival and Miami Jewish Film Festival. Igor tells us what it’s like to build a film fest from scratch, how he deals with the stigma that horror is not an art, and which local filmmakers we should be watching. (Not to mention how his horror fest saved Wynwood from Zika.)

Interview with Igor Shteyrenberg, Executive Director of Popcorn Frights and Miami Jewish Film Festival

By Rebecca Wagoner

 

Igor Shteyrenberg, Photo by Caroline Twohill

Igor Shteyrenberg, Photo by Caroline Twohill

 

How did you come into the creation of film festivals?

One of Popcorn Frights’ initial core values was that it had to embrace the brilliant diversity of film genre and showcase the best international films that pushed the artistic envelope and redefined genre expectations. From the get go, we knew the Festival's purpose was not solely to provide entertainment but to open the minds of our audience to the artistic integrity of the film medium, its creators, and innovators. In these last three years, we far exceeded this goal. Popcorn Frights has not only become the largest genre film event in the Southeastern United States and one of the fastest growing film festivals in South Florida, but it's also now a burgeoning network for so many in the community to connect with each other as well as filmmakers from around the world.


What’s the most striking difference between co-directing Popcorn Frights, a festival you helped create from scratch, and solo directing the Miami Jewish Film Festival, which was founded when you were a kid?

Launching a wholly fresh and original Festival that's unique to a community brings all sorts of branding and outreach challenges. You're having to create an infrastructure, an identity, a following from the ground up, all the while striving to promote the promise of something totally unknown but utterly worthwhile that's still to come. On the other hand, inheriting an already recognized Festival with an established audience may at first appear like a cinch, but it actually presents just as many intricate challenges. For instance, how do you launch programming initiatives that try to develop new audiences without threatening to distance or entirely lose your current fan base?


Do you have more creative freedom selecting films for Popcorn Frights vs. other festivals?

I'm fortunate in both Festival platforms that I serve as an executive director [and] I have equal measures of support to be as freely creative and curiosity driven. What this freedom and trust have allowed is for me to develop one festival completely from scratch into the largest and most exciting genre film event in Florida, and with another, to grow it into the third largest Jewish film festival in the world, as well as one of the most respected international film festivals in the United States. But this is not a solo effort. My colleague at Popcorn Frights, Marc Ferman, has been instrumental in developing the festival's brand and fostering our audience. Without his leadership and vision, Popcorn Frights would not have been able to soar so quickly and so high. At Miami Jewish Film Festival, our lay leaders and board have been pivotal in establishing a solid infrastructure of support that has allowed the organization to rise beyond anyone's wildest imagination.

 

Co-Founder Marc Ferman as Jason, Photo by Caroline Twohill

Co-Founder Marc Ferman as Jason, Photo by Caroline Twohill

What’s been your proudest moment at Popcorn Frights?

We are proudest to share our festival's bright spotlight with so many of our local filmmakers. This year's inaugural Homegrown: 100% Pure Fresh Squeezed Florida Horror program centered on reinvigorating our audience's engagement with Miami's local filmmakers and Florida’s homegrown talent. The sidebar was designed to be a springboard for new filmmakers from Florida and a space that helps forge a new direction for Miami's genre scene by further cultivating and nurturing its growing film community. This year's lineup was composed of highly original stories with one of the entries, Buzzcut, actually winning our Festival's Audience Award for Best Short Film.

What's more, with the immense media reach Popcorn Frights draws, major production companies and studios based in NY and LA have started to reach out to us inquiring about the local talent we showcase at Popcorn Frights, as well as the emerging filmmakers we help discover and give voice to from around the world. We hope this is just the beginning of many more opportunities Popcorn Frights will offer filmmakers to help kickstart their careers.

 

Have you had any notable obstacles with Popcorn Frights?

It's unfortunate there is still a confused stigma about genre cinema amongst so many, assumptions ranging from that it's exploitative, not an art, a bad influence, and so on and so forth. It's these falsehoods that we are challenged to stand up against by showcasing not only a vibrantly diverse and internationally robust program but one that circumvents expectations of horror or genre film conventions.

Moreover, we never could have imagined how absolutely vital Popcorn Frights was to the South Florida community until Miami was faced with the Zika crisis last year. All of Wynwood was basically shut down for outdoor activities at the time. Hardly any traffic was passing through and business lights were sadly dimmed. With this depressing cloud of doom hanging over everything, we kicked off our second annual edition completely uncertain of our festival's future. But to our utter disbelief, students, film lovers, and local residents looking for something exciting to do and break the spell of Zika fear all turned out in unprecedented numbers to the festival. Wynwood businesses that may have been on their last legs were given hope to pull through another week, one more month, because of the crowds the festival was drawing back into the area. It was an extraordinary experience and one which made us realize just us how essential Popcorn Frights was to our South Florida community.


Are there any local filmmakers we should keep an eye out for?

We would not be doing our due diligence as curators if we didn't encourage your readers to see Buzzcut, a Key West set LGBTQ-interest apocalyptic zombie comedy that just begs for discovery. The directors, Jon Rhoads and Mike Marrero, took a brilliantly fun revisionist approach to a tired horror genre and made a crowd-pleasing hit that won this year's Festival Audience Award for Best Short Film. Jon and Mike are filmmakers worth keeping a close eye on as they are rising talents in the industry with a very bright future.


Is Miami an ideal spot for putting a creative idea in motion?

This really couldn't be a better time to take chances, pursue a dream, and be creative as we are in the midst of a flourishing art scene in Miami. The city truly holds limitless opportunities to be ambitious or seek discovery.


How far fetched of an idea is it to create a film fest from scratch? Any advice for those interested?

With new pop-up festivals launching every year, the question isn't whether it's possible to launch an event from scratch, but how do you manage to sustain it? You need to ask what is it that will distinguish your event from all the others that will have film lovers wanting to come back for more again and again? A clear minded budget and strong community partnerships are just as important, especially if you're flying solo without any local funding prospects. And lastly, know who your audience is and try to establish an honest connection with them. Remember you have a promise to sell them and they will hold you to it.

Photo by Caroline Twohill

Post by Rebecca Wagoner

SOURCE
Personal Interview

PHOTOS
Caroline Twohill

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Popcorn Frights 
Buzzcut short film 
O Cinema

 

 

 

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LOCAL CREATIVE SERIES

Miami keeps getting cooler. Our magic little city might not be for everyone, but there is certainly something special here for anyone willing to search for it. Let’s take a minute to revel in that.

The Local Creative Series seeks to pick the brains of creative individuals based in Miami. These are people who contribute to the creative presence in Miami in diverse ways through art, film, music, education, leadership, design, activism, you name it. Our hope is that by sharing their stories, their musings, and their advice, others will be inspired to recognize and explore their own creative space in their respective cities.

Our first featured creative mind is Nicole Martinez, Managing Editor of Artrepreneur, a digital magazine run by New York-based startup Orangenius. Nicole describes Artrepreneur as a crash course to help creatives survive in the business world. We picked her brain about making it as an artist, what there is to like about Miami, and the importance of collaboration.

Interview with Nicole Martinez, Managing Editor of Artrepreneur Magazine                                    

By Rebecca Wagoner

IMG_3086.jpg

 

Who reads Artrepreneur?

Artists, creative types, people who are looking for talent, people who are starting to collect art; really anyone who wants to dive deeper into this world.

 

Do you think young creatives are particularly vulnerable to needing guidance?

Absolutely. I think we all start our careers with big dreams and no idea how to achieve them. Foregoing a day job in favor of going it alone can be a really scary leap. But most people don't realize that it's just all about preparation - understanding how to present yourself within the creative marketplace, or finding the right balance of work that motivates you and work that you do to make a living is a key to your success. We cover those topics a lot on Artrepreneur.

 

How does the omnipresence of social media affect artist careers?                                                    

Do you believe more content means more competition?

Whether you like it or not, social media is a necessary evil, and ultimately I think it's a great tool for getting our work out there. There will always be competition, but it's also easier than ever to have your work discovered. The idea that competition is bad for creativity is kind of absurd to me - there's room for all of us. The more we can share with one another, the easier it will be to create a unified creative marketplace.

 

Is NYC still the artist mecca it has been for decades? Has social media changed that in any way?

While it's true that NYC remains a mecca, there are plenty of global cities with enviable arts scenes. I know plenty of designers and content creators living in South America making work for Danish clients. The beauty of social media is that it’s allowed us to transcend traditional border.

 

What’s special about Miami?

Oh geez, everything. Melty pink skies. tropical lushness. Cortaditos. Oceans and oceans. Miami is unlike anywhere else you will visit - it's got a certain I-don't-give-a-f*ck-ness. I never feel like I'm very Miami, but then I leave and I realize I am SO Miami.

 

Any advice for creatives in Miami to build a stronger base?

Get yourself out there. Go to the events, knock on all the doors, build a collective of people who are motivated by what's happening and the potential for growth. Miami offers a rare opportunity to take indie projects off the ground. It's very exciting to see how this community is taking shape.

 

Do you have any personal anecdotes about following an art career in Miami?

My advice is simple: do what you say you're gonna do. Miami has this reputation for being flaky - whether that's true or not, you can capitalize on that myth by making sure you're the total opposite. Meet your deadlines, respond to emails, share your contacts. I'm a firm believer in paying it forward, and I'm never too busy to help a fellow creative.

 

Anything else you’d like to share?

Don't be afraid to take your career into your own hands. 'Making it' as an artist looks different for everyone  - determine what that means to you, and just go for it.

 

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the PAMM

Hi everyone! It’s Vicky, again. It’s been a while, huh? Well, let’s get right into it.

A while back, I took the morning to visit the Perez Art Museum here in Miami. It was a wonderful experience to visit a museum all by myself, which I must admit I had never done before. The museum was empty, except for me and a surprising group of what I’m almost sure was about 40 second-graders dressed in alternating white and red. Sharing my quiet visit with them was an odd but mood-lifting thing. How cool is it that that day was part of my job?

The Perez Art Museum is a modern and contemporary art museum. It “evolved from the Miami Art Museum, which grew out of the Center for the Fine Arts (CFA),” which opened its doors in 1984. The museum was renamed the Jorge M. Pérez Art Museum of Miami-Dade County in 2013 in recognition of a generous gift given by Mr. Pérez.

That day, the first floor had few colors. There was lots of glass, white, black lines, and cubes. It went perfectly with the children. The second floor, however, was much more colorful. My favorite piece was an amazing, life-size boat by Hew Locke, constructed out of cardboard and painted on with white. If you looked at it from the correct angle, there was a beautiful painting behind it, and I thought the two together complemented each other perfectly. My second favorite was an interactive piece by Jose Soto installed outside the galleries made of bright blue hanging plastic tubes, which one of the second-graders accurately described as looking like “long blue spaghetti”. I walked through the spaghetti and, frankly, had the time of my life. I'm already planning my next visit.

You can find the museum’s current exhibitions here: pamm.org/exhibitions


Post by Victoria Rosenthal Madrid

SOURCE
PAMM.org

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KARRY KA-YING POON

Today’s pick goes out to a local artist whose precision and charm — and straight-up talent — have us wanting her art all over our bodies. And this works out, because she’s a tattoo artist. 

Meet Karry Ka-Ying Poon: a Miami-based tattoo artist originally from Hong Kong who describes her work as minimalist. Karry works with intricate, perfectly placed fine lines and dotwork that come together in beautifully crafted landscapes, geometric shapes and whimsical depictions of simple ideas like body parts and cooking utensils. 

Karry has an incredible balance between the individuality of each tattoo she makes and an aesthetic that allows her illustrations to be instantly recognizable as her own. She compares this process to food, where she confesses most of her inspiration comes from. It’s like “a microwave TV dinner vs. cooking something from scratch with love. Yes, it’s more work, but in the end it’s much more rewarding and it comes out infinitely tastier.” 

We think so, too, Karry. Who else can make a handheld mobile of human organs look so dreamy? Her imaginative play with nature and ability to evoke the personalities of her clients is a win-win for infinite tastiness. 

You can request a tattoo from Karry at Iris Tattoo Miami in Wynwood, or follow her work on Instagram at @poonkaros


Post by Rebecca Wagoner

SOURCE
Personal interview

PHOTOS
@poonkaros
Mon.tattoo

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CAR WORLDS

It was a Saturday around 1 p.m. and I had nothing else to do. Being in college, I was probably overcoming a hangover. Luckily the weather in Boston was fresh and easy — for those who don’t know, nice weather in Boston is very rare. So I sat there on my balcony, about two basketball players off the ground, from where I had a clear view of pedestrians and cars going by. I was close enough to catch small details, but far enough to lose the fear of being noticed. 

I noticed that when there are people in the streets, there is a weak, but present, universal list of rules they follow. This list is unique to everyone, yet a lot of the items on the lists are shared. If you are totally confused right now, I’m talking about things you avoid, like singing out loud or dancing, because it can be embarrassing. Simple things like farting or staring. All these things that are uncomfortable in public but that you do all the time in private. Very few people on the streets break these shared, unspoken rules. 

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But the people in their cars, well, it was like they were in a small, protected, bubbled, personal world where they did what they wanted.

I was completely captivated by the fact that the only thing protecting these people from the world was some metal and clear glass windows. That was enough for those people to disconnect from the world and to feel completely detached. There were lonely people in crowded cars, and crowded people in lonely cars. There was dancing, eating, smoking, farting, laughing, stripping, looking, staring, texting, pointing. Everyone completely unconscious of who saw them, except a few that caught the lens of my camera. 

But I was there, seeing everything. 

  

  

  

  

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Post by Jonathan Beker

PHOTOS
JonnyBeGoood.com
 

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THE BEST SONG RIGHT NOW

Okay, everyone, stop what you’re doing and watch this video immediately. Trust me, your day will be better!

It’s Vicky again, and I have to tell you about the best song right now. Can you tell I’m excited? It’s Bomba Estereo’s “Soy Yo,” and it has the best video ever. Yes, I know it’s been viral for a couple of weeks now, but that doesn’t make it any less cool. Seriously, if you haven’t yet, take a look:

Can we talk about how great and empowering the lyrics are? I feel like even if you don’t understand it, you can appreciate that it’s a feel-good song. Finding this type of song in Spanish is always such a treat for me because it lifts my mood in my own language. I don’t have to pay as much attention to it to absorb the feeling, lyrics, and tune — it’s more automatic.

The confident protagonist is Sarai Gonzalez, an 11-year-old with parents from Costa Rica and Perú. Sarai told NBC that she was “proud to be a part of this video because I’ve overcome bullying.” She should be, and we’re proud of her.

My chest swells with pride in seeing a little girl I identify with be showcased as such a straight up boss. If I have daughters, this is how I want to raise them. I was brought up hearing that women should be graceful and demure, but this little girl just showed all of us that we she can be whatever she wants, and you know what? Nobody’s stopping her.


Post by Victoria Rosenthal Madrid

SOURCES
NBCnews.com
Remezcla.com
Vogue.com

PHOTOS
Fusion.net
Youtube.com

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ON BILINGUALISM

Hi everyone, it’s Vicky again. Recently, my Facebook feed was blowing up with articles about how researchers say people’s personalities may change depending on the language they’re speaking. Since we are bilingual here at El Autobús, I thought it could be an interesting thing to write about. I asked my colleague Becca to help me out by writing a little on how she experiences speaking Spanish, and I'll tell you about how I experience speaking English:
 

Vicky & MiniBus, The Wynwood Building

Vicky & MiniBus, The Wynwood Building

VICKY ON ENGLISH

I’ve always felt that I’m nicer in English than I am in Spanish. In my native tongue, I’m a little more sarcastic and a lot more blunt. I’m particularly friendlier in English, or at least that is how I am perceived because of the words I use. I started learning to speak English when I was around three years old, and have been ever since. I never really had to speak only English in a social setting until I started a job in college where I had to answer phones and provide information. This made for pretty long phone calls, so I started picking up turns of phrase from my American coworkers. I remember being particularly proud when I began to naturally say the phrase “have a great one” to people. 

Because I spent so much time in what you could call a “customer service” setting, the colloquialisms I learned in English were said specifically to be friendly and helpful. I’ll often catch myself saying things that are completely uncharacteristic, but that come naturally to me. It’s like I’m simultaneously being myself and not myself. That said, there are words that I need to properly express my thoughts that the English language lacks, and it’s not that I don’t know enough words to use. I always end up feeling like I haven’t explained myself well, that something was missing. I suppose this feeling is because, at the end of the day, I perceive and experience the world through Spanish much more than English.
 

Becca & MiniBus, The Wynwood Building

Becca & MiniBus, The Wynwood Building

BECCA ON SPANISH

Studying in Spain, living in Argentina, marrying a Venezuelan, and moving to Miami have all given me different perspectives of Spanish. It always felt like starting over at first, because I had so many different sets of slang to learn, and even basic words like “peach” and “goodbye.” There are so many words that can’t be literally translated, so I have two parallel ways of thinking that open my mind to new concepts. For example, understanding the nuances between “te quiero” and “te amo” in Spanish, when in English it’s just ‘I love you,’ and then understanding that both can be used with friends, family and lovers but have different meanings for each.

I still feel like myself when I speak Spanish, but I’m often treated like a novelty for being an American who learned to speak another language by choice. This is also the personality that comes through Spanish – it’s a language loaded with compliments and familiarity. It gives me a level of confidence I don’t have in English, so I’m often more blunt and daring. There are some situations, though, in which I’ll unabashedly resort back to my native language: being truly, deeply upset with someone (I mean pissed), bouts of excitement, and screaming profanities when I stub my toe. I can no longer imagine living with one language and not the other; Spanish has become a part of me and how I interpret the world around me. 


Post by Rebecca Wagoner and Victoria Rosenthal Madrid

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RULES WE LIVE BY

Hi there! I’m Vicky, and I’m currently doing an internship for El Autobús. I graduated a couple of months ago from college, and lately I’ve been feeling stuck in a rut in terms of work. I guess you could call it writer’s block, except I’m not a writer. Anyways, I thought it’d be a good idea to ask people around the office about their rules for creative work. I got some gems that I thought I could share with you all, so here goes!

Don’t underestimate the power of the brainstorm

The problem with great ideas is that they’re not exactly easy to come by. Brainstorming is a tried and true method of squeezing out every drop of creativity from your noodle -- and it’s better in teams! Oh, and don’t take yourself too seriously when brainstorming. Sometimes the most out-there idea can become the next great campaign. 
 

Know what you want from the start

Setting a clear goal is key. When working creatively, our minds and the subject tend to wander quite a bit. Make sure you’re clear on what you want to accomplish first, and then stray all you want.
 

Learn to murder your darlings

We all have to at some point. You know that one idea you had that you really love but you can’t find where to fit it in? Well, kill it. Just because you love it so much does not mean that it’s supposed to go there. Don’t feel too bad, though, because it will probably fit perfectly in your next project. Just make sure you keep it in a safe place! (See: Rule 6)
 

A flexible schedule never killed nobody

You know how people say that the early bird gets the worm? Well, don’t underestimate the night owl. Brains don’t all work on the same schedule. Sometimes your best idea might strike when you wake up in the middle of the night because your stomach’s upset from that burrito you ate. You’ll probably be more successful if you let your ideas flow than if you try to force them.
 

Find something you like, then take it one step further

It’s okay for ideas to be good. It’s better if they grow. Once you’re at a point where you’re happy with your work, see if you can make it better. Yes, it’ll be more work, but isn’t it better to love it rather than just like it?
 

Write it all down

Seriously, keep a notepad next to your bed. Your brainstorms, your midnight burrito ideas, write it all down. There’s nothing better than being stuck on something and then finding that tiny scribble in your notebook from three years ago that solves all your problems. It could happen! Probably, though, you will find great old ideas or notes that will work in the future. It’s also a blast to read through your thoughts from a while ago.

 

Trust feedback, but trust your gut more

Don’t get discouraged just because the first person you show your work to tells you they don’t like it. If your project is smart and solid, then it will work -- it just needs to be workshopped. You’re smart and you know what you’re doing. Trust yourself. If it really doesn’t work, then keep the idea in your notebook for next time.


Post by Victoria Rosenthal Madrid

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WINTERGATAN

Hi there. Roberto here again. It’s been a while since our last post, but we are really excited about this new one. Las week we where flabbergasted by The Amazing Marble Machine from Wintergatan. A musical, design and engineering marvel, that looks like something out of a Michel Gondry movie, or what Leonardo Da Vinci would have played if he had been a DJ.

Wintergatan, "The Milky Way”, is a band from Göteborg, Sweden that mixes folk and electronica using traditional sounds and  instruments such as the glockenspiel, traktofon, or Theremin to create beautiful music that is both emotional and energetic. According to their website, the band consists of Martin Molin and Marcus Sjöberg (who previously fronted the band Detektivbyrån -detetive agency) together with Evelina Hägglund and David Zandén.

ElAutobus_Wintergatan

The Marble Machine is a wooden instrument designed and built by Molin, that combines a vibraphone, electronic drums, electric bass and cymbal. It's operated by an intricate mechanism of levers, wheels, gears (even Lego Technics pieces) and belts that transport thousands of marbles and moves them up and down to make the instruments play a song that the composer has previously programmed in the machine. "The marbles, you know, they behave like water. The nature of water is that it just breaks through everything. After 100,000 years it can make a hole in stone. The marbles act like that.” commented Molin in a WIRED UK interview.

ElAutobus_Wintergatan

The project took months (years, actually) of incredibly detailed design and construction and each step was beautifully documented on video. Binge-watch all the prologues and you’ll be amazed at Molin’s skills and craftsmanship as well as his musicianship. The Marble Machine reminded me of works like Tim Hawkinson’s uber organ in that awe-inspiring cleverness that make it equal parts music box and sculpture. It mixes the basic concept of a player piano with a Rube Golberg machine and turns it into a sophisticated magical instrument. It’s inaugural song, performed with the help of 2,000 marbles, is a perfect manifestation of the machine’s possibilities and a showcase of it’s creator’s original talent. We can’t wait for the next song to come out of it.


Post by Roberto Fonfria

SOURCES
Wintergatan.net
Vimeo.com

PHOTOS
Wintergatan.net

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HIDDEN FOREST HOTELS

Hi, I’m Cristina. I’m an intern for El Autobus this week! Anyone who knows me also knows that I’ve been obsessed with architecture ever since I was a little kid. The other day I stumbled upon a website about cool and strange hotels. While checking it out, there were three specific hotels that really captured my attention. All of them have completely different structures and designs but one incredible similarity: they're in the middle of breathtaking forests.

Nothofagus Hotel, Chile

Nothofagus Hotel, Chile

The first one is the Treehotel, located about an hour away from the Luleå Airport in Sweden; with a total of 10 distinct rooms that expand around a vast area of open forest. The hotel’s most striking room, the “Mirror cube,” disappears into its forest background while appearing to float mid-air. The room, made of plywood-birch on the inside is in actuality held up by a single tree and is covered with mirrors on the outside. To prevent birds from crashing into it by accident, the structure is coated in an infrared film that birds can see but humans are unable to.

Treehotel, Mirror Cube, Sweden

Treehotel, Mirror Cube, Sweden

Treehotel, Mirror Cube interior, Sweden

Treehotel, Mirror Cube interior, Sweden

Our next hotel is the Montaña Magica Lodge, situated in Chile. This “volcano-looking” hotel made entirely from rocks will make you feel like you're a character living inside a fairy tale. One of the hotel’s sides is even covered with a waterfall! I can just imagine that trickling down of water coming down your window, lulling you to sleep at night.

Montaña Magica Lodge, Chile

Montaña Magica Lodge, Chile

Montaña Magica Lodge interior Chile

Montaña Magica Lodge interior Chile

Lastly, the Nothofagus Hotel in Chile; constructed entirely with noble materials, is ironically outstanding within the hidden forest. As exotic and captivating as its surroundings, it won't matter if you're outdoors or not. The Nothofagus is as close to nature as the Treehotel and the Montaña Magica, but it is the most modern of the bunch, also offering: spas, a pool, lounges, a bar, and bigger rooms.

Nothofagus Hotel, Chile

Nothofagus Hotel, Chile

Nothofagus Hotel interior, Chile

Nothofagus Hotel interior, Chile


Post by Cristina Fonfria

SOURCES
Viralnova.com
Hotelmontanamagica.redhotelera.cl
Huilohuilo.com

PHOTOS
Hotelmontanamagica.redhotelera.cl
Huilohuilo.com
Treehotel.se
Unsplash.com

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THE DICTIONARY OF OBSCURE SORROWS

Hi, I’m Andres! I'm currently doing an internship at El Autobus although I live full-time in Lexington, Kentucky. I recently came across a web series called The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. The Dictionary creates words for emotions that everyone experiences but there is no name for.  John Koenig, the creator of these videos,  works as a freelance designer, editor, voice actor and writer in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

When I first found this series of videos, I was really intrigued by the idea of coming up with words for things that everyone experiences. It was surprising that no one had done this before. It’s hard to describe what I feel when I watch a video for a new word. In a way, giving a name to a certain feeling makes it easier to explain it to someone. But the biggest thing for me is knowing that other people are experiencing similar things.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows: Vemödalen

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows: Vemödalen

Words such as Sonder, Oleka, Vemodalen, and Onism are my personal favorites.

 I hope you check the dictionary on your own. Find it on The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, on Youtube or on Test Tube.


Post by Andres Gedaly

SOURCES
Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
You Tube

PHOTOS
Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
Test tube
BuzzFeed
Unsplash

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LEON BRIDGES

Hi. I’m Becca, the English Expert at El Autobús. (i.e. I’m the go-to native English speaker around here who helps with things like copywriting, translation and editing). When I gave up my home office to start working for El Autobús, I noticed a lot of slight, seemingly insignificant changes to my daily routine. I drink coffee at my desk instead of in bed. I wear pants that match my shirts. The most significant change, aside from actually seeing other humans, is that I can listen to music again. Music wasn’t an option at my home office because the work required absolute silence. I loved the job but I missed the music. Today’s Bus Pick is dedicated to my latest favorite sound: Leon Bridges.

Leon Bridges, photo by: Rambo

Leon Bridges, photo by: Rambo

"Coming Home" from Leon Bridges' new album 'Coming Home'

I stumbled upon Leon Bridges as I was listening to a genre on Spotify called ‘Dark Southern Gothic,’ a name that amused me and ended up hitting the spot on much of the music I listen to and cannot for the life of me categorize.

Leon Bridges, photo by: Rambo

Leon Bridges, photo by: Rambo

Let me tell you about Mr. Bridges. He’s a twenty-five year old soul singer from Texas. His voice smooths effortlessly over his lighthearted romantic tracks. His songs are bluesy and honest yet hopeful, rooted in Southern charm and a respect for an era of music that I haven’t seen reproduced like this until now. He sends you straight to the early 60s; I almost can’t believe he was born in 1989.

Leon Bridges, photo by: Rambo

Leon Bridges, photo by: Rambo

What amazes me even more is that he seems to have almost randomly stumbled upon his own music, much like how I found him. He grew up on Ginuwine and Usher. This is not a kid who stayed up late at night listening to his parents’ old Sam Cooke vinyls. This might spark criticism from those expecting Bridges to be more genuine, or to have deeper R&B roots, but I’m not interested in questioning his integrity. For now, I’m just happy (no, thrilled) that someone is making this music.

Leon Bridges, photo by: Rambo

Leon Bridges, photo by: Rambo

Leon Bridges, Coming Home

Leon Bridges, Coming Home

This is what I’m certain of: Leon’s first album, Coming Home, is really good.. I can’t stop listening to it. I play it at work. I put it on repeat at backyard barbecues. I dance to it when I’m cooking dinner. Leon’s sweet R&B is just as right for a lonely night sipping drinks on the porch as it is for a dancefloor warmer at a wedding. It’s definitely playing at mine.

‘Coming Home’ was released last week and I’m pretty sure there’s a reason I’m not his only fan. Have a listen for yourself. It’ll be honey for your soul.

"Smooth Sailin" from Leon Bridges' new album 'Coming Home'

Leon Bridges, photos by: Rambo

Leon Bridges, photos by: Rambo

Let us know what you think in the comments!


Post by Rebecca Wagoner

SOURCES
Leondbridges.com
npr.org
fwweekly.com

PHOTOS
Rambo Photography (Erin Margaret Alison)

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THE BUS PICKS:

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THE BUS PICKS:

BOHEMIAN GUITARS

Hi, I’m Roberto, one of the founders of El Autobus, and I’m writing today’s BusPicks about one of the things we really love around here: making music! Jamming time is one of our favorite moments of the week, so, this post has to do with music, and design, and ideas, and a new brand I’ve been following that radiates the kind of good vibe that we love.

Bohemian Guitars - Boho Motor Oil Guitar. $299

Bohemian Guitars - Boho Motor Oil Guitar. $299

Bohemian Guitars inspiration came to brothers Adam and Shaun Lee from the "blik kitaar" a home made guitar that uses an empty oil can for its body and is commonly played in the townships of their hometown of Johannesburg and all over Southern Africa. They started their project to turn these artisanal guitars into professional sounding instruments with a kickstarter campaign in 2013.

Oil can guitars as seen on Hypepotamus

Oil can guitars as seen on Hypepotamus

Bohemian Guitars - Boho Honey. $299

Bohemian Guitars - Boho Honey. $299

Bohemian “oil can guitars”  use simple materials, craftsmanship and great aesthetics to make an affordable guitar with an incredible metallic sound.  I stumbled into them thru a G. Love video and was hooked to their sound and design.

Bohemian Guitars - Boho Honey

Bohemian Guitars - Boho Honey

Their sustainability efforts are nice too: For each Bohemian Guitar sold, one tree is planted in the developing world, thanks to a partnership with Trees For The Future. Also, there are Bohemian models made with reclaimed wood, vintage oil cans and old guitar parts.

Bohemian Guitars - Boho Moonshine. $299

Bohemian Guitars - Boho Moonshine. $299

Bohemian Guitars - Boho Surf Wax. $299

Bohemian Guitars - Boho Surf Wax. $299

Bohemian Guitars - Boho Motor Oil. $299

Bohemian Guitars - Boho Motor Oil. $299

I hope my next post can be a video of a Bus-Jam with an actual Bohemian Guitar. Until we get one, there are some very cool videos on the web of ‘bohemians’ shredding the guitar’s bluesy raw sound.  (And more than a few great videos of people building their own traditional oil can guitars; maybe that’s the one we are gonna have!).

See ya.
R.


Post by Roberto Fonfria

SOURCES
Bohemian Guitars

PHOTOS
Bohemian Guitars
Hypepotamus

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WYNWOODERS

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WYNWOODERS

THE COCONUT CARTEL

Hola! I’m Vero Cangas, Creative Producer at El Autobús. Recently I came up with the idea of starting a project that allowed us to step into the minds of the people who give Wynwood its identity; the Wynwooders. The objective is to reveal the experiences, thoughts and ideas of Wynwooders – artists, vendors, locals, entrepreneurs, visitors and everything in between. This is an interview I did with The Coconut Cartel Co-Founder and CEO, Danielle Zig. She is not only a dear friend of mine but also a successful entrepreneur who I deeply admire. Any young or aspiring entrepreneur might want to pay attention to her words.

El Autobus, Wynwooders project

El Autobus, Wynwooders project

The Coconut Cartel CEO and co-founder Danielle Zig

The Coconut Cartel CEO and co-founder Danielle Zig

Tell me about Coconut Cartel. What do you do?

Coconut Cartel imports some of the most amazing tasting coconuts to bring pretty much the only real raw coconut water on the market that hasn’t been pasteurized or processed in any way.

How did the company start? How did the idea come to be?

The idea started basically just my brother being so surprised at how easy it was to open a coconut. It was literally just poking a hole in it with a key and sticking a straw in it like a natural juice box. So he wanted to figure out a way to bring that to the States.

Coconut Cartel coconut

Coconut Cartel coconut

Coconut Field

Coconut Field

What was the hardest part of starting the company?

The hardest part was setting up a cold supply chain that was able to keep the coconuts fresh without using any preservatives and abiding by food safety laws. So for me that was the hardest, and then I guess for my brother who’s more on the marketing side, the hardest part was to be taken seriously as a real business.

Why was that hard?

We were literally two kids selling coconuts out of the backs of our cars. So when we would come to establishments like Soho House or The Standard, it’s hard to take two kids seriously, but when they tasted our product, and they saw that we were really passionate about it and worked hard to make sure they were accommodated for, they gave us a chance and it worked out.

Coconut production

Coconut production

Coconut Cartel coconut

Coconut Cartel coconut

For you personally, not on the business side, but for you, what’s been the hardest part of being such a young entrepreneur?

The hardest part about it is … I guess it’s hard to accept the unknown. It’s hard to accept that you don’t know how much you’re going to be making in six months, and it’s hard to not know exactly where your future is going. I’m not on a corporate track where I can climb up the ranks and have a stable job. It’s really up to me and waking up every morning and being like, “ok, today you can either choose to be productive or not” and that’s really hard.

If you could go back in time and talk to yourself for 15 minutes right before you started the company, what would you tell yourself?

I would say to be patient, and not get so stressed out about wanting things to happen at a certain time or in a certain way, because it doesn’t necessarily always work out that way. And also to take care of myself. Starting a business is really hard and stressful.

Danielle Zig and Mike Zig

Danielle Zig and Mike Zig

What’s your definition of an entrepreneur?

I really believe you can be an entrepreneur in so many ways, but it’s basically having the ability to take a product or a service, and it can be anything from art to medicine, or a musician — and being able to monetize on it; make a career out of it.

Did you always see yourself as an entrepreneur?

Yes. Always, always. Since I was a baby. Literally I can remember being 7-8 years old and creating fake business plans and always talking to my dad about my business ideas. I used to draw out jerseys and shirts and color them with markers and go sell them to my neighbors. I would take orders from all these people and pretend to have my dad make them, but he would never make them. The execution wasn’t there yet, but the idea was. That’s what I can remember.


Post by Veronica Cangas

PHOTOS
El Autobus, Inc
Coconut Cartel

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THE BUS PICKS:

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THE BUS PICKS:

AELFIE

Hello Friday! There really is no better way to start the weekend than by perusing something really awesome. Today our bus pick goes out to Aelfie, an amazing design studio that carries rugs and home décor as well as having a curated collection of textiles from around the world. Not only do they put out beautiful products, but they also take the utmost care to honor the tradition and history behind each textile; which they then put out in a refreshing contemporary way.

Aelfie laying on her rugs, for the Wild Magazine

Aelfie laying on her rugs, for the Wild Magazine

Aelfie, which also happens to be the name of it’s founder Aelfie Oudghiri, began her career as a Research Assistant in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies in Columbia University. Here, she began selling carpets out of her student housing in order to pay for her education, and thus began the rug dealing.

Aelfie Francine Bedding

Aelfie Francine Bedding

Aelfie Rugs, for Design Milk

Aelfie Rugs, for Design Milk

Currently both Aelfie and her studio-showroom reside in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where she plans and designs all of her products. The actual crafting is then done in India, having everything hand-made using traditional weaving and embroidery techniques. The result is a new take on textiles that is sure to catch your eye. For sure the most striking part of Alfie’s work is how vibrant all the product are, which I just love. These are goods bursting in color that at the same time have a minimal, geometric but not too perfect feel to them. Basically, everything you would want from a product; elevating housewares to an almost art piece type of feel while still being completely utilitarian. It’s perfection!

Aelfie Rug Close up, for Design Milk

Aelfie Rug Close up, for Design Milk

Aelfie and pillows, for Apartment Therapy

Aelfie and pillows, for Apartment Therapy

Aelfie Francine Bedding and various pillows

Aelfie Francine Bedding and various pillows

Aelfie rugs, for Design Milk

Aelfie rugs, for Design Milk

Aelfie rugs, for Design Milk

Aelfie rugs, for Design Milk

Aelfie Tumblr mash-up

Aelfie Tumblr mash-up

Take a peak at Aelfie’s inspiration here or browse through her instagram.

Till next Friday,
<3
Dani


Post by Dani V Sanchez - Good Manya

SOURCES
aelfie.com
openingceremony.us

PHOTOS
aelfie.com
aelfie.tmblr.com
thewildmagazine.com
design-milk.com
apartmenttherapy.com

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THE BUS PICKS:

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THE BUS PICKS:

FOUND MY ANIMAL

Yes, It’s finally Friday and as we get close to mid April we can finally look forward to longer and warmer-ish days, which are perfect for strolling around the city and exploring! Every once in a while during my “exploring” I imagine I have a dog and I’m sightseeing around the city with her… Weird? Maybe, but if there’s one thing I’m crazy about, it would definitely have to be animals. I currently have a cat and would love to have a husky, but don’t have a big enough apartment/house for her to live in, so for the time being imaginary husky is what I have. So, today’s Bus Pick goes out to all current and future dog owners! Meet Found My Animal.

Found Featured on MrsSizzle.com

Found Featured on MrsSizzle.com

Found My Animal has been popping up more and more in design and pet stores all over and it’s not hard to see why. Founded by Anna Conway and Bethany Obrecht, together they have built a brand of pet accessories like no other. After meeting while they where walking their two rescue pups, they decided to become partners and use their work to be able to spread their passion for animals, animal welfare and the principles of what good design could do. That is how Found came to be, a brand that supports, honors and encourages the adoption of abandoned animals.

Found My Animal - leashes and pet carrier

Found My Animal - leashes and pet carrier

You can check out their beautiful dog accessories here. They have a unique nautical feel and range from leashes and collars to carriers and dog beds. What’s special about them, besides how beautiful they are, is that they are all made using sustainable and ecological practices. Each collar is handcrafted in Brooklyn, NY using reclaimed leather, navy marine-grade & UV-resistant rope and solid brass hardware.

Found My Animal - indigo ombre rope dog leash and collar

Found My Animal - indigo ombre rope dog leash and collar

Found My Animal - black ombre rope dog leash and orange rescue dog leash

Found My Animal - black ombre rope dog leash and orange rescue dog leash

All materials are meticulously crafted and thought out to make them last forever; for example, the leashes get hand-spliced to withstand thousands of pounds of pull and then have their ends “whipped” (an old nautical term) for additional durability. They also contain marine grade hardware like solid o-rings and clips, which means that the leash can be used and worn in a lot of different ways. These same clips are also used on their other accessories like the collapsible water bowl and the multi-use pouch, making it easy for you to attach them to the leash itself.

Found My Animal

Found My Animal

Found My Animal pet carriers

Found My Animal pet carriers

Found My Animal pet carrier

Found My Animal pet carrier

So, good job Found! Seeing such a perfect marriage between honest principles and good design is always incredibly encouraging, which is how business should always be.

Till next Friday
<3
Dani


Post by Dani V Sanchez - Good Manya

SOURCES
foundmyanimal.com
ifweweredogs.com

PHOTOS
foundmyanimal.com
mrssizzle.com
ifweweredogs.com

Comment

THE BUS PICKS:

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THE BUS PICKS:

YOUR WORKSPACE AS
A SECOND HOME

Hello! I’m Luis “Threz” Palencia, Graphic Designer at El Autobus, I’d like to talk with you guys about something pretty important for us as designers: The Workspace.

It’s important when working to have a space that allows us to feel at ease and represent our personality. In the creative world, our ability to be innovative and find that “moment of inspiration” is determined by our environment and the energy around us.  With that said, we set out to look for workspace options that can help create an optimal environment that reflects our personality and makes for a more comfortable and productive environment.

Analog Memory Desk

Perfect for those who prefer pencil and paper before any other option. 1,100 yards of paper that serve as a place to jot down notes or sketch that spur of the moment idea. In a time where life moves at such a furious pace, its great to have a place to keep our most important inspiration and details at a moments notice.

Analog Memory Desk

Analog Memory Desk

Analog Memory Desk

Analog Memory Desk

Analog Memory Desk

Analog Memory Desk

Refold Desk

Constructed from recycled cardboard, Refold offers an innovative and sustainable approach to our workspace. Believing in the need to generate a real change not only in the environment, but in our personal spaces as well, Refold offers a standing desk for people who sit all day at work. Working while standing can help combat a sedentary lifestyle while encouraging physical activity, without interrupting your workflow. You can customize the appearance of the desk anyway you like, taking advantage of the cardboard surface, it’s like a blank canvas.  It can be assembled and disassembled in a matter of minutes and is completely portable.

Refold Desk

Refold Desk

Refold Desk

Refold Desk

Worknest

Our mood and needs are variables in our daily lives; having the ability to shape them to improve our work is important. The Worknest’s modular pieces allow us to add or remove elements according to our needs or mood. Worknest is a fully customizable modular desk that allows us to optimize our work environment to our specific needs.

Worknest

Worknest

Worknest

Worknest

Worknest

Worknest

Hope you guys liked this post and got inspired to update your workspace. I’ll be sharing more stuff every week. Stay tuned!


Post by Luis Palencia - Threz

 

SOURCES
kcamara.com/ANALOG-MEMORY-DESK
refold.co
behance.net/gallery/9025739/WORKNEST

 

PHOTOS
Analog Memory Desk - kcamara.com/ANALOG-MEMORY-DESK
Refold - refold.co
Worknest - behance.net/gallery/9025739/WORKNEST

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THE BUS PICKS:

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THE BUS PICKS:

AFFORDABLE DWELLINGS –
THE CONTAINER HOME

Happy Friday Everybody! I’m so excited to share today’s post with you. Recently, I acquired this amazing book called Superlight, which has gotten me thinking about the possibility of owning a house that’s not just beautiful and well-designed but also affordable and ecological. Surprisingly so, it seems that it is not that crazy of an idea. Today’s Bus Pick is exactly that, low budget housing, particularly shipping container homes!

Containers of Hope

Containers of Hope

Housing solutions have always been something that interests me deeply. Currently, I live in NY and owning a house here is aaaah… well, not really a possibility, but living in NY has actually taught me a lot about ecological living. For instance, NY is the US leader in the practice of urban agriculture, combine that with the fact that most people commute using only public transportation and the fact that people live fairly close to everything and you have the ingredients for a very ecological urban plan.

Alp 320 by Meka World

Alp 320 by Meka World

So, with all this in mind I’ve been on the lookout for a future home. A home that could offer: proximity for commuting (or great public transportation), affordability, good design and the use of as many ecological practices as possible. I know it sounds like an impossible list to use as my expectations and maybe they make me sound a little utopian in my beliefs but if you bare with me I promise I will show you that it really isn’t impossible!

Containers Of Hope

Containers Of Hope

Containers of Hope

Containers of Hope

ContainersOfHope

ContainersOfHope

First up is “Containers of Hope” A housing project by Architect Benjamin Garcia Saxe with a woping total cost of $40,000USD! Yes, yes you read right $40,000USD. Saxe would be the kind of architect that would be perfect for my dream home, for he is famous for his innovative uses of materials in his projects; uses that offer both low cost and a recycling/ecological benefit. Containers of Hope in particular is a one bedroom, 861 sq. ft. home and was built using two disused containers which where then taken to the final location and modified on site. Built with the Costa Rican tropical climate in mind, similar to that of Miami, the house is so well ventilated that it’s actually enough to never have to turn the air conditioning on. The best news is that Saxe offers the full set of blueprints and photographs for you to use to construct this same project or to use as a basis for your own for just $950. How’s that for affordability!?

Alp 320 by Meka World

Alp 320 by Meka World

Vor 640 by Meka World

Vor 640 by Meka World

Container transportation, Meka World

Container transportation, Meka World

Then we have the amazing Meka homes. Meka is a group of architects and engineers that create modular living and work spaces that are available to ship to customers worldwide. They offer prefabricated homes with total cost starting at just $85,500USD. These are homes that are built using modular units that fit the same measurements as shipping containers and can therefore be transported just as easily. Plus, all their models are guaranteed to be modern, functional, green and quick to fully set up. Just to show you how trust worthy they are, their latest project was the Tesla Motors modular showroom. My two favorite models of theirs are the Thor 960 and the Hela 1280.

Hela 1280 by Meka World

Hela 1280 by Meka World

Thor 960 by Meka World

Thor 960 by Meka World

So there you go, not so impossible after all! I’ll keep my search up and share more as I find but I think that with these two projects in mind we can begin to really believe that good affordable housing is possible. After all the best design solutions should be intended for everyone to enjoy.

Till next Friday,
<3
Dani


Post by Dani V Sanchez - Good Manya

SOURCES
Superlight, rethinking how our homes impact the earth by Phyllis Richardson
fiveboroughfarm.org
benjamingarciasaxe.com
Meka World

PHOTOS
Containers of Hope - benjamingarciasaxe.com
Meka - Mekaworld.com
Meka - jetsongreen.com
Meka - decorationstyle.net

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THE BUS PICKS:

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THE BUS PICKS:

Truth Beauty

Hi Everyone! I’m Dani, Art Director here at El Autobus. I’m here to talk to you about “The Bus Picks” our first ever column for our BRAND NEW BLOG!… Yes, we got a blog! It was time, wasn’t it? We really have some great surprises and ideas in mind and we can’t wait to share them with you. So stay posted and follow us on this lovely little journey we are on!

Now back to The Bus Picks. The Bus Picks is a series where we feature innovative products, designs, projects, ideas, campaigns etc… Last week we started posting about it on our Instagram and we got a lot of people interested in it, including ourselves, so that got us thinking “why stop there?”. If we really want to share the incredible projects that inspire us day to day, then heck maybe we can immerse into them even more and really show you why they really are so incredible. So here we are!

Beauty Lies Truth Kickstarter

Today we want to talk to you about this amazing project called #TruthBeauty, a project started by Harvard Business School MBA student Jessica Assaf and Alexis Krauss from Sleigh Bells. Truth Beauty is “a curated collection of the safest, highest-performing and most affordable skincare and makeup products on the market”.  

Jessica Assaf and Alexis Krauss

Jessica Assaf and Alexis Krauss

For this project they have partnered with Baggu and over 10 women-owned beauty brands (get the full list at the bottom of the post) to create two kits: a skincare essentials kit for both men and women ($50) and a makeup essentials kit ($55). Both are on pre-sale at kickstarter. But, what really makes this project so special is their continuous efforts to improve the beauty industry, which has long been run by corporate giants who put dangerous chemicals in our products.

Baggu

Baggu

Ilia Beauty

Ilia Beauty

SW Basics, of Brooklyn

SW Basics, of Brooklyn

Beauty Counter

Beauty Counter

So, if you’re passionate about the environment and/or your personal care products (I know I am!), I highly recommend that you take a look at the project. I actually ended up ordering both bags as a birthday present for myself! I will share and post about them as soon as I get them, because I really think it’s important for us to see that as customers we have a lot of power. If we only buy good products, those made and sourced in good ways, then we support everything around them and by doing that we make the world a little better. We can really make such a big difference by not buying all those damaging products and buying eco-friendly ones instead.

Get on over to their site truthbeautylies.com to find lots of info about these dangerous chemicals, what they are and what they are doing to us and the environment. There you will also find a really great guide that lists all the brands and products that are not only safe for us to use but they are also really, really good for you!

Brands on Essentials kit: Au Naturale, EO, SW Basics, Ilia, Pomega5, Alaffia, Jane Iredale, Shamphree, Beauty Counter, Baggu


Post by Dani V Sanchez - Good Manya

SOURCES
huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/16/truthbeauty-kickstarter-non-toxic-makeup_n_6876538.html?1426513862&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000035
beautyliestruth.com
kickstarter.com/projects/1231418826/truthbeauty-safe-effective-affordable-beauty-produ

PHOTOS
Jessica Assaf & Alexis Krauss - Kickstarter: #TruthBeauty
Baggu - twitter.com/baggu
SW Basics of Brooklyn - elizabethstreet.com
Ilia - salebite.com
Beauty Counter - huffingtonpost.com

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