I wanted to buy Bliss at Sojourns Fair Trade, but I picked up a jar of Calm. Although the store had sold out, I could have purchased a Bliss candle on the Sojourns Fair Trade website. Instead, I became addicted to Calm, purchasing a second candle on another visit to its location in a small strip mall and leaving Bliss, now restocked, on its shelf.
Stepping into Sojourns is like walking into a colorful garden.
No sweatshops. No child labor. Shopping at Sojourns Fair Trade is a feel-good experience that engages my senses as well as my heart. Owner Melissa Kendrick organizes the deep footprint into sections (toys for children, kitchen, wall art, clothing, pet beds and toys, journals, cards, tea and food items, purses and bags, baskets, jewelry and more). Each group of items is curated into arrangements to invite, not overwhelm, your eyes.
I can buy beautiful things for any room in my home or anyone I love, knowing each artisan received a fair wage.
Sojourns also contains what I’d call a “local gallery,” featuring works by Alabama artists.
Visit Sojourns at its Birmingham, Ala., location or online to find your own favorites. You’re supporting a local merchant and artists around the world with every purchase.
Bliss is waiting.
Tips and shortcuts:
I photographed a few “Sojourns favorites” in my home.
The coasters are made from rolled-up newspapers, and they’re a perfect example of the benefits of shopping at Sojourns in person. Paper coasters? Sojourns owner Melissa Kendrick, now celebrating 16 years in business, answered my questions as I compared them to other options in her shop.
Holding a set in my hands, I could see how tightly wrapped and colorful they are. If you’re wondering how they would stand up to condensation from a glass, I can say from experience, “Very well,” plus they’re lightweight and reversible.
The stone lion is also from Sojourns, but not all items are online. Watch the Sojourns Fair Trade Facebook page for stories, photos and new additions to inventory.
The journal’s quality is easier to experience than explain. The color of the cover and the way the book feels in your hands is best explored in person. I can also say from experience the texture of the paper is a perfect match for my ink pen.