Goods and Services: Lydali and Spreading the Love


Here is what happened: I published that question-master reader appreciation post and you all started linking me to amazing independent businesses right and left. Enter: the amazing Lydali – an online store that I have been pouring over for the last few weeks. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

Lydali works with local artisan groups on a global scale. Would you like a beautiful, soft infinity scarf? How about one from the Indego Africa and Ingenzi Knit Union? Because that is exactly the kind of thing Lydali does best. The two ladies who run this fabulous online shop work to highlight amazing hand made goods sourced from developing countries and often disenfranchised groups of people (like women!). The artisans behind the beautiful handcrafted statement necklaces, earrings, unique housewares, and textiles receive fare wages for their products, are able to develop skills and a community they may not have otherwise, and now thanks to Lydali, can share these products with you.

Now, here comes the exciting parts! (Did you catch that pluralization?)

Lydali is not only rocking a sweet giveaway for you all, they are offering a 10% discount for 7 days (starting right now!) with the code: BETTERINREALLIFE

Um, hi Valentines Day gift to myself! Circle scarf you will be mine! (And spoiler alert… I’m probably going to stock up on some insanely affordable jewelery for some of my friends’ birthdays coming up. Because…. awesome.)

Oh, yes and the giveaway. FREE STUFF FOR YOU! Because spreading the love is my favorite thing, because you guys totally deserve it, and because I get the biggest joy out of promoting products that 1) are incredibly well made, 2) are sassy and 3) come from amazing globally conscious indie shops (who also happen to be local to San Francisco!).



Up for grabs is a set of 3 wood and leather bangles handcrafted in Northern India. They are made from locally sourced wood and are brought to you by Ferdoz (pictured above) from Raven + Lily (who also give proceeds from this collection to fund literacy programs for women artisans and their children in the community).


To win: Leave a comment telling me about 1 adventure (big or small!) you are actively planning or have recently participated in. Make sure to log into comments with your email so that I can contact the winner. A winner will be chosen by and comments on this thread will close at noon on Friday Pacific Time. So tell me some stories! I can’t wait to read what you have been up to!




And let it be known: Lydali did not pay for this post and I did not receive any products for this write up or give away. The bracelets in the photos are the bracelets the giveaway winner will receive. And because the two women of Lydali are amazing, they threw in the 10% discount totally unprompted! So please help me in thanking them by supporting their small business and the amazing organizations they support in turn. Yay!!


**Photos by Kamel Perez Photography

34 thoughts on “Goods and Services: Lydali and Spreading the Love”

  1. Does planning to start my own business count like an adventure? It has kept me busy the last few months, researching, experimenting, playing around, figuring things out. It’s not ready yet but it will be soon and I am very very happy about it.
    Adventures in planning: we’re gonna make it to California, and I am so so excited.
    Other ongoing adventure: learning to cook with a pressure cooker (we just recently got one and I am thrilled… as cooking with high pressure implies shorter cooking times, which means healthier food because the vitamins / nutrients are not oxidized as much).
    PS 1: Lauren your belly. So pretty. Kamel gets a 12 over 10 for that shot. Baby Gabe really looks close now.
    PS 2: I also got obsessed with Lydali after they were mentioned in the comments. I even have some ideas for products they should sell, namely: contacting the women communities in Tenango de Doria, Hidalgo (Mexico) and do a project with their beautiful embroidered textiles (that can be used in walls, for upholstering chairs, as pillows, blouses, dresses….).

  2. What an amazing store! I would gladly give them all my pocket money!
    Though, I can’t because I’m saving up for my future April adventure: we’re going to Japan! I have wanted to do this for ten years but it always felt like a dream that would never come true because of how much it costs and how scary it is to go somewhere where you don’t speak the language…
    But this year, I have adopted this quote of Maurice Leblanc as my motto: “Adventure is not saying “forever” but saying “right now”.” And I want more adventures in my life. So… I searched the Web for months until I could find super cheap plane tickets and I booked us a room in a youth hostel. And I’m trying to learn japanese very very fast… Tokyo, here I come!

  3. Adventure, heh?

    Well.. In the next couple of months I’ll be moving from Europe – where my family and I have always lived – to the US so that my husband can go to grad school there. At this point we don’t know which universities he’ll be admitted into, yet (or even if he’ll be admitted at all, in which case we’ll be free to move wherever in the US, but will both have to find jobs), but the visa process is progressing smoothly and in the next month I hope to learn in which city I can start applying for jobs. I’ll be the breadwinner for a few years and am currently teaching myself some very basic programming to become more employable (since I have a liberal arts degree and rather specific professional experience).

    We’re getting to a point where well over a year of preparation is about to pay off in concrete results. It’s satisfactory and terrifying at the same time.

  4. So many lovely things on their website! Now how to choose…

    The next adventure we’re planning is still in the super secret stages because I don’t want to jinx anything. We’re planning a move and career change!

  5. What a sweet giveaway! And pretty Lauren! I just got back from a trip to Thailand this past weekend, and it was crazy. Most adventurous part? Riding in the back of a pickup truck up a 3,500 ft. mountain, doubling back and forth over switchbacks at about 50 mph to get to the temple at the top. Faaaaast.

    I’m not planning any more adventures any time soon. I need a nap! 😉

  6. I’m actually not going to enter this contest because even though those bracelets are GORGEOUS, I totally never wear jewelry and I want these to go to someone who will rock them out everyday. But I still want to share my adventure! I’m about to do Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred everyday of Lent, starting today and finishing at Easter. I’m totally dreading it, but I’m also really excited, because I think it’s going to be a really positive thing.

    Anyways, I love the work you do here on this blog. And I can’t wait to rock out that 10% discount! 🙂

  7. Just booked tickets to Aruba for September. I’d wanted to go to Provence or Tuscany, but we owe too much on my taxes! Poor me, I’ll have to settle for Aruba! I can’t wait, because it’s currently so damn cold. We are trying to get pregnant too, so maybe I’ll be a big pregnant lady on the beach in a bikini. Or a moomoo, not sure yet.

  8. Hey!!

    A new adventure (minus the “house upgrade: build all the furniture things” project that is currently filling my weekends and bringing me so much unexpected joy alongside my oh so helpful dad!) – I am embarking on a slightly professional/passion related project – helping a nonprofit get its website up to date and helping them venture in social media. The fundraising arm is here in Seattle, and the actual work is taking place out of a community center in an urban slum in Lusaka Zambia (think: clinics, literacy programs, family planning options for young women, micro-loan via entrepreneurship etc). It is all about engaging and listening to what the dedicated local people are already doing for their community, helping them continue to do what they already know they want and need to improve, and not telling them what we want to do or think they need (which is important for me).

    SO: it is going to be completely new territory – one that I have no problem saying that I know very little about. I am generally internet savvy, but not exactly website-master, and it will interesting to see how much of the reigns they really let me have – although the lady did a little dance at brunch last week when she finally heard me explain what twitter is 🙂 It is freaking me out a bit, because I am not sure how much it will affect my down time and my work-life-sanity balance (that I am working extra hard on this winter!) – but I’m stoked either way!

  9. Yup, I’d wear those bracelets all of the time. They are awesome.

    Adventure… I think I’m going to sign up for rowing lessons! I always wanted to try crew in high school, but it conflicted with soccer season and I never got around to it. And it’d be exciting and a little scary (big personal flaw of mine = getting incredibly frustrated when I’m not good at something right away, and more often than not just giving up) and a great way to get some more exercise in! And meet new people? And maybe turn into a lifelong activity? WHO KNOWS.

    1. Man, crew is HARDCORE. I did it for two seasons in high school. It’s fantastic exercise, though, and being out on the water is so calming!

  10. Road trip from Seattle to Michigan. I’m getting married this summer nad rather than fly with tons of checked bags and a 1 year old dog, we’ve decided to road trip. 3 days there, 3 days back. Nothing says newlyweds like sharing a tent with a dog next to the freeway in Montana right? Although I’m not sure how much planning is involved, we’re kinda just going for it.

    1. When we moved to Chicago, we road-tripped from Seattle to Chicago with a gigantic Penske truck. Best parts about the trip? Driving that sucker through the badlands and getting caught up in the Sturgis Biker Ralley (side note: seeing a 60+ year old woman in ass-less chaps without pants underneath and a shirt that loosely laced from her bellybutton up at Mount Rushmore is a once in a lifetime experience).

  11. My old adventures used to include pyramids, glaciers, cliff diving, traveling all over the world, seeing the most amazing sites, and meeting extremely interesting people. I have some great stories. But no adventure compares to the one of being a mom, which I enjoy to the fullest every day. My son provides more excitement and wonder than any place I could hope to visit. I wouldn’t trade a moment.

  12. I have no adventures planned, sadly. However! I went up to Baltimore last weekend and had brunch with two new (this year) friends, poked about in a nearby indie bookstore, and tried on ALL THE CLOTHES at the adorbs bohemian clothing stores in the area. I felt very fancy and grown-up. Also, we had a lovely time. I’ve decided this counts as an adventure because I’d not been to that part of Baltimore before, and I’d never gone out to brunch with friends before. Shiny!

    Oh, I do love the infinity scarves in their shop. Currently wracking my brain for upcoming events for which I will need kickass gifts.

  13. Holy moses those bracelets are AMAZING! That leather–I’m droooooling over it.

    I’m going snow shoeing this weekend! For the first time ever! Going with a group of girlfriends from college. I’m SUPER excited (and a little bit nervous about how sore I’ll be the next day), and can’t wait to get into some delicious wintery nature.

  14. I’m quitting my job and going to Europe for three months! Holy Pete, it doesn’t feel real. That’s totally something someone with a book deal does, not wee lil Lizzie.

  15. I love reading about all the travels planned here! My adventure happened/is happening a little closer to home — in my kitchen.

    For various reasons (health, having a dog for the first time in my life, watching Forks Over Knives, my boyfriend did it, curiosity), I decided to go vegan for January. I was an avowed omnivore my whole life, but experiencing how little I missed meat and dairy (former staples of my diet) and how much I enjoyed cooking vegan, being creative with vegetable proteins, and re-making meat-centric family recipes has made me want to continue eating vegan at home for the foreseeable future.

    I’m not saying this to try to convince anyone to join me (I’m trying to find the line between being excited and proselytizing), but it’s truly been an awesome adventure. Before I decided to do it, cooking, one of my favorite things to do, had become boring and stale. But when I made these restrictions on myself and had to find substitutes, it’s like my eyes opened to a whole new world of food and what it could be and do. Making food excites me in a way it hasn’t for a long time.

  16. This store is amazing! Will definitely be back to support them.

    As for a new adventure–I am in the process of figuring out grad school. I never thought I’d be saying that. But after some soul-searching (and being fed up with my current field) I’ve realized I need to go back to school. I’ve been meeting with a “career counselor” off and on and have done some of those career aptitude/personality tests. They’ve been pretty helpful (thankfully, cause they aren’t the cheapest). Now I’m the process of looking at schools and different programs. I’ll be meeting with some professors at the local universities here in MI.

    My goal is to be registered for classes Fall 2014. I know that’s kind of a long way off, but this is such a HUGE financial commitment that I wasn’t preparing (read: saving) for and I want to make sure it’s the right program for me. Where there will be growth in the industry and room for me move around in a little too. So I’m taking a full year to explore every option.

    PS–Your outfit in this post works so great with the bracelets! Super cute.

  17. So, in our household we are adventuring into all things DAIRY. That’s right, cheese, yogurt, milk. My daughter (20 months) has had a diagnosed allergy to milk and nuts, and we’ve been carrying around an epi-pen and freaking out at restaurants and reading labels like nobody’s business. Last week we received a totally negative test for both and have begun to introduce cheese into the house again. Verona will not touch the cheese, let alone eat it! She says, “No no nononono!” I’ve shredded, melted, cut into eeny weeny pieces, even given her a big hunk of cheddar. I can only hope that with time she will learn that cheese is glorious! Until then…I will continue to shred, melt, and cut until we get somewhere. #momadventures

  18. Not entering to win here – just want to say that Lydia and Ali (founders of Lydali) are two of my wonderful friends, and I’m so excited you’re featuring their company! Worlds collide! So much awesomeness 🙂

  19. My husband and I are five months into a year-long adventure living in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. I am working on a project studying the health and social impacts of microlending among the city’s working poor and volunteering to provide services and support to working children in the city’s markets. It has been an eye-opening and, at times, difficult adventure. I have seen various levels of life in poverty but the most amazing thing has been how open, kind, and willing the people I am working with have been with me. I have had no one turn me away from their busy lives. They have all welcomed me into their homes and told me about their lives, challenges, and dreams. I have seven months left living here but my husband is starting to apply for jobs for our return to the United States. I’m looking forward to that next adventure when it comes.

  20. At first I thought I wasn’t planning any adventures. Then I remembered I’m writing a book, planning another book, applying to a conference (in Seattle!), and I have started at the gym. THE GYM. This, for me, is actually a huge adventure. I have had health problems for a really long time, and for almost as long I have failed to be brave enough to acknowledge them, to deal with them. I really want to go on a holiday, but I’m scared to plan one, because ill-health marred my last three (THREE!!) holidays. Most frustrating thing ever. So I decided that 2013 is the year of being healthy, of being strong. Of going to the gym for reasons of strength and fitness and health and not letting it be about skinnyness or being as thin as my hot friends (do other people feel that way too?). I am going to have Michelle Obama arms, a powerful core, the ability to lift some serious weights and go for day-long bike rides through the hills. I am not going to have migraines that last for three days anymore just because my lack of core strength lets me down. That’s my adventure. Building strength is my adventure.

  21. I’m planning a little adventuring project for me and my boy. We’ve lived in Melbourne for 4 and half years now and I still don’t know what goes where or how this sits next to that. So inspired by the (now old) 52 Suburbs project done in Sydney, we’re going to set forth into the city and learn something about it. What makes it tick. Who lives there. Where the awesomeness is hidden. And what that strange smell is.

  22. I am planning a trip to Peru in May! And then to try and have a baby after! Adventures and pretty bracelets ftw!

  23. Another Melbourne lady! Melbourne is THE BEST. You should check out Central Place, have a cocktail at Gin Palace, go to the NGV and lie on the floor beneath the stained glass ceiling, ride the 96 line from Brunswick to St Kilda and back again, and and and and – so many marvellous things! You could go to a different laneway bar every night of the year and not run out of new places to see! Melbourne is full of lovely hidden secrets – I hope you have the best time ever exploring them.

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