Some links in this post are affiliate links meaning that if you click a link and purchase a product through it, I receive a small commission which helps me provide free junk for you to read and buy treats for my doggie. If you require more information about this, please read my Disclosure Statement.
DoggyLoot has been one of my FAVORITE websites for a few years now. Some of my most used and loved dog products have come from them, and at a fraction of the price. If you want to keep an eye out for good deals on toys, chews, bowls, leashes, collars, mats, and unique items that you can rarely find anywhere else, then DoggyLoot is the place to go. They rotate their deals every week/month, so if they don't have anything that interests you this week, then they might next! I love that.
Value Pet Supplies is another one of those places where you are bound to find a good deal. At first, they are overwhelming, because they have a TON of stuff. But, if you are looking for something specific, then VPS is bound to have it. Did I mention that they have a whole section dedicated just for stuff that is made in the USA? Also, they have a dog section, cat section, bird, small pet, fish, and reptile section. So they are definitely all around pet friendly.
Etsy has also become one of my new favorite places to shop for pets. You can find pretty much anything on Etsy if you look hard enough. Etsy makes it easy for me to find small dog businesses here in the USA.
If you like your dogs to wear pretty and unique collars, Etsy could become a serious addiction for you that may require medical attention. You don't have to search far to find a dog collar to fit every mood, every season, and every fandom that you have ever loved. You can also find bandannas, bow ties, flowers, and special dog tags to match each collar that you get! It's madness!
And that's not all that Etsy has to offer: beds, crates, houses, custom bowls, clothes, jackets, costumes and just about anything else you can imagine for every kind of pet there is! I've even found stuff just for pet pigs (which, to a farm girl, that's kinda weird).
If you want, you can follow me on Etsy and watch my "Pet Items" favorites (which I linked at the top). I favorite a lot of cool pet items and stick in that list, so if you watch it, I may find something that you like!
Capturing Couture is another place that I have recently come to be acquainted with and like. They mostly sell really pretty and well made items for photographers. Items such as bags (I want one!), straps, lens savers, and the like. But they also have a pet section where they offer cute reversible dog vests, dog beds, cutsie collars and leashes. If you like chic stuff then they would probably tickle you and your dog's fancy!
Instagram has come up several times in my past blog posts. If you take a lot of pictures of your pets, make friends with other pet enthusiasts like you, or you just like to look at pictures of other people's furkids, then Instagram is the place to hang out at. The only problem I have with it is that it is an app. I can't use it on my computer. This causes troubles for me, sometimes, because of where I live. A lot of times, my data and cell service are non-existent.
If you are on Instagram, look me and Pilot up! We love to show off our pictures.
MyPaws is for those who are either really crazy or really desperate to socialize with other pet people like them. In my case, I'm both crazy and desperate, thus why I joined it. It's basically like Facebook for pets. The "hoomans" post "status updates" for their pets, and the only "human interaction" that takes place is in the forums, which are full of helpful and kind people. MyPaws is not an app and does not have an app yet (so guess which age groups use it most?). It is predominately used by dog owners, but there are a few cats and other critters on there as well. It is a great way to find other pet owners in your same area/state, and connect with others from out of state, or even out of country. Unfortunately, for me, there are only two dogs from Oklahoma who are semi-active on it; Pilot and one other doggie. Go figure.
If you are crazy/desperate enough to join MyPaws, be sure to send Pilot a friend request!
If you ever go to Oklahoma City and want to bring your pooch along, then I suggest looking at this website: The Dog Dish Magazine. The section "Dog Friendly OKC" is especially helpful. I live in Oklahoma and make a trip to the city at least once a year, and I didn't even know about all the pet friendly places in OKC! Pet parks, I knew existed, but wineries? Restaurants? Seriously? Wow. That's awesome.
They also have health, wellness, and training articles, dog related news, wag-n-brag section, and lists of upcoming dog related events.
If you live in the OKC area, you can get the magazine! Like, the real paper version. You can read all about it on their website.
Do you and your pet have a favorite website or app that you visit all the time? If you do, share it with us in the comments!
In the meantime, if you are a blogger, and you have a blog post about your pet, wildlife, farm animals, pet item review, or even a review of a book about animals, please link it up to The Pets & I Critter Hop below! If you know a blogger who has a few blog posts about animals, tell them to link up a post or two down below. If you know a blogger who knows a blogger who makes animal related blog posts......... yeah, you get the point.
There are Affiliate links in this post. If you purchase anything through them, I receive a small commission which helps me provide free content for you to read PLUS buy pretty things to wear.
Please read my full Disclosure Policy.
What is Trades of Hope?
Trades of Hope was founded in 2010 by four incredible women, a mother/daughter duo, who believe that all women should be empowered and have a chance to create a better life for themselves and their families, regardless of their circumstances.
By creating jobs and establishing income-generating businesses, the artisans that Trades of Hope support are able to work, break the cycle of poverty, feed and take care of their families, and send their children to school.
This is not a charity. It's an opportunity to help someone earn a living, dignity, and respect in their community.
Trades of Hope works with the artisans themselves and organizations that are helping women in difficult circumstances. Some women have been rescued from sex slavery. Others are raising handicapped children alone. Some are in war torn countries and others have AIDS. These women have never had the chances we've had, but they love their families and hope and dream of a better life for them.
Trades of Hope helps them by marketing their products through the home party model, so they can put food on their table, a roof over their head, get medical care and an education for their children. Through Compassionate Entrepreneurs, like me, we are telling their stories to the world!
What is a Compassionate Entrepreneur?
Compassionate Entrepreneurs are the consultants for Trades of Hope. We sell the artisans’ products through home parties in the United States. We are the women who are the voice for the women who have no voice, empowering them to rise out of poverty.
I became a compassionate entrepreneur to change the world. It is a career that feeds my soul. I am helping women around the world in desperate situations by selling their "Fair Trade" products. I know that, with every TOH item I buy or sell, I am enabling someone to make their own life better. Through my sales, women are helped out of the sex trade, slums, sweat shops, and extreme poverty. They are able to send their children to school, put a roof over their heads, and put food on their tables. They are no longer enslaved by poverty.
By becoming a compassionate entrepreneur, I can put food on my table while helping a sister around the world put food on her table at the very same time. It's a great feeling.
What is "Fair Trade"?
Fair Trade is a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty. It delivers sustainable livelihoods by developing opportunities for small and disadvantaged producers. "Fair Trade" means that the artisans are paid first, and they are paid their full asking price. Artisans are guaranteed a living wage through the Fair Trade principles, and they make an average of six times more selling their products through TOH than they would in their own country. They are provided with a healthy and safe working environment, equal employment opportunities, and long-term relationships between producer and buyer.
It's the way things ought to be.
Who are the Artisans?
Trades of Hope focuses primarily on helping women, because statistics show that when you help one woman out of poverty, she brings four others with her!
TOH partners with more than 20 artisan groups from 10 countries who...
… have been rescued from sex trafficking.
… are survivors of acid attacks.
… have handicaps and could not work without Trades of Hope.
… have scars from leprosy (a curable disease) so they are not allowed to go back home or work anywhere.
… live in areas of extreme poverty where there simply are no jobs.
… would otherwise work in sweatshops making little or no money.
Trades of Hope has artisans in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Guatamala, Haiti, India, Jordan, Nepal, Peru, the Philippines, Thailand, Uganda, and the Unites States!
These women (and some men!) from these different places are creative, talented, hard working, and grateful. They do not want our charity. They want an opportunity - an opportunity to have a job, to work everyday, and to provide for their families.
The artisan groups also teach valuable life skills and business skills; the artisans learn about health, sanitation, and raising healthy children. Some groups provide clean water to their area. Other groups have started schools for their artisans’ children and others in the community. Some groups offer housing assistance or help with home projects. Our artisans receive support in many ways and experience living in true community. But, most importantly, they are working and making a sustainable income to provide for their families.
One of my favorite artisans that Trades of Hope has partnered with (aside from those here in the USA) is from Cambodia.
Perhaps you've heard of Katie Davis, the author of the fantastic book "Kisses From Katie"? Well, through Trades of Hope, her artisan group in Uganada has been able to sell more of their necklaces and provide, not just for their families, but for their community.
Here is a short little video of Katie thanking Trades of Hope for their partnership:
What do you sell?
Products with a purpose!
Trades of Hope primarily sells jewelry - necklaces, earrings, & bracelets - but they also offer a gorgeous selection of scarves, some cool handbags and fashionable clutches, unique stationary, and beautiful home decor items.
There is a constant rotation of products - new items come in, and old items go out. It keeps things fresh and exciting!
How can I participate in the awesomeness?
There are 3 ways you can be a part of Trades of Hope:
Shop. Host. Join.
SHOP - The easiest and most immediate thing you can do is SHOP. Just use the link provided! Trades of Hope products are not only lovely, unique and affordable, but the soul and spirit behind them is what makes them truly beautiful.
I’m sure you can find a gift to buy, for a friend, loved one or yourself.
Want a super good deal? Check out the Last Call section for sale items.
HOST - Hosting a party is a wonderful way to take it to the next level and impact a greater number of lives. Hosting can be in the form of traditional home parties, a catalog party at work, an online event, a happy hour/coffee shop gathering, or even a playdate!
Everyone is always looking for unique, affordable gifts—why not help them out and host a party?
JOIN - Joining means becoming a Compassionate Entrepreneur, like me.
I won't lie: it's a lot of work. But it is very rewarding spiritually and emotionally, and I love that it is a flexible job that I can do mostly from my own couch.
You can find a CE sponsor in your own state to sign up under, or you can sign up under me and I can help you start your own fashion business (all from the comfort of my own couch, mind you).
What are you waiting for?
Whether you are interested in shopping deals, hosting a party, or joining, you can contact me on Facebook, Twitter, or email (all which can be found at the very top of the page or in the FOLLOW ME tab)! I'm ready to help you in any way possible (from the comfort of my OWN couch, mind you! Unless you have a spaceship where I could camp out... that would be cool).
If nothing else, I hope I have at least given you something to think about.
Friends! Bloggers! Countrymen! Lend me your ears (and eyes and thumbs)…
I would like to announce that I am going to start hosting a monthly linky party starting January first!
What is a “Linky Party”? Well, let me explain and then I will tell you all about the one that I plan to throw!
A linky party is when I, the host, post a special html code in my blog post. This code puts a special link at the bottom of my post that you, a blogger, can click.
When you click the link, you will have the option to put in your specific blog post url, some of your information, and a picture. Then you click the GO button.
A little picture tile and a link to your blog post will show up beneath my post where other people can find it. Visitors can then click your picture tile and travel to your blog with ease! What this means for you is: more viewership, more clicks, more likes, more subscribers, etc. etc. etc.
Most linky parties are themed. You must post a link to a blog post that is about something specific (i.e. book review specific, science fiction specific, sewing specific, etc.). Other linky parties just let you link whatever you like. And each linky party has a different time duration. Some parties are once a week. Some are open one day only. Others are once a month. Others still are quarterly. Take mine for example: it is NOT themed, it is going to be monthly, and it will only be open for other bloggers to post their links in for a couple of days.
Now that I have explained that to you, I will tell you about MY linky party!
I have this special joke with my friends. On the first day of every month, we try to be the first person to tell everyone else “White Rabbit!” (though sometimes it comes out "Pink Elephant", "Red Robin", and other random stuff, but that's beside the point!). This started when we were interns at Character First! Education in 2010. What it means and how it started I have no idea, but it has been so much fun to poke each other with it each month (when we remember).
I decided it would be really neat to start off the New Year by setting up a monthly linky party built around the white rabbit joke: at the beginning of every month, everyone will have a chance to post something new and have it noticed. So, White Rabbit link party, here we come!
FOCUS: The focus of White Rabbit Linky Party is to draw attention to new content on active blogs.
HOW IT WORKS: I will make a blog post on the first day of the month with the White Rabbit link at the bottom for you to link up to. The post you link up must be NEW. I don’t want it to be any older than 48 hours old! You can make a blog post the day before and link it up, but anything older than that will not be accepted.
It also must be your specific blog post url. Not your basic blog url. (i.e. www.yoursite.com/post-name/)
WHEN: I will have it open for two days: the 1st and the 2nd of each month. I will try to open it at 8-9am Central time on the 1st.
CONTENT: Any post you link up must be CLEAN and FAMILY FRIENDLY. No cussing, no adult content, no people-bashing... Other than that, you can post whatever you would like: Book/product reviews, interviews, personal thoughts, How-To, writing focused, home school, devotional, or whatever. As long as it is clean, it goes!
SHARE: Since the focus of the White Rabbit Linky Party is to draw attention to other blogs, I require that you share and comment (if possible) on another person’s linked up blog. This does not take much time and, if you do it, your chances increase for someone else to come look at your blog. Plus, it helps draw attention to the other person's blog, which is just a nice thing.
What do you do if you are the first/only person to link up? Comment on my post. *Cheesy Grin*
I hope any bloggers, writers, and readers who read this will join me in the "White Rabbit Link-up" at the beginning of every month. I would love to have each of you link up your content, become more active on your blog, and get new followers!
See ya January 1st - New Years Day! (I'm gonna "White Rabbit" all of you! Mwahahaha! Terrified?? You should be...)
When I talk about social media with friends, relatives, and acquaintances, and particularly with those I know in the author world, I constantly hear how no one understands Twitter.
"I just don't get it."
"It makes no sense."
"I have no idea how to use it."
Well, let me tell you something: I get more website clicks and sales from Twitter than just about anywhere. And it is the simplest thing to use.
Want a crash course on how to use Twitter? Okay, here we go:
1. Twitter is so simple to use because you can only type 140 characters into the status/update/"what's happening?" bar. For most people, this is very irritating. But for a business, it really simplifies things. All you need is a quick, catchy phrase followed by a link to your book (or whatever you are selling) and a couple of hashtags.
Q. What are Hashtags?
A. They look like this: #writing #reading #bookworm #bookreview #IndieAuthors #ilovetwitter #mydogisawesome #mytongueispurple #lovemycookies ...You can literally hashtag anything, anytime, anywhere, and hashtags are the BIGGEST thing that will draw attention to your Twitter. So, don't forget your hashtags.
2. What should you type into your Twitter update? If you are an author, tiny quotes from your book work well. Pictures of happy costumers, of your product on display, and other things are great as well! Let me show you a couple of things I have posted to my Twitter. Maybe they will give you some ideas!
3. The best way I have found to Tweet a Web link to my book, or Facebook Author page, or Amazon Author page, or anything, is to use Bitly. *holy choir begins to sing praises*
With Bitly, you can shorten your long links like this (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kathryn-Fogleman/475623382492122) and turn them into this (http://bit.ly/FBkjf)
Big difference, huh? It saves a lot of space on the Twitter update! Plus, if you sign up with Bitly and get a free account, you can save your short links, reuse them over again, and check on them to see how many clicks you have had on each link! Very cool.
4. This is very important: DON'T SPAM PEOPLE. Don't Tweet the same thing, the same link, or only your product over & over & over & over again. Add a little spice! Throw in some variety! Need some ideas? Well, here you go:
- If you like to read books, then post your book reviews! Help other authors out! Type the title of the book or take a picture of it, give a short reason why you like it, and then copy the Amazon or B&N link for that book so that those who see your Twitter update can click the link, look at the book, and hopefully buy it! It also helps if you tag the Author, if they are on Twitter. By tagging their Twitter name, both of you exchange traffic and costumers. Simply put a "@" and then type the author's Twitter name, just like I did in the below picture. Ta-Da!
Something else I like to do, that also draws a lot of attention to my Twitter, is to post quotes and pictures of things that I like to "Nerd Out" on. For instance, I really like the Science Fiction TV shows Star Trek, Firefly, and Stargate. I tend to post a lot of quotes and pictures that relate to those particular shows. This brings in a lot of extra traffic to my Twitter, especially when I put hashtags with the posts, because all three of those TV shows have a large, nerdy, fanbase. Pinterest makes it easy to post pictures AND quotes on Twitter. When you "Pin" or "Re-pin" something on Pinterest, simply click the "Post to Twitter" button before you pin the picture. It automatically posts it to Twitter for you! Pretty easy!
- Re-tweet other people's Tweets. This also helps draw attention to your Twitter and your links, but more importantly, it helps other people reach a bigger audience. But PLEASE! Don't go overboard! There are some people on Twitter who re-tweet Every. Single. Thing. They. See. It gets really, really annoying. I like to re-tweet two or three things at a time, but no more than six, because that is when it starts to annoy people. I typically choose quotes, silly things, blog links, or pictures to re-tweet.
Now you are a Twitter Pro!
Okay, not really, but that just about sums Twitter up! There is a lot about Twitter that I still haven't figured out. But the important thing for you to know is that Twitter is EASY and it is EFFECTIVE. If you start using it more regularly, your products will start getting more attention from more people. A lot of Bloggers are on Twitter, looking for new things to blog about. A lot of Reviewers are on Twitter, looking for new things to review. And if you are an author, there is a HUGE author base on Twitter - readers and writers!
So don't be afraid of Twitter any longer. Twitter is your friend. Twitter is simple. Twitter is my favorite social media tool, and if you know me, you know that I HATE, HATE, HATE social media! So it means a lot when I say that something in Social Media is my favorite...
Get out there and start putting your Twitter to use!
Author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion,she returns to this world just to play with her dog and blog about her fun.
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