Emily Lestrange on Sep 20, 2014
Everything was so interestingly packaged, it made me so excited to get it. Love the cuff, just worried about the link staying intact. Great buy.
Love and Hard Work
Hi, name's Bex, and I'm the one who started this madness.
AsianBrocade started unexpectedly when I tried to donate some books at a local library (for that story, see my profile here: https://www.etsy.com/people/AsianBrocade?ref=si_pr#). It started out as a small one person gig, me trying to do what's right. I thought I'd invest some money, a ton of time, and make it a hobby that paid some of it's own bills, and maybe in a year or two I'd see that investment covered and start seeing returns. I was so clueless.
In reality, I wouldn't invest that much (my capital was $1,000), and I'd make that back in six months, and then some. I started learning how to do things- hand recycle products, make paper, make dyes from scraps being thrown out at local high schools, etc. My neighborhood's a little on the low-income side, so I'd always wanted to share free and low-cost events with the community, but people thought it was strange that some random person wanted to do that, and it was never well-received. I found that having a shop to back me up, something to pull it all together, really helped. Within a month of opening my shop, I found myself training interns and school children, having workshops, and sponsoring events for other locals that had skills they wanted to share with the community. I also found local boot-strap businesses who had similar goals as me to work with. Soon I had something of a team of artists, musicians, business owners and local leaders working hard to spread love throughout the community. As a result, we've all been able to do what we love better with more far-reaching results.
AsianBrocade's manifesto is something like "Focus on Love" though we've never actually written that out. Funny thing about love is that it's got a ripple effect. People snatch it up and grow it in their back yards, and when they get some fruit from the vine, they pass it out too. It's certainly been an adventure, one I feel deeply blessed to be a part of. Less than a year ago, when I started this insanity, I never expected to be involved with healers, artists, crazy African drumming events, library events, and all sorts of other brilliance. It's just kinda happened.
We stick to doing good, which means recycled and scrap materials, and avoiding all the gross stuff out there: animal cruelty, modern day slavery, China-sourced materials/products/services (we do NOT support countries that do not support basic human rights), toxic materials, etc. We screen everything closely, work hard, have a ton of fun, and share the good to everyone we meet. We look at all the levels of existence and life: Animals, People, the Earth, etc. and do our best to do only good on each level.
So what's AsianBrocade about? It's pretty simple, really- Being human, hard work, and a whole lotta love.
And not getting too serious. If there's no laughter, what's the point?
Around the web
Rebekah Gamble (AKA Bex)
Owner, Maker, Designer, Owner, Artist, Designer, Photographer, Photo Editor, Model, Shipping, Customer Relations And Customer Service, Event Coordinator, Supplies Acquisition, Etc.
Hi, name's Bex, and I started all this madness. AsianBrocade used to be my baby, but now I just make sure things get done in an organized, harmonious fashion.
Healer, Speaker, Music Extraordinaire
This is Rich. He likes music (the beast on the right is a drum). He also likes to help people. Look for his CDs, healing services and involvement in events soon. To sign up for his newsletter, check out his website: http://www.richermlick.com/
I love people more than anything. If I truly love my brother, I will not just care about the quality of a product, but I'll care about the quality of life of the person producing the product, the impact on our beautiful earthly home, the impact on animal life in the process, etc, because it's all connected.
When I traced my ancestry, I was able to go very far back, and see how various groups of people came from my branch of the human family that I never would have fathomed a relationship to (Chinese people? Really? But I'm Irish!). That really warmed me, and made me understand that you really are my brother. After all, if I go back far enough, the human family had to start somewhere, at one point, regardless of which creation myth you believe in. Realizing this also lead to a great deal of responsibility. When I buy new things, I'm very conscious of where they came from, how they were made, all the aspects of the impact of the buying dollar. I also research a lot of things and notify manufacturers when I find their company unacceptable, as well as suggest ways they can improve.
For instance, when I realized I was supporting genocide by buying from China, I stopped, and was greatly warmed by how surprisingly easy it is to buy all American made products with American made materials using sustainable methods if applicable. It's not some twisted form of patriotism, but a realization that America has the most control over how people work, and (believe it or not) the workers have it pretty good here. However, I do screen any products made in America as well.
Not that I get rid of companies or entire countries easily. I do a TON of research first, because I want the truth. Good groups deserve my business as much as bad groups don't deserve it. I also don't throw people out the window and never think of them again. I check back with companies, etc. I can't wait to buy from China again, for example, once they fit my standards.
Once I started down the road of impact-conscientiousness, it was impossible to stop, because it feels so good to know I've helped someone who's doing it right rather than someone who's doing damage. Every once in awhile, I'm tempted to buy something that's really stunningly beautiful but not cleanly made, but if I buy it, it's worthless to me. I can't feel good about it.
Of course, the best way to avoid these issues entirely is to never buy anything new. I up-cycle as much as possible. I pick up donated stuff from people's houses, I screen my garbage can very strictly, buy from yard sales and second hand stores, and occasionally go hunting for stuff around town, or in the woods. I even take people with me on these trips (I'm getting quite a street crew), and we have a LOT of fun with it. I've also found this approach leads to a stronger community, healthier personal relationships, a cleaner place to live, and a stronger local economy. It feels great to know I'm doing all that.
And you thought it was just shopping! XD
Basically, my ethics are pretty clear. Buy responsibly, sell responsibly. Treat people as the brother or sister they are. Of course, you can't abuse the earth and still be good to your brother, so the earth must be respected and cared for too. In my case, a reverence for all life and love for all god's good creation also covers animals. I do not buy products tested on animals, and haven't since 2004. I've been buying American made as much as possible since 2010, and plan to stick with that.
Accepted payment methods
- Accepts Etsy gift cards
- Money Order
- Other Method
Once an order is received, it is shipped within two business days. We occasionally ship on Saturday as well.
What carrier options do you offer?
Though we are looking into shipping with UPS and FedEx, AsianBrocade currently uses USPS exclusively. USPS charges and extra fee for delivery confirmation, tracking number, and insurance, which are to be requested by the buyer upon placement of an order, as well as paid for by the buyer. AsianBrocade strongly suggests customers purchase a tracking number as well as insurance for large orders, as we are not responsible for packages lost in the mail. Please note that Etsy does not hold any seller responsible for postal or shipping delays, errors, thefts or customs delays (if shipping internationally).
Do you ship outside the USA?
We are willing to explore international shipping options upon request for NO extra fee. We will send you current country and item specific information within two business days of receiving the request. Some items may not be shipped to certain countries due to legal restrictions. We do not accept international returns, due to the amount of time spent on legal paperwork and transfer costs.
What if the address is wrong?
If a package is returned due to a wrong address, you will be notified immediately. If the error was due to a misprint by the company (us), the item will be re-shipped at no extra cost. Should the address have been provided inaccurately by the customer, the buyer will be expected to pay the extra shipping costs.
Do you have gift wrapping options?
AsianBrocade does not offer gift wrap at this time.
Refunds and Exchanges
Additional policies and FAQs
-Do you accept commission and/or custom orders?
This all depends on the request. I do not accept custom paintings as a general rule, because they take a ton of time and work, and I don't stick with them if they mean nothing to me. As far as drawings, book-purses, jewelry, or anything else, it depends on the person I'd be working for and the work I'd be doing. Basically, if you'd like a commission work or custom order, talk to me. Tell me why you want this. What's it mean to you? What's the story here? Why are you asking me over someone else? What are you hoping it will be? What are you hoping this will do for you? If you want to talk, I'd love to listen to see whether this is a good thing for both of us. You can contact me at AsianBrocade [!at] hotmail.com at any time, through my charity via www.breakingchains.webs.com, the FB page at http://www.facebook.com/AsianBrocade, or good ol' Etsy convos and we'll see what happens.
-What's in a name? What made you choose AsianBrocade? And what's up with the crow?
Well, AsianBrocade started as an Etsy thing. I did have a fine art business back in high school, but it was before I started up-cycling and was focused on art, with no functional crafts involved. I wanted to start fresh. So, when I went to make an Etsy account, I found myself staring at the name space and thinking about that Nietzsche quote, “When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares into you,” or something like that. I wanted it to be elegant, dignified, but human. I never want to lose that human element. It needed to be something I liked. I also wanted it to be in the A-B-C range of names. Eventually, I got frustrated, asked myself, “well, what do you like?” threw up my hands and said “I love Asian Brocade!” and typed it in. Later, when I recovered from my outburst, I checked and made sure the name belonged to no one else. I got lucky.
Then I read about banners and branding. My color scheme was obvious to me, as was the mood. But an emblem? I've always felt close to deer and crows. It had to be one or the other. I noticed a lot of deer on Etsy right away, so I went with the crow. I was also feeling especially close to crows at this time, so it worked out well.
-Do you offer discounts?
I'm a big fan of discounts, and like to use them to thank repeat customers, facebook followers, and others, as well as give discounts for promotions and events. Craft show items and event items are automatically discounted before being displayed because I don't have to pay any fees on the sale. I also offer bulk discounts for retail and large orders (usually 10-30%). To keep up with current discounts, become a fan of AsianBrocade's FB page and watch the banner at the store. I also offer discounts to people who send me donations for up-cycling, repeat customers, (volunteer) models, and referrals. Most discounts are for a percentage off, but I occasionally offer free shipping too- sometimes at the same time.
-How can you be contacted?
First off, please talk to me. I'm a lot less weird in person (Not. HA.).
But seriously, I'd love to hear about your reaction to my “Products”, or my ethics, or whatever. If you've got ideas or suggestions you're willing to share, I'd really like to talk to you about them. If you want to discuss or offer improvements to our policies, I'd love to consider your input. And if you've got questions, I've got answers, or know people who do.
You can contact me easily via AsianBrocade [!at] hotmail.com, or through AsianBrocade's Facebook page, or via Etsy convos. I try to be very accessible!
-What allergens are your products exposed to?
I and my workspace are smoke and animal free. Products are packaged in the same sanitary work space. My pieces are cleaned and sanitized as much as possible- especially if they've been modeled on a human model for photography purposes. I occasionally work outside. Really, it depends on the product. Please read descriptions on any product before purchasing it- if it has been made outside or exposed to any particular allergen, I'm very careful to make sure it's listed. Also, remember that I'm very happy to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me with your questions or concerns directly.
-How large is AsianBrocade?
AsianBrocade is a company rather than one individual person. Though all orders are overseen by me, some minor processes and tasks may be done by interns or paid employees, especially during high-order seasons. Therefore, AsianBrocade includes not just one person, but all the people involved in running the company, from the fellow cleaning the bathroom to the lady working a craft show to myself. I also do any actual design work, or any process that affects the actual product outcome. For instance, if I'm producing a notebook, one person may tear the paper, another may mix the solution, another may work the screens, another may handle drying. At that point, I would inspect the paper personally- every sheet. I would then cut the paper and cover, design and create the cover, and assemble the notebook. I personally inspect and approve all work done by my employees and interns, even the fellow cleaning the bathroom (ESPECIALLY him, lol). I also train the people who decide to help me out, and coach them if they need it.