After a life-changing trip to Indonesia, one local woman wants to make a difference in the world selling Fair Trade jewelry, accessories, and apparel. Click here to read the inspiring story and how you can help one beautiful buy at a time.
Mandy Nagel is on a mission. She wants to expand the global marketplace of hardworking people in developing countries.
“By designing and selling Fair Trade accessories, apparel, and jewelry, we offer products handmade from natural and sustainable resources,” says Nagel. “Each purchase represents a building block for constructing a business that provides income to people who need it most.”
When people choose to shop Fair Trade, the styles those customers purchase help to transform real lives in real ways while also reusing upcycles and eco-friendly materials.
“The artisans who craft these styles are inspiring women who have found steady and rewarding work through this sustainable venture,” adds Nagel. “Fair Trade items take on a whole new value of living a life with greater meaning. By practicing conscious consumerism, the question of what you want to own is actually a reflection of how you want to live your life – your purpose becomes giving others a purpose.”
Nagel, who was inspired to launch I Thought of You after a trip to Indonesia, says that she felt her brand was “meant to be” because of its start based on circumstance and coincidence.
While in Indonesia, Nagel met a woman selling handmade jewelry at a local market. The woman, named Yulia, was selling pieces that had a unique beauty and undeniable craftsmanship about them. “I bought roughly 20 pieces and returned home with the, excited to show off my new ‘collection’ and to share Yulia’s story,” she says.
When people began commenting on her pieces purchased in Indonesia, Nagel knew that she needed to build a fashion brand that was there to support artisans and makers like Yulia.
From there, the rest was history. “Our story began from the experience of this trip,” says Nagel. “We wanted to creative positive change so we set out to make it happen. We’re a small but powerful team of five and we just celebrated our 5th birthday this November.”
Nagel says she enjoys being able to help artisans from around the world and making a positive impact on the lives of the women with whom she works.
“The choices you make when you shop reflect your intentionality in creating a lifestyle that leads to substantial impacts,” says Nagel. “What you own can also stand for something truly significant. These impacts are what drive us to always be a company for good.”
There are a range of modern styles available at I Thought of You that range from accessories, apparel, jewelry, and sunglasses. “Because each and every product is handmade, they will always be one-of-a-kind,” says Nagel. “When you buy our products, you are truly buying something that is uniquely yours.”
Products in-store include:
Lili Earrings—made from real cinnamon and bamboo
Tamba Headwrap—handmade from upcycled fabrics
Resa Scarf—100% silk made from upcycled Indian saris
Wailea Wayfarers—lightweight and comfortable wood sunglasses
Meditation Wood Carving—a calming addition to any tabletop
While I Thought of You is online-based at ithoughtofyou.com, you can also find them popping up at local events in Cincy, around Ohio, and beyond.
Nagel is excited about the future of I Thought of You because of the work she gets to do with artisans from all over the world.
“This January, we will be releasing a whimsical collection of accessories and apparel handcrafted in India, Indonesia, and Peru,” says Nagel. “These new products will feature one-of-a-kind fabrics, semi-precious stones, and real shells. From hues of pink to bright pops of red, these styles will be perfect for thoughtful Valentine’s Day gifting.”
Then, in March, I Thought of You will celebrate the arrival of spring with statement tassel necklaces, glitzy glam backpacks, new designs of some of the store’s best-selling upcycled fabric headwraps, and more.
“Keep your eyes peeled later in March when we introduce Zoo Babies, a collection that has been more than a year and a half in the making,” she says. “This collection will feature the daintiest, miniature animal earrings made from ceramic and polymer clay. You can’t help but go wild for these adorable styles.”
To learn more about I Thought of You, visit https://ithoughtofyou.com. You can also follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. There’s also an Insiders Facebook Group for others to join as well.