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Habitation Co. is committed to honoring the process of living in a particular place and the journey of discovering beautiful objects that reflect the unique styles and stories of artists around the world.  Every pretty item you purchase supports creative individuals, communities, and organizations on almost every continent.

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Filtering by Tag: Globally Inspired

20 Globally-Inspired Instagram Accounts to Follow

Hailey Fynaardt

Guys, everyone is flipping out on Instagram right now. There is a huge outcry about the imminent update to its algorithm that will essentially make your feed appear in order of how relevant the content is "for you", instead of chronologically. This isn't surprising, as Facebook and Pinterest both opted to make this "update" at the peak of their engagement... and frankly, it's good business, for them.

By ensuring that content is served up primarily to the users who are most likely to engage with it, via likes and comments, IG can attract more advertisers with deep-pockets that want to reach their target customers as efficiently as possible. It's also a way for IG's biggest players- big brands or individuals with massive followings- to keep their overall rankings high, while sort of... eh, weeding out the fluff. It's a bummer mostly for small businesses, and those who use IG as a personal scrapbook to share photos of their kids, pets, or lunch with their friends and family because unless they are the next... well, let's be real, if you're not famous yet on IG, it looks like it may be an uphill climb from here. That ship has sailed, m'friend.

But those of us small fries who actually use IG as a marketing and networking tool for our small business have the task of re-evaluating our presence on and approach to using the platform. I don't think it's a huge cause for panic (I also don't believe asking your followers to get notified every.time.you.post. is the solution either) but I do think that it is worth looking at how you want to use Instagram. Personally, IG is my favorite form of visual inspiration and I often enjoy simply browsing more than I like actually posting on it. I used to love Pinterest but eventually the algorithm and suggested posts and sponsored ads got me a little down, which makes me kind of bummed that IG is already heading in that direction, but I think that once a platform gets too - for lack of a better word- polluted with content, there's really only one way for it to go from here. 

All that to say, I am hopeful that IG remains an enjoyable place to spend a few minutes here and there throughout the day to get inspired by other creatives and stuff our eyeballs full of as many delicious images from our favorite dealers that we can- while in line, on the toilet, or waiting for the microwave to finish re-scalding our coffee. Though I am curious to see how the algorithm thing plays out from a follower's perspective as well as a small business one.

Either way, I wanted to share a list of a few of my favorite accounts to follow, because algorithms be damned, I don't wanna miss a thing that these folks are posting!

image via @nomadichabit

image via @nomadichabit

image via @tasteforafrica

image via @tasteforafrica

image via @localwanderer

image via @localwanderer

image via @jo_rodgers

image via @jo_rodgers

16. @tinyatlasquarterly

17. @abovethecloudstrav

18. @cntraveler

19. @thepeoplescreatives

20. @Ihavethisthingwithfloors

And if you want to get a glimpse into the process of Habitation Co, shop life, and product sneaks, follow (and like! and comment! and tag! and all that good stuff) us along here: @habitation_co


Enjoy the process!

Hailey

About the Process: Handmade Malas From The Himalayas // Habitation Co.

Hailey Fynaardt

About the Process: Handmade Malas From The Himalayas // Habitation Co.

It seems like everywhere you turn these days someone is sharing a new tool or concept for helping us stay focused throughout our days. From day planners to devotionals, essential oils to e-courses... focus seems to be at the front of everyone's minds and being "more mindful" is on everyone's list of New Year's resolutions. 

Remember the old ClipArt graphic of an idex finger with a tiny bow tied around it? This was the universal symbol for "needing to remember something important", inspired by the odd physical act of tying a string around your finger to serve as a visual reminder, that I'm assuming people did before pencils, or iPhones, or whatever. But whether it was a reminder to pray for a loved one, make a doctor's appointment, or to not act on an old habit, every time you saw the string, you were reminded of that thing. 

While there are many tools we can use today to help us remember important things, by far the most beautiful I have seen are the prayer beads known as "malas", traditionally worn around the neck or wrapped around one's wrist. Historically, the beads themselves were blessed by monks in remote villages along the Himalayan Mountain range, and presented to their wearer as a tangible reminder of a specific idea or meditation such as "patience", "forgiveness", or "peace". Today, they have become popular accessories in yoga communities and for individuals simply wanting to wear a tangible reminder of their intentions and desires. Similar to rosary beads, the idea behind a mala is that as each bead is passed through one's fingers, a prayer or mantra is repeated until you reach the beginning. 

Not only do I love the cultural and historical significance of malas, I also think they happen to be absolutely beautiful both as personal accessories and home decor, so when my friend Lisa approached me with the idea of carrying her newly designed mala bead necklaces in the shop, I was beyond excited! They are simple but stunning, all one-of-a-kind, and made of aromatic sandalwood, natural beads, and semi-precious gemstones. Read more about these new beauties below, and head over to the shop to pick out one that speaks to you!


Almost a year ago, I had the immense pleasure of visiting India for the first time, and while the country itself was vibrant, thrilling, and wild beyond my greatest expectations, I was also able to meet and travel alongside some of the most incredible women I have ever met. One of those women, Lisa Kumari-Conlon, also happened to be responsible for coordinating the logistics of the trip – like where we slept, ate, and could each spend a small fortune on the very best souvenirs.

image via AboveTheClouds  I mean, really, did you expect me to not instantly befriend this woman?

image via AboveTheClouds

I mean, really, did you expect me to not instantly befriend this woman?

Lisa’s dad, Steve, founded Above the Clouds, a boutique travel agency, in 1982 and spent the following three decades growing it into a premier resource for adventure travel to Southern Asia, India, and South America. In 2013, Lisa took over the day-to-day operations of ATC and has since expanded to include Tales From Above The Clouds- a thoughtful collection of handmade, sustainable, and ethically- sourced jewelry and accessories, including our new one-of-a-kind Mala Bead necklaces.

image via AboveTheClouds  Lisa, making trekking look good since 1990. 

image via AboveTheClouds

Lisa, making trekking look good since 1990. 

Each of these malas has been lovingly assembled by hand in the USA with beads and semi-precious gemstones acquired along the trails of the Himalayas and in parts of Indonesia, during Lisa’s many treks and visits over the past few years. All of the beads used in these necklaces have been repurposed from old malas that were given as gifts or found in the rural monastic communities throughout the region.

About the Process: Handmade Malas From The Himalayas // Habitation Co.

Nomadic tribes have a long history of trading precious and semi-precious stones along their herding paths across the great Tibetan Plateau that stretches from Western China to Kashmir, India. Today, bead and jewelry making is still a vibrant part of their ancestor’s culture and a way of life for many people in that part of the world.

image via circleofblue

image via circleofblue

Traditional malas have 108 beads denoting the auspicious belief found in Hindu and Buddhist beliefs that are indigenous to Eastern and Southern Asia. Our malas feature unique patterns of aromatic sandalwood, rudraksha, raktu, and lotus beads, with turquoise, malachite, and lapis gemstones. The plush tassels add movement and playfulness, reminding the wearer to not be weighed down by the world.

image via AboveTheClouds

image via AboveTheClouds

While mala beads have been used historically in Buddhist and Hindu traditions, they are becoming popular tools for prayer and meditation in a variety of beliefs. Although they are designed to be worn around the neck or wrapped around a wrist, we think our malas look just as beautiful as decorative objects, whether hung on a wall or displayed on a shelf or tabletop!

image via AboveTheClouds

image via AboveTheClouds

Shop Our Collection of Handmade Malas:

The Beautiful Sarees of Rajasthan

Hailey Fynaardt

The Beautiful Sarees of Rajasthan // via Habitation Co.

When I visited Rajasthan this past spring, one of the very first things I noticed as we left Delhi and traveled into the rural countryside, were the women working in the fields. From the window of our bus, they simply looked like little specks of color- neon orange, purple, turquoise, and yellow- scattered amongst the sprawling fields of crops. In the first small village we passed, I saw groups of colorfully dressed women walking along the side of the road, carrying everything from bags of rice to stacks of logs on their heads, and I realized they were wearing full-length sarees. 

The Beautiful Sarees of Rajasthan // via Habitation Co.
The Beautiful Sarees of Rajasthan // via Habitation Co.

Although the major cities like New Delhi are becoming increasingly Westernized and modernized, most of the rural areas are still very conservative and traditional. While young girls can be seen wearing fabric pants, most women, especially those who are married, are expected to keep most of their bodies covered in public. However, many women simply choose to cover their hair and faces to reduce exposure to dirt, pollution, and the harsh sun. I was amazed at the things I saw women doing in sarees- from working in the fields, to carrying their babies on their backs, riding mopeds, shopping in markets, and cooking meals.

The Beautiful Sarees of Rajasthan // via Habitation Co.
The beautiful sarees of Rajasthan // via Habitation Co.

Everywhere we went, we saw women in beautiful, delicately embroidered, and boldly patterned sarees. They were extraordinarily elegant and such a vibrant contrast against the crumbling buildings, dirt roads, and chaotic surroundings. According to an essay dated July 2012, the sari is "an economical and easy-to-wear garment, suitable for work, leisure, or luxury". Personally, I would equate it to trying to run errands in a floor-length bridesmaid dress- which pretty much rules out any physical exertion, meals, and sudden movements. But then again, my t-shirt is usually a scrapbook of everything I ate, drank, or did during the day, so I may not be an expert on this subject. 

The Beautiful Sarees of Rajasthan // via Habitation Co.
The Beautiful Sarees of Rajasthan // via Habitation Co.

Although sarees have been worn by Indian women for thousands of years and can be seen in early paintings and illustrations, their overall style has not changed very much, but individual styles, patterns, colors, and motifs continue to evolve. Often, a woman's class or socioeconomic status can be determined by her sari, depending on the materials or intricacies of the design itself. Because sarees are worn by almost all women in India, on a daily basis, there is a thriving textile industry in Rajasthan, however, this also contributes to a huge amount of waste. To reduce the amount of useable fabric that ends up in landfills, skilled artisans have begun to repurpose scraps of cotton, silk, and synthetic sari material into everything from beautiful throw blankets to accessories. 

The Beautiful Sarees of Rajasthan // via Habitation Co.

When I saw this line of beautiful patchwork textile accessories I knew I wanted to add them to the shop. These pouches, clutches, and my personal favorite- leather and fabric yoga mat bags- are simply stunning. Each item is truly one-of-a-kind and has been carefully stitched together, in a patchwork motif, with complimentary thread, sequins, beadwork, and embroidery. What I love even more is that by using recycled fabric, there is less textile waste polluting the earth, and many people- up to 100 work on this collection alone!- in rural areas have employment opportunities that allow them to provide for their families and communities. 

Shop all of our upcycled and sustainable accessories here. What earth-friendly goodies would you love to see more of in the shop? 

Thanks for reading!

Hailey