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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: Travel

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:

Globally Inspired: Wynwood Arts District, Miami

Hailey Fynaardt

Wynwood Arts District, Miami // Wynwood Walls // Habitation Co.

One of the highlights of our visit to Florida was spending a day down in Miami chasing butterflies at the Fairchild Botanic Gardens (aka, Jurassic Park) and taking an obscene amount of photos in front of the amazing "Wynwood Walls" murals. So much color! Since tropical plants and awesome art districts aren't exactly abundant in Orange County, California, I loved getting a big dose of both during our trip. Over the past few years, street artists from all over the world have transformed old industrial buildings into colorful canvases and an area that was once an eyesore into a larger-than-life gallery that is totally free for everyone who visits to enjoy! 

Wynwood Arts District, Miami // Wynwood Walls // Habitation Co.
Wynwood Arts District, Miami // Wynwood Walls // Habitation Co.
Wynwood Arts District, Miami // Wynwood Walls // Habitation Co.
Wynwood Arts District, Miami // Wynwood Walls // Habitation Co.
Wynwood Arts District, Miami // Wynwood Walls // Habitation Co.

Goals. 

Wynwood Arts District, Miami // Wynwood Walls // Habitation Co.
Wynwood Arts District, Miami // Wynwood Walls // Habitation Co.

Our tour guides, Alex and Drea

Wynwood Arts District, Miami // Wynwood Walls // Habitation Co.
Wynwood Arts District, Miami // Wynwood Walls // Habitation Co.

We love them, too!

Wynwood Arts District, Miami // Wynwood Walls // Habitation Co.

Love this incredible piece by Kobra, his work is amazing.

Wynwood Arts District, Miami // Wynwood Walls // Habitation Co.

Aside from the immense talent and skill (and paint supply!) needed to execute these incredible images, one of the things I love most about street art is that it challenges the idea that in order for art to be considered valuable it needs a fancy frame, special lighting, and a prominent spot on a wall in a well-known museum or gallery. Street art says "this is for everyone", whether they drive past it on their daily commute or see it from their office window in the building across the street. We have certainly put enough concrete on this planet over the last several decades, why not let it serve a dual purpose and add beauty and delight to a neighborhood? This is the same concept we look for in all of the products in our shop- that they are beautiful inside and out. 

Speaking of products, after the new year, we'll be re-stocking the shop with lots of new goodies so be sure to check back soon. Until then, have a very happy and colorful rest of 2015!

Enjoy the process!

Hailey

Wynwood Arts District, Miami // Wynwood Walls // Habitation Co.