Author - Kristen Gmerek

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Kristen Gmerek

Kristen is a writer, creator, and healing human who falls in love with stories each day. She is currently the Conscious Marketing and Communications Director for Mindful Market.

Enchanted Botanicals: Finding a Purpose Within Healing

“I have to go back to 2006. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My son had just started his first day of 8th grade when I had my first surgery”, Deb began after I asked her when she found her purpose. Her voice was reflective yet strong. Deb had clearly found her beginning when she thought it was the end. Now, years later. Deb is cancer free and her son is getting married in September. “Here I am”, said Deb. She had found her way back to health and discovered her deep love and admiration for healing others.When I asked Deb about what her small business, Enchanted Botanicals specializes in, she replied, “I call it spiritual herbalism. I started making incense and that led to candles using the herbs from my garden.” 

Image of Deb’s Garden, Courtesy of Deb

Deb has studied Reiki, earth energy, energy lines, crystals, and herbs in an effort to create tangible resources for others to find what they need from nature. She has her own garden where she grows these herbs and uses her energetic relationship with the earth to find the right ingredients for each candle, cream, oil, and tincture. Because of what she has endured in her life, she truly believes that there is always a source of light to be found. Her goal is to dismantle the idea that each ingredient or crystal has one soul purpose and instead wants others to ask themselves, “What does it whisper to you?”, because each of us has an energetic compass. This compass allows us to heal and find what we need along the way.

Image of Deb’s Garden, Courtesy of Deb

As I continued to speak with Deb about her business, Enchanted Botanicals, I couldn’t help but notice the calm yet empowered energy in her voice. When you speak to someone about their life purpose, you can feel it deep within your soul. There is no doubt in my mind that Deb is doing what she is meant to on this earth and taking the time, care, and energy to bring more healing to those who need it.

Deb is one example of a small business owner with a story of strength, challenge, and hope behind each of her products. I encourage you to consider investing your support into businesses like Enchanted Botanicals. 

Isn’t that why we are all here? To invest in each other wholeheartedly?

10 Quotes That Will Inspire The Conscious Consumer Within

We all need a little inspiration from time to time to understand why we make the decisions we choose to make in our lives. Being a conscious consumer is no exception to the rule. Here are some quotes to write on your bathroom mirror or post on your fridge to remind yourself why this movement and taking part in it are so important:

  • “Between 60-80 percent of the impacts on the planet come from household consumption. If we change our consumption habits, this would have a drastic effect on our environmental footprint as well,”  –  Diana Ivanova
  • “Our obsessive relationship with material things is actually jeopardising our relationships” – Celia Cole
  • “There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness.”  – Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Cheap consumer products are sold to us as some grand achievement of globalisation, but they’ve come at the price of middle-class jobs, craftsmanship and stable communities.”- Elizabeth L. Cline
  • “As consumers we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy.” —Emma Watson
  • “If beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, value is in the mind of the consumer.” – Michele Jennae
  • “Consumerism is not bad, but reckless and mindless consumerism is not just bad, but downright injurious to the health of not just the individual, but of the entire society.” – Abhijit Naskar

Think before you shop. 

Think before you live.

Join Mindful Market as a Conscious Consumer today.

What Is Your Conscious Consumer Alter Ego?

Conscious consumerism is on the rise and as we move toward greater acts of kindness within our shopping habits, we can find ourselves leaning toward certain products & services that speak to a seemingly budding alter ego. So what is YOUR Conscious Consumer Alter Ego? Let’s find out!

Are you the Earth Warrior? 

You are determined to decrease your carbon footprint, bringing equilibrium back to Mother Nature. When you shop you tend to gravitate toward sustainable goods and plant-based products in an effort to consciously put the world’s future first.

Are you the Holistic Hippie?

Your body is priority number one and in order to heal from within you focus on the quality of the things that you put into, on and around it. From meditating, to crystal work, you are not afraid to try the things that research and your own intuition has shown you bring balance and peace to your life.

Are you the Energy Muse?

Your energy is your communicator. You are grounded by the earth and influenced by the interactions you have with others daily. Some call you the empath of your social circle, and you pride yourself on cleansing your life with methods of energy work, balance, and transformation. A crystal here and there in your home or around your neck doesn’t hurt either…

Are you the Movement Maven?

Movement is and always will be your medicine. It can be a calm walk on the beach or a vinyasa flow on your mat. You are always searching for movement as a means to get out of your head and into your body.

Did you resonate with one or all of the Alter Egos above? I definitely did. Here are a list of goodies from Mindful Market that we think will speak to your inner Warrior, Hippie, Muse, and Maven…

For The Earth Warrior

  1. Reusable Straw Pack – Shop Now
  2. Sandwich Bags (No Plastic Needed) – Shop Now
  3. Vegan Deodorant – Shop Now 

For The Holistic Hippie

  1. Herbalist Session – Shop Now
  2. Non-Artificial Loose Leaf Tea – Shop Now
  3. Healing Crystal Pendant – Shop Now

For The Energy Muse

  1. Reiki Session – Shop Now
  2. Mala Beads – Shop Now
  3. Meditation Candle – Shop Now

The Movement Maven

  1. Custom Yoga Mat – Shop Now
  2. Reusable Water Bottle – Shop Now
  3. Private Online Yoga Session – Shop Now


Pandemic Reading for the Conscious Consumer

Earth day is just around the corner and as we all remain at home to do our part for the sake of saving lives, we thought it best to share a reading list to help educate & inspire more conscious decision making when it comes to consumerism and business.

Before we reveal our list (I know, the anticipation is killing you), we want to shed some light on how you can make more conscious decisions surrounding how and where you buy books. According to TCKPublishing, “around 10 million of the trees that are killed to create books die in vain each year, because the books end up getting destroyed instead of being read”. That is the same total amount of trees that would be destroyed if Yellowstone National Park was demolished close to 15,000 times. The statistics on the weight that the book publishing industry has on the environment are daunting to say the least, but doing a little research and digging of your own can help you find used and virtual options that have far less of an environmental impact.

This time, we did the digging for you. Powell’s is a family-owned and operated bookstore located in Portland, Oregon. Right now, it operates as a third-generation family-owned business and just brought back 100 of it’s laid off workers due to the increase in online orders (Katu.com). Although many online bookstores offer “used” book options, Powell’s also instills community value and comradery that does not go unnoticed. That’s why, all of the books listed below can be purchased from Powell’s using the link that follows each book synopsis. See how easy that was to make a more conscious decision?!?

“Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

Minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things so we can make room for life’s most important things—which actually aren’t things at all. At age 30, best friends Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus walked away from their six-figure corporate careers, jettisoned most of their material possessions, and started focusing on what’s truly important. In their debut book, Joshua & Ryan, authors of the popular website THE MINIMALISTS, explore their troubled pasts and descent into depression. (courtesy of Powell’s Books)

Buy Now: https://www.powells.com/book/-9780615648224

“The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals” by Wayne Pacelle

From the leader of the nation’s most powerful animal-protection organization comes a frontline account of how conscience and creativity are driving a revolution in American business that is changing forever how we treat animals and create wealth. Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States reveals how entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 CEOs, world-class scientists, philanthropists, and a new class of political leaders are driving the burgeoning, unstoppable growth of the “humane economy.” (courtesy of Powell’s Books)

Buy Now: https://www.powells.com/book/-9780062389640

“Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World” by Gary Hirshberg

A true force for change, Gary Hirshberg has been at the forefront of movements working for environmental and social transformation for 30 years. From his early days as an educator and activist to his current position as President and CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s largest organic yogurt company, Hirshberg’s positive outlook has inspired thousands of people to recognize their ability to make the world a better place. (courtesy of Powell’s Books)

Buy Now: https://www.powells.com/book/-9781401303440

“Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion” by Elizabeth L. Cline

Cheap fashion has fundamentally changed the way most Americans dress. Stores ranging from discounters like Target to traditional chains like JCPenny now offer the newest trends at unprecedentedly low prices. And we have little reason to keep wearing and repairing the clothes we already own when styles change so fast and it’s cheaper to just buy more.

Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap fashion juggernaut. What are we doing with all these cheap clothes? And more important, what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, and our economic well-being? (courtesy of Powell’s Books)

Buy Now: https://www.powells.com/book/-9781591846543

 “Conscious Business: How to Build Value through Values” by Fred Kofman

Consciousness is the main source of organizational greatness. Conscious business, explains Fred Kofman, means finding your passion and expressing your essential values through your work. A conscious business seeks to promote the intelligent pursuit of happiness in all its stakeholders. It produces sustainable, exceptional performance through the solidarity of its community and the dignity of each member. (courtesy of Powell’s Books)

Buy Now: https://www.powells.com/book/-9781591795179

Happy reading and stay safe!

COVID-19 Is Teaching Us All Lessons of Humanity

It is no secret that the world is full of uncertainty, confusion, and pain right now. The last thing we need is another article reminding us of that. So if you are looking for more negativity, adversity, and doubt to dwell on, this is not for you.

Right now, in this space that sometimes feels like hopelessness, we need hope. So, how do we get to hope? 

We get to hope with more understanding, because there is something greater than all of us in motion during this pandemic. The world is changing. It may not be a fire or a flood wiping the slate clean, but instead there is a health crisis forcing us to simplify, honor the love in our lives, and practice gratitude over-and-over again to get through the day.

I have never felt such collective energy in my entire life. Yes there is fear, but there is also a sense of energetic shift beneath it all; asking humanity to rethink our choices, call to attention the systems that are broken, support the actual heroes and “doers” of our society, and make more mindful choices to keep others safe. Virus or not, I think this is how we should continue to move forward. 

So what would that look like? To live with the ideologies in mind that we have learned from this pandemic? I wrote a list of principles that feel the most significant to humanity that I visualize being applicable to bettering our future.

  1. Take space for yourself a few times a week to breathe and reflect on your life without technology present.
  2. Call loved ones who are far away and check-in even when it feels unnecessary.
  3. Human touch is and always will be powerful.
  4. Thank and support community heroes for the protection they provide daily.
  5. Offer to support to a neighbor, friend, or stranger in a time of need or just out of kindness.
  6. Being alone isn’t a negative thing.
  7. Practice gratitude for the simplicity of food accessibility.
  8. Don’t buy more than you need.
  9. Support small businesses, they matter.
  10. Treat your body with love and respect.
  11. Remind yourself that your actions will always affect others.
  12. Nature is medicine and we should treat it with more respect
  13. Be gentle with your daily productivity. It does not define you.
  14. Acknowledge that you are never alone because the human experience is bigger than all of us

Uncertainty may be all around us, but there is a powerful certainty that outweighs it all: Humanity is experiencing this challenging time together. We are not alone and the more we remind ourselves of that, the more we will see the greater perspective.

Stay home. Stay safe. Stay hopeful. Wash your hands. Practice Gratitude.

You are not alone.

Two Stories from Two Generations: Are You With Us?

‘At 49 years old, most would call it a typical mid-life crisis; however mine was existential.

I remember sitting at my desk in my comfy corporate office when a wave of panic came over me. I realized I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. This was not the life I wanted.

 I knew I was supposed to be doing something else – something that had meaning – in a business that valued purpose over profit. But, What? Where? How? I didn’t know what it was or how I would get there. 

Swirling in my head were the lyrics from the Talking Heads song Letting the Days Go By: 

And you may ask yourself:
“Am I right? Am I wrong?”
And you may say to yourself:
“My God! What have I done?”

Not long after this moment of self-realization, my mother, a vibrant 80 year old, died. 

She had a massive stroke after having surgery that she hoped would finally free her from years of chronic pain. To this day, I believe her acute pain was not just aging – it was from living in our modern-day toxic environment: GMO’s, chemicals, plastic and acute stress. 

That event forced me to shine the light on how I was living my life. If I died tomorrow, what would be my legacy? Was I thriving or just surviving? I had always been a seeker and had, for several years at this time, been on a spiritual path; yet, I still felt “dense”- that low vibration weighing down my body and my spirit.  

I switched to a plant- based diet and turned to meditation and yoga to handle stress. I felt so much better, and I was eager to share what I was learning with others, so they, too, could thrive – not just survive. The problem was, few would listen. I realized what I was missing was community – conscious community.

One day, my soul sister who had been traveling the same mindful wellness path I was, introduced me to Mindful Market and the founder, Jim Kupczyk. I didn’t know anything about conscious commerce at the time.  All I knew was this was the community I longed for: a place to find products that aligned with my values and support socially responsible, heart-centered businesses and individuals. 

At that point Mindful Market was more a vision than an actual marketplace; but, Jim’s pure heart, positive energy and complete transparency made me a Believer. This was my place to serve. I was in

Little did I know that small leap of faith would bring me closer to the life I really wanted: to meet my soulmate, quit my 9-5 and move to the beach. 

At 55, I feel like my generation has been a large contributor to the social and environmental crises we are experiencing today. It’s not entirely our fault – we were just doing what we thought we were supposed to do – unaware of the consequences. Now, I’m looking at the faces of the next generation, asking: “How can we help?”

It’s never too late. Small conscious changes in our behaviors as consumers and business owners can still make a big impact on the world. 

We can all do better, be better. Will you join me?’

Paige Baggett Riggins, Founder of The Beach Speaks

“Have you ever felt like you were losing your sense of purpose in life, while the world around you only got louder and more chaotic?  Well that was me less than a year ago. As a millenial, I have grown up in a world of uncertainty, with messaging that only seems to provide reasons why we shouldn’t have hope. I felt forced to exist in a world that wasn’t heading in a positive direction and little understanding of how to change that. 

The day I met the founder of Mindful Market, I found that hope again.  Jim Kupczyk is a conscious entrepreneur from Buffalo, New York who had a dream to empower our world through consciousness. When I say consciousness, I don’t mean that we are all going to sit in a circle, sing “Kumbaya” and have all the answers, but the idea surrounding this word is about empowering, educating, and creating community around what we value, who we are, and who we support. Right now, it feels like this matters more than ever. 

After years of searching, navigating, and fighting for a space to feel heard, seen, and valued as a young professional I met Jim and knew that his story, his path, and this idea for a conscious marketplace would change the world. We are here to touch lives in small and big ways, starting now.

This is the beginning of our story. We hope you will share it with the world.”

Kristen Gmerek, Conscious Marketing and Communications Director at Mindful Market

On February 22nd, 2020 Mindful Market will launch a Crowdfunding Campaign and we need your help to reach our goals. We are asking our generations to step up and take action in this movement any way they can.

In a World of Uncertainty, Know Your Values

Let’s start with the obvious. Everyone has their own set of values and goals. This same complexity within individuality does not look any different for conscious consumers. Recognizing that you possess some if not most of the values that fall within conscious consumerism will allow you to step into a community of individuals just like you – wanting more for the world based on the values they uphold.

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At Mindful Market, we have over 150 values that connect conscious consumers with products that align with their values. It may seem daunting to sift through all of the possible values, products and conscious businesses out there, so here is a guide to values and conscious businesses that uphold these values:

  B Corporation – Certified Corporations that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability to balance profit and purpose

Do you align with this value? Check out Plaine Products

100% Upcycled – Content that existed once with one purpose and is later transformed for another purpose

Do you align with this value? Check out Yknot Bowties

Safe and Fair Labor – ensuring that products have been developed with equitable and just labor practices

Do you align with this value? Check out Papercraft Miracles

Empowers Women – Giving power to women to decide their own lives and make their own decisions for their personal benefits as well as for society

Do you align with this value? Check out Whole Mala

UN Sustainable Development Goal: Decent Work and Economic Growth – Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

Do you align with this value? Check out Jim Mondry Coaching

There are many polarizing messages of uncertainty in the world, but if you hold onto your values, you will begin to remember why you are here and what matters to you most.

Know your values. Shop your values.

It’s Not Bull S***: Why Conscious Business Matters

There are numerous stereotypes and assumptions surrounding the word “conscious”. Some of them have deterred a lot of us away from anything that has to do with the word itself because it feels… Well, sometimes like a load of bull s***. However, there is a new wave of the ideology of “consciousness” that is more pragmatic, more altruistic, and more approachable that I think we can all get behind.

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A Beginning to an End for the Mental Health Epidemic through Conscious Consumerism

AI know the feeling all too well. The one where you seem to never be doing enough according to society’s standards. The news and media is a constant reminder of what in the world is going wrong rather than right. You are flooded with ideas of what your life should look like; only absorbing the highs of peoples’ lives through social media, assuming that is all there is. 

Until you acknowledge your reality again.

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