Monday, August 23, 2010

Ramadan Sale for Eid Gifts

From The Earth is offering a special Ramadan Sale on our select handmade Eid cards and other items from now until September 11th.

Honor someone you love with a unique Eid greeting card that shares the significance of this special occasion. Buy now and receive 20% off on both individual Eid cards, as well as on our sets.

We are also pleased to offer a “baker’s dozen sale” on our collection of Islamic keychains, magnets and ornaments; purchase any combination of 12 during this sale and receive one additional item free!

Looking for a distinctive Eid gift for that special someone? Consider a beautiful gift box from Al-Masbana, one of the oldest and most respected producers of olive oil soap in all the Middle East. Al-Masbana uses only the finest cold-pressed olive oil and other natural ingredients to produce one of the most excellent soaps of its kind. Take 15% off our Al-Masbana collection during Ramadan.

We are also discounting our one-of-a kind olive wood jewelry pieces by 10% during this sale. Our necklaces, bracelets and earrings each uniquely reflect the beauty of one of the Middle East’s most precious commodities, olive wood, and will remain a favored treasure.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ramadan & Eid al-Fitr

 Eid al-Fitr is celebrated on the 1st day of Shawwal, which is the month immediately following the month of Ramadan Ramadan and Shawwal are part of the Islamic lunar calendar, called the Hijri Calendar.  Muslims know when Ramadan begins and ends by observing the phases of the moon.  During the month of Ramadan, Muslims devote themselves to fasting and by increasing their spiritual devotions.

The Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan.  Its observance is usually held in a large open place and is attended by hundreds of Muslims.  Eid al-Fitr always starts before sunrise on the last day of Ramadan.  Participants shower and do ablution (ritual purification), put on new clothes (if possible), then go to the local mosque for the morning prayer of Subh.  This is followed by the Takbir, the collective chanting of Allahu akbar (“God is great”), which is then followed by the Eid prayer at sunrise.

The remaining Eid celebrations are held privately with family and friends.  During the last week of Ramadan, family members will come together to make special Eid cookies called Mamool which are filled with dates or nuts. During the Eid, people invite friends and relatives to visit, and they generously share food with relatives, friends and the poorer members of the community.  Children are also given gifts, and people traditionally buy new clothes for the whole family for the Eid.

Written By: Nadeen Abu-Khairan

Monday, August 9, 2010

Turning Your Company Logo Into A Custom Olive Wood Design

Did you know that From The Earth can make custom-designed keychains, magnets or hanging ornaments using your company logo?  These items are perfect to give to employees or to those special customers with whom you would like to do continued business.
The process of making a custom olive wood design for your company or business begins with receiving a sample (sketch, photo, or object) of what you envision your item to look like.  We also ask that you indicate size, shape, or finish that you would like for us to consider.
We will then create several design possibilities for keychains, magnets, or ornaments.  To do this, they must bear in mind that it will ultimately be made of and cut from olive wood.  How cuts are to be made, the amount or type of any etching required, along with needed sanding all have to be considered in this draft design.

Once we have created several possible designs, we take them to our olive wood workshop to see if the designs are feasible.  Since quality is our aim, we ensure the design can be effectively replicated and that it will not contain any inherent flaws in strength or durability.  Sometimes the draft designs need to be modified slightly due to issues of thickness, size, or fragility.  Once we settle upon the best design(s), we will cut samples and bring them for your review.

When a sample(s) is selected, your custom olive wood logo is almost ready for production!  You can still make some additional modifications at this time (such as adding a rounded edge), if needed.  Once a final design is chosen, we will then make a rubber stamp of the design which will be used by the wood-cutter to mass produce your keychain, magnet or ornament.

Since each item is handmade from different pieces of wood, they will all be similar, but individually unique.  Differences in wood grain and hue add to the appeal and distinctiveness of each piece making these treasured gifts for your employees or customers!

Written by: Joshua Schupp

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Social Responsibility

At From The Earth we redefine the traditional role of “for-profit” companies.  As an advocate for fair wages and meaningful skills development for our employees, we look for that from our suppliers as well.  We are committed to investing in our community by supporting local suppliers, artisans and vendors.  For us at FTE, our financial “bottom line” does not dictate our values; rather, our values dictate our “bottom line.”

Employees are more to us than just workers assembling or packaging merchandise.  We provide fair wages for our employees which allows them to support themselves and their families, and we work to empower each of them to improve their lives.  For example, this summer we provided free English language classes for interested employees.  Each time one of our quality handmade products is purchased, it helps our efforts to make a positive difference within the local community.

At FTE, we market many products from companies who hire disadvantaged or disabled workers who would otherwise have little opportunity to earn a decent living.  All of our handcrafted olive wood products come from such a company.  Other economic or socially disadvantaged individuals produce many of the additional products we market, such as our handmade greeting cards and olive wood jewelry.  Additionally, we use only like-minded local businesses to supply raw materials for our jewelry and cards.  Further, we purchase and showcase products from local artisans who work from their homes who would otherwise have no place to market their wares.

Why do we have these values?  We define “success” to include our employees’ meaningful livelihood and our producers’ sustainability, as well as our company's successful profit margin.  Our employees all benefit from better pay, participation in the development of product lines, and from low worker turnover resulting from a safe and happy work environment.

Our goal is to reverse traditional business norms which serve to exploit workers for personal gain.  We want to be part of a revolution in which both producers, and consumers, pay attention to those who make a product as much as they do to the product itself.  As of August 2010 we have made application to the World Fair Trade Organization for membership.  Achieving this certification is symbolic of our commitment to the business principles described above.  The fair trade label means that our customers can rest-assured in our commitment to honest and fair treatment of our employees, as well as our suppliers.
We hope to inspire and encourage others to follow fair trade principles in business.  Thank you for supporting From The Earth by purchasing our unique and quality products.  We invite you to partner with us as we serve to invest in the local community of Amman, Jordan.

Written by: Alan Meincke