#RANDOMLOVELETTER CHALLENGE – THEMES

The #Randomloveletter challenge is in full swing! This year we are assigning a theme to each week to help inspire your notes. It’s for you to interpret however you’d like so be as creative as you want and have fun :) I have seen so many amazing and beautiful random love letters being left around the world (so cool!)! Thank you to everyone who has joined in so far and if you’d like to be a part of this we would love to have you! Just write a positive or encouraging note, snap a pic of it, and share it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #randomloveletter (NO S). Here’s the schedule for the month:

#Randomloveletter 2016 Themes

Week 1: June 5 – 11 / Encourage / We partnered up with @HandletteredABCs for the first theme week and it was amazing!

Week 2: June 12-18 / Quote

Week 3: June 19 – 25 / Compliment

Week 4: June 26 – 30 / Prompt

#RANDOMLOVELETTER CHALLENGE 2016

#RandomLoveLetter Instagram Challenge

June is a few days away which means it’s almost time for the annual #RandomLoveLetter Instagram Challenge! This is one of my favorite challenges I have done and I am so excited to be co-hosting with @sarahdshotts & @randomolive this year! Are you ready for 30 days of awesome messages being left around town for people to find?

Here is how it works:

From June 1st to June 30th, write a note with a positive message each day or as often as you can. Leave your random love letter in a public place for someone to discover. Take a photo of your note and share it on Instagram & Twitter using the hastag #RandomLoveLetter. Important note: there is no “S” at the end of the hashtag!

You can leave your messages in library books, grocery store aisles, elevators, park benches–anywhere someone might come across it! The mission is to brighten up someone’s day when they find our love letters!

This year we will also be having weekly themes to help inspire you and are very excited to be teaming up with @HandletteredABCs for the first week!

We will recap the project in July and highlight some of our favorite #RandomLoveLetter photos on our IG feeds and blogs.

Get started:

1. Share the above image on social media to let your friends know about the challenge. You can also repost and retweet from any of our accounts.

#RandomLoveLetter Instagram Challenge 2016

 

2. Tweet: I’m joining the #RandomLoveLetter IG Challenge!

 

3. Download the 2016 cheatsheet with weekly themes and ideas.

 

4. Scroll through the #RandomLoveLetter on Instagram to get inspired! You can also check out my recap from 2015.

 

I hope you will join us in spreading the love and I can’t wait to see your love letters! 

 

MOTHER’S DAY CARDS FOR A CAUSE 2016

Mother's Day Cards For A Cause by Atiliay

Thank you to everyone who purchased a Mother’s Day Cards For A Cause this year and helped us fund 7 Kiva loans for mothers around the world! $1 from each card went towards helping moms grow and improve their businesses. Once the loans are paid back, it will be used to lend to another mother creating a wonderful cycle! Please meet these  momtreprenuers below! You can also view their profiles on our Kiva Lender Page.

Atiliay Mother's Day Cards For A Cause - Kiva Loan - Hope
Through Atiliay’s collaboration with B.A.R.E. Soaps, we were able to help fund a Kiva loan for Hope, a hardworking mother living in Kamwenge, Uganda. She makes a living as a tailor as well as selling second hand clothes. She started this business in 2006 with an intention of increasing her household income. She plans to construct a permanent house and have her children educated. She was lacking enough capital to meet the increasing demand for her business. With her Kiva loan she plans on buying more pieces of clothes to sew and second hand clothes for her business.

Atiliay Mother's Day Cards For A Cause - Kiva Loan - Hope

The above group of mothers all have businesses relating to the arts! Even though they may live far away from us, I think we can connect with them through their creative businesses and their crafts. From top to bottom:Nenita is a mother of 10 children from Compostela, Cebu, Philippines. She is 62 years old now and has had an abaca (a plant from the banana family) weaving business for the past 42 years. Her loan will be used to buy abaca fiber and other supplies needed in her business. Nenita’s goal is to provide a secure future for her family.

The women of the Vijayalakshmi Group are from Thanjavur, India. Vijayalakshmi is the leader of a group of 5. She is 38 years old and the mother of two school-going daughters. Currently, she contributes INR 3,000 ($45 USD), by working as an agricultural laborer, to the total household income of INR 9,000 ($135 USD). Most of this income goes towards her daughters’ education and other household expenses, leaving them with hardly any savings. At this point, Vijayalakshmi has decided to start her own venture of thread making, something she has not been able to start due to the lack of capital required to make the initial investment. The other members of this group have similar motivations for starting their own microenterprises. Since the prices of raw materials to start their businesses are on the rise and the lack of savings are impeding their aspirations, they decided to come together and seek a loan and are grateful to their lenders.

Zeenat is 56 years old and the mother of 3 children living in Jhang, Pakistan. Zeenat is very skilled in the art of hand embroidery and has been using this skill for many years to earn a living. She started her embroidery business to help increase her family’s income. Her loan will enable her to purchase more beads, threads, and frames to meet the orders of her customers. Zeenat’s dream is to be able to provide a quality education for her children.

Atiliay Mother's Day Cards For A Cause - Kiva Loan - Hope

Here are the next three mothers we have lent to. From top to bottom:Julia is from Rivas, Nicaragua and is 58 years old with a 15 year old daughter. She is described as a tenacious and persistent and used to have a dressmaking business. However, it was profitable and did not bring enough income to support herself and her daughter. Julia started a new business by selling beauty products and shoes door-to-door. This loan will enable Julia to invest in new styles of shoes for her business. Julia plans on using her income to pay for her daughter’s university studies and make improvements to their house.

Felicia (pictured on the right) is part of the Twifo Traders No. 4 Group (the other member is Baby, on the left). She is from Twifo Praso, Ghana, and is 52 years old with 5 children ages 30, 28, 26, 24, and 22. Two of her children are stil in school. Felicia has been a seamstress for 26 years and currently has 11 apprentices. She is requesting a loan to stock her shop with sewing accessories to help enhance her business. She will use her profits to provide for the educational needs of her youngest two children and other household expenses. Providing quality education and a strong future for her children will go a long way in reducing poverty in her household.

Parigul is a 32 year old mother with 5 children from Hamadoni, Tajikistan. Hamadoni is located in the southeast of Tajikistan and is a fertile farming region. Parigul is described as a positive, sensitive, and kind-hearted woman who has been growing fruits and veggies for 3 years. Her husband helps her with everything and they work the land together. This year Parigul has decided to plant melons and watermelons. She is applying for this loan to buy the seeds and fertilizers.

Thank you to every customer and each shop that carried our Mother’s Day cards for helping us lend to Hope, Nenita, Zeenat, Vijayalakshmi Group, Julia, Felicia, and Parigul! I hope you enjoyed getting to know each of these strong, intelligent, and hard working mothers from around the world!

PAMPER MOM WITH A SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS MOTHER’S DAY GIFT SET

Atiliay x BARE Soaps Mother's Day Collaboration

 
I am excited to share with you Atiliay and B.A.R.E. Soaps’ collaboration, handmade for the special women in your life! Pamper your mom, mother figure, or mama friends with our socially conscious Mother’s Day gift set!

Each gift box set includes: 1 hand lettered print with real pressed flowers that can be framed as a keepsake (each is one-of-a-kind), 1 bar of “Afternoon Tea” a handmade soap that smells of calming lavender and fresh lemons, and 2 luxurious bath melts.

All items are vegan and handmade with love for love: BARE Soaps is donating 20% to support children in Kabermaido, Uganda and Atiliay is funding Kiva microloans for mothers in Uganda with $1 from every print.
Purchase gift box sets here and single bars of “Afternoon Tea” soap are also available and comes in a hand lettered stamped cotton bag.  This Mother’s Day, celebrate your mom while spreading love to Uganda!

 

Atiliay x Bare Soaps Collaboration

30 IDEAS FOR HAPPY MAIL

30 Ideas For Happy Mail by Atiliay

April is National Letter Writing Month and I am very excited to be celebrating by participating in the Write_On campaign! 

Created and hosted by Egg Press & Hello!Lucky, Write_On promotes joy, creativity, and connection through snail mail. The goal is to write 30 letters in 30 days during the month of April. It’s such a lovely idea, isn’t it? We are already on day 10 of April but you can start now or write a letter a week or whatever feels comfortable for you!

I have had SO much fun joining in on this challenge and I encourage you to do it as well! It’s been awesome creating things to send and practicing lettering on envelopes but one of my favorite parts is that people don’t expect to get mail anymore (unless it’s a bill or ad) so it’s fun to surprise your friends and family with a hand written letter.  In the days of texts and emails, let’s celebrate the thought and love that goes into hand-written correspondence!

30 Ideas For Happy Mail by Atiliay

Need some inspiration? Below is a list of 30 ideas to help you get started! You can also see what I have been sending over on my Instagram @atiliay / #write_on_atiliay. And be sure to check out the #write_on hashtag–I am positive you will think of all kinds of ideas to mail to your loved ones after looking through the feed!

Happy National Letter Writing Month!

30 Ideas For Happy Mail:

1. Send mail to Egg Press and Hello!Lucky to thank them for this awesome campaign they have created!

2. Send mail to the last person who mailed you something.

3. Send a birthday card instead of texting / emailing / facebooking. Get ahead of the game–see who else has birthdays coming up and get cards written for them and ready to send.

4. Send Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants inspired mail. It’s a fun way to mail a birthday message / gift or care package to someone who is away and your group of friends is scattered in different places. Start it off with a card and send it to the next person to sign. Have each person save and include each envelope so the final recipient can see all the places the card has been. Along the way you can add different gifts and treats. The recipient should have an awesome package to open up by the end of this!

5. Leave a letter for a loved one to find in the pockets of their jacket, taped to the bathroom mirror, in their car, in their lunch, etc.

6. Send someone 30 reasons why they are awesome. Use mini envelopes and put a reason in each one. Seal them and have your recipient open one a day.

7. Write an encouraging or inspiring note or quote for someone to find. Place your note in an envelope and address it to, “You! (Yeah, you!)”. Leave it at a doctor’s waiting room, a grocery or drug store, inside your favorite book at the library, at a bus stop, stationery store, etc. Bonus: add an envelope and notecard and ask them to do the same.

8. Did you read a magazine or newspaper article and it reminded you of someone in your life? Cut it out and send it to them. You can even write them a letter directly onto the article you are sending them in the margins or backside.

9. Make plans via snail mail! Send an invitation to a friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with. List different dates for them to choose from. You can also include an RSVP card and stamped envelope so they can mail you their response.

10. Are you a stationery hoarder? Put your pretty paper finds to good use! Match pieces of stationery with people they remind you of and pen them a note.

11. For someone who loves reading–send them a copy of one of your favorite books you think they would like! Leave notes, pressed flowers, photos, and mementos for the reader to find as they read the book. You can do this for someone who loves comics, zines, etc. Another idea is to write them a letter in several different parts and hide it throughout the book.

12. Have someone write a letter to their future self. Take the letter and mail it back to them in 5 years (or more or less)! I am doing this with my boyfriend’s niece and nephew who are 11 and 14 and am planning on mailing them their letters when they graduate high school. I created prompts for them to make it a little easier–you can download The Dear Future Self sheet in PDF form here if you’d like to use it!

13. Send a recipe to someone. (Don’t forget if they have any dietary preferences or allergies). For extra points, add a shopping list too.

14. Send mail to someone living in the same house as you.

15. Send letters to your childhood / high school / college friends with a picture of you guys from back in the day and write about a fun memory that has stayed with you all these years later.

16. Don’t forget that Mother’s Day is coming up on May 8th–put a card or package in the mail for your mom at the end of April to make sure she receives it by the 8th.

17. Write to your social media friends. This is such a fun one–not sure where to start? Create a post asking who would like to exchange mail!)

18. See if anyone else you know is participating in #write_on and send them a letter!

19. Send a thank you letter to your groomer to thank them for caring for your pets and making them so fresh and so clean!

20. Send a letter to a teacher who has influenced you.

21. Create a new generation of snail mail lovers! Send a letter to kids in your life telling them about National Letter Writing Month. Include an envelope with a stamp and encourage them to write back to you so they know how much fun both receiving and sending mail can be!

22. Write a letter to a co-worker or cubicle buddy–let them know how much you enjoy working with them.

23. Is there someone in your life who could use a little bit of motivation or inspiration? Send them post it notes with positive quotes and sayings on them so they can put stick them up in their space.

24. Find a program that sends mail to folks in the military or children in hospitals and help brighten up their day with a letter.

25. Send someone a fun activity such as a coloring page, crossword puzzle, brain teasers, etc.

26. Send a letter to a blogger, author, or podcast host to tell them how much you enjoy their work and how it has affected you.

27. Send a letter from your pet to one of their pet friends!

28. Go on Instagram and / or Pinterest to get envelope art ideas then try some of your own. Be creative and have fun–don’t worry about being perfect. Send it to your artistic friend who you know will appreciate and love it.

29. Pick up some local postcards and send them to your out-of-state and country friends or someone who is temporarily away (for school or a job).

30. If you know someone who loves nature, gardening, flowers, send them a letter on seed paper they can plant! Finish off the letter with beautiful floral stamps that are currently available at USPS.

30 Ideas For Happy Mail by Atiliay

BUNNY INSPIRED SPRING CARDS

For Some Bunny Special - Hand Lettered Card by Atiliay

For Some Bunny Special - Hand Lettered Card by Atiliay

Hand Lettered Bunny Card By Atiliay

Some Bunny Loves You Hand Lettered Card by Atiliay

Hand Lettered Some Bunny Loves You Card by Atiliay

These hand lettered bunny cards are perfect for the rabbit or animal lover in your life! Each of these tri-fold cards unfolds to reveal the message to your recipient! Each card will help Animal Place (www.animalplace.org), a wonderful sanctuary for rescued farm animals, buy treats (such as grapes and apples) for the animals they care for. Besides being yummy, these treats help socialize frightened animals and are also used to hide life saving medications for several of their senior residents and chickens. All cards are available in Atiliay’s Etsy Shop. Pick one up and help us spread the love to our furry and feathered friends!

PS: The lovely model seen in these photos is the beautiful and fluffy Fafa! Fafa is my friend Connie’s bunny and it was so nice of both of them to do this photoshoot with me! It was definitely the most fun one I have done :)

HELLO FROM SOUTH AFRICA // AN UPDATE FROM THE EEC

I received some photos and an update from The Ebongalethu Educare Center Preschool & Nursery earlier this week! The EEC is the school Atiliay sponsors through our Valentine’s Day Cards For A Cause Campaign as well as other cards and items in our shop.  With the help of our customers, we provide nutritious meals for the children here.

The EEC March 2016{Gladys, her teachers and helpers, and some of the adorable little ones in front of The EEC}

Although the drought they are experiencing is affecting the food prices, overall, everyone is doing well including Gladys (the amazing woman who runs The EEC), the teachers, the children, and my contact, Byron.

I also received news that Gladys is currently taking care of a little girl named Anelisa who was born with a disability–Byron has contacted Anelisa’s doctor to find out more about her condition and what they can do to help. Anelisa is the sweetest 3 year old and Gladys and her teachers are doing the best they can to take care of her. Anelisa’s mother, Lungelwa, is a single unemployed mother of 3 and Gladys was explaining how she gives the family a few packets of porridge each month to help. I will keep you posted as we learn more and see if there is anything we can do to help Gladys look after Anelisa. I am sending good thoughts to Anelisa and I know Gladys will give her the best care possible in a happy and safe environment.

Below are a few more photos from The EEC…

The EEC - March 20216

{From left to right: Elliot from Miracle Meals Trust (they help Food4Africa deliver porridge to The EEC and is the same organization my contact Byron is a part of), Gladys the founder of The EEC, and Gladys’ teachers and helpers with the children getting ready to to do an activity.}

The EEC - March 2016

{One of the new entrance gates at The EEC which makes it safer for the children–and Gladys’ Jack Russells (they are lying on the front step by the door :)}

The EEC - March 2016

{Here’s a better pic of the pups!}

Thank you to each person who has ever purchased a card that helped to provide meals for these little ones–they deserve a good start in life and every bowl of porridge is providing them with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive!

ATILIAY’S HEART CAKE BOXES FEATURED IN AMY’S SWEET BAKE SHOP PHOTOSHOOT!

Amy's Sweet Bake Shop Photoshoot

I am so excited to have Atiliay’s heart cake boxes be a part of Amy’s Sweet Bake Shop’s photoshoot! The photos are SO gorgeous and I am seriously swooning over them! I actually used to make custom decorated cakes that raised meals for children in South Africa so cake decorating is something that has special meaning to me–it makes it even sweeter to be able to contribute to this shoot :).

The heart boxes featured in these photos are available in Atilay’s Etsy shop. There are different colored hearts to choose from and if you have any questions, please send me an Etsy message or email and I will be happy to help!

Amy’s Sweet Bake Shop is based in West Chester, PA.  Amy is a self taught baker and cake designer who specializes in custom cakes, cupcakes, and favors for all your special events. Her at home bake shop is nestled in the heart of downtown West Chester where she was born and raised. If you love looking at pretty pics of delicious food (who doesn’t?), visit Amy’s Instagram to see all the goodies she is whipping up!

These amazing photos were created by:

Photographer / Justin James Muir / @justinjamesmuir 

Photo Stylist / Dallas Shaw@dallasshaw

Amy's Sweet Bake Shop Photoshoot featuring Atiliay's Heart Cake Boxes

Amy's Sweet Bake Shop Photoshoot featuring Atiliay's Heart Cake Boxes

VALENTINE’S DAY CARDS FOR A CAUSE RESULTS // OVER 7,000 MEALS RAISED!

Atiliay Valentine's Day Cards For A Cause Results{Since the time this photo was taken, even more meals have been raised!}

Valentine’s Day Cards For A Cause raised over 7,000 meals for children at The Ebongalethu Educare Center Preschool & Nursery in Motherwell, South Africa! Each meal consists of a nutritious porridge that helps the children at The EEC grow, fight disease, concentrate during schooling, and it also keeps them happy and energized.

This could not have been possible without each and every customer who decided to send and spread love this holiday–THANK YOU!

The Valentine’s Day cards for a cause fundraiser is very important because we are the sole donors for The EEC and they depend on Atiliay’s donations to continue to provide meals for the little ones they care for.  Raising 7,000+ meals will cover about 3-4 months of food (depending on the number of children who go there which ranges from 40-60 per day). Throughout the rest of the year Atiliay will continue to raise meals through our love cards, cake boxes, and other items in the shop to ensure that The EEC receives meals all year round.

Thank you again for helping to make all of this possible!

The photos you are seeing here are from a series of cards for a cause informational Instagram posts! Each post tells you more about the cause and how you are helping with each purchase. Head over to our IG to read the captions that go along with each photo.

Atiliay Valentine's Day Cards For A Cause - The EEC

Atiliay Valentine's Day Cards For A Cause - The EEC in Motherwell, South Africa

Atiliay Valentine's Day Cards For A Cause - The EEC in Motherwell, South AfricaPS: Our next cards for a cause campaign will be for Easter and Spring cards! If you’d like to know when it launches, keep in touch via our newsletter or on Instagram!

VALENTINE’S DAY CARDS FOR A CAUSE

New Valentine’s Day cards for a cause are here! See the entire collection over at Atiliay’s Etsy shop and get the perfect card for your loved ones! This year’s collection features 3 different lines: The Stamped & Stitched collection, the Hand Lettered Collection, and the Hand Drawn Collection. Every card provides meals for The Ebongalethu Educare Center Preschool & Nursery in Motherwell, South Africa. Follow along on Instagram to learn more and see how many meals we have raised together!

New cards from the Stamped & Stitched collection:

You Are Magic Valentine's Day Card by Atiliay

Long Distance Valentine's Day Card by Atiliay
A look at The Hand Lettered Collection:

Hand Lettered Valentine's Day Cards by Atiliay

Cards from the Hand Drawn Collection:

Hand Drawn Love Cards by Atiliay

View all of our cards over at Atiliay’s Etsy shop!