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Travel Diaries: Cambodia

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Merlin Clarke, Owner and Head of Happenings at Dogeared, and his daughter, Grace, recently took a give-back trip to Cambodia to spend time at Hope for Justice, an organization dedicated to ending human trafficking and slavery among young women around the world.

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Sightseeing near the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh.

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Their journey began before this trip was even planned—70% of Dogeared employees are currently supporting Hope for Justice by personally providing monthly donations that are matched by Dogeared. This sponsorship has completely funded 2 of the newest girls to the program and provides them full access to therapy, education, medical care and more.

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Receiving blessings bracelets after visiting the Temple at Angkor Wat.

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Our travel diary: My daughter had the week off from school and wanted to go somewhere and do something good. It makes me proud as a father that she wants to do more. As part of our commitment as a certified B-Corporation and the community at large, Dogeared employees participate in charitable services through investment and volunteer work. Hope for Justice is one of those foundations, and I was compelled to visit them and see the amazing things that they’re doing for these young women.

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Working directly with the girls was incredibly rewarding, but also the most difficult part of our trip. Our goal was to share some love, joy, fun and build connections with these inspiring young women.

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Merlin was moved when one of the girls talked about their visit:

“This week was very special to me.  I wish we could do this all the time with different projects. It would be so fun!  My favorite thing this week was drawing and painting pictures.  I painted birds and a house… the house I will live in one day.  It’s so pretty!”

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Despite the language barrier, it really felt like we were able to communicate with the girls on an emotional level . We also had the opportunity to visit a non-profit sustainable jewelry company, Penh Lenh (meaning ‘whole and complete’). The company works with the girls as therapy to provide a valuable skill they can take out into the world. There’s so much opportunity for Dogeared to train, help and mentor this business  as we continue our partnership with Hope for Justice. It’s such a natural fit for us and we’re excited for what’s to come.

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After returning, Merlin and Dogeared were compelled to do even more. Dogeared has decided to sponsor the school’s Kamir (language) teacher for an entire year so that he can continue working with the girls on communication skills. We always believe good things happen when people are able to be courageous and help one another.

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For more information about Hope For Justice and how you can get involved click here.

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#goodthingshappen: A Bent Piece of Wire

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Justina Sharp of A Bent Piece of Wire is living proof that when you live with clarity of purpose and positive intentions, good things happen. Graduating from high school a year early this past spring, was just one of many accomplishments this teen blogger can already check off her list (featured in Teen Vogue? check. Contributor to the Huffington Post? check.). We’re pretty sure that this young entrepreneur has a ton of good things coming her way.

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Sharp is a big Dogeared fan: “Every piece represents a different quality, and they’re very helpful reminders of what you want to see in yourself.” She wears hers to be reminded of all her favorite “good things.” Some of which she listed for us (books, glitter, instagram), but also took a fresh approach to spreading the #goodthingshappen message by reaching out to her fans! Sharp asked them to share some good things happening in their day, and got some very happy news. Check out their answers + read the full story here.

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shop the look:  1. rise above flamingo necklace  2. happy buddha necklace

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#goodthingshappen: Honey & Silk

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Cali-based blogger, Honey & Silk, feels most comfortable surrounded by “luscious greens and dainty things.” Her style, and the photography that captures it, can only be described as dreamy and covetable in every way. We’re lucky that this bohemian babe has developed a little crush on Dogeared. She shares her #dogeared look and tells the story of how #goodthingshappen when she lives life with the best intentions. Read the full story on her blog!

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shop the look:  1. all is well hamsa necklace   2. small hammered karma bracelet  3. mixed metal karma rings, set of three

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#goodthingshappen: I’m Fashionstoned

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Top Netherlands blogger, I’m Fashionstoned, has a thing for delicate necklaces. Luckily for us, she cherishes Dogeared as one of her favorite brands for a go-to simple statement! Whether it’s effortlessly layered necklaces, a statement earring or a set of stacked rings, I’m Fashionstoned shares that #goodthingshappen when she wears her #dogeared “Essential Pieces”.

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shop the look:  1. simple karma necklace  2. balance vertical bar necklace  3. the circle faceted bead necklace  4. triple karma ring sparkle necklace  5. pearls of… thorn bead cup pearl stud earrings  6. dogeared rings  

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Inside Edition: Part 4 with Marcia

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The idea of togetherness and family ties together everything we do at Dogeared. From our collections to the meaning behind each piece, to relationships and our commitment to the environment and communities – all are established with the core intent of connection and being a part of something greater.

Marcia explains, “I think the best way to achieve that is to have a positive attitude, good intent and karmic kindness. This is our process and it’s how we’ve created our own good luck.”

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The Good Luck Elephant is a direct reflection of this way of thinking. Marcia loves to wear this piece. She says, “For me, he’s so strong — big but so kind and wise. Elephants are loving and loyal… And when their trunks are up, they’re showering you with good luck. At Dogeared, we all want to have those qualities!”

Marcia considers this one of her lucky charms, and if you didn’t already assume this — she has many more! “When I travel, I have a little key fob thing that me and my girlfriends pass around…. it has many charms on it, Dogeared and others. I wear my ‘Not to Worry Beads’ when I’m looking for strength to do whatever it is I’m trying to accomplish that day.”

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Karma is another collection that encompasses the beauty and philosophy of Dogeared. Marcia explains, “It’s all about the circle, what it symbolizes and basically the idea of what goes around comes around. It’s a powerful icon because it conveys wholeness and completeness and totality. When we created the Karma collection, I knew it would be classic, but I didn’t think it would have the longevity and success that we’ve seen…. I’m sort of still in awe of it. This is my go-to gift — you can give it to anyone and wear it with anything!”

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Family and relationships complete Dogeared’s circle. It should come to no surprise that the Karma collection reminds Marcia of her husband, Merlin. “He’s a really amazing human being. He came into my life for a reason or many reasons, and he’s taught me so much about life and doing good things. At his essence, he’s truly kind and generous. It’s part of his being and being in a lifelong partnership with him has really opened up my eyes to a lot.”

So whether it’s love, luck, positive energy, wishes or karma, Marcia started Dogeared with the intent to provide women with real style and meaningful messages. Our jewelry really captures the best of good things….it’s what makes us Dogeared.

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Inside Edition: Part 3 with Marcia

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“Right now, I think Balance is one of the hottest concepts we have.” Marcia explains, “It’s such an easy piece to wear and every person I have ever met will tell you that they are personally striving for balance. It resonates with a lot of people.”

Seeking harmony amongst all the complicated aspects of life is a universal desire that we all seem to strive for. We sat down with Marcia to try and gain some insight as to how this mom, wife, business owner & philanthropist maintains balance in her own life. “It’s about continuing to move forward,” she explains.

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“For me, it’s not so much about balancing your time. It’s about balancing your energy and making sure that you are giving appropriate energy to the different parts of your life. Whether it’s your kids, your husband, work, and of course yourself – it’s about figuring out where your focus needs to be and when, that’s what it’s more about to me.”

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Always sounding easier said than done, Marcia elaborates on how she does it. “You have to keep doing things that allow the energy to flow both ways. That’s why it’s so important to give back. When you’re involved with non-profits and actually go out into your community, you’re getting so much energy in return that it’s like you have this storage bank of goodness. When you have that, you’re able to give that energy back to the people in your life who need it. That includes yourself.”

“I’m not gonna lie, I have amazing support in my life. We have amazing people that support what we’re doing and trying to do, including our Dogeared family, but it’s all about doing what feels right. I think if it feels right and it’s forward motion, it doesn’t always have to BE right.”

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Personal favorites from the collection? “The balance tube bracelet: it’s so easy to put on with the magnet, and it looks amazing. It gets on so fast that it actually makes your life easier! I also wear the balance bar earrings all the time. This collection really speaks to the minimalist trend we’re seeing on women right now. I think a good strategy for fashion and life is just, ‘Keep things real, pretty, easy, and balanced.'”

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Inside Edition: Part 2 with Marcia

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“In our design meetings, we’re always trying to expand our core collections and add meaningful pieces that can be worn everyday. The idea of putting 100 positive, affirming words on a card was super exciting to me.”

“That’s part of the creative freedom in design,” Marcia explains. “Sometimes the jewelry comes first, other times it’s just a really powerful idea that puts the process into motion.”

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“I’m super inspired by typography and graphics and always come back from traveling with all kinds of ideas I’ve seen in stores, subways, buses, street art, just being somewhere new! When it came to designing 100 Good Wishes, I was very clear on what I wanted the card to look like and how I wanted it to make people feel. Words like compassion, strength, confidence … I just wanted people to have this powerful connection to it. Whatever words they connected with, I knew it could bring something good to people in a universal way.”

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“Once we established the message and the card, we started designing the necklace. I knew we needed a 100 of something… and that’s a lot for us! 100 of anything will create length, which I love!”

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Marcia wears her 100 Good Wishes almost everyday. “I have so many of them! I think the reason I always choose it is because it feels like a very powerful necklace. Powerful with positive intent.” 100 good wishes. 100 good things. It’s all about making good things happen!

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#goodthingshappen: GyspyLovinLight

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GypsyLovinLight blogger, Helen Janneson Bense, has a strong spiritual connection to the world around her. How could you not living right by stunning Sorrento Beach in Western Australia?! A true lover of nature’s beauty, she says, “It’s the moments when the sun goes down and the moon begins it rise…those are the moments to count your blessings and make your wishes.” She shares her #dogeared look and tells the story of how #goodthingshappen when she makes a wish. Read the full story on her blog!

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shop the look:  1. good luck elephant necklace  2. 100 good wishes tiny bar necklace  3. elephant ring  4. arrow ring  5. moonglow ring  6. karma medium smooth ring  7. make a wish happy lotus bracelet 

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Inside Edition: #goodthingshappen

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The Beginning 

From the start, Marcia Maizel-Clarke, Dogeared’s Founder, Owner & all around Creative Force was intuitively capturing special moments and turning them into something more. Although it wasn’t a clear path to creating Dogeared, moments of her childhood forged a powerful idea of connection and it was something that would stick with her.

“Some of my earliest and fondest memories involved jewelry,” she recalled and “as a girl, my grandfather owned a pawnshop in downtown Las Vegas, near the Golden Nugget. We would go there, look around and try stuff on.  This was Vegas in the olden days, so there were some treasures! Such great exposure to so many unique things, the memories I have of that time make me smile.”

After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, working as a retail buyer at a major department store and then working in wholesale, she developed an understanding of what women want to wear and what makes an unforgettable gift. Marcia began making accessories as a creative outlet and started selling handcrafted designs at local flea markets.

Making The Connection

“It was never just about jewelry,” she notes and adds, “for me, Dogeared stems from the meaning behind the jewelry. A lot of times you’re writing a card for a gift and you can’t figure out what to say…Dogeared is all about giving people a voice.”

Marcia believes jewelry has a significant role in peoples’ lives. She says its “shown up in my life in many ways. From the age of 13 to Sweet Sixteen and my first boyfriend…you get what I’m saying. It’s that connection and those pieces – they’ve helped create my story.”

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Make A Wish

One of Dogeared’s first and still most successful collections was based on a wish concept. Marcia and Merlin, her husband, had gone back and forth about this idea, where the charm is made to eventually fall off of its silk necklace. The meaning behind it is that when it does fall off, your wish should come true. They didn’t know if people would buy jewelry that wasn’t meant to last forever, but decided to try it! Marcia believes that “ultimately, it’s been a success because it has the power of belief behind it.  When you make a wish, you’re putting your energy towards something… to have that as a reminder is really powerful.”

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The Next Beginning

“So, as you can tell,” Marcia laughs. “I’ve always believed in this stuff. I think everything has meaning and energy.” This is the core of her creative process. Marcia elaborates, ”Your journey will unwind and unfold to you, but the key is forward motion. After 23 years, I still believe good things happen.”

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Beach Day!

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Last Friday, we were lucky enough to spend the day as a team at the beach! It was an amazing day spent bonding with coworkers (charades, anyone?) and enjoying all the goodness that Dogeared has to offer. As a company, we know how important it is to have positive energy flowing through everything that we do. Days like this remind us why we all love working here. When we say Dogeared is made with love, we mean it!

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