What's the Appeal of Handmade? A Renaissance of Taste

By Penny Baldwin-French on Mon, Oct 30, 2017 @ 02:13 PM

We encounter handmade products in trendsetting boutiques, and view them as artfully arranged emblems of good taste. So, why do we think that?

Giraffe Teapot

Giraffe TeapotThe Ardmore Collection

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race - The Benefits of Slow Fashion

By Penny Baldwin-French on Fri, Oct 27, 2017 @ 11:50 AM

That venerable tale of the tortoise and the hare isn't just an amusing story. It's a lesson in making the right choices - in the long run!

Image Source: Creative Commons, labeled for reuse

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How Natural Fibres Benefit You and Your Planet

By Penny Baldwin-French on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 @ 12:02 PM

Natural fibres are a great advantage when selecting fashion accessories.  Add to that the beauty of hand weaving or knitting and you get gorgeous, long-lasting fashion pieces that are uniquely different.

When production of  fashion accessories also achieves minimal impact on the environment, productive employment and skills training, it is a Win/Win for everyone involved!

Tsandza Handweaving produces some of the most beautiful, gorgeously hued, bespoke quality fashion accessories we've ever seen.


Natural fibres are more comfortable, are less allergic to skin and production processes are less harmful to our environment. All wins as far as we are concerned.

We avoid synthetic fibres as they do not absorb perspiration and, for the most part, have a rough texture and feel we just don't like.

First established in 1979, Tsandza Weaving, formerly known as Rosecraft Weaving, is a social enterprise that produces high quality products, handwoven in pure natural fibres by talented artisans in rural Swaziland.

Consumers seeking ethically produced items that make an impact to a bigger purpose when making their purchase will find "forever presents" that not only represent beauty and skill, but also contribute to a more sustainable future for us all


Every step of Tsandza’s production process is done by hand. From the dying, spinning & weaving to the knotting & tasseling. Even our sewing machines for labelling are manual! This means every item we make is unique and exclusive to you. Our impact on our environment is greatly reduced, and it also means we need many hands, ensuring we continue to be a vital source of training and income generation for many rural women.

It is quite a complex process requiring patience, skill and a lot of work!

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Seven Thousand Years of Skill-Building? A Brief History of Tuareg Silver Jewelry

By Penny Baldwin-French on Mon, Sep 25, 2017 @ 10:53 AM

The Tuareg silversmiths of Azel are a group of African artisans who truly excel at the creation of exquisite fine silver jewelry and leather artifacts. Tuareg history goes back 7 thousand years!

TZILA Cross Necklace

There are 21 styles attributed to this Cross Of Agadez,
aka The Southern Cross

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Time to Spruce Up for Fall? It's Just Natural!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Fri, Sep 08, 2017 @ 11:16 AM

Fall is nature's second "rejuvenating period". Just like Spring, in the fall our thoughts naturally turn to refreshing, cleaning, sprucing things up.

And there's a psychological history behind this instinct! In our prehistory, it was natural to make sure that everything was safe and in order before cold weather set in. Our intimate connection with nature dictates our behaviour!

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A Tale of Two Slippers

By Penny Baldwin-French on Sat, Sep 02, 2017 @ 11:10 AM

Whether you call them slippers or house shoes, there is just no denying we have an attachment to the warmth and comfort they deliver.

Especially when the days get shorter and the evenings get colder! In fact, I have "seasonal" slippers to suit the temperature all year round.

The word "slippers" comes, of course, from the verb "to slip". As in - slip on your feet. Most think slippers originated in the East but it turns out that almost every culture has had a form of comfy foot gear to wear around the house.

The earliest recorded reference to a slipper was
in the 12th Century - in Vietnam

A Song Dynasty Officer described two different types of slippers with thongs between the toes.

The earliest reference to slippers in the West was about 1478.

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Want a New Look for Fall? Decorate with Accessories!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Thu, Aug 24, 2017 @ 12:09 PM

Decorating with accessories is a terrific way to give your home a little lift - without breaking the bank!

Any designer will tell you that rugs, art, sculptures, throw pillows and blankets can have a considerable influence. The trick is knowing how to use them.

First and foremost, choose quality items. While mass-produced items are plentiful and inexpensive, they aren't really what you want to surround yourself with. One or two quality pieces are far better than a vast array of run-of-the-mill pieces easily found in your local discount décor store. 

Quality home décor accessories will also stand the test of time far better than mass-produced items of inferior manufacture

Look for unique pieces. You're unique - reflect that in your personal environment.

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A stunning wall-mounted Impala
sculpted from recycled steel
is a unique piece you won't find just anywhere!

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Go Ahead - We Dare You - Monkey Around!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Thu, Aug 03, 2017 @ 02:02 PM

How many times (as a child) did you hear "Quit monkeying around"? 

Well, now we're telling you we think you should! The holidays are coming up fast and we can think of no better way to present your lovely holiday culinary creations than on our beautiful one-of-a-kind Mandrill Platter.

We guarantee this platter will be a conversation starter at your holiday table!

Mandrill Platter

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How to throw the best tea party ever? Invite a Hyena!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 @ 08:10 PM

If you want your guests to "tell the story" about the best tea party they ever attended, invite a Hyena to your table.

A Hyena Teapot from Ardmore Collection is the best conversation starter we've ever dreamt up!


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I Wish I Was A Giraffe - or at least could sleep like one!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Tue, Jul 04, 2017 @ 10:02 AM

A giraffe sleeps only about two hours per day. Just imagine how much I could get done!

And they are so loved - the world round. The number of visitors to websites featuring the imminent birth of a baby giraffe is just astounding. And, who can forget the unbelievable response to the baby toy 'Sophie the Giraffe"? It was difficult to get your hands on one!

And, how can we forget the ubiquitious TOYSRUS mascot - Geoffrey the Giraffe? My grand-daughter can't get enough of the terrific children's book Giraffe's Can't Dance by Giles Andreae.

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Jacob's Treasures - What a Treasure!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Wed, Mar 08, 2017 @ 01:44 PM

Billed on their website as "a magical experience for big kids and children alike", we have to say we've never seen a more interesting and interactive store!

Located in beautiful Hawkesbury, Ontario (on the Ottawa River and the border of Quebec), Jacob's Treasures is simply amazing. 

Zawadee is proud to count this astounding store as one of our newest retailers of Zawadee products.

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Symbols Jewellery - Trinidad & Tobago - What A Success!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Sun, Feb 12, 2017 @ 01:32 PM

"Jewellery is a living art" says Seema Persad, Co-Founder of Symbols Jewellery in Trinidad & Tobago.

And Seema's business is thriving in the Carribean! At Zawadee, we think her success has a lot to do with her tagline - "Speak from the heart".  Seema does, and it shows!

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Welcome - Debbie Noel - Zawadee's Newest Retailer

By Penny Baldwin-French on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 @ 09:46 AM

"I love clothes and I love to shop", says Debbie Noel, Zawadee's newest retailer.

And her namesake store, Debbie Noel Women's Fashions, is a showcase of Debbie's fashion sense! As she says, her love of shopping is a real asset, as she puts a lot of time into sourcing high quality merchandise for her customers.

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