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The History of Black Friday: Shop Bring Africa Home for up to 70% Off

Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, has become a cultural phenomenon.

It’s the biggest shopping day of the year for retailers and shoppers in the U.S. We have all seen the images of people lining up for days in advance of huge sales that only happen once per year. We have also seen the crazy videos of people fighting over items, and the mass crowds in stores that make you wonder if it’s worth the trouble. The sales numbers suggest that people in the US (and increasingly, in Canada) believe the crowds and line ups are worth the deals. 

It’s Becoming Increasingly Popular in Canada....For years, Canadians have planned cross border trips to the US to take advantage of shopping deals. Even taking the exchange rate into consideration, making the trip is often worthwhile.

However, in recent years, Canadian retailers have begun to fight back, in an attempt to prevent Canadians from spending their money outside of the country.

Many major retailers in Canada now offer Black Friday deals to keep Canadians home – essentially creating another similar shopping day, comparable to Boxing Day. With the ability to shop online, Black Friday is now more popular than ever in Canada and increasingly popular in other countries around the world.

We invite you to shop our Black Friday event, from now until December 31st, 2014.

Discounts are available from 15 to 70% on unique and desirable items including beautiful silver jewelry, gemstones, scarves, shawls, pashminas and wraps, as well as our lovely African wildlife sculptures.

Origins of Black Friday

Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving in the U.S, which is always the fourth Thursday in November. This means the actual date often varies each year by a day or so. The term “Black Friday” is not new. Its origins date back to the 19th century, however, the current use of the term dates back to 1961 in Philadelphia. The terminology and concept spread gradually over the years and eventually developed into today's sales extravaganzas! For an insight into an African Thanksgiving celebration, please read our blog.

To gain a competitive edge, retailers have continued to push the envelope and have begun to open earlier and earlier.

While the norm was once 6am on the Friday after Thanksgiving, stores are now opening on Thanksgiving as early as 8pm. Shopping has also extended into a weekend event, as retailers now hold sales all weekend and even have exclusive sales only available online.

Where Else Is Black Friday Held?

In recent years, Black Friday has begun to spread outside of North America, perhaps because of the influence of the Internet. Other countries, and multinational organizations, seeing the success of the event, are now holding Black Friday sales around the world. Global companies such as Apple and Amazon have been leading the charge. Today, Black Friday sales are now promoted in many countries, including:
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • India – known as Friendship day, which is held the first Sunday in August
  • China – known as Singles Day and is an online only sale
  • Costa Rica (known as Viernes Negro)
  • Romania
Much like in Canada, Mexico is also embracing the shopping event. Each year, El Buen Fin, is held as a weekend of shopping discounts. In Spanish, it means “the good weekend.” Apt name, in our opinion! In Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, they hold “White Day,” which is recognized exactly one month after Valentine’s Day – a celebration that has been recognized for over 30 years. And you thought Black Friday was only a U.S. event! Are you planning on taking advantage of the shopping deals this Black Friday? Are you planning on visiting the store in person or do you plan to take advantage of some of the online deals that will be available? Just a quick reminder that we are extending free shipping* from now until December 31st.

 

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What (Really) is a Pashmina?

Pashminas.jpg

In general, the term "pashmina" gets used pretty loosely. Without thinking about it, any large format shawl or wrap tends to be referred to as a pashmina! 

But that's wrong!

Pashmina is actually a special kind of wool that only comes from the outer skin of goats living in the high altitude Himalayas. As only approximately 4 to 8 ounces of Pashmina fibre is shed by each goal annually, it takes a lot of goats to make true pashminas! While we undoubtedly admire the quality of well-crafted true pashmina or cashmere (kashmir) pashmina shawls, they can be very expensive. The pashmina-style shawl or wrap is now often made from blends of materials that create a silky soft fabric without the high price! Our pashmina-style shawls and wraps are finely woven from a smooth, soft cotton poly/viscose blend and are so fine, they can be drawn through a ring with ease!

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How did Pashminas become so popular?

Well, totally aside from their beauty and warmth, you can probably (to some extent) blame Napoleon Bonaparte. He presented a Cashmere Pashmina Shawl to his wife, Josephine. Ladies of the court spread the news like wildfire, creating a "craze" for Pashminas all over Europe. Today, pashmina-style shawls and wraps are an essential fashion accessory. We have several collections of pashmina-style shawls and wraps and will be releasing additional collections over the next few weeks.
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