The Desk Refresh Kit, curated by The Kleinert Foundation and available for $100 on mariemae.com.
Marie Mae’s signature ‘write with purpose’ notebook in emerald green.
An essential oil roll-on from Savhera, a brand that provides training and dignified employment to survivors of sexual exploitation.
Every item in the Desk Refresh Kit has a story, a mission, and is truly the real deal.
The kit includes Tribe Alive's sustainable 100% up-cycled denim tote handmade in Guatemala.
It’s been a beautiful thing to see phrases like “social impact” and the idea of give-back models become more prevalent recent years, but as is the case with the rise of any retail trend, it can be difficult to parse out the real deal brands from deceptively good advertising campaigns.
And with a lack of regulation in the social impact department, that leaves much of the work up to shoppers to discover brands they trust and care about. One of the best ways to do just that: a deep dive on Instagram. Which is exactly what Ashlee Kleinert and her team at The Kleinert Foundation did when partnering up with the gifting pros at Marie Mae Co.
“We were trying to find businesses that may not have the flash and dash of a marketing team. They’re providing a very dignified employment and a product that’s wonderful, but they’re just not savvy to marketing or promoting it because their heads are down and they’re doing the work,” Kleinert says.
They searched the hashtags #socialbusiness and #socialimpact on social media. After narrowing down their list to businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, they performed site visits to get better acquainted with the people behind the brand. “It was really important to us that the businesses we share and gift are truly transforming their communities and those that they’re employing,” Kleinert adds.
The “Desk Refresh Kit” — a timely work-from-home item now and likely for many months ahead — is filled with Dallas-Fort Worth brands doing powerful work. And while many may be familiar with names like Bonton Farms and Tribe Alive by now (the latter’s effortless, ethical fashion is now sold in J. Crew and on Lauren Conrad’s The Little Market), the gift box will still likely lead to some new discoveries.
There’s Calyan Wax. Co, an Arlington-based natural candle company that’s currently partnering with Traffick 911, a Texas-based non-profit whose aim is to free youth from sex trafficking with a three-prong strategy (more on that here). And Savhera, an essential oils brand that provides training and dignified employment to survivors of sexual exploitation.
The issue of sex trafficking is one that Kleinert feels particularly passionate about. Having grown up seeing her mother, Nancy Ann Hunt, involved in New Friends New Life in Dallas, the entrepreneur behind Ruthie’s Rolling Café food truck fleet became interested in taking on the social issue as a cause. She and her husband Chris Kleinert launched The Kleinert Foundation in 2017.
“It’s hard to find dignified employment for survivors. We started looking at businesses that really talked about working with women who had been marginalized, who were will to take a chance on them, train them, and actually hire them,” Kleinert says. “That’s been our quest right now.”
Though the Desk Refresh Kit’s feel-good potential is timeless, supporting brands like Calyan and Savhera may feel particularly meaningful this week — Thursday, July 30, marks World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The $100 box is available for pre-order now, and will begin shipping mid-August.