Blog

Shop Talk: Foreveresta


What happens when you turn a 1976 camper trailer into a mission-driven shop on wheels? We asked Alexandria Bing, Owner of Foreveresta to tell us all about her amazing mobile store. This is definitely one of the most unique shopping experiences around, and we're so excited to be a part of it!


Can you believe this is the inside of a trailer? Kick back, relax, and shop.


MudLOVE: How long have you been in business?

Foreveresta: I have been in business for 8 months as we had our Grand Opening in February 2016!

M: What kinds of items do you sell in your store?

F: We sell so many unique goods! We have tees for men, women, & children, jewelry, notebooks, greeting cards, coffee mugs & tumblers, home decor such as pillows & wall art!


We spy MudLOVE! Do you?


M: What is Foreveresta’s mission in the community?

F: My mission at Foreveresta is two-fold. First, we are here to educate and facilitate purposeful purchasing. After a trip to the Dominican Republic, I recognized the need here locally to give others an immediate way to make a difference when shopping. Many of the goods we carry are working with organizations in developing countries creating sustainable opportunities for individuals and families. This includes clean water initiatives, rescues from human trafficking and prostitution, and training and support in businesses that empower families to come out of poverty and implement ethical business skills. Instead of grabbing your next purse from target or the mall, why not support a woman rescued out of prostitution who has handwoven your bag with the goal of supporting her family in her new journey!

Secondly, we exist to encourage and empower others to love and accept the person they were purposed to be through offering inspirational goods and a place to come sit, be still, or share!

M: How has selling MudLOVE products helped you accomplish that goal?

F: I LOVE being able to provide MudLOVE products at Foreveresta because they are bold in a simple way! The mission behind MudLOVE is close to my heart, making it exciting to get behind the company and spread the love. The products have been incredibly popular with all types of people! Its beautiful to see how one simple word can light a spark in someone, lift their spirit, or challenge them to press on in life!


A closer look. Classic bands hang out on a hand-built display.


M: What’s 1 thing that everyone should know about Foreveresta? (A fun fact, upcoming event, etc.)

F: I do have exciting news that I have yet to release publicly, but I would LOVE to share now! In October, Foreveresta will be launching a new movement called Love Notes! Love notes will focus on our second mission: encouraging others to accept, love, and value themselves as they were purposed to live. Love Notes is an opportunity for others to get involved and spread encouragement and love in their sphere of influence. We will be releasing our own t-shirt line at the same time, along with a few other goodies. I can’t wait to share this vision with everyone!


See you soon Alexandria. Thanks for including MudLOVE in your mission! You inspire us!


If you're reading this today, September 10th, you can visit Foreveresta in person at our Block of LOVE celebration in Winona Lake! Otherwise, stop in on a Thursday or Friday from 10-3 at 2329 Crescent Ave. in Fort Wayne. 

Not from around these parts? Learn more at foreveresta.com. For news, updates, and the latest pit stops, follow along on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Not Your Everyday Bike Ride


Rachel Kehlee Photography


If there's one thing we love (besides donuts), it's meeting other people who share our passion for clean water. When we came across Ride for Water and their incredible journey this summer, we jumped at the chance to connect! This amazing group of college students rode their bikes all the way from the Pacific Northwest to New York City with one goal in mind: raising awareness and funds toward fighting the global water crisis. 

As the team prepared for their Midwest leg of the ride, we invited them to stop by our studio and hang out for an afternoon. Check out our Q&A below, along with some photos from the journey. Then, learn how you can help the team reach this year's fundraising goal. (They're SO close!)



Team MudLOVE + Team Ride for Water = Team We LOVE Clean Water!


MudLOVE: Who rode this summer, and where are you all from?

Ride for Water: The men's team consisted of Paul Joung, Andy Bissell, Fadi Nassar, Jackson Lucht, and Aaron Thomas. Drivers for the guys were Emilio Cortez and Giovanny Panginda.

The riders for the women's team were Jacqueline Summers, Katie Maginnis, Sophia Buie, Kimberly Golden, Ashlee Ginn. Driving the ladies were Emily Eastburn and Rachel Lewis.

We all come from either California, Oregon, or Colorado!



Jumping for joy in the Big Apple. 


M: What did you like about your visit to Indiana? (Besides MudLOVE of course.)

RFW: The life-sized mannequins in Warsaw that felt so real at times! 

M: Ah yes. We find those to be unique, yet startling... 



Indiana: We're more than just corn!


M: There are so many noble causes to support. What led you to decide to ride for clean water? 

RFW: Everything starts with clean water. If clean water is sustainable and accessible, it creates time for education, business, agriculture, and more. Water is a basic necessity that we believe should be available for all; even at the expense of our own comforts.

Women and children specifically are the demographic of people who spend countless hours fetching water, and most of the time it's not clean! These women and children are often put in dangerous situations; risking their lives for the sake of water.

We're partnering with charity: water, who uses 100% of donations for clean water projects. They believe in working with local partners, and focusing on absolute solutions via wells and other sustainable systems. Life starts with water.

M: Awesome! charity: water also works with our own nonprofit partner, Water for Good



water=life.


M: What’s the most interesting or inspiring story from your journey so far?

RFW: On Day 2 of the trip, the men's team support vehicle's transmission had blown out. Some of us thought that the ride was done for. We thought to ourselves, "How can we hurdle over this huge deficit?" We thought about spending the funds we had raised to use on food and other necessities to cover the cost. This would've meant some really frugal living for the duration of the ride.

We were stuck in Lake Chelan, Washington, about 1500 miles away from home and support. Jackson and Paul drove the car (which only had 2 gears available) down a highway to the nearest Chevy dealership to see what the damage was.

The remaining men's team, along with the women's team via phone, put their heads together. We blasted on social media for help with funding the new transmission. Getting to the dealership, the guys had no idea how this was going to be paid for. In 3 hours, we found out the entire cost for the transmission was covered!

The moral of the story is, when you are doing something for a cause that is greater then yourself, it is amazing to see the heart of people who believe in the cause. They gave so generously and provided for us in need, as we were trying to provide for others that are in need of clean water. Being believed in is a feeling that is unexplainable, and it surely lit a fire under our butts!



We left our new friends with some nifty gifties. 


M: How can someone get involved and show their support for the Ride for Water team?

RFW: Check us out at rideforwater.com! You can meet the team, buy a t-shirt to support our cause, or donate!



A-wear-ness. Get it?


M: Where can everyone follow along?

RFW: You can experience the journey by following us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!





The Ride for Water team has now raised over $67,000 out of their goal of $80,000 for clean water! Help our new friends accomplish their goal by donating here.

Shop Talk: Green Earth Multisport

This is the first in our interview series with some of MudLOVE's amazing retail partners. Interested in selling MudLOVE products in your store? Apply here!

One of the newest shops in Winona Lake is making a splash in the community.


Back in 2009, MudLOVE opened for business out of a tiny garage in the Village at Winona. Over the last 7 years, a lot has changed! We've teamed up with bel kai to turn our dusty studio into the splendid (and less dusty) Belove. We've also seen several neighboring shops come and go.

One of the latest and greatest additions to the Village is Green Earth Multisport! If you like to run, swim, bike, and be active, this is the place for you. We visited with Green Earth's owner Paula Deming, and asked her a few questions about the shop.


Should we hire Paula as the new MudLOVE spokesmodel? She does have good taste in bracelets...


MudLOVE: How long have you been in business?

Green Earth Multisport: We opened on February 1st, 2016.

M: What kinds of items do you sell in your store?

GEM: Running shoes and apparel, swimsuits, goggles & other swim accessories, triathlon apparel, sports nutrition products, and more.


Custom 14 oz. mugs. Perfect for post-workout protein shakes.


M: What is Green Earth’s mission in the community?

GEM: Green Earth Multisport is committed to the promotion of healthy lifestyles by connecting people to nature through the love of running, biking, and swimming. We believe races aren’t won at the finish line. They’re won the moment you decide to be the best competitor you can be! 

Whether you walk, run, ride, or swim, we have the gear to help you get there. We have specialized running shoes, apparel, and gear from brands you can count on, like Brooks, Saucony, Mizuno, Salomon, Hoka ONE ONE, MudLOVE (hey, that's us!), SmartWool, Feetures, Balega, TYR, Zoot, EFS, Skratch, GU, Cilf, and more.

We also offer gait analysis and expertise to help ensure you find the best shoes and gear for your needs. 

M: How has selling MudLOVE products helped you accomplish that goal?

GEM: Selling MudLOVE products help Green Earth accomplish our mission by helping people connect with nature through providing a way to give back to humanity.


Double bands are great for logos. Green elastics for Green Earth.


M: What’s 1 thing that everyone should know about Green Earth? (A fun fact, upcoming event, etc.)

GEM: We have a full-time shop dog (#MadisonTheShopDog) and a part-time shop dog (#LunaThePartTimeShopDog). Come visit, pet the dogs, and become a part of the Green Earth Multisport community!


Suddenly we've got that warm, fuzzy feeling...


The next time you're in town, visit Green Earth at 807 E Canal St. Not a local? Learn more at greenearthmultisport.com. For news, updates, and more cute dog photos, follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

Update: "Get Hope. Give Hope."

Six months ago marked the launch of the Get Hope. Give Hope. campaign with our friends Ben Higgins, The Humanity & Hope United Foundation, and of course, Water for Good. Since that time, we have been absolutely blown away by the generosity and compassion shown by thousands of people all over the world. Through the purchase of a simple bracelet, lives are being changed from Honduras to Central Africa and back!


Here are a few updates from the campaign so far:

January 2016: Get Hope. Give Hope. bands are launched at mudlove.com/hope.

February 2016: The Humanity & Hope United Foundation (H&H) is able to hire its 3rd full-time employee in Honduras, Bessy Valladares. Bessy launches a new program for girls to attend secondary school for the first time.

March 2016: 12 women are employed to work on a new sheep farm in the Honduran village of Remolino.

April 2016: H&H is able to purchase a brand new truck. The vehicle is already involved in 7 different micro-enterprises built around various farming projects.

June 2016: $50,000 have now been raised for H&H!

July 2016: 6,650 "hope" bands have been sold so far. 127 people in the Central African Republic will now have 1 entire year's worth of clean water. 


Stay tuned for future updates and some exciting new ways to support the campaign. If you haven't purchased your own Get Hope. Give Hope. band yet, pick one up here and spread the word!


Hope for the Future: The Meaning Behind Ben Higgins’ Bracelet

hope bracelet


Hope can take on a variety of meanings. You can hope for a snow day. You can hope for a new car. You can even hope that a handsome guy presents you with a rose as a symbol of his affection… But, you can also hope for a drink of water that won't make you sick. You can hope for a job that allows you to support your family and send your children to school. You can hope that in this busy world, among billions of people, that you aren't forgotten.

At MudLOVE, we believe that hope exists for every single person on the planet. When we meet other people who share that belief, amazing things can happen. Together with the Humanity & Hope United Foundation and The Bachelor’s Ben Higgins, we’re excited to announce the launch of a new campaign, Get Hope. Give Hope.


learning to make bracelets
Luke Wright (3rd from left), MudLOVE's founder, teaches Brandon Conley (far left) - VP of H&H, Ben (2nd from left), and Riley (far right) the art of making a MudLOVE band.


Riley Fuller, President and Co-Founder of Humanity & Hope first visited Honduras in the summer of 2007: “I had never seen people who had been struggling so much.” Reluctant to travel in the first place, Riley tagged along with his parents on a journey that would go on to change his life. One of the most striking images from the trip was a shelter built out of found items. A tarp being utilized as a roof had the word “refuse” printed across it. This structure, someone’s home, was literally labeled as trash. 

Upon returning home, Riley put his finance degree to work as an investment banker. Managing large sums of money every week became commonplace, but the extreme poverty he had encountered was at the forefront of his mind. The discrepancy did not resonate well. “I sat behind a desk feeling less and less useful. If I couldn’t be happy, I wanted to dedicate part of my life toward other people’s happiness.” 


Humainty & Hope United
Bertin, a village leader, works on a project in La Carosa, Honduras.


The Humanity & Hope United Foundation was launched in the fall of 2010 with one goal in mind: to build deep, trusting, and loving relationships with people living in some of Honduras’ most impoverished areas. H&H takes the unique approach of listening directly to the people it aims to support. In communicating with the residents of countryside villages, H&H quickly discovered that job creation is one of the most pressing needs. In response, hundreds of acres of unused land have been purchased for the development of farming jobs for both men and women. This year, 50% of the nonprofit’s operational goals will be dedicated to the creation of new employment opportunities. 

On a larger scale, improvements are made through comprehensive programs centered around six pillars: infrastructure, economy, community, health, education, and leadership. This holistic approach to community development is what sets Humanity & Hope apart. From education programs, to clean water projects, to eye care and vision restoration, H&H sets out to bring hope wherever it is needed most. “The goal is to get people to have good lives,” Riley says. “The strategy can change, but we set out to ensure basic necessities, physical needs, and jobs. We want to do tangible acts of improvement out of love; building relationships where love overflows."


Humanity & Hope United
A bright future awaits these three friends in La Carosa, Honduras. 


Right now, a slightly different type of love is overflowing for one of Riley’s best friends, Ben Higgins. While filming an episode of ABC's The Bachelor in our shared hometown of Warsaw this past summer, Ben accepted our invitation to visit the MudLOVE studio. Upon finishing a tour of our production process, we offered up a gift of appreciation: of one of our handcrafted, ceramic bracelets. After careful consideration, Ben chose the word “hope.” On the way home, he looked down at the band on his wrist and made a decision that we believe will impact lives all over the world. 

“I appreciated that MudLOVE gave me the band without asking me to wear it. It felt different, and genuine. 'Hope' is my favorite word, and it resonates with me for different reasons. I decided to wear it throughout the show, and it provided comfort; connecting me back to my hometown. It wasn't necessarily a symbol of hope in finding the right woman, but more about general hope in life. In a situation that can feel selfish and all about me, this bracelet is a reminder that there is hope in the bigger picture.” 


Ben Higgins hope bracelet
That smile though... Thanks for your support Ben!


You can imagine our surprise (and swooning) when, several months later, we saw promotional images for The Bachelor, and Ben was wearing his "hope." band. You can imagine our greater surprise (and greater swooning) when we realized that he is wearing the bracelet, fairly visibly, in each episode. It soon became evident to Ben that this could be an opportunity to make a real difference. The word "hope" also represented an organization that he had previously dedicated his time and passion towards: the Humanity & Hope United Foundation. 

“It hit me, since I care about H&H, and then started learning about MudLOVE’s mission. I wanted to share hope in some way, and got back with the idea to partner together. Everyone involved is from the same town, with the same intentions to do good. In an environment where romantic love is at the forefront, my desire is to have an impact through loving others in a bigger way.”

After several phone calls and emails between Ben, Riley, our founder Luke, and various members of the MudLOVE and H&H staff, we’ve created a way for everyone to spread hope and love to those who need it most:

Through the Get Hope. Give Hope. campaign, 50% of the proceeds from every "hope." band sold will go directly to Humanity & Hope’s job creation initiatives in Honduras.  The purchase of each band will create 1 day of work for a man or woman in the villages of La Corosa and Remolino. On a larger scale, every 300 bands sold will create 1 full-time job and provide 1 family with economic security. 

In honor of MudLOVE’s standard giving commitment, every band will also provide 1 week of clean water in the Central African Republic through the work of our longtime partner, Water for Good. 

The final piece of this partnership is you. Whether you decide to purchase a "hope." band of your own, or simply share this story with others, even the smallest of actions can make an incredible impact. This campaign is not about MudLOVE, Humanity & Hope, Water for Good, or even America’s most eligible bachelor. At it’s core, Get Hope. Give Hope. is about redirecting the spotlight onto those who have remained in the dark for too long. Whether that darkness manifests itself as poverty or disease in another country, or despair and sadness in someone's heart, we hope that you’ll find the love, encouragement, and hope to carry on. 


hope bracelet
Join the movement by purchasing your own "hope." band here.


--

Learn more about H&H at humanityandhopeunited.org. Stay tuned for progress reports and stories about the individuals who will benefit from your generosity. For updates, follow @humanityandhope and @mudlove. What does hope mean to you? Use #gethopegivehope and let us know.