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~ GAIA Goodness ~

The Company We Keep: GAIA Collabs & Custom Collections

Teamwork is a theme around GAIA. We believe that together we are better, and that partnerships between like-minded brands can truly amplify the goodness we're all trying to put out into the world! The last six months have brought all kinds of opportunities for us to create special things with and for special people. Let’s take a look!

Custom Collections: Wisteria, Raven + Lily, and Rachel Roy

GAIA x Wisteria Mudcloth Pillows

Our partnership with furniture and home decor brand Wisteria is an ongoing effort launched in 2016 (read all about it). We’re delighted to continue creating pillows with purpose for the company’s Gifts That Give Back collection. GAIA refugee artisans use one-of-a-kind textiles — exclusive GAIA-designed ikat and hand-dyed African mud cloth — to sew pillows that are available exclusively on Wisteria’s website or at their Dallas store. online

GAIA x Raven + Lily Mudcloth Pillow

GAIA x Raven + Lily Mudcloth Pouch

New this season: We designed a special collection of pillows and pouches for Raven + Lily. The Austin-based brand sells fair trade clothing, accessories, and home furnishings with the mission of empowering women around the world. Founder Kirsten Dickerson currently provides meaningful work to more than 1,500 at-risk women, helping ensure they have safe jobs and access to health care. The company is a natural fit for GAIA’s work.

“We both are passionate about employing women with dignity, using traditional textiles, and exploring ways to be sustainable in our production practices. Most of our designs are developed in Austin through our direct artisan partnerships in 10 countries, but sometimes we find a company like GAIA that is a perfect partner for a co-branded design collaboration. I think the collaborative spirit promotes the overall mission of both our companies in a beautiful way,” Kirsten says. 

GAIA x Rachel Roy Text Pouch

GAIA x Rachel Roy Text Pouch

Giving back is also key to the Rachel Roy mission. For the last two holiday seasons, GAIA partnered with the L.A.-based brand for its Gifts for Good effort. Now we’re taking things a step further with the thought of creating products together all year long. Soon to be released: text pouches and pillows exclusive to the brand. What can you expect from this partnership? Design-driven products that are colorful, fun, and functional, says founder Rachel Roy.

“Both of our organizations are ... run by women who truly care about the world and making it a better place. We both are the type of organization that does not wait for someone to give us the answer, we go out and create answers to challenges ourselves. I’m proud of our commitment to each other to keep creating work for refugees,” Rachel says. 

Collaborations: Melt Goods and SZ Blockprints 

We couldn't be more excited to introduce our first collection of hand-cut brass earrings, all produced in collaboration with Melt Goods. Like GAIA, Melt is a small Dallas-based business that employs resettled refugee women to make fashion accessories. The work we do is similar and the synergy is strong. Collaborating with Melt was a no-brainer for us, and founder Meredith Lockhart felt the same way.

“We are all about encouraging and uplifting refugees, and I think the cheerful colors and bold designs really coincide with our message and goals. Though GAIA and Melt are making different products, we have the same mission in mind,” says Meredith. “I adore everything GAIA makes. It is so fun, upbeat, colorful, and bold — all of which are qualities that we like to incorporate in our jewelry and brand.” 

Another recent addition to the GAIA lineup: a children’s collection incorporating the gorgeous fabrics of SZ Blockprints. Founder Sarah Zellweger works with artisans in Jaipur, India, to create colorful hand-printed fabrics. She also works to educate and empower women and girls in India. We're crazy about her prints, but also really love her mission — and how it aligns with ours.

"We are so thrilled to be working with GAIA, a brand whose mission and ethos we admire so much," Sarah says. "The fact that our textiles are ending up in the hands of refugee women all over Dallas, rebuilding their lives through their sewing and design skills, is such a beautiful joining and a continuation of a story."

So far we've incorporated SZ Blockprints fabric for a Mini Heart Purse, Bib & Booties, and Diaper Pouch. We’re also working on a Zipper Pouch/Clutch collection and — perhaps most exciting of all — we’ll launch our Butterfly Top this spring. It’s GAIA’s first foray into clothing, and we think you’re really going to love it!  

Also, in case you missed it, check out our earlier post about our exclusive collaboration with another woman-owned, Dallas-based company Perennials©.

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7 Gifts for 7 Women

We’re all unique in our own ways — and thank goodness for that. The world would be a boring place if everyone were exactly alike! We love to celebrate the differences in the members of our tribe, and one way we do that is by choosing gifts that speak to their special roles in the world. Here are some of our gift ideas for the ladies in your life.


She’s So Extra

Everything she does is next level, which is why the Rizma Cha Cha is her perfect bag. Crafted from a  brightly colored silk velvet Uzbek textile and embellished with fringe, it’s a showstopper — just like she is.


She’s a Boss Babe

She’s also your literal boss — and she’s working toward the keys to the castle. She’ll know you believe in her when you gift her one of our brushed brass key rings


She’s No Basic Betty

An understated classic she will carry forever, the Mila pouch is constructed of black and white silk velvet ikat. She can even "mix it up" and convert it into a wristlet with our detachable brass ring. 

She’s your Bestie

Handcrafted from suede & brass, GAIA x Melt 'Dash' earrings blend traditional & modern. They are a rock-solid design for a rock-solid BFF. 


She’s Your Mini Me

We bet your little squeaks with delight when she unwraps the Margaux mouse pouch! French jacquard with leather ears and whiskers, it really is as cute as she is. 


She’s All Ears

Our pompom and tassel earrings are just the thing for the friend who always answers when you call and is always happy to listen. 

She’s a Minimalist to the Max

She’d probably rather you get her nothing, but there’s just no way you can leave her off your list. A delicate leather and denim tree ornament says “I love you” year after year. 

Shop the entire GAIA collection now.

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Lots of New #GAIAgoodness for Fall!

Crunchy leaves, football games, sweater knits, and holiday prep are a few things we love about fall. We also love that we get to show off what we’ve been working on all summer. Have a look at the cozy fabrics, rich colors, and updated shapes that are new from GAIA this season.

New Ring Tote

It’s a tote! It’s a clutch! It’s a cross-body! With both a wrist ring, a long chain, and a design meant for folding, our newest bag is a triple threat. Our favorite styles are made of colorful silk velvet ikat textiles hand-dyed and hand-loomed by artisans in Uzbekistan. All are handcrafted in Dallas by our own refugee artisans and lined with Perennials fabrics (stay tuned for news about our partnership with Dallas-based Perennials). 


Bonus: We’ve also got a few new Cha Cha bags in the silk velvet ikat.

Updated Roundie

Honey, we shrunk the Roundie! This GAIA favorite has been updated with a smaller body and a shorter, chunkier tassel. We constructed the range of styles for fall from vintage fabrics from Thailand and Africa, French jacquards, leathers, suedes, and more. The Roundie comes with or without a long chain — and now with or without a wrist ring. 

Limited-Edition Pompom-Tassel Earrings

The first releases of this new earring style are four limited-edition designs using Perennials pompoms. We paired the poms with African and Ethiopian accent beads for added interest and texture. Once these are gone (yikes, one’s already sold out!), they’re gone forever, but we do have plans for other color combinations with GAIA’s own refugee-crafted pompoms. 

New Celeste Earrings

It was time for a refresh on our Celeste earrings, which were introduced early this year, so we created four new color combos — navy on gold, blue on pink, peach on wheat, and white on white. These beauties are all made with repurposed textiles and edged with gold beads. 

Updated a la Carte Tassels

There are two varieties of the latest clip-on tassel designs. The first is five tiers of poms and cotton tassels layered with brass, bone, and wood beads. The other is a chunky suede tassel in four colors: rose, olive, butter, and electric blue. All have brass hardware and look cute clipped on any of our bags, any of your bags, a key ring, and more. 

New Key Ring

Speaking of key rings, meet the latest GAIA version, featuring our favorite brass wrist ring  and tassels handmade by Feza. The are 4 tassel color combos, and each one coordinates beautifully with our small and large pouches.  Grab and go!

Shop the full range of GAIA accessories now.

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The Story Behind Our New Baqa’a Tote Collection


Instagram continues to connect GAIA with not only fans of the brand, but also other companies and individuals who can help us grow our mission to empower refugee women and help them rebuild their lives. Our new Baqa’a collection of embroidered Totes is the latest example of the power of social media — who knew that scrolling through pretty photos really can help change lives!

Jordan Refugee Camp

Recently, two New York City-based journalists our founder Paula had previously connected with were visiting Jordan to research a project. While there, the women toured a women’s center in the Baqa’a refugee camp. (The camp is the largest in Jordan. It was established in 1968 for Palestinian refugees and people who left the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It remains a refugee safe haven, and it is plagued with extreme poverty and unemployment.)

Palestinian Embroidery

The journalists met with refugee women working in a United Nations-backed Women’s Programming Center, which was established as a sewing and embroidery center in the camp in the late-1980s and functions as a place for women and children to socialize and earn a living. The journalists were so impressed with their beautiful traditional embroideries that they shared the women’s handiwork on their Instagram accounts. But they didn’t stop there: They bought the entire inventory, providing income for 60 refugee women! They then put the word out on on Instagram that the embroideries were available for purchase through them, if anyone was interested. Paula immediately responded and, after several back-and-forth texts and photos, placed an order.

She didn’t know exactly how they would fit within the GAIA collection, but she knew they were extraordinary and that they fell right in line with the brand mission. When the pieces arrived we were so excited! They were even more beautiful than we’d imagined.

For GAIA refugee artisan trainer Bothina, the designs are even more meaningful. The embroideries are a traditional style found throughout the region, including Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Bothina has memories from her childhood of learning how to do this type of embroidery from her aunt. 

Earlier this fall, GAIA released our new Ring Tote, a versatile style that can be carried not only as a tote but also as a fold-over clutch and a cross-body. Some of our first totes were of a velvety silk ikat; for our new releases we incorporated the Palestinian embroideries. GAIA refugee artisans in Dallas have combined them with canvas from Dallas-based Perennials (more on that collab to come) to create timeless accessories unlike anything else in our collection. Bothina sewed the first tote for the collection, and she’s excited to carry it.

When you purchase a tote from the Baqa’a Collection, you are receiving a one-of-a-kind piece touched by two refugee artisans living 7,000 miles apart. We're so proud to connect with women from around the world, and we're honored to be able to impact their lives.

Shop the GAIA Baqa'a Tote collection now.

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5 GAIA Text Pouches That Make Rad Grad Gifts


May brings lots of good things: spring flowers, Mother’s Day, and school graduations! A Facebook feed filled with photos of young adults in their caps and gowns really lifts us up, and we love all the funny and inspiring graduation speeches that make the rounds. But what to gift an aspiring graduate?

We’re glad you asked — we’ve got just the thing! A GAIA text pouch is a mantra in textile form. Our pom-pomed pouches are playful accessories that can be a daily reminder of something she’s working toward.

Here are five ideas for go-getters who are crossing the graduation stage this season.

GAIA Text Pouches Killin' It 


Most Likely to Impress the Boss on the First Day: Killin’ It


GAIA Text Pouches Hustle


Most Likely to Have a Full-Time Job and a Side Project: Hustle


 GAIA Text Pouches Girl Boss


Most Likely to Be the Boss Within the First Five Years: Girl Boss


 GAIA Text Pouches Adulting 


Most Likely to Open a 401(k) With Her First Paycheck: Adulting

GAIA Text Pouches Goals 


Most Likely to Have a Solid Five-Year Plan: Goals 

Shop all our text pouches.

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Spring Into Summer With Our New Collection

GAIA Spring/Summer 2017

The last six months have been super busy for us! We worked day and night to get our J.Crew order ready, hiring and training refugee artisan apprentices, sourcing materials, and performing hours upon hours of quality control. It was a lot! 

At the same time, we were designing and sourcing our spring/summer 2017 line. (We wish we could say it’s the kind of thing we do a year in advance, but we're not quite that sophisticated). We released our new goodies to the site as they’ve been ready, but we are finally ready to reveal the entire collection!  Drum roll....

What can you expect from GAIA this season? For our bags: five new fabrics for Pom Pom bags and large and small pouches, colored leathers, an assortment of grosgrain ribbon trim, new combos with familiar fabrics, upgraded zippers, gold-plated GAIA medallions, and an all-new gold ring handle on our Cha Cha bag. We’ve also got a new swoon-worthy style of tassel earring we think you’re going to love, as well as new color combos for beaded necklaces and Mini Kitty purses. 

And so — without further ado — the GAIA spring/summer collection!

GAIA Spring/Summer 2017

With this collection we refined our designs and focused on scaling a bit. That meant finding a fabric source that would allow for deeper inventory than vintage fabrics do. Paula traveled to a textile show in New York City earlier this year and brought back five heritage fabrics. All bright, happy jacquards with a contemporary look and feel, they are produced by a ninth-generation French textile mill. We paired the fabrics with colored leathers and striped grosgrain ribbon trim for a modern-preppy look that can be worn for a range of occasions day and night. The designs are unlike anything you’ve seen from us in seasons past, and we’re really pleased with them.

GAIA Spring/Summer 2017

There are five color combinations of large pouches and four combos of small pouches using the new fabrics and ribbon.

GAIA Spring/Summer 2017

There are three color combos of Pom Pom bags with the new fabrics.

GAIA Spring/Summer 2017

The new tassel earring successfully takes the existing capabilities of our refugee artisans and employs a new shape. We sandwiched a single tassel between two ovals for a look that’s a little less casual than the sunburst tassel earring but is still colorful and fun. There are four color combinations of the new single-tassel earring.

We updated the Cha Cha in eight color combos and added a brushed brass ring handle crafted by artisans in India. We are OBSESSED. And it gets better:  Each bag still comes with the option of a chain strap so it can be worn 'hands-free' as needed. It's our new fave, hands-down!

GAIA Spring/Summer 2017

Colette and Sea Foam are the latest additions to the popular range of beaded necklaces. Opposites in some ways, they are both a neutral navy and white and they look great worn as a pair.

GAIA Spring/Summer 2017

Two cute new kittens joined the Mini Kitty litter for spring/summer. Dinah is made from hot pink ikat-style fabric with poms of lavender, orange, and green-gold. Tibbs is a purple and white checkered fabric with poms of peach, green, and hot pink. We think they are purr-fect.

Shop the entire GAIA spring/summer collection now. 

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The Right Mother's Day Gift for Every Mom

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and you know what that means: time to find something pretty for your sweet momma. And GAIA's got all the moms covered.

Handmade products that support refugee women rebuilding their lives through meaningful work ring true with every type of mom — from crunchy do-gooder to corporate maven. Your mom is sure to take one look at the gift you give and know that she raised you right!

To make it easy on you, here are our recommendations for four types of moms, as well as a few of our favorite parenting books, since substance is just as important as style.

Earth Mother

Not only do her GAIA goodies help her go green, but they gather her granola and paraben-free lip balm so she can focus on composting and tree-hugging. Jessica Teich's Trees Make the Best Mobiles reminds moms to focus on being in the moment with their children and that kids don't need a bunch of "stuff."


GAIA Mother's Day Gifts

Posh Mom

Never without her shades or Chanel — or her chic GAIA purses to pull it all together. Meanwhile, Simplicity Parenting, by Kim John Payne, keeps her grounded, showing her that sometimes less really is more — especially when it comes to raising kids.


GAIA Mother's Day Gifts

Mom Boss

She just poured herself another cup of ambition. GAIA pouches help a Type A momma stay organized so she can lean in in style. And because she knows that today's leaders are responsible for growing the leaders of tomorrow, she'll be excited to read Nina Tassler's collection of advice from powerful moms to the next generation of women, What I Told My Daughter.


GAIA Mother's Day Gifts

Sporty Mom

You can find her in the club — the country club, that is. GAIA bags hold her tees on the links and keep her cool by the pool, where you might find her reading Love Lives Here, Maria Goff's book on living a life driven by meaning, intention, and even whimsy.

Shop for your mom now!

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GAIA + Spring Break: 7 Perfect Travel Pairings

Spring break is in full swing in some parts of the country. In others, people are just packing up. To help you plan your vacation wardrobe, we (and a few of our fans) pair popular travel destinations with GAIA goods, handmade by refugee women who are rebuilding their lives in the United States.

GAIA Pom Pom Bag

Glamping in Marfa, Texas

The funky desert town of Marfa, Texas, is one of our personal favorite destinations. J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons spends time there each September, and in this month’s issue of Conde Nast Traveler, she shares with readers that on her most recent trip to this magical spot, she packed the GAIA Pom Pom bag we designed especially for J.Crew (available mid-April).

GAIA Tassel Necklace

Sightseeing in Pensacola, Florida

Julia Ussery, a boutique owner in the Florida beach town of Pensacola, pulled together a spring nautical look for Southern Living that incorporates our Cleo tassel necklace. Yes, the city has sand and surf, but it’s also a naval base. This casual yet polished outfit nods to that fact — and it’s perfect for an afternoon stroll downtown and the Museum of Art. 

GAIA Pom Pom Bag

Soaking in Sun in Cabo, Mexico

Something Beachy blogger Kelsey White shows us just how sexy a Pom Pom pouch can be when she hits the popular Mexico resort town of Cabo San Lucas wearing one of our bags made of African mud cloth with a shoulder-baring white dress. Her vacation picks appear this month on the fashion site Foray

GAIA Roundie Bag

Après-Ski in Beaver Creek, Colorado

Half the fun of going skiing is getting dressed to go skiing. The same goes for after the slopes. When you’ve had all the downhill you can take for one day and are ready to hit the town for snacks and shopping, round out the fashion scene with our Roundie (see what we did there?).

GAIA Tassel Earrings

Touring in Washington, D.C.

Part of our team recently visited the nation’s capital, which is a popular spring break destination. (Education doesn’t have to stop just because school’s not in session.) Travel light when touring important historical monuments and museums and accessorize with our Sunburst tassel earrings. Their playful style is a much-needed reminder to smile in a city that sometimes takes itself too seriously.

GAIA Cha Cha Bag

Shopping in Santa Monica, California

On the other side of the country, there’s quite the opposite sentiment. Our friends who live on the West Coast tell us it’s a bit like a permanent vacation. If spring break finds you in La La Land, there’s just one thing to do — OK, there are literally a million things to do, but hang with us — and that’s take our Cha Cha to the iconic Santa Monica Pier after an afternoon of retail therapy.

GAIA Crescent Clutch

Finding Bliss in Scottsdale, Arizona

The Wild West, as it turns out, is the ideal place to cultivate calm. Scottsdale, Arizona, is brimming with spa experiences designed to take you away from it all. Spend your days unwinding and refreshing with facials, massages, and more, and then venture out on the town for some serious eats with a GAIA Crescent clutch.

Marfa image by Paul Joseph via Creative Commons

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Six Ways to Say ‘I Love You’ With GAIA


If we were to draw the time between Christmas and Valentine’s Day, it would undoubtedly be the shape of a heart: one lush curve; a downward sweep; turn the corner; and back up again to a second loving curve. ❤️❤️❤️

 If you’re thinking about sweets for your sweets, let us help. These pretties are the perfect sugar-free way to show your affection. What’s more, they are handmade with love by GAIA’s refugee artisans, who are rebuilding their lives through meaningful work that pays a living wage. What could be more heartfelt than that? 

1. Flower Crown Pom Pom Bag | 2. Elena Mini Heart Purse | 3. Love. Text Pouch | 4. Lala Roundie | 5. Laurel Tassel Necklace | 6. Ruby Sunburst Earrings

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It's Resolution Time!

GAIA Text Pouches

It’s that time of year again! The time when most of us pledge to work a little harder toward being the best versions of ourselves possible. Some of us just make a mental note (note to self: more greens in 2017). Some of us place actual notes on our bathroom mirrors (don’t forget to floss!). Others of us go so far as to make a vision board and laminate that sucker. But we’ve got a new way for you to remind yourself to stick to those New Year’s resolutions: text pouches!

Each time you pull one of these zippered beauties from your bag or drawer, you’ll be reminded of the promise you made to yourself — as well as the good you’ve already done by supporting the GAIA mission of providing meaningful and well-paying work to refugee women.

One of our resolutions this year is to find more ways to lend a hand to others. To that end, we’re helping you pair your self-promises with our pouches. 


Promise: ditch the jeans for dresses

GAIA Text Pouches You Fancy 

Promise: wear makeup more than once a week

Promise: set a budget and stick to it

GAIA Text Pouches Adulting

Promise: get a new job

GAIA Text Pouches Hustle

Promise: earn a promotion at the job you have

GAIA Text Pouches Killin' It 

Promise: use all your vacation days

GAIA Text Pouches Snow Bunny

Promise: spend more time with your peeps

GAIA Text Pouches Tribe

Promise: make more time for your SO

GAIA Text Pouches XOXO

Promise: try to make a baby

GAIA Text Pouches Mamacita

Promise: always show you care

GAIA Text Pouches Love

We've got even more text pouches to choose from, so get creative! We at GAIA wish great things for you in 2017!

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