What is Fair Trade?

We have recently been working closely with The Intersection: Fair Trade. I am so excited to share a giveaway soon with them and would love for you to be aware of their brick and mortar that just opened last week! check them out in Clayton heights


So before we go into who they are and what they do, here is the answers towards what is fair trade 🙂


What is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade is a term and a movement that has been growing in popularity and prominence around the world for a while. However, many of us are still a little bit hazy on what fair trade really means, and why we should buy fair trade products over other products. The following are nine principles set out by the Fair Trade Federation that must be adhered to for products and businesses and cooperatives to be considered “fair trade” (used with the permission of the Fair Trade Federation).


Fair Trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Members create social and economic opportunities through trading partnerships with marginalized producers. Members place the interests of producers and their communities as the primary concern of their enterprise.


Fair Trade involves relationships that are open, fair, consistent, and respectful. Members show consideration for both customers and producers by sharing information about the entire trading chain through honest and proactive communication. They create mechanisms to help customers and producers feel actively involved in the trading chain. If problems arise, members work cooperatively with fair trade partners and other organizations to implement solutions.


Fair Trade is a means to develop producers’ independence. Members maintain long-term relationships based on solidarity, trust, and mutual respect, so that producers can improve their skills and their access to markets. Members help producers to build capacity through proactive communication, financial and technical assistance, market information, and dialogue. They seek to share lessons learned, to spread best practices, and to strengthen the connections between communities, including among producer groups.


Fair Trade encourages an understanding by all participants of their role in world trade. Members actively raise awareness about Fair Trade and the possibility of greater justice in the global economic system. They encourage customers and producers to ask questions about conventional and alternative supply chains and to make informed choices. Members demonstrate that trade can be a positive force for improving living standards, health, education, the distribution of power, and the environment in the communities with which they work.


Fair Trade empowers producers to set prices within the framework of the true costs of labor, time, materials, sustainable growth, and related factors. Members take steps to ensure that producers have the capacity to manage this process. Members comply with or exceed international, national, local, and, where applicable, Fair Trade Minimum standards for their employees and producers. Members seek to ensure that income is distributed equitably at all times, particularly equal pay for equal work by women and men. Members ensure prompt payment to all of their partners. Producers are offered access to interest-free advance payment for handmade goods, or pre-finance of agricultural harvest with favorable terms.


Fair Trade means a safe and healthy working environment free of forced labor. Throughout the trading chain, Members cultivate workplaces that empower people to participate in the decisions that affect them. Members seek to eliminate discrimination based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, age, marital, or health status. Members support workplaces free from physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse.


Fair Trade means that all children have the right to security, education, and play. Throughout the trading chain, Members respect and support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as local laws and social norms. Members disclose the involvement of children in production. Members do not support child trafficking and exploitative child labor.


Fair Trade seeks to offer current generations the ability to meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Members actively consider the implications of their decisions on the environment and promote the responsible stewardship of resources. Members reduce, reuse, reclaim, and recycle materials wherever possible. They encourage environmentally sustainable practices throughout the entire trading chain.


Fair Trade celebrates the cultural diversity of communities while seeking to create positive and equitable change. Members respect the development of products, practices, and organizational models based on indigenous traditions and techniques to sustain cultures and revitalize traditions. Members balance market needs with producers’ cultural heritage.

 Fair Trade Federation. “Fair Trade Federation Principles”. Fair Trade Federation. Digital Eye Web Design. 2015. Website. 11 November 2015.

content found on The intersection: Fair Trade

Feature Friends— Jarris Neufeld

I had the honour and privilege of having the first time on feather and mane history of sharing a feature friend that is a male! thats right folks, branching out, putting our big girl pants on and talking with Jarris was definitely a highlight of my 2017 blogging life.

Jarris and I know each other through my husband, but with the help of social media I feel like I never lost touch of what he was up to.

He has graciously shared what keeps him going and what his life lessons have been in the past few years. You do not want to stop reading! Also Did I mention we have a giveaway?!check this out.

What do you do to earn money to live?

I Work for VSSL, but I love building custom tables (find me on Instagram for more details)

What would you like to share on the blog?

When Carla shared these questions, I really wanted to share what its like to be an authentic parent during this transition into single parenthood.  It is interesting to say the least. Grace is needed, patience gets stretched constantly. But overall I want to constantly remind myself that I want to be present in my kids lives. I want to keep looking towards the end goal of being in an authentic relationship with my kids. Sometimes its hard to see that during the short term stressors, the long term is way more important!

What is your heartbeat, life giving moments?

The quiet moments with my kids. Bedtime is such a fun time, we can connect cause we are in such close proximity. We get to look back on the day together, and set the tone for the dreaming phase of the day.
Other days, the hectic morning drives are key. We get ready together, rush, sing in the car and embrace this stage of life together.

Something that you want to inspire others with

I want to share with you about “graceful exits”. This has been hitting me Huge lately, with even as small as changing jobs, relationships, daily tasks. Graceful exits are key to a lot of life situations. Something I try to remind myself when I am transitioning, maybe for example leaving a job, I am very excited for the next stage but I want to make sure I am being smart with how I am acting in my setting while exiting a situation. How I respond, how much I share, how I need to stay in the present even though whatever comes next might be thrilling.  You need to always finish well, be present, and make sure you are honouring those around you.

How do I move to the next phase of anything.

1. step back and take a broader perspective of what is old, present and new.
2. Being present in the moment. Currently where your at. Being able to be there. ie. Switching jobs, Finish strong, don’t be so caught up on what is happening next, what is happening next will still happen.
3. Patience… just patience.
4. BE HUMBLE! Keep your head down and keep working hard. Honour those who are staying.
5. TIMING- share with the right people. Be respectful of everyones feelings as much as possible.

Why did you say yes to being interviewed?

Its super fun, I like the community of Abbotsford and the connections. I am A Huge Connection guy! I love the connection of Human beings.

What other things are you passionate about?

I loveWater-skiing, cross fit, ( they are like a family to me!,) My goal is to be a part of Worlds in 2019


  1. like this post!

  2. you can also enter to win on our instagram and facebook page!

  3. Comment and maybe share what kind of outdoorsy things you like to do and how this would be helpful or just plain awesome to have!

Contest closes March 8th, and winner will be ANNOUNCE HERE! on March 9th.


This contest is for EVERYONE.

Is It Worth The Calories?

Sometimes I catch myself mentally figuring out the calories I am eating and thinking about how much physical work that would be to burn it off( I know, sounds unhealthy). My healthy weight and lifestyle has been a struggle. I had two high risk pregnancies, and than with that I tried my HARDEST to lose weight the “healthy” way ( exercising and eating cleaner).  I finally, after much convincing and nudging I sought out help from a Naturopath. It has been a year, 70 lbs lost later. I know I should be super excited, AND I AM! believe me, I am almost what I was in high school.

So what am I sharing.

Now that I have spent the last 42 days in a low cal, hormone injection food restriction (I hate using the word diet). I am left with feeling super uneasy about carbs, constantly making sure I am not gaining weight for what I ate the day before, and nervous about what I should eat and when.

This has nothing to do with who I went to see, the naturopath has been amazing, supportive and so great with fielding my questions. I would see them on the regular if I had benefits for days. BUT unfortunately I need to figure some things out on my own.

What I am trying to be okay with right now.

  1. It’s okay to feel this way, I just need to learn what to do next without diverting back to bad eating habits
  2. I don’t need to snack while looking at a screen. I can not believe how hard it is to not do this! it is a habit I tried to break so many times. so I have tried my best to drink teas, or coffee or a fruit while watching or working.
  3. I need to find a more sustainable way to live. a healthy way to view food, exercise, and maybe realize that i am getting older and some food isn’t worth how it makes me feel in the long run.
  4. ALSO I love this post from Vancouver nutritionist CristinaFeatherandMane(50of108)


I am so thankful for this past year and what I have learned about myself, healthy habits, and what I am truly wanting in life. I want to be able to run with my kids, play in the park and go down slides without being too large (I did this today! so fun), and make sure my hormones, vitamins, and long term lifestyle changes that can make me the person I truly want to be. I don’t want to be a size 2, I want to be me.


have any tips for me? would love supportive, positive comments! and if you want to collaborate over a blog post with healthy resources in the area let me know!


— Carla

Keep it Simple

Minimalism. things my eyes are drawn towards…. Sometimes we just need to let our eyes explore beauty without consequence, inspiration in the brain.

What are you drawn towards? what colours? textures? themes?


Thank you Unsplash. you are the best.


— Carla

Garbage in, Garbage out

I often go through an outer body experience when I am sitting on the couch, watching netflix, with some sort of carby food in one hand, and some sort of sugary drink in the other. I mask this thought with “I deserve this” or “today was so crappy, I need to relax and unwind”. When in reality, this doesn’t help you at all! You fall asleep later because you never let your brain process the day, and your stomach is full of items way to close to bedtime. Than you wake up feeling gross, saying you’ll do better this time, only to shove some leftover m&m’s in your mouth during your morning coffee because you were trying to intermittent fast. Anyone else? I feel like I am not the only one.


When we shove garbage in daily (food, movies, content on phones, sitting with bad postures, losing confidence cause the sweatpants come on ASAP after the day) we will feel like Garbage daily. Sure we can indulge every so often, but what does every so often mean to you?


I remember talking with my husband about special occasions, and when we were trying to figure how often we could have a certain item, and than we were like yeah on special occasions. Well there is literally a special occasion every week, let alone bi-weekly at least.  We crave short term rewards, but don’t realize how much it affects us long term.


What is your health worth to you? Are you where you ideally want to be? I am not saying size 2, eat like a rabbit, and work out 3 hours a day. My Ideal is honestly 20 lbs away, and more toned for sure (I don’t know how to measure muscle mass lol). I also want to stop craving sugar! So I am constantly buying smart sweets and berries, trying my hardest not to cave into milk chocolate and swedish berries.  Because the other aspect is, DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S IN YOUR FOOD!  ( I won’t get into this, because its a whole other blog post for sure).


So here is my goal for you (and me).

  1. If you are struggling to discover the best you, you can be, SEEK HELP! You are important, you are worth being healthy, happy, and confident you. I know this costs money, but maybe you should look at where your money is going and shift it. I noticed for myself, when i asked my significant other it was a huge game changer in our marriage. He shared with me in a kind way that he wanted better things for me and it worked! I am motivated, I still make mistakes, but I am seeking help through naturopath and continually learning more about my body and what it needs to thrive.
  2. Write down in one day what you eat, when you eat, what you watch, what you do, how you respond to people around you, who you spend time with. Than look at it later and think, is it something you want to be?  Are your decisions smart for you? Then check your phone settings on usage, you can see how much time you spend on different apps, and hours you spend and when you spend time on it. Are you happy with this?
  3. Your body changes as you age. THIS WAS A HARD ONE FOR ME, in highschool, i would think about a muscle, or weight and it would happen overnight. Or I was in better shape because my lifestyle was sports and activities. So when I had my second child, my body shifted its needs, how it reacted to certain foods, and I even had to realize that exercising doesn’t always work if your body isn’t ready for it. So be sure to learn your body.
  4. If you have any questions, or want to talk to someone I am here! I would love to chat with  you about healthy living and the journey to a garbage-less lifestyle. I am nowhere near perfect, but i am learning and would love to share my findings.


How are you feeling? Let us know!


Carla Thiessen

Feather & Mane


Photo credit – JuliaBe Photography

Quality over Quantity

This year I challenged myself to make sure I bought Quality over Quantity. Sometimes we  get so caught up in buying because of sales, or that my kids NEED to have so many extra pairs of clothes so I should make sure I am equipped. This year, for the kids I decided to make sure my “extra clothing” were hand me downs for daycare and preschool, and that I only purchased the a few extras for those other times where I might want to support local, or have them wear a little special item that matches my style.

P doesn’t like haircuts, so hats and toques or sometimes a pony tail happens for him.
She wears this dress every Sunday haha.
I can’t believe she turned one in October, all items were hand me down besides the “1” shirt.
This is P’s Once upon a child outfit.
Again, mostly hand me downs and Buy-Sell- Swap 
Hunter boots, Once upon a child and hand me downs
This toque is from Old Navy, sweater is from Montrose and George purchased last February, plaid shirt was a present and grey pants were Once upon a child
Jacket- TNA purchased 4 years ago and comes with a down insert ( I wear this jacket 50% of the time), Shirt- Montrose and George . Jeans- MCC (below the belt brand) and Blundstone shoes that were a gift last christmas (and I wear on the daily)

R’s outfit is all once upon a child HandM Brands. and you can’t see but Minimoc moccs purchased at there storefront after selling her last pair for $30 on buy sell swap. ( PHOTOCREDIT #kimnorcrossphotography)


R’s Padraigs purchased after selling her last pair for 70% of what I orginally paid. P is wearing Jax and Lennon pants, and puddle jumper sweater. Black Vans that were purchased for $20 at outlet store.
My daughter literally wears that dress on the daily. If I can these are the outfits I would choose them to wear as much as possible.

If you know me well, you would know I have about 20 articles of clothing and 3 pairs of shoes. Yes, I have Blundstones, and Tessa Hughes pants, a TNA winter Jacket (that I have owned for 4 years now), American Apparel Sweatshirt and a pair of Second Yoga Jeans that I found At MCC for 5$.

I often feel like people are judging me because my kids don’t wear no name brands, or I don’t shop at Wal-Mart or Superstore for the cheap items. I know I will get in trouble for this, but I am feeling like this is something that is needed to be said. I am buying Quality over Quantity. My oldest has Hunter boots which are gender neutral so that my younger Daughter can wear them and they will most likely get passed to nieces or nephews that would like to use. I paid $40 for Hunter boots for my kids (GASP), but I have had such bad experiences buying $6 carters rubber boots only to have them break in the same season as buying them. my children both have maybe 2-3 pairs of shoes, we rotate and sell them after on facebook for sometimes just as much as i paid for them.


Where I shop:

I try my best to save up for local business items, because I really value Supporting Local and showing that my town can thrive on small shops. So for myself, I live in Abbotsford. So Spruce collective, Borealis Manufactory, Once upon  a child, MCC , Hidden Treasures thrift, Value Village, Spruce Market, Montrose and George, and all those lovely shops downtown abbotsford. I also love ladyfern at highstreet. I love online shops that you can find at pop up shops or markets. I really find Jax and Lennon as one of my favorite kids clothing companies, Locomotive Clothing Co., Whistle and Flute, numpher, and a few more that I can share with you if you ever want to know my favorite shops.

How often do I shop:

I probably attend 50% of the markets that happen, and with being a youth pastor, I tend to look around downtown shops 2-3 times a month. but I am very intentional on purchases. I allow myself to look but make sure that I really think, Do I need this? how often would I wear this? Is this something I can justify buying at this price?

When I purchase something I literally wear it ALL THE TIME, because a. I only have a few articles of clothing, b. I do not keep items if i don’t wear them c. I only look for items that I replace from my original wardrobe (ex. 1 plaid shirt replaces another plaid shirt).

With all of this said. yes, I don’t have huge incoming expenses to pay for large wardrobes and fancy items. So I figure if i am intentionally buying for longevity, diverse easy pieces to pair with others, and something i could potentially resell or reuse for multiple people, than that is why I purchase an Item.

So I purchased in November a 2 pairs of pants for 12$ (because i found pristine condition pants from MCC that are high quality and I had no jeans) and a ABBY shirt from Montrose and George.

This Christmas, I really want to sway you in thinking quality over quantity. We are actually not doing Christmas presents as a family because i know relatives will give to our kids and we are doing a few gift exchanges. Instead we will be getting a few books as a family from Hemingways to read and share some of our older books with friends who want them.

So i guess the answer is yes, I have expensive taste, but i don’t have excessive spending habits so it actually is saving me money vs going over budgets for clothing.


  • OWL

LET ME KNOW IF THIS WAS HELPFUL! I would love to hear some feedback, I know this isn’t for everyone, this is just my opinion and how I approach shopping.

It Is a Calling

I have heard growing up with my Dad in sales that it is a “lifestyle” . You can’t just go to work, come home and have it separate.  Just like sales, I feel that lots of jobs have this all the time work ethic thing happening, but we just call it being a “workaholic”.  yes I agree, there are a lot of people who do obsess and work 24/7 when it is not needed. BUT what is needed in youth ministry? someone who only works the hours that they are being paid (for me that is 24 hrs a week) or, should I be on call?

I love my job. When I am at the Church, in my Office all I want to do is smile and plan the next event, revamp what we want to do in the future, and make sure I am communicating properly with co-workers. I enjoy my job, and sometimes I feel like I am not suppose to. Sometimes I feel like I should be complaining more, that I should already feel burnt out because I see my youth ALL the time. I want to invite them into my home whenever they want, I want them to take ownership of the youth ministry at our church and take it not just in the building but everywhere they go. We are a family, and some of the youth are seeing it and are really enjoying it as much as I am.

So why is it so weird for people to see that this is a choice I am making that I love, My husband , son and Student enjoy! I know it is something for extended family and friends to get use to. for example, I was going to have a friend come over,and three girls were here at my house. I told them they had an option of helping me clean up my house and feed my son or they need to go home. They all stayed to clean and asked me politely to hang out in our basement and watch netflix while my friend was over. I said no, not because it would be work to have them stay, but I need to respect friends who come over and are not expecting to have teenagers at my house.

Anyways, I just wanted to say that being a Youth Leader is for people who are okay with expanding there personal life into a mission. Isn’t that what we are all called to be? missionaries?


– Owl