Welcome to our new blog!

Posted by Reparapy On June - 1 - 2009

We hope you like it!

Feel free to look around and tell us what you think!

Emmaline Bride Gift Set Giveaway

Posted by Reparapy On June - 15 - 2009

We believe in the value of well designed, extraordinarily made products. Emmaline Bride does, too. And to say thanks to all those who support what Reparapy does, we have a gift set exclusive to Emmaline Bride...

Attention! Attention!

Posted by Reparapy On June - 1 - 2009

Our Eye Mask in Retro Fabric is featured in an Etsy Treasury...

Treasured Again!

Posted by Reparapy On May - 30 - 2009

It's always an honor to be included in someone's treasury at Etsy. Thanks to snowflakedesign for adding us into her idea of a great spa day.

Read why we couldn't agree more with her....

There ain't no junk in our Trunkt!

Posted by Reparapy On June- 1 - 2009

We have made it!! We're in Trunkt!

Trunkt supports independent artists and designers by giving them portfolio space to present their work. We celebrate their talent in multimedia features.
Trunkt.org brings the best of independent art and design to a global audience hungry for fresh creative talent. Trunkt now features the amazing portfolios of over 1000 talented entrepreneurs from around the world.

Our Latest Treasury Feature

Posted by Reparapy On 4:56 PM 1 comments
It's always an honor to be included in someone's treasury at Etsy. Thanks to snowflakedesign for adding us into her idea of a great spa day. You can check out the treasury for yourself by clicking here.

Please be sure to click on each of the featured products so we can make it to the front page!

Snowflakedesign has a really cool shop on Etsy. I particularly love her bridal collection. Right now, she is running a special of 20% off plus free shipping! What an amazing deal but you have to hurry as this offer is only through the weekend.

If you find any other treasuries you think are very special, please let me know and I will do my best to include them here!

Cheers to it being Friday,
Zara Kramer
CEO

Let the Bliss Beat On!

Posted by Reparapy On 9:44 AM 4 comments
Whew! What a whirlwind weekend this has been for the Reparapy team! In case you haven't noticed, we've been MIA for the last several days. We all traveled from Austin to St. Louis to attend the wedding of my nephew Jason to his lovely Carrie.

I have to say that I was very impressed by how calm and collected the bride and the groom were during the entire weekend. No cold feet, no hissy fits, no screaming or hair pulling, no no-shows, and the wedding even started on time! The rehearsal was fun, the dinner sublime, the wedding was lovely and the reception was more fun than I've had in a long, long time!

Jason and Carrie are early 30s and at the top of their careers. Jason is the head wrestling coach for Holt High School and he led his team to two back-to-back state championships. Not really a surprise when you consider he was a state champion wrestler himself and then got a scholarship to wrestle for the University of Missouri. Carrie is basically the other half of Jason...she is an athletic trainer who makes sure the athletes are in top condition to withstand high levels of competition. She works at the college level for both women and men's wrestling and just recently returned from China.

I realize that I am biased, but I am so impressed with the two people. They are both smart as a whip and in shape mentally, physically, financially, and spiritually. There is literally nothing these two could not conquer.

The bride and groom do not leave for their honeymoon until later this week, so we were able to spend some time with them before we left. On Sunday, family from both sides went over to the newlywed's home for barbecue and to watch them open presents.

This was hands down my favorite part of the weekend. There were literally hundreds of presents and cards that they had received. As they started reading the cards, there was a clear message unfolding. The impact that these two have already had on so many lives was unbelievable. Sure, there were the few obligatory friends of the family type presents, but the overwhelming majority were from people whose lives had been improved simply by knowing these two people. Students, athletes, parents of students and athletes, fellow teachers and coaches, friends, colleagues, competitors...the list went on and on. And they all said the same thing...their lives were on track and better for having known either Jason or Carrie or both of them. What a legacy!

As I sat there and watched, I couldn't help but compare their success with my own. If the situation were reversed, would I receive such compelling proof that I had made a difference in that many people's lives? I would like to think so, but I'm not taking any chances! Those two have inspired me to really seek out opportunities where I can help make others lives just a little better.

I'd really like to see the bliss beat on...what are some of your ideas that anyone can do that can make a difference to someone?

Cheers,
Zara Kramer
CEO

p.s. The contest is still on so be sure to post your comments to be entered in the daily drawing!

Local Restaurant Gets into Upcycling

Posted by Reparapy On 8:34 AM 21 comments
I really appreciate all the comments on the post on upcycling. I love how passionate you are about it so I am now on the lookout for different ways to discuss the subject. Be sure to send me any great items you come across and I'll try to include them as well.

I want to share a story with you about how upcycling can be done by anybody...individuals and on the corporate level. I apologize in advance for the quality of the pictures. I took them with my iphone plus we had a stormy day.

I had the best lunch yesterday at Chuy's, a local Austin restaurant. There are several in town and I visited the one in Round Rock (a suburb with a true shoot 'em up history, but that's another blog!). But this isn't just any restaurant chain, it's one with a big heart. Every year, Chuy's sponsors the Children Giving to Children Parade, the city's biggest parade event. It's held in November to kick off the holiday season. Kids line up and down the entire parade route to donate toys and games so less fortunate children can have Christmas presents.

That's really cool, but their food rocks too as evidenced by the 30 minute wait we had at lunchtime! But it was not time wasted as I had a chance to chat up the bartendress, a spunky gal named Brandy. She makes a mean margarita and one of the best mojito's I've ever had. Just ask her husband, Aaron, who is over in Iraq. He's so proud of her mixology-ness that he always volunteers her skills at parties at their home! (Hey Aaron, drop me a line so we can talk about what Reparapy can do to help our stressed out folks over in Iraq...and pick out a neck wrap or scarf from our website which will be my way of saying thanks for what you do for my family and friends! Unless of course, you would prefer the bath salts, which would be just our little secret...hee hee).

So, back to Brandy and Chuy's. I was at the bar watching her do her "Tom Cruise in Cocktail" thing, pouring this, crushing that, etc. when I spotted her dropping beer bottle caps into a glass. There were quite a few...looks like we've got a lot of Saturday lunch beer drinkers in Austin! I must say, though, that it was a pretty eclectic collection of beers. I asked her what she did with the caps and she said she throws them away at the end of her shift. Yikes! I thought that surely we could come up with a way to reuse bottle caps. She said I could have them and put them in a plastic cup to take home. So we finally got called to our table and I took my little cup of treasures with me. They stared at me throughout my entire lunch. Okay, not true, because I stared at my amazing food the entire lunch. If you are ever in the Austin area -- check them out! As an added bonus, if you want to be served by a total cutie pie, ask for Miguel who was our server. He's adorable, charming, and single...

As I looked around the restaurant, I started to see quite a few examples of upcycling in use. Take a look at this picture of the ceiling filled with hubcaps. Yes, it's fun and playful, but also is used as light reflectors so they don't have to have as many actual fixtures. Barbie, Chuy's manager stopped by and let me know that it is their corporate culture to find old or discarded items and give them new life in their restaurants. As I walked out with a full belly and my cup of bottlecap treasures, I saw even more examples. Their patio furniture is circa 1950's and their tables are those old Ma Bell big wooden cable spools.

I got home and decided to look up what others had done with bottlecaps.

Etsy (a terrific handmade site) followers are all starting to laugh right now. Little did I know that when I did a search on Etsy that it would come up with 6,075 products that had been made from bottlecaps. Most of the listings were for jewelry, magnets, and hair bows. Geez, and here I thought I was a pioneer. Although the ideas were cute, I'm still thinking there's a lot more to do with bottlecaps.

So, all in all, a great lunch and kind of a bust on being the first one to discover new ways to reuse bottlecaps. But I still saved one glassful from the landfill and I plan on doing something fun with it. I'll keep you all posted on my progress.




Cheers,
Zara Kramer
CEO

Reuse. Recycle. Upcycle?

Posted by Reparapy On 10:23 AM 18 comments
In every class I took in the School of Architecture at the University of Texas, we were taught about the responsibility of incorporating sustainable or adaptive resuse products into our designs. I am really glad to see that this philosophy is quickly becoming a part of our everyday culture.

Turn on the TV at any given time and you're bound to see commercials for pretty traditional companies touting their environment-friendly redesigned products. From Johnson & Johnson to Target and even the wicked Wal-Mart, everyone is jumping on the recycle and reuse bandwagon.

We are no different at Reparapy. All of our products are as organic and natural as we can find. Our containers are either already recycled glass or plastic that can be recycled. We use natural fibers like cotton, bamboo, and hemp and try to find the least chemically treated fabrics we can. Our shipping materials are bio-degradable and we resuse the leftover batting and fabric as part of our zero waste policy.

We all understand the idea of adaptive resuse, such as taking wood from an old house and using it to make picture frames. But I am really intrigued with the idea of taking something old and making it better than it originally was, thus the term upcycling. Our Chief Design Officer, Connie Jensen, has a shop on Etsy that features some of the products that she has upcycled. The photo at the top of this blog shows some super cool credit card holders that she made from old leather products. You can see more of her products by clicking here.

Well, I decided to take a look at some other upcycled projects so here are a few of my favorites that I found on Etsy...

Take a look at this beauty from the shop Pen Felt. In her words, "This giant American Flag is made of ironed-together plastic grocery bags. It was made by LeBrie Rich and Bill Will for an installation called "New Economy" in 2007. In the installation the flag was inflatable controlled by a coin-op mechanism connected to a squirrel cage fan hidden in a pedestal. Viewers put in a quarter and the flag inflated and lifted off the wall for about 20 seconds."

At $5,000, it's definitely the most expensive upcycled project at Etsy. But as artists around the world know, the price collectors pay is equal to the value they feel they are getting in the piece. You can see more pictures of it at her shop here.

Here's another interesting idea...take old rubber and turn it into a one-of-a-kind haute couture dress. Rezoom did just that and you can have it for $350.Besides being a cool upcycled product, Rezoom chose to promote her concern for endangered bird species through the use of her bird pattern cutouts in the rubber. So, not only is she upcycling, but she's upcycling with a good environmental message. Check out the details here.

Lastly, we go the other end of the spectrum with these clever little guitar picks made from Subway cards. What a wonderful way to keep all those expired or non-used plastic pieces from filling up our already over-burdened landfills. The seller shop is interesting as well as it is sort of a "pay it forward" kind of deal. You can learn more about this shop by clicking here.

So, in closing for the day, I have been inspired to look around me and see what I might be able to upcycle. I challenge all of you to do the same and I would love to see what you come up with. I'll share my ideas as well.

Always remember, good work can be good fun, too!

Cheers,
Zara Kramer
CEO
Congratulations to our contest winners! This list will be updated daily as winners are announced.

May 14: noblegnome (check out her shop on Etsy)
May 15: lillyshaystyle (check out her shop on Etsy)
May 16: Shrimp Salad Circus (check out her shop on Etsy)
May 17: Mia
May 18: Katie (check out her website)
May 19: studioMdecor (check out her shop on Etsy)
May 20: Tile Me Beautiful (check out her shop on Etsy)
May 21: mommyjen99
May 22: Bululu Studio (check out her shop on Etsy)
May 23: Hypnotransformations (check out her shop on Etsy)
May 24: Secret Cake (check out her shop on Etsy)
May 25: Modernality (check out her shop on Etsy)
May 26: Art Decadence (check out her shop on Etsy)
May 27: Rose Ridge Creations (check out her blog on Etsy)

Be sure to leave a comment every day as this will increase your odds of winning!
Blogs go from good to great when a lot of people contribute. It's really important to us to get your thoughts on the subjects we bring up. We'd also like to hear your ideas for future blog posts, as well as feedback on our company and products.

We know you have something important to say and we're going to pay you to hear it! For the next two weeks, we're going to do a daily drawing from all the folks who comment on posts on our blog. That lucky person will win a $25 gift certificate to spend on Reparapy products.

The daily contest begins each day at 12:01 am and ends at midnight. A random drawing will be held from all the comment posters from that particular day and a winner will be announced by noon the following day. To spread the love, we're going to limit one certificate per blogger. The contest will end May 27th at midnight.

The daily contest winner must have a valid email address so that we can send them information on how to redeem their certificate. The certificate is valid for Reparapy merchandise on www.reparapy.com or on www.reparapy.etsy.com. The certificates are valid for 30 days from their issuing date.

It's a win-win situation for all of us so be sure to come back each day and leave a post to increase your chances of winning!

Good luck and I look forward to hearing from all of you!

Cheers,
Zara Kramer
CEO
Wise words from a wise man. We can all look to Mahatma Ghandi for inspiration on the happiness one can derive from a life filled with satisfaction in one's whole mind, body, and spirit.

Be the Change You Want to See in the World. Such a simple concept, yet so hard to actually implement. Many of us think our one voice, our one vote, our one heart is not big or loud enough to make a difference. But history has shown us that one person can make a monumental change.

Where would we be today without Thomas Jefferson who is the primary author of our Declaration of Independence? Or without Henry Ford who developed mass production? Or without Lous Pasteur who cured rabies and anthrax plus made milk safe for us to drink?

Would we all seek the path to enlightenment if there had been no Buddha? Would we want to give of ourselves selflessly to those less fortunate if we had not been shown the way by Mother Teresa? Would we "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" if it were not for John F. Kennedy?

Today, there are people all over the world who are making the change they want to see in the world. Look around you...people volunteer at their child's school, they help out their neighbors, they care for a sick friend in need, they get off the couch and do something.

What little thing can you do today to begin the change that you want to see in the world? I look forward to hearing your ideas.

Cheers,
Zara Kramer
CEO

What Do You Know?

Posted by Reparapy On 11:49 PM 4 comments
Thursday is the best day of the week for me. On Thursdays, I volunteer at our local Meals on Wheels in the kitchen preparing the food for the drivers to deliver. It's particularly rewarding because it's not just a kitchen. This particular Meals on Wheels operates out of a local community center for senior citizens. So, not only do I get to work with the amazing kitchen staff and volunteer drivers, I get to interact with people who have some pretty amazing life stories.

There's this one gentleman named Bob who has particularly touched my heart. He's 94 years old and is a retired contractor. He's a little hard of hearing but his eyes sparkle with energy and he has this really dry sense of humor. He's the domino shark at the center. No one has beaten him yet, but everyone still tries. I have the distinct honor of losing to him the least which makes me a winner in his eyes!

One day we were chatting and I asked him, "Bob, what do you know?" He's 94 years old for goodness sakes and I knew he had to have some nugget of wisdom for me. "Well, Zara," he said. "What I know is this. I never wanted to be 94 years old. Until I turned 93, that is!"

With that comment, I realized that there is so much to learn from just the average joe. There are a lot of resources out there written by experts on this and experts on that and I read quite a few of them myself. You will even find me blogging about them from time to time. But for the Reparapy blog, I want the focus to be on life solutions, coping strategies, and living life to the fullest from the perspective of just ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

So I'm asking all my family, friends, and business associates to participate in this quest to find the answer to the question, "What do you know?" on various subjects relating to improving the mind, body, and spirit.

This week, I seem to be juggling a lot of balls in the air. Between new product development, integrating the accounting system with manufacturing, starting new marketing initiatives, sometimes it's hard to know whether I'm coming or going. So, how about we start this off with the topic: "What do you know about handling multiple projects at one time?"

I look forward to hearing your comments and always welcome your suggestions for this blog as well as our products.

Cheers,
Zara Kramer
CEO

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