31 Bits Fashion for Good a Find from KAABOO


31 Bits is a unique line of jewelry made out of 100% recycled paper by women in Northern Uganda. I found out about them because of their participation at KAABOO.


Started by 5 college friends who wanted to make a difference in the world, 31 Bits has grown from selling at school events, craft fairs, and home parties to be available to a much larger audience.

I had the opportunity to ask Lisa from 31 Bits some questions.

SF: In the five years that 31 Bits has been around how have the pieces evolved?

Lisa: 31 Bits has grown so much since we first began! We started with the more traditional multi colored beads and single strands (which are still well-loved and part of our classics collection!) and we evolved into incorporating more trends and creating new bead shapes and designs. I am always amazed to see what our women can do with paper!


above the original design

SF: I read that each woman who participates in Uganda receive health education, finance training, counseling, and business training. So she’s earning money and an education. How do you do this? Do you have a school set up? Is there an application process for the participants? Is it a program i.e. duration 12 months or ???

Lisa: There is an application for our women and it has become very competitive in Gulu, where we are located. A lady goes through our program for 5 years before graduating. Each year she receives new training and is able to save and set aside money through our banking system. We work with their skill set and train them in jewelry making. To maintain transparency, we negotiate a fair price for each piece, factoring the complexity, materials, and time involved in the making. We purchase a set amount of jewelry from each beneficiary each month so they know exactly how much they will be earning. This monthly wage enables them to provide housing, food, and healthcare for themselves and their families, and even gives them a chance to save for future business endeavors.

Profits generated through jewelry sales are invested back into the company for operations, purchasing more jewelry, and developing programs for the beneficiaries such as English lessons, finance training, and vocational training. For even more information, please visit our website: http://31bits.com/ about/. We are not a non-profit. We operate with a business model that allows us to invest more back into our programs for our women in Uganda.

For information on our graduates, please visit our blog and look up the hashtag #beyondbits.  


All of our graduates are fully self sustainable and have started their own businesses. We provide follow up support through our community and are always accessible to our graduates.


click the picture above to go direct to one of the graduates stories

Before 31 Bits, Rose was making money by digging holes. Her family lived in a small hut with no beds – just a mat to sleep on. Since being employed by 31 Bits, Rose has not only purchased land, but constructed a 3 bedroom house for her and her family!

SF: The 31 Bits team – are they all full time? Or is this volunteer work for the team here in the USA?

Lisa: We have 8 full time staff at our U.S. HQ, including our founders, and we work with a group of 3-4 incredible interns each semester and often have volunteers for special projects.

SF: Shopping on-line is available, where else can people find your jewelry? Is it available world-wide?

Lisa: You can definitely find the most selection on our website and we ship internationally! Additionally we partner with over 300 retailers across the U.S. and Canada. We are sold primarily in boutiques, but there are larger stores who carry us too – including Nordstrom’s website! You can find a location near you by providing your zip code here


SF: What did you like about being at KAABOO? Did you bring your entire collection or favorite pieces? Speaking of favorite pieces what are your 3 favorite and why?

Lisa:  We loved being at Kaaboo! It was such a fun new experience for us and we loved sharing our story with new people! We brought 20 of our favorite styles, including some of our newest Fall collection as well as our most loved Classics.


My current favorites are the Urban Knot necklace from our fall collection, the Coastal Collar from our summer collection, and the Sunlit Eden bracelet from our summer collection.


They all make their own statement and are so easy to throw on to complete an outfit. The bracelet has especially become a staple that I wear with my watch everyday!

Thank you so much Lisa.  I’m a skateboarder, fashionista, blogger, and I love to see when people’s passions help others.  Since I started this post there’s been a big announcement:


Below 31Bits new Charm Collection featuring an 18K gold-plated charm, handmade by Javanese artisans in Bali. And a dainty paper bead made by artisans in Uganda!

From a unicorn to a peacock, each charm has a special meaning!


This weekend only (10/21-10/23) when you check out 31bits.com you Get 20% off EVERYTHING with the code WELOVEYOU!


I believe people both learn & are inspired by the stories they hear and then share.

Please share the story of 31Bits and if you’re looking for a fun & fashionable way to shop this holiday season, think about hosting a house party where you share the story of change & empowerment.

Till next time keep it stylish on & off the board & Happy Weekend!








Girls Skate India Movie Showing in Leipzig near Berlin


13 female skateboarders, from 9 different countries embark on a skateboarding journey through India. This film captures the essence of the emerging skateboarding scene in India, and the perspectives and encounters through the eyes of female skateboarders form all over the world. In a bus they traveled with a filmer, photographer and skate yoga instructor to teach, do demos, build and empower Indian girls to take part.

to read more check out Girls Skate India Website, IG, or if you’re near Berlin see the film on 10/29/16 with Skate Girls Berlin in Leipzig.  Berlin based crew member Linda RTF will be there plus Fabienne Karmann will be there sharing her pictures from the journey.

More girls skateboard when they see girls skateboarding – thanks Skate Girls Berlin for promoting this film and connecting the skateboarding girls in Berlin!





Cary Williams Speaking at Skate Rising on 11/12/16

Too Pretty is a company and a movement started by Cary Williams.  I’ve been fortunate enough to interview her in the past and on November 12th, she’ll be speaking at Skate Rising.


Skate Rising is a FREE, fun and empowering skateboarding program in the community of Encinitas, run by Exposure Skate, for girls between the ages of 5-18. It takes place on the second Saturday of every month at the Encinitas Community Skate Plaza., 425 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas, from 9am-11am.

Cary is an Olympic level boxer – yes boxer so she knows & inspires girls to GO FOR IT and FIGHT FOR IT.  Whatever your IT is you can achieve it and stay as “girly” as you want.

Cary works with girls of all ages and with all kinds of passions.  Below just a few of the inspiring girls she’s featured.


I hope you see what I see.  Girls can be athletic.  Girls can be smart.  Girls can create.  Girls can lead.  And above all Girls can use their voice to do what’s right.

Hope you come out to Encinitas Skate Plaza on Saturday 11/12 to hear Cary speak and then share what you’re NEVER TOO PRETTY to do.

It’s a free event, the signs & materials will be supplied – all you have to do is show up.  If you don’t skate or even want to skate – you’re still welcome.  Skate Rising and Too Pretty are about inclusion.

Till then keep it stylish on & off the board.  And if you have cardboard to make the signs – let me know 🙂










Skate with the Ladies in Arizona

I loved the caption on this video

Getting a little more comfortable on her board.  How do I know?  She skates to the car instead of making me carry it! – Mary


Rad that Riley’s mom and her coach professoraz are encouraging her to get comfortable with her board.

To me skateboarding is sport, art, transportation, rolling yoga, and self-confidence building.  Once you’re comfortable, you’re more likely to have fun and succeed.  Plus it’s quicker to skate to your car then walk!

Above she’s skateboarding at the 91 West Skate Park in West Phoenix.  Calling all skater girls in the Phoenix area there’s a Ladies Night at that park every Wednesday.



Where are you skateboarding? More girls skateboard when they see stylish girls skateboarding & get encouragement. Please share your stories and where girls skate events are happening.

Till next time keep it stylish on & off the board.  I love those shoes – glitter does make everything better!





Durban Girls Invasion

Screen shot 2015-12-26 at 5.26.14 PM

Janelle_rad captured this Durban girls invading the North Beach park.

I have to apologize for the delay in posting this.  I’m getting ready for an interview with some skaters from South Africa and realized I never shared this.



Above a more recent photo of Janelle and below a video she made before going to England.


Please keep sharing your pictures and videos.  I will tag you and send you a link when the post is up.  And if you don’t get the link from me, definitely ask me what happened.

More girls do skateboard when they see girls skateboarding.  That’s what I want to see more girls skateboarding because it’s sport, art, transportation, rolling yoga, self-confidence building and you can take your skateboard anywhere in the world just like Janelle took hers from South Africa to England.




Chantal Garcia – Photographer

My December 7, 2015 post was on Babes Brigade – Toronto Skater Girls – Launch Monday Girls Night.  They are going strong and I’ve met so many rad skater girls through them.  One is both a skater and photographer, Chantal Garcia.  This is what she had to say about being a skater girl and a photographer of women’s skateboarding.
SF:  How/when did you start photographing skateboarding?  Do you skateboard?   If so was it before or after you started shooting skaters?

Chantal:  I started shooting skateboarding when I began skating with the Babes Brigade Women’s Skateboarding group here in Toronto. That would have been about one year ago.
I’ve always been a photographer and a skater but since I used to skate on my own I never had an opportunity to shoot the act of skateboarding. The very first Babes Brigade meet up I brought my camera and ended up with so many great shots. From that point, I made sure to get myself a good wide angel lens and a flash and the rest is history.

@wallis.york – Ollie off the snake
SF:  How did you get involved with shooting skater girls?
Chantal:  Referencing back to Babes Brigade (which I’m sure you’ll find a lot of my answers revolve around that) is how I started shooting female skaters.   Since I mainly skate with girls 99% of my shots and videos are of the ladies of Babes Brigade.
SF:  How has girls skateboarding changed since you started shooting?
Chantal:  It’s only been one year for me, but the number of girls skating with us on the first meet up compared to the number that skate with us now has grown so much. The scene has gotten bigger for sure.
Maddy skating on the rocks
SF:  What’s your favorite type of shooting –  for example street/bowl/vert/long boarding ???
Chantal:  Street hands down. Street skating has so many different elements going on and many variables to play with. You have everything from flatland to huge gaps and everything in between.
Plus the addition of by standards watching or getting upset is really fun to capture too. The street scene is a jungle out there, there’s so many places to explore.

Maddy skateboarding in the fall when the leaves compliment the sky
SF:  What’s different about shooting skateboarding then other photography?
Chantal:  Photographing skateboarding (to me) is an amazing thrill. I don’t think it’s for everyone. Being a skater is necessary to shoot it I believe. You have to know what moment to capture, the peak of the trick, the angle that will look best and show the intensity and technicality the skater is going for. Anyone can hold their shutter button down and snap 15 photos, but its not just about that.
Anna kick flip at Ryerson Pond

SF:  Where can people see your work?
Chantal:  You can find my work on Instagram (@chantaldgarcia) my website (www.chantaldgarcia.ca) and on any of the Babes Brigade media outlets (IG @babes_Brigade) (FB Babes Brigade Women’s Skateboarding)
Maybe one day soon I’ll be able to say Thrasher Magazine. (Fingers Crossed)

SF:   What do you think of all the press girls’ skateboarding is getting?  I think all press is good – but I want to be a journalist.  And every fashionista has a subscription to Vogue.  I was beyond excited when I saw Amelia shoot a prom dress campaign and then the pictures & videos got covered in magazines.   And those long board girls in the Red Hot Chili Pepper video – loved it & totally inspired me to keep skating.  But is that press bad for competitive female skateboarding?
Chantal:  I think women skateboarding in press is in anyway a good thing. But there’s a lot of controversy going on about how feminine the women are being portrayed and how feminine they actually want to be and I think that’s a topic all on its own. 

SF:  Did/do you have role models or people/organizations that continue to encourage and support your photography?
I shoot the girls in Babes Brigade because I skate with them every day and it’s a really fun thing to do. I really like how those groups I referenced before are having so much fun in their photos and in their videos.
It’s not always about getting the clip or the shot, it’s about having fun. You can see that in their social media presence and that inspires me to get out and skate, the photos are just what comes after.

SF:  Anything you want to share about why girls shooting girls skateboarding benefits the skateboarding sport & builds self-confidence & opportunities for girls.

Chantal: Women are always going to support other women and I think having a woman photographer shooting a female skater is just the ultimate combination.

Men and women often see things differently and to change the perspective to a women’s is always going to be interesting because the photo/skate industry is so male dominated. You stick two powerful women together who are passionate and driven for skateboarding and amazing things will happen.

While I was editing this post, Chantal posted this on her IG

When you meet a little dude at the skatepark and he asks you to take his photo and then tells you that you need to come back to his park sometime, but only after he gets out of daycare.

 I love the picture, what he had to say, and that Chantal took the time.
I also love that his image of skateboarding – is that everyone can skate because at his park he sees all these girls from Babes Brigade.
thanks Chantal and thanks @cameralady_ for this picture of her skateboarding – it’s always a challenge finding the photos of the photographers
below Paul Rodriguez shot by Chantal at the Primitive Demo

There is no gender bias in skateboarding. We must work harder to achieve gender equality. Start with being inclusive and giving opportunities to girls to shine.  – skateboarders for hope

 Till next time keep it stylish on & off the board.






Trying Something New

Merkinamerican aka Dani captions this photo Trying something new #totally

Update since I posted she changed her IG to vivaconcorida she “really loves skating with women/girls because we can relate on a different level. Few and far between I try to recruit some.  Please ladies in DC/Baltimore, Richmond or Philly (love fdr) hit me up to skate!”

Screen shot 2016-07-08 at 4.43.28 PM

I love that she tried something new & shared it.  New can be scary, falling can be scary, getting hurt can be scary – but what’s scarier is not living – if you always do the things you’ve always done are you living?

TBH I don’t skate everyday – I know and I call myself a skater girl.  I don’t try something new every time I skate – more honesty.  But I try so many more new things in life because I do skateboard.

So when you feel like it try something new – don’t let peer pressure make you try new things.  Just have self confidence that you’ll know when the time is right & you’ll have everything you need to try & succeed – even if it’s not on the first try – if it’s meant to be you’ll succeed.





All Girl Takeover – 10/8


Had the pleasure to stop by the All Girl Takeover on 10/8 right before they started filming the video.


The girls were gathering & I though I spotted R2D2 (lower left corner) but it was a skater girl with a rad helmet.


Above I got to meet Jazzmen, co-founder of @LAGirlsSkateSesh who have some rad shots on their IG of this event that they helped create & organize!  And below Livvy, aka sk8erbug got to meet Lacey Baker.


Happy Birthday to my friend & fellow Arbor Girl Tara who worked with many others to make the All Girl Takeover such a success.


And thanks to Arbor SkateboardsHoopla Skateboards & Meow Skateboards who gave 30 decks away to the girls.


More girls skateboard when they see girls skateboarding and get encouragement.  Love to see events like this happening.