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It truly takes a visionary to come up with a list such as this – and Caitlin Peters of Wanderlustings is just that! Her incredible taste combines with a soulful whimsy to bring Sprout Chicago these fantastic gift suggestions for women:

1) Navy Phantom Tights by Qoo Qoo Fashion

2) Vanilla Chai Perfume Oil by Long Winter Soap Co

3) Aqua “Life She Imagined” Print by Amanda Catherine Des

4) Craft Nail Transfers by Kate Broughton

5) Double Gal Vintage Bag from Bird Trouble

6) Bilbao Colored Handle Teacups by A Quartzy Life

7) Love Made Me Do It Ring by Manoy Metal

8) White Blouse by Arcelia Home

9) Gold Dipped Geo Earrings by A Merry Mishap

Interview composed by Lydia Krupinski

I discovered Soaphappy! this past November when selling my Pierogi Picnic goodies in a local craft show. Desperate for a stick of natural lip balm, I promptly snatched up a stick of their ultra hydrating Vanilla blend. This one product made me an instant convert. I now covet my stick not letting even my beloved husband snag a use.

Hanah and Nellie are the dynamic duo behind this local soap racket. Their delicious and down-to-earth products blend natural vegan ingredients with exotic spice combinations that will jazz up even the weariest Chicagoan’s winter morning ritual. With soaps like Jazz+Beet boasting ingredients like ginger, rose, beets and jasmine – it’s no wonder this fiesty pair is stirring up trouble at local craft fairs like the DIY Trunk Show.

To spice up your chilly holiday week Sprout Chicago brings you an exclusive interview with these two soap divas: Read the rest of this entry »

Interview by Lydia Krupinski    Photos from Mary Ellen


When people purchase a product its life span is often far from their minds. Videos like The Story of Stuff reveal the cradle to grave cycle to which consumables are doomed.

By re-using products not designed to survive their original intent, artisans like Mary Ellen are re-shaping how we utilize these abandoned items. Mary’s company, Mary Zoom, takes these unwanted materials and transforms them into functional and whimsical goods for the whole family. Read the rest of this entry »

circle ringI <3 Handmade!  I <3 Sales!

So what can be better than a site-wide Etsy Sale!

Starting June 10th to June 14th, shop owners throughout Etsy are cutting prices. Begin your rummaging on Etsy’s main page by entering “yart” and things like “eco,” “recycled,” or “organic” and you’re sure to make some awesome discoveries.

Happy Hunting!!!

Interview by Lydia Krupinski   Photos from Mandinka Designs

sir franklim satchelReduce, reuse, recycle…a common mantra that is repeated religiously by eco verts of all varieties. Many of us have found new and unique ways to practice what we preach. Mandy Curl is one such re-inventor. Mandy, along with her mother Liz, run the eco-biz Mandinka Designs, where suits are transformed into satchels, messengers, handbags, and more! Sprout Chicago caught up with Mandy via the internet to learn more about her biz and dedication to sustainability. Read the rest of this entry »


By Lydia Krupinski

Things have been booming for my eco-biz Pierogi Picnic. I am nearing my 100th sale, have merchandise in four stores throughout the country, have been featured on numerous sites, magazines and even in Chicago’s own New City. But nothing feels quite as satisfying as being accepted as a member of Team Eco Etsy.

memorial day 1Joining this active and blossoming Etsy group is like receiving LEED certification for a business or building. It opens the doors for personal and professional development while connecting me with an international community that is dedicated to sustainability and conscientious living.  

So it will come as no surprise if you notice a pattern in the upcoming interviews we have planned here on Sprout. Many of the individuals you will reading about will be local Eco Etsy members who have taken their personal passions and transformed them into financially and ecologically sustainable businesses. I hope these discoveries leave you feeling inspired! And as always, if there’s a green biz you would like us to feature, please e-mail us at


Pierogi Picnic

Sprout Chicago Photos

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