Stojo Stories

Brands We Love: Automic Gold

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Al Sandimirova, the founder of Automic Gold, an inclusive fine jewelry brand, moved to the U.S. in 2009 when they were twenty. As a LGBT-identifying queer refugee, they didn’t know how to speak English, or have a way to make money, which created Automic Gold. As a non-binary individual, Automic Gold was also a way for Al to express their identity. Now, Automic Gold is a NYC-made fine jewelry brand that is unisex, size-inclusive and made from reclaimed solid gold, providing a mindful expressive jewelry option for everyone. Follow @automicgold Tell us about how you started Automic Gold and why?...

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Brands We Love: Machete

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Machete, a conscious jewelry and accessories brand founded by Jennifer “JJ” Matchett, was created out of her inability to find the perfect pair of tortoise hoops. She ended up creating the first pair in Atlanta, Georgia from deadstock Acetate sourced at a secondhand store. A few years later, Machete has expanded to hair accessories, eyewear and tech accessories--all made from cellulose Acetate, a natural and renewable material made by extracting cellulose fibers from cotton and wood pulp. We spoke to Jennifer about the brand’s journey.  What inspired you to start making your own jewelry? At the time I was collecting...

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Brands We Love: Mikuna

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Mikuna is introducing the US to Chocho, a plant-based protein source grown exclusively in the Andes. Chocho is one of Ecuador’s most traditional foods and is known for having a high protein content. Usually grown alongside a variety of crops to support soil biodiversity, Chocho is a new alternative for plant-based protein powders that helps support local Andean farmers. We spoke to Founder and CEO of Mikuna, and fifth-generation Ecuadorian farmer, Ricky Echanique about the superfood crop, his Ecuadorian heritage, and regenerative agriculture.  Where does the name “Mikuna” come from? The name comes from Kichwa, an ancient pre-Inca language spoken...

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Brands We Love: Santos By Monica

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Santos by Monica, founded by Mónica Santos Gil in Brooklyn, is a label of hand-crafted, made-to-order bags made from materials like vegan leather made from cactus flowers, recycled fabric, organic cotton and deadstock vintage hardware. Cactus leather was chosen because of its efficiency and climate-friendliness - it grows solely on rainwater, which means that no irrigation is needed (⅕ of the water needed for regular leather!), it has CO2 sequestering capacity, and it is biodegradable and partly recyclable.

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Composting 101

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At its roots (pun not intended), composting is the natural process of decay for organic matter. All organic matter—that being, carbon-based substances—break down and return to the cycle of life. This process happens all day, everyday, all around us without us noticing or really having to do anything. If you go to a park and watch leaves be broken up on the ground, that’s decomposition at work. It’s part of Mother Nature’s design. 

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