Have you ever traded some­thing you made for some­thing someone else made? Doesn’t it feel great? I know many people who have, and even more who’ve nev­er con­sidered it. In these tur­bu­lent eco­nom­ic times, I think trad­ing our goods for someone else’s is a smart idea. What about if you just gave them away? That feels even bet­ter!

Lady Fern in UnRuley Articles

Lady Fern in UnRuley Articles

Recently I had the great pleas­ure of trad­ing hand­made jew­ellrey for homemade soap with Portland Oregon’s new­est, and pos­sibly clean­est, not-for-profit, Lady Fern. While we made a trade with our goods, nor­mally Lady Fern gives her soaps away.  Just like that.

Created and run by one time col­league and forever friend, Jackie Barrett, Lady Fern has big ambi­tions and an even big­ger heart! To give you an idea of just how big, when I asked the lady her­self about her mis­sion state­ment for Lady Fern, this is what she said.

Lady Fern is a small non-profit that star­ted with an idea of spread­ing a mes­sage of love and light. We do this by simply mak­ing things we love, like soap or oth­er homemade items and seek out those who are oppressed and for­got­ten by soci­ety. Our hope at Lady Fern is to plant seeds of giv­ing that will grow into forests of hope and peace.”

You simply can not argue with her pas­sion and ded­ic­a­tion. While Lady Fern may be start­ing small, I pre­dict big things in the future.

Soap with a dif­fer­ence

I feel like the real win­ner in this trade! I’m in love with my new lus­cious soaps. They are a feast for the senses. Handmade with yummy smelling blends of lav­ender and sage, and oils of cedar­wood, patchouli, and ylan ylang. They smell so good I decided to leave a bar in the liv­ing room, now every time I pass the book­shelf gor­geous notes of Lavender & Ylang Ylang tickle my nose. Sweet Orange & Ginger is my all time favour­ite.  I could prac­tic­ally eat it up! The lath­er is del­ic­ate and mild, and leaves my skin feel­ing soft.  Trust me, once you try this soap you’ll want to get your hands on more!?! Luckily these gor­geous soaps are avail­able to every­one; cul­tur­al and socioeco­nom­ic bound­ar­ies be damned.

A feast for your senses

Five dif­fer­ent blends are donated to loc­al women’s and home­less shel­ters:

Sweet Orange/Ginger
Lavender/Ylang Ylang
Cedarwood/Patchouli/Clary Sage

Keen to sup­port her friends as well as her com­munity, Jackie is inter­ested in trad­ing her soaps as well as donat­ing them.  “Trading is always wel­come!” says Jackie on a face­book note. “I abso­lutely love giv­ing it away to friends or trad­ing with those of you who also like giv­ing!” Her atti­tude towards giv­ing inspires me to increase my own tith­ing to char­it­ies with future profits from UnRuley ARTicles. Jackie is doing with Lady Fern right now what many of us put off for anoth­er day. She’s giv­ing of her­self — her bril­liant, lovely, com­pas­sion­ate self — to those in the world who have been over­looked, for­got­ten. Her donated products might be uncon­ven­tion­al (which I LOVE!), her pure act of kind­ness is a trib­ute to her vis­ion and ded­ic­a­tion in mak­ing a dif­fer­ence. I’m not sure she cur­rently sells her soaps, I sus­pect doing so would be met with eager cus­tom­ers and help to recov­er costs  so she can keep on giv­ing.

Lady Fern Soap


As for the future, Lady Fern hopes to con­nect with oth­er like minded, crafty people who would like to join her in “spread­ing homemade good­ness and love into the world!” Count me in! I hope I’ve inspired our read­ers to join her in plant­ing their own seeds of giv­ing. There’s so much we can do when joined togeth­er, and so much more to be done. One seed at a time.

Thank you, Lady Fern, for allow­ing me to take a small part in your grand vis­ion. We need to talk about how I can par­ti­cip­ate in giv­ing back to your great com­munity in Oregon, my one time home, and here in my new home of Britain as well; good­ness knows no boarders.

With love and soapy bubbles,

Misha UnRuley Bruce

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One Response to Lady Fern: Giving, Trading & Coming Clean

  1. Fran Castello says:

    Great write-up Misha! You and Jackie are abso­lutely inspir­ing 🙂

    I have always believed in bar­ter­ing when pos­sible and shar­ing the end-products of time well spent in the kit­chen (roas­ted cof­fee beans and jams mostly)…I’ve done so by feed­ing my hairdress­er for the priv­ilege of hav­ing a trendy cut and col­or or greet­ing friends with jars of some­thing sweet!

    Keep up the good work ladies…Lady Fern and UnRuley Articles are admir­able endeavors that I will be fol­low­ing closely 🙂


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