As people continue to visit the lakeside of Charlotte and the lake itself, we've partnered up with Amabile Designs, an organization that's focused on cleaning local waterway systems, including our very own! They've created a unique business that promotes a sustainable environment so that not just people today, but years from now, can enjoy the beauty of Lake Norman. Amabile Designs creates beautiful, handmade bracelets that are made from materials that are found in our waterway systems. We have the pleasure of selling some of these bracelets on their behalf so that a percentage of each sale is donated back to the Catawba Riverkeepers to help clean up and maintain our local waters. We sat down with the minds behind Amabile Designs to give you a deeper look into what their organization is all about!
Q: What is Amabile Designs and how did you come up with this organization?
A: At Amabile Designs we are more than just a brand; we are a water loving family. We provide quality sustainable apparel for the sole purpose of creating a positive change to the quality of your local waters. With every dollar we make we create awareness, funds, and connections for local people and the organizations focused on cleaning the waters they call home. We create an impact by partnering with local organizations that share our passion for cleaner healthier water for all to enjoy. They work diligently with community leaders and local water loving people to clean, protect, and preserve the waters.
We are just two crazy people who love life, our family, and this big blue world we live in. I’m Adrian. I grew up splashing in the waters all around the Carolinas. The real brains (and beauty) behind it all is Katie, my best friend, amazing wife, and mother to our three wicked awesome children. They are the real reasons why we started our adventure of Amabile Designs. In 2018, just days after Hurricane Florence, we left for our planned trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with our three children and my parents, Angelo and Michelle. As they walked along the beach, they found a row of plastic bottle caps and small plastic bits as far as they could see. The more we share the water with our children, the more trash we’ve noticed and removed, and this was the tipping point. We had to do something more, not just for us, but for our children’s sake. That’s when our passion grew into a goal, to clean our waterways.
Q: What water cleaning organizations are you currently partnering with and what plans do you have to expand?
We are currently partnered with the following water cleaning organizations:
|Broad Riverkeeper||Cape Fear River Watch||Catawba Riverkeeper||Charleston Waterkeeper||Coastal Carolina Riverwatch|
|Congaree Riverkeeper||Dan Riverkeeper||Savannah Riverkeeper||Sound Rivers (Neuse & Tar-Pamilico)||Winyah Rivers Alliance|
It is our goal to partner with local organizations advocating for healthier waters all across the US so that when customers make a purchase, they are able to help support the waters where they live, work and play.
Q: Please summarize what the “1% For the Planet” is.
1% for the Planet is a global movement inspiring businesses and individuals to support environmental solutions through annual memberships and everyday actions. They make the connection between members (such as Amabile Designs) and “high-impact nonprofit partners (such as Catawba Riverkeeper) that align with member values. It's an organization that believes, “because companies profit from the resources they take from the earth, they should protect those resources” and we at Amabile Designs couldn’t agree more.
As a 1% For the Planet member we are committed to donating at least 1% of our total sales to non-profit water cleaning organizations that are also 1% For the Planet members. What this means, is that at least 1% of our total sales, regardless if the sale was profitable or not, will be donated back to support our blue planet.
Q: How do you name your bracelets?
As we partner with new water cleaning organizations, we envision the waters they are protecting. We research names of the rivers, creeks, and streams located along the area they protect. We try to connect the characteristics from the area to the colors on the bracelets. Areas with more sediment may result in darker, more opaque colors. On the contrary, areas with less sediment may have crisper, lighter colors.
Q: Do you have recommendations on how people can cut their household pollution?
Some sustainable steps we have made include buying foods from local farmers, buying second hand, buying in bulk, repurposing, and recycling. We've also made the following swaps in our life below:
Single use grocery bags —>Reusable shopping bags
Single use soap dispensers —> Refillable glass dispensers
Conventional appliances —> *Energy efficient appliances
Conventional lighting —> *LED bulbs
Plastic cling wrap —> Beeswax wrap
Plastic zip bags —> Silicone bags
Paper napkins —> Cloth napkins
Paper towels —> Washable cloths
Plastic straws—> Silicone straws
*Check with your energy provider, some may discount your bill after swapping out major appliances for energy efficient ones. They may also offer free energy efficient bulbs to replace your old ones. We also recommend to keep an eye on our blog for more tips on sustainable living
Q: How can people stay in touch with Amabile Designs?
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @AmabileDesigns and #WaterCleaningApparel. You can also sign up for our mailing list on our website and watch out for our monthly blog posts.
As you've learned what Amabile Designs is all about, we encourage you to make some of the swaps above in your life. No pressure in doing all of them because if we each make a change in our life to create a sustainable environment, we'll make it possible for our children and our children's children to enjoy Lake Norman and all the other amazing natural wonders this world has to offer. You can browse the bracelets on our online store here or stop by our visitor center. If you have made other "green" changes in your life, please let us know in the comments below!