For Mother’s Day, we mentioned that we were going to take some time on our blog to tell the stories of the amazing and inspiring Fair Trade artisans that are mothers that we work with. In addition to that, we also want to hear from you. We’re asking you to tell us your ‘Inspiring Mother’ stories. Is there a mother out there that has been a guiding light for you? Making a big difference in the world? Making changes? Left a lasting impact on you? Let us know.
I would like to nominate Sandie Doles as a mother who gives back. She is my best friend Amesia’s Mom and I’m proud to call her my friend. Amesia and I, along with a bunch of friends and Sandie and Tim (Amesia’s Dad) went to Baja California together in 2007. We had an amazing time. It’s not every day that you travel with a friend’s parents and have the time of your life! We drank margaritas on the beach, ate delicious local food, and hung out enjoying each other’s company. We were lucky enough to be there when the whales were returning from the Sea of Cortez, babies in tow, to frolic by the beach where we stayed. One special moment I’ll never forget is sitting on the beach with Amesia and Sandie, watching as the whales breached out of the water in th
e distance, one after the other. There was no one else on the beach; we just sat there appreciating one of life’s special moments.
Soon after we returned from Baja, Sandie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After a courageous battle, she passed away this past fall.
Before Sandie got sick, she took an active interest in Fair Trade. We chatted about how she could get involved in the growing movement, and she began almost immediately selling Fair Trade crafts at local events in Santa Barbara. With guts and savvy, Sandie was a selling machine, and her traveling business quickly evolved into a permanent Fair Trade gift shop called Arcobaleno Trade located on Haley Street in Santa Barbara. Once Sandie beca
me too ill to work, Amesia moved from San Francisco to Santa Barbara to care for her Mom and run the shop. When it comes to caring for others, like mother like daughter.
I am nominating Sandie because she was an amazing mother to Amesia and her brother Seth. She was also an incredible support for many others whose lives she touched. She was an integral member of her local community, which I witnessed firsthand at her memorial, which was so packed we had to move the ceremony outside to accommodate the high volume of attendees. People from all walks of life shared stories about how Sandie impacted them, in big ways and small. One woman called Amesia just the other day telling how she met Sandie on a local bus, and when she read that Sandie had passed away, she felt compelled to call her daughter and share how Sandie’s goodness had
affected her. Sandie was warm-hearted and inspirational. Where others dream of things to do, she did them. When others complained about what was, Sandie pointed out what is.
This April, Amesia moved Arcobaleno Trade to a more central location on State Street and the bustling shop is a living testament to the spirit of Sandie, as well as to the producers who make the wonderful array of product offerings. The Santa Barbara News-Press published a beautiful article in their March 23 issue called “At the rainbow’s end: Amesia Doles Garcia carries on her mother’s fair trade boutique.” Sandie is still giving back, even though she is no longer with us physically.