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Trade Agreements and Real Impact: How AGOA Works for Us

          (G.W. Bush and Obama renewing AGOA in 2000 and 2015)   The current US presidential campaign has brought an unusual amount of scrutiny in analyzing trade agreements. In the midst of all of the talk about NAFTA, the TPP, and how jobs are being shipped overseas, I wanted to introduce a less well-known but hugely important bit of legislation called the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which is a US trade agreement with many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and a key facet in the creation and continued growth of Seeded Hand Sown.  If you live in the US, you may not have ever heard of AGOA, unless you are particularly interested in global economics or international trade--but I'll tell...

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Tanzanian Kitenge

Well, it finally seems that we can kiss winter goodbye here on the East Coast, but Tony couldn't wait for the warm weather to arrive and had to jet back to Tanzania for a few gorgeous weeks. At this time of year, the rainy season is just finishing up and everything is incredibly lush and green. While spring in North Carolina is lovely, I have to be honest--it's pretty dreary today, and I'm jealous!  Tony has been updating our Instagram (follow us at with some great shots of our new line of shoe bags with this season's kitenge, made by our talented tailor Doto: It's so exciting to see how they are turning out! You might notice that Doto's...

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The Making of Seeded Sandals

We had some interest expressed in seeing a bit more of the process behind our sandals, so we decided to give you a peek into the making of our shoes.  First, the leather uppers are cut and marked with the pattern, then given to one of our skilled beaders to complete the specified design.  (These are the hands of Fatuma, one of our most talented beaders. She was happy to let us take a picture of her hands, but, like many Muslim women in Tanzania, she is uncomfortable with having her face photographed.) The design on a pair of Seeded sandals requires anywhere between 2 and 8 hours to bead, and is by far the most labor-intensive part of the...

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Shoe Sizing

Here at Seeded Sandals, we've had some questions about the fit of our shoes, so we figured we'd do a comprehensive guide.   As of right now, we offer only standard-width European styles. We've found this Wikipedia graphic for shoe size conversion to be extremely helpful and accurate in converting your US size to the European standard.  Source: wikipedia   While we don't offer any wide styles, if you have a wider foot, the shoes that will suit you best are those styled most like a traditional flip-flop--Vine, Iris, and Saffron. Those with a band wrapping directly around the foot (like Mangrove, Meadow, Hibiscus, and Bouquet) should be ordered one size up.   If you have a narrow foot that...

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New Year, New Site

Welcome to the Seeded Sandals blog!  It is a fresh new year, and we are pleased to kick off 2014 with the launch of our shiny new website! We've been flying under the radar for a few months now, but we are excited by the prospect of offering our customers a streamlined retail experience. Please feel free to contact us with any feedback you may have about the new site.  The new year is always an opportunity to reflect on experiences from the past year, and to make new commitments. We here at Seeded had a whirlwind of a year in 2013. We've racked up airline miles, whizzed through traffic, and spent long days on bumpy dirt roads, all to...

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