Category Archives: Cambodia

Keeping it green

Three Stone Steps is a people and planet friendly company.  While we’ve blogged quite a bit about the artisans we work with and our fair trade producers, we don’t spend enough time on our eco-friendly side:  our metal art from Haiti is made from recycled oil drums using only hand tools, so there’s no carbon footprint (besides it getting from Haiti to where it’s sold);  our silk and cotton accessories from Cambodia are made with AZO-free dyes.  And, as we head towards the gifting season, you should know that our ornaments and dreidels are made by hand of recycled paper in the Philippines, and we have a new line of papier-mâché ornaments from Haiti made from recycled cement bags.

If you’re not in the market for wall art, or ornaments and dreidels, or fashion accessories, and you want to do some eco-friendly shopping head straight to Pristine Planet.  They’ve a great easy to navigate site and green products in scads of categories.  (And in the interest of full disclosure:  Three Stone Steps has listed with Pristine Planet for years.  If you’re a merchant of green goods they’re amazingly personable people with make you swoon customer service.)

We definitely don’t want to pretend that shopping will save the planet, but if keeping things green is on your list, Pristine Planet is a good place to begin.


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Filed under Cambodia, Christmas, cotton, cotton wallet, eco-chic, eco-fashion, environment, fashion accessories, green commerce, Haiti, hanukkah, holiday shopping, ornaments, Philippines, pristine planet, recycled, recycling, shopping

End of summer new year

As a kid, I always looked forward to September, since it seemed to be the second new year of the year.  I would quietly make September resolutions in the hopes that maybe seventh grade would be better than sixth.  (It never was.)  Since I’ve tried to erase much of my junior high and high school years from my memory, I don’t remember all these vows, but I do recall something about trying hard to be a bit tidier and definitely more organized.

Here at Three Stone Steps we don’t sell any real back to school items, but we do have  fair trade, ethically sourced silks and cottons to keep you organized.

Our fantastic silk wallets and cotton wallets are beautiful, functional, and come with tons of compartments.  You could use one compartment for your U.S. greenbacks, and one for your bills in another currency.  Or one compartment for your bills and one for your receipts.  Or, as one delighted customer exclaimed, “I love these.  I can keep the denominations separate!”

The silk screen on silk wallets are luminous and lovely, and fairly handcrafted in Cambodia.

black and gray silk wallet If you’re looking for something equally lovely, but with a bit of more durability, the same wallet comes in a slightly different pattern and in cotton.

silk screen on cotton walletAnd, while we’ve embraced the electronic world, we’re always delighted when people hand out real paper business cards.  We’ll admit to be a tad shocked, shocked when someone who goes though the trouble of carrying business cards doesn’t go through the trouble of having a place to keep them.  (We recall one Very Important Political Person pulling out her cards that were held together with a red rubber band.)

If you want to forgo the business cards held together by a red rubber band look, we can help with a lovely silk screen on silk business card case:


silver silk business card case

Whether or not you need to stay (or get) organized, enjoy the fresh start that comes with the end of summer and the arrival of fall.


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Filed under Cambodia, cotton wallet, fair trade, fashion accessories, Phnom Penh, silk, silk screen, silk wallet, wallets

Back by popular demand: silk & cotton wallets

It’s been a while since we’ve had them, but there’s a new page featuring silk and cotton wallets right here.

Oh, and while publishing, I lost my homepage, so there’s a new one here, too.

More coming soon.


silver and black silk wallet

pretty elegant, huh?

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Filed under back, Cambodia, cotton, fair trade, new products, Phnom Penh, silk, wallets

Friday Photo: Scarf Seller

Three Stone Steps carries scarves, too.

One from deep in the archives:  Photo of scarf–specifically the Khmer kroma– seller in Cambodia, I think.  (My travel partner swears I took this in Laos, but these are most definitely Cambodian scarves.)

I had forgotten about this photo, taken in 2004, until my laptop had, as the folks in the Genuis Bar like to say, “issues,” and I was forced into the depths of my ancient PC.

I liked this image so much that I made a postcard out of it.  If you buy from Three Stone Steps, either live or online, you’ll get a copy of this image with text that reads “Three Stone Steps carries scarves and other great fashion and decorative accessories.”  I thought that quip was pretty funny at the time.  And, well, I still do.

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Filed under Cambodia, colorful, scarves

Just words

I just made a Wordle from the words in my yet to be published “about” page of my almost redone website. It’s quite small, but it seems that if you click on it, you’ll get a better view.

Wordle: Untitled

Now that I’ve manged to blog, there are some upcoming shows to report:

Tomorrow, Saturday, I’m at Stevenson University, at their Owings Mills Campus, from 11-3 for a shopping event that benefits the senior class.

Sunday, March 13, I head down to DC and peddle my wares at Eastern Market for the day. And, I’m hoping not to contend with the March winds.

And, Saturday, the 19th, outside in Baltimore at the Waverly or 32nd Street Market, from 7 until noon. It’ll still be March and I hope there still won’t be winds.

This is just the start of the season. Hope to see you out and about, or online, if I ever manage to publish the revised site. (Of course, feel free to browse & buy on the existing site.)

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Filed under artisans, Cambodia, fair trade, Phnom Penh, recycled, recycling, shows

Yesterday’s news

Sewers in Cambodia

sewing items for three stone steps

Yesterday, while a lot of us where consumed with the  Wikileaks leaks, a U.N. tribunal handed down its first sentence in a trial regarding the “chief jailer” for the Khmer Rouge.  You may have read about it. I’ve been paying a bit of attention to all this, since I travel to Cambodia yearly to source Three Stone Steps silk, cotton, and mosquito netting bags.  I work with a very talented producer there whose parents were victims at the time, and she bares certain scars.  I’ve been on long car rides with people who lived during that time, and the stories just come pouring out.  They are horrific monologues.  People are still processing, and maybe always will be.

In the six years or so traveling to Cambodia, I’ve noted tons of changes.  It’s totally possible to go out for tapas paired with a nice Rioja in Phnom Penh.  I kept expecting to return and find a new crop of sushi restaurants and martini bars.  And, among all those developed nation trappings, you don’t have to go far to see people in terrible poverty.  And, while things seem sort of normal, save for the “child sex tourists not welcome” signs, you can forget that you’re in a place with a terrible not too distant past.  Almost.

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Filed under Cambodia, fair trade, justice, silk

An early Happy New Year

Some updates from Three Stone Steps for the end of the year and the decade:

Starting early next year, the 10th to be exact, I’ll be on the road to meet with our existing fair trade producers in Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. I’ll also be on the lookout for great new unique, functional, and eco-friendly accessories. Please stay tuned. I think there will be great new items in store.

During that time, we will not be processing orders, so if you have your heart set on something, best to order it as soon as possible. We’ll be back to processing orders by the third week in February.

If I’m not updating this blog, please follow me on Twitter, @threestonesteps, or on’s Facebook fan page.

We’re thinking of beginning a dedicated travel blog–ok. I realize that I have trouble keeping this one updated, so I can’t imagine how I’ll deal with two of ’em!– but will definitely let you know if that happens.

So, in the meantime, Happy New Year! I’ll be back here soon.

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Filed under Cambodia, eco-chic, fair trade, new products, new year, Philippines, Vietnam