But what made it unique was that the beads for all of the jewelry pieces were made from paper…..Disney paper to be precise.
Yes you got that right. All of the jewelry at the Bead Outpost is made from recycled old Disney park maps and other unused brochures! The outdated Disney items are sent to Uganda, through cooperation with the non-profit organization Bead For Life. There, villagers literally hand-roll the recycled paper into lovely, waterproof beads that are then made into jewelry, and sent back to Disney to be sold.
My daughter and I fell in love with the jewelry and the concept, and so of course we bought a few pieces, as the prices were quite reasonable, and I loved knowing that I would literally be wearing a little piece of Disney!
The little kiosk has now grown into quite a large section of the Outpost, with a colorful selection of yes, still very affordable items! Each time I visit, I end up with a few more items, and I always have really hard time deciding, there are so many great choices!!
So what can you expect to pay? Well you can either string your own, or purchase one of the already created earrings, bracelets, or necklaces. Last time I was there, earrings were just $7 and bracelets $10. In my opinion, they are a bargain, especially when you consider what a lovely and memorable souvenir you are buying! Even better, is that your purchase benefits a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower those in impoverished nations like Uganda to learn to support themselves:
Bead for Life is guided by the following principles:
- Creating businesses and jobs through entrepreneurial development is a more sustainable approach to poverty eradication than providing aid. Rather than becoming dependent on handouts from abroad, members build their skills and long-term capacities through meaningful creative work.
- Concerned citizens in resource-abundant countries care about the issues of extreme poverty and are willing to get involved.
- Paying the members fair trade prices allows them to meet their daily economic needs. Investing 100% of our net profits in community development projects for impoverished Ugandans allows for a long-term sustainable future.
- Working together enriches all of us.
(from BeadForLife.org Mission )
If you want to see more of what Bead For Life is all about, learn more about their mission, and even purchase some of the beautiful items that are created, you can visit their site or Like their Facebook page.
They’re beautiful. They’re affordable. Your purchase spreads the Disney magic by helping others to create a better life for themselves and their families. And….you’ll have a piece of the Disney parks with you wherever you go!
So really, what could be a better Disney souvenir?
What would I do differently? Well our strategy actually worked well, and I am pleased that we did not eat ourselves sick, nor did we spend as much money as one probably could spend. I think the main thing I would do next time, would be to either not do the Dining Plan, or plan one evening where we did not have a table service dinner, and do some samplings in the evening as well. Oh, and definitely check out the beer and wine tastings.