So if we can all agree that everyone has a story ….I can safely say that Heather O’Neill & Katie O’Neill, co-founders of Mushmina, have created the story of a life time. I say this with the utmost sincerity because it is few and far between that I would get out of my box (or as we say in Key West, “get off the rock”) to travel to Morocco to visit an amazing company with a social mission that is the “real deal”, and by that I mean they are what I would call “superstars!” 100% AUTHENTIC.

It all started when I attended my first market in NYC and I met these beautiful sisters that were bursting with style and enthusiasm. However, what really struck me was their openness and this sense of kindness that I had never experienced before. Before I knew it they were both extending an invitation for me to visit them in North Africa, where they employ over 85 fair-trade artisans that custom design a wide array of eclectic handmade goods that they also offer in The Mushmina Boutique located in Philadelphia., PA. . And of course many of these gorgeous accessories can now be found at The Green Pineapple, in Key West, FL.

Now fast forwarding to Mother’s Day 2013 when my son (who is graduating from college) and I will be preparing to travel to Morocco to actually visit the workshops, where through the sale of fair-trade products, Mushmina creates employment opportunities for women and men in developing countries. Wow!!!! I think this is going to be the best Mother’s Day gift I could receive. Quality time with my son and many lessons to be learned!

I believe that this trip is monumental for me on many levels. Even just allowing myself to stop and smell the flowers, so to speak. Celebrating life with my son as he prepares to take a big step into the world, hopefully with a lot more global intelligence than I will ever have!

Most of all I believe this trip is all about heart and soul. I know this because of all of the support, and hospitality we have received from the O’Neil sisters and we haven’t even arrived at our destination yet.  I can only imagine the love that flows in the workshops we will be visiting!

AND… a very remarkable thing occurred to me today.  These young women (Heather & Katie) don’t even really know me or my son! Yet they have offered to share their home in a way that resonates with that “unconditional love” that people often speak of…

Very much like the love of a mother….ever so kind and compassionate… just because. I find myself wondering what their mother is like, yet somehow I know she is a super star just like her daughters!

PS. One thing I have learned is: The pineapple does not fall far from the tree! (This is why my son & I will be fighting over food rations when we are camping on the Sahara Dessert 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day to All!




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  1. Jeanne oneill

    Thanks for such a wonderful shout out and touching story. If you are in touch with any magazines, home journal, oprah send that story in. I,m sure they would publish it. Have a safe trip. Make sure you ride the camels. Mr. Oneill proud Mom You made my day

  2. what an amazing journey you are on! thanks for bringing back treasure to our island. – k

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