I would like to send a tune of gratitude for a couple of un-sung heroes of our community. They will be moving on to new ventures and a life near Ashland. Richard Ziff and Helene Bisnaire are the owners and creators of "Of The Earth."
They are taking a break after many years of building and developing one of the world's first organic clothing and fabric businesses. I remember when they came to town and immediately took a leadership role in supporting causes, charities, and fashion events through their OTE Foundation. Although they did little of their business in Bend directly, they came in with open hearts to make their contribution to our community and town.
They walked the walk and talked the talk, supporting a sustainable planet with fair market wages for their employees in Asia. They are dedicated parents and they teach them the ways of kindness to people and to love and nurture the Earth. When Richard traveled to Asia on business, he carried his own bowl and utensils so as not to waste the Earth's resources with the disposables on the flights.
I have gratitude for the wonderful discounted clothing they offered from their shop on Arizona St. On any day, I wear something I bought at their shop. Although, I do feel a bit sheepish that I never did pay full retail for any of the clothing, I can honestly say, every piece of clothing has held up to heavy use and many washings...a sign of great quality.
Thank you Richard and Helene, and may the wind be at your back. You are leaving Bend a better place than when you arrived.