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Quaker Shop.. What are Quakers?

Updated on September 13, 2014

Welcome to my Quaker Shop!

What or who are "Quakers?"

Ah, I was wondering if you wondered! Here's a definition of Quakers I put together some time ago -- mostly serious with a little humor.

I'm now finding it posted in blogs in several places, without any credit or link to me - please do be aware this is my design -- if you stumbled on this and want to use it as a reference to Quakers, feel free, but I'd appreciate a link to this page!

Quakers are a religious denomination. And I belong to them, which is why I make the products you'll see below.

That I make part of my living selling things is somewhat amusing because Quakers are known for their... how do I put it... frugality? Also, Quakers are more of an educated group rather than merchants. In addition, concerning business and ethics, we are traditionally more concerned with serving causes than making a profit.

We are hard to figure, or so I think, as we are a very small group - estimates are that there are 120,000 Quakers in the world - but very diverse.

Some people confuse Quakers with the Amish -- we are not the Amish. For the most part, we use electricity, computers (hello!) and automobiles. There are rich Quakers, poor Quakers, Americans, English, European, African and Quakers in Japan (though I'm not sure there are Japanese Quakers -- feel free to correct me!). There are vegetarian Quakers and Quakers who love meat and potatoes.There are Christian Quakers, agnostic Quakers, Buddhist Quakers - I think I've met a Wica Quaker or two - and there are probably more I don't even know about!

There are some Quaker groups who attend churches with ministers and are pretty Christo-centered -- that is, fit with what would be seen as traditional Christian churches.

There are others (my group) who attend meetings with no ministers, and worship in silence- any member or attender may stand and 'preach' though the preaching is supposed to come from the spirit, not from the mind.

Our common ground is a belief in non-violence and love as a way to address problems. You will very rarely find a Quaker in the military, or in possession of a weapon other than perhaps a hunting weapon. Many of our men were conscientious objectors when there was a draft. Some of our young men now have already taken steps toward filing their status as CO's, in case the draft is ever re-enstated. Those who were CO's have spent time doing non-military jobs or - if they had to - time in prison. CO's aren't sissies!

Far more interesting (to me) than the beliefs of individual Quakers is the manner that Friends do "business" among themselves and with each other. When done well and 'correctly' (i.e., centered, thoughtfully and for lack of a better word, prayerfully), it is amazing to watch. Though it can take FOREVER - or at least seems to - for decisions to be made, because everyone must agree, love does prevail.

It is never a matter of pushing people to agree, or of the majority ruling. Not if it is done with love. There is a way of waiting and listening, of really listening with heart, to what others say, of understanding with love where even someone you truly dislike, is coming from that is not a shallow, sweetsy thing. It's what has kept me with Friends, even when the spiritual life of a meeting is not quite what I need at this time. This is the way we can interact with each other at our best, and it gives hope when we see how terribly we (human beings) too often treat each other. Friends are by no means perfect - but when I am among them, I have hope for the human race.

I am not a birthright Quaker (that is, I was not born a Quaker) but am a convinced Friend (that is, I joined as an adult). I was born into a Unitarian family and made the switch because I wanted a more spirit based place of worship. And I didn't like being preached too. I enjoy the silence.

These are some of my designs reflecting some Quaker values -- there are more below that are universal to more people!

Other links by, for about Quakers (not the birds)

Other links you might find of interest -- if you're interested in learning more!

Gentle Art of Herding Cats


This is (I must confess) another way of talking about products I make. I now have three different places that manufacture what I make -- they each are slightly different, so I thought I'd list and describe them and see what you think! I cannot link to them because it isn't allowed, so you'll have to find them. There are links from my main website, http://friendlyspirit.com

CafePress -- with QuakerShop-- t-shirts, totes, buttons, bumperstickers, postcards, and more.

Zazzle - also QuakerShop (how confusing is this!) Where you can get all of the above PLUS ties and keychains, plus little calendars.

Skreened -- THIS IS THE ONE FOR QUAKERS!!! I would like to only deal with them because they are a fantastic company! Their products are all made in places they are positive are not sweat shops and they are ecologically aware - even the packaging they use to ship your order in is biodegradable.

They make t-shirts and totes. And their prices are the BEST!

Note: In order to make any money, (not a lot, truly) I have to use the base price each of these manufacturers gives me.

I'll explain more in the individual sections below!

Skreened -- You gotta love them!

I love Skreened! They are local to me (Ohio), which also endears them to me but it is their attitude that truly wins my heart.

Here's what they say:

Three things set Skreened apart.

1. No Sweatshop Labor

Everything SKREENED offers is made in the United States by American Apparel .

Since we take a strong stance against any kind of exploitive labor practices, we have chosen to print on American Apparel . Their employees are paid fair wages and have an excellent work environment.

After it's all said and done, wouldn't you rather pay just a little bit more for the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing that no one was exploited to put a cheap shirt on your back?

2. A Commitment to Our Earth

Being 'Green' is a easy tag company's throw on stuff to sound environmentally responsible. We do it too, the only difference is, there are some great things about SKREENED that help keep our earth happy.

1. On-demand printing means very little is wasted.

2. Water-based inks that we use exclusively are more environmentally friendly to produce.

3. They also don't go to waste (see point 1)

4. We use minimal packaging to ship so you don't have to worry about tossing or recycling a bunch of extra stuff you didn't ask for.

5. We recycle, at home, and the office. 'Nuf said.

6. We are really happy to offer American Apparel's Sustainable Edition in lots of colors -100% USDA Certified Organic Cotton.

3. Giving, Giving, Giving

Every month, SKREENED gives 10% of our profits to projects on kiva.org It's a part of who we are both at the shop and at home.

And here's some of what they make for us:

Share your comments - I'd love to hear them

What do you think of my designs?

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