Crafted by Friends (CBF) is an online boutique where you will find one-of-a-kind jewelry, accessories, and home accents made by remarkable individuals from all over the world; it is style with a story. The owners, Sara and Philip Dail, are well known as the former owners of Beleza, a Fair Trade Boutique that was in Cameron Village for years. After closing Beleza, Sara and Philip Dail wanted to continue to sell fair trade products. They saw Crafted by Friends as a great outlet to continue this work.
Founder, Sales Manager
When Philip entered the retail world, he had no retail experience having never even operated a cash register! In 2005 he started Beleza, a women’s accessories boutique in Cameron Village in Raleigh, NC. His background is in education. He taught high school for about twenty years before moving to NC State University, where he eventually retired from the College of Textiles after serving as Director of Admissions and Advising for almost twenty years. It was as a result of his work in the College of Textiles that he started Beleza.
For several years he advised all students in the College and taught them an introductory course in textile practices. In this role he met Kyley Schmidt, a student majoring in Textile Design. Kyley ultimately joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Madagascar where she worked with a village of women who made remarkable silk scarves and shawls starting with the cocoons, a labor intensive process requiring incredible skills. She contacted Philip about helping her develop a market for these products, which was the beginning of his work in fair trade practices around the world.
His extensive world travels introduced him to a number of artisans whose products were outstanding and who, like the women in Madagascar, needed a larger market to sell their products. He soon opened Beleza to provide a market and to bring remarkable products to the USA. He was joined in the effort by his wife, Sara, who married him on September 9, 2006, almost a year after he had opened Beleza. Sara soon took over management of the store and developed it into a destination shopping location for their customers.
Beleza closed on January 12, 2014 at 6:00 pm. Philip and Sara had a wonderful eight years in that location and were appreciative of the customer support they had received. Their desire to continue partnering with the artists resulted in Crafted by Friends, an online shopping experience to allow people to continue enjoying the remarkable products.
Three things in Sara’s long-ago background had great influence on her recent career experience. One: her father owned a small-town Red and White grocery store, and she worked there every weekend throughout her high school years. It was there she learned about working with people — an invaluable education. Two: her college major was merchandising, a seemingly natural fit for Sara. Three: in a post-college/early-adulthood conversation with her father, Sara told him, “Someday I would like to own my own business.” Sara’s father asked her what kind of business, to which she replied that it did not matter as long as it was something unique to where she was.
Fast forward to Philip having started Beleza and the day he pulled off the road and prayed for a woman to help with his women’s accessories store. In a perfect example of “be careful what you pray for”, not only did Philip get a woman to help with the store, but also he got a wife! When Sara and Philip married, it was not the intent for Sara to work at the store, but within a very few months, that’s where she found herself, both literally and figuratively. It makes a lot of sense to have ownership in presence at a small business. Lucky for Sara, working at Beleza became the best job she ever had. Just like her time at the Red and White, interacting with people was her favorite part; she came full circle!
Now that Sara is interested and excited to see where it will take everyone.
Web designer and Marketer
Richard would have never thought that his first semester of college his freshman year would be so significant in his life. In the fall 2014, he met Philip Dail in a class called World Population and Food Prospects. After class, he asked how he could be a part of Philip Dail’s mission to help with the Crafted By Friends website. In February 2015, Richard took over the web design work and has been here ever since.
As of today, Richard works to make sure this website has its content fresh, available on the multiple formats, and serves it purpose of providing a means in which our artisans can sell their amazing products.