Black Owned Wellness Company, Pretty Spirits Crowdfunds to Open First Retail Location

Lauren Brewer

Lauren Brewer- Co-founder of Pretty Spirits

CALABASAS, Calif., March 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Christine Deloatch and Lauren Brewer, owners and co-founders of, an online spiritual wellness shop, have launched a crowdfunding campaign to open their first retail location in Calabasas, California. The initiative aims to raise $50,000 to cover costs associated with maintaining their storefront. Donations will help the Black, female-owned business with a heartfelt mission to improve the world.

Pretty Spirits has been fulfilling its mission to offer products and services that enhance self-awareness and help customers better manage anxiety, stress, and depression for the last seven years. In 2015, they began by offering services such as psychic readings and reiki healing to help clients break through tough emotional challenges connected to various traumas. As their client base grew, they developed their first oracle deck as a tool for self-discovery. They have since expanded their product line to include hundreds of spiritual and wellness products.

Donations will allow Pretty Spirits to continue to provide mindful products, resources, and services to those who suffer from emotional struggles like anxiety, abandonment and low self-esteem. The campaign goal amount of $50,000 will cover the rent and inventory storage for one year, store furnishings, the POS system, signage, marketing, inventory, and maker materials. Every dollar counts, and the campaign is grateful for any amount given towards meeting its goal.

Christine Deloatch

Christine Deloatch- Co-founder of Pretty Spirits

The new physical location in Calabasas, California, is a suite in Bungalow 21, a first-of-its-kind, family-owned business and wellness center. Pretty Spirits will begin their permanent residency in a modest space on April 16th, 2023. The founders are excited to showcase their mindfully curated products and provide their healing services.

Christine Deloatch and Lauren Brewer are mompreneurs who set out to impact the world significantly. Their mission is to create a safe space for millions seeking the knowledge and tools to align with higher self-worth, greater fulfillment, and inner peace. Donations from caring people like you help Pretty Spirits achieve its mission and improve the world.

Pretty Spirits- Co-founders

Lauren Brewer & Christine Deloatch, Co-founders of Pretty Spirits

To donate to Pretty Spirits’ crowdfunding campaign, visit their donation page:

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

For more information, please contact
Joseph Benjamin
+1 323 659 0553

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8786029

British couple return to thank medical staff for saving them from COVID-19

A British couple among the nation’s first COVID-19 patients have returned to Vietnam to thank the medical staff who treated them and present the hosts with a book about their time under care.


Three years ago, Shan Coralie Barker, a British tourist, and her husband, Dixon John Garth, were transferred to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases on their first visit to Vietnam shortly after they landed at Hanoi’s airport.


The British couple came to visit their son in Vietnam from the UK at the beginning of March 2020. Unfortunately, they tested positive for COVID-19 before they could meet him.


The couple was immediately quarantined and hospitalised for COVID-19 treatment.


Barker recovered from the disease, but her husband suffered respiratory failure, requiring mechanical ventilation.


The 74-year-old patient had a 10-year history of blood cancer and had to fight for his life. He finally won the battle after more than a month in hospital.


Barker said: “I talked to the doctor so I could see him. I’m so grateful for the efforts of the doctors and nurses here.”


On the night of April 13, 2020, the British patient was discharged from the hospital. They boarded a flight back home at dawn on April 14, 2020.


On their second visit to Vietnam early this month, the British couple decided to return to the hospital to thank doctors for treating them three years ago.


At the intensive care unit, Barker, who was COVID-19 patient No. 24, and Garth, No. 28, were delighted to see the doctors and nurses who took care of them.


Barker said: “I’m very happy to meet the people who treated me because, at that time, we didn’t know who they were or what they looked like, as they were all covered by protective clothing and face masks.”


After two hours of talking, Barker gave the doctors and nurses a book of more than 100 pages telling their own journey when she caught COVID-19 while on a flight from London to Hanoi and how they got treated.


Her book, ‘A Diverse Nurse Thanks Vietnam’, was written in the summer of 2020, a few months after she and her husband were hospitalised with COVID-19 and put on ventilators at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases.


Barker said that the hospital was their first stopover during their second trip to Vietnam.


They wanted to come back to the country to thank doctors and nurses and visit the scenic spots they missed in 2020./.


Source: Vietnam News Agency

Dong Nai to build three bridges to HCM City

The southern province of Dong Nai has approved a plan develop three bridges linking it with neighboring Ho Chi Minh City to ease traffic pressure on the existing bridges in the area and promote local and regional socio-economic growth.


One of the three bridges will connect HCM City’s Thu Duc City and Dong Nai province’s Tam An commune, Long Thanh district. One will link southern HCM City with Dong Nai’s Nhon Trach district, and the other will replace the existing Cat Lai ferry.


Work on the six-lane Cat Lai bridge is scheduled to start before 2025. The other two bridges will be developed in the 2026-2030 period, according to a dispatch that the Dong Nai authorities sent to Ho Chi Minh City on March 8.


Dong Nai province is located on the eastern side of HCM City. The two localities are geographically divided by the Dong Nai, Long Tau, Dong Tranh and Thi Vai rivers, but there are only two bridges connecting them. They are the Dong Nai Bridge on National Highway 1A and the Long Thanh Bridge on the HCM City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway.


The two bridges are overwhelmed by a huge traffic load. The eight-lane Dong Nai Bridge has a designed passenger car unit (PCU) of 96,000 per day, but it is currently handling 216,000 PCUs.


Similarly, the actual PCU recorded on the four-lane Long Thanh Bridge is 65,000, while its designed capacity is 48,000./.


Source: Vietnam News Agency

More needs to be done to meet mandate of disclosing information online: study

Despite an improvement in the online disclosure of district-level land use plans and provincial-level land pricing frameworks, the difference between the reviews in 2021 and 2022 was not significant, according to recent research findings.


The findings were shared at a thematic discussion jointly organised by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Vietnam and the Centre for Education Promotion and  Empowerment of Women (CEPEW) in Hanoi on March 9.


Accordingly, there was an increase in the number of district-level land use plans and provincial-level land pricing frameworks available online on local government portals in 2022 compared to 2021. At the same time, local authorities have become more responsive to citizen requests for land information.


However, despite these changes, the difference between the two reviews was not significant, indicating that more needs to be done by provincial and district authorities to meet the mandate of disclosing information online.


Regarding the disclosure of the provincial land pricing frameworks, as of October 6 last year 41 out of the 63 provinces and centrally-run cities (65%) publicly posted the land pricing frameworks on their websites, an increase of 22.2% compared to the review findings in 2021. However, information in some of these portals is stored in the form of compressed documents and archived non-systematically, leading to difficulties for users who want to search for land pricing frameworks.


Regarding the disclosure of district-level land use plans, as of October 6 last year, 389 out of the 705 the district-level People’s Committees (DPCs) (55.2%) disclosed this information last year on their portals. Among these 389 districts, 19 DPCs (4.9%) that publicised the district-level land use plans in 2022 issued the land use plans on time. Compared that with the review findings in 2021, the number of DPCs that publicised land use plans on their portals/websites increased slightly, about 7%.


In terms of the disclosure of district-level land use master plan information – a new content assessed in 2022, by October 6 last year, 345 out of the 705 district-level localities nationwide (nearly 49%) publicised this information for the period of 2021-2030. Specifically, among these 345 DPCs, 105 were recorded to have disclosed such information on time; 116 did not disclose on time; and 124 were unidentifiable in terms of the disclosure time.


With regard to completeness, 171 out of the 345 DPCs (49.6%) fully disclosed three documents: approval decision, explanatory report and map of land use master plan.


According to the review findings, only 53 DPCs (0.75%) met all the five criteria: information disclosure, searchability, timeliness, completeness, and usability.


This study is part of an annual series of action research on land information disclosure in Vietnam by local authorities from 2021 to now. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Embassy of Ireland, and the UNDP jointly funded this study through the Vietnam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) Research Programme of UNDP.


The level of land information disclosure of the provincial and district authorities is evaluated based on five criteria: information disclosure; searchability; timeliness of information; completeness of information (for district-level land use master plan and annual district-level land use plans); and information usability (easy to read, understand and readable with common softwares)./.


Source: Vietnam News Agency

Reference exchange rate down 1 VND on March 10

The State Bank of Vietnam set the daily reference exchange rate at 23,639 VND/USD on March 10, down 1 VND from the previous day.


With the current trading band of +/- 5%, the ceiling rate applied to commercial banks during the day is 24,820 VND/USD and the floor rate 22,457 VND/USD.


The opening hour rates at commercial banks decreased.


At 8:30am, Vietcombank listed the buying rate at 23,490 VND/USD, and the selling rate at 23,860 VND/USD, both down 15 VND from the end of March 9.


BIDV also reduced both rates by 5 VND to 23,535 VND/USD (buying) and 23,835 VND/USD (selling).


During the week from March 6-10, the daily reference exchange rate mostly followed a downward trend except for Thursday (March 9). However, it still ended the week up 3 VND from the rate at the beginning of the week./.


Source: Vietnam News Agency

China’s reopening good news for Vietnamese exporters

China’s reopening as COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted has strongly lifted Vietnamese agricultural and fishery exports to the country, according to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam.


Speaking at a recent trade promotion forum, he opined that China’s dismantling of its COVID-19 lockdowns had given a big push to bilateral trade, with Vietnamese exports to China in February rising by 33% month-on-month.


The Mong Cai-Dongxing Border Gate was immediately reopened after the good news came in, leading to scores of traders flocking to the gate to look for Chinese partners.


The gate plays a prominent role in bilateral trade because it commercially connects Quang Ninh province with China’s Guangxi province. The latter is the third-largest importer of Vietnamese seafood, importing 75% of its annual fishery consumption.


Regarding processed agricultural products, he said Vietnamese exporters who want to enter the Chinese market must hand in two dossiers, one to a Vietnamese agency and the other to a Chinese agency.


However, some exporters have skipped steps by submitting their dossier to the Chinese agency only, leading to the situation that the Vietnamese side is unable to verify the submitted dossier at the request of its Chinese counterpart.


The deputy minister called on exporters to strictly follow the procedure to save themselves from redoing the process. He also suggested the formation of a team tasked with keeping agricultural producers well-informed about the Chinese market.


A representative of the Department of Quality Management, Processing, and Market Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development described Quang Ninh as a commercial gateway to Asian markets for Chinese traders.


Guangxi is one of the major importers of Vietnamese agricultural and fishery products. The province alone accounts for 47.5% of China’s total imports from Vietnam.


The representative urged Vietnamese producers to focus more on trade promotion to fully unlock the trade potential between the two countries.


To Van Quang, vice chairman of the Vietnam-China Business Association in Guangxi, mentioned his Dong Dang Industrial Investment Company, which was pushing hard for a Vietnamese seafood trading centre in Fangchenggang City.


He said its efforts have paid off as 600,000 tonnes of cold storeage warehouse are being built by the municipal authorities. Once finished, the warehouse would allow Vietnamese seafood to enter China in larger quantities and with lower lead times.


He also revealed that the company plans to import 35,000 tonnes of durians, 120,000 tonnes of purple sweet potatoes, and certain quantities of seafood to China this year.


Tran Thi Bich Ngoc, head of the Management Board, Mong Cai International Border Gate, estimated that Vietnamese agricultural and fishery exports to China via the gate grew by around 60% year by year.


From her perspective, Vietnamese producers should reshape their mindset to bring more changes to bilateral trade. She said they need to be more commercially cooperative to not lose out on trade opportunities.


She also underlined the importance of digital technologies, including e-commerce, in trade promotion. She said e-commerce would allow producers to market their products beyond borders.


Lastly, the head urged the producers to embrace novel production techniques and well-organised management to keep their products up to standard.


Under Order No.248, Vietnamese food producers are required to register with the CIFER system to be eligible for exports to China.


Some participants at the forum complained that China had changed the registration procedures in the system, resulting in longer times to have their codes approved.


However, Ngo Xuan Nam, deputy director of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Notification Authority and Enquiry Point (SPS Office), claimed that China had not made any such changes to the system since the enactment of Order No.248.


Even if China had wanted to revise the procedures for business registration and food safety, the process would never be a mean feat as the country has to consult other WTO members to get the job done.


The deputy director said his office had held talks with Chinese authorities, requesting them to speed up the process of approving Vietnamese producers.


Deputy Minister Nam suggested Quang Ninh’s authorities and their Chinese counterparts hold a live trade promotion forum in Dongxing city as soon as possible to enable bilateral discussion on business matching activities and supply chain development./.


Source: Vietnam News Agency

Vietjet launches big promotion on new routes from HCM City, Da Nang, Phu Quoc to Hong Kong

Welcoming the festive season at the most vibrant shopping paradises in Asia, the budget carrier Vietjet is offering an opportunity to fly across Hong Kong (China) and Southeast Asian countries, with tickets priced from only 0 VND during the golden week from March 10 to 16 at website and Vietjet Air mobile app.


With direct flights from Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Phu Quoc to Hong Kong and the flight network covering Southeast Asia, passengers can choose many convenient flights and flexible schedules.


Being the only airline having a direct route connecting Phu Quoc and Hong Kong, Vietjet will operate the Phu Quoc – Hong Kong route from April 27 with a frequency of three return flights per week on every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. The flights from Phu Quoc take off at 13:35 and land in Hong Kong at 17:20 (local time). The flights from Hong Kong to Phu Quoc take off at 18:20 (local time) and land in Phu Quoc at 20:05. Hong Kong passengers flying to Phu Quoc are eligible for a visa exemption.


The route connecting Da Nang to Hong Kong will operate from April 28 this year with a frequency of four return flights per week every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The flights from Da Nang take off at 14:35 and land in Hong Kong at 17:20 (local time). The flights from Hong Kong take off at 18:20 (local time) and land in Da Nang at 19:10.


In addition, from March 26, the route connecting Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong will increase in frequency to seven flights per week, taking off at 15:10 and land at 18:50 (local time). The flights from Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City take off at 19:50 (local time) and land in Da Nang at 21:30.


Especially, from March 10-16, Vietjet offers passengers a golden promotional week for flights to Hong Kong and Southeast Asia with ticket prices from only 0 VND at and Vietjet Air mobile app, with the flight period from March 20 to May 20, 2023. Furthermore, Vietjet also offers many gifts to passengers who becoming a member of the loyalty programme Vietjet SkyJoy.


With convenient direct flights and super-saving fares, diversity priority or all-inclusive services from ticket classes from SkyBoss, Deluxe, Eco, this is a golden time to shopping, immersed in the magical world of Disneyland Hong Kong, the vibrant Lan Kwai Fong and unique cuisines, welcoming the unique Songkran Water Festival in Thailand.


The new-age carrier Vietjet has not only revolutionised the aviation industry in Vietnam but also been a pioneering airline across the region and around the world. With a focus on cost management ability, effective operations, and performance, applying the latest technology to all activities and leading the trend, Vietjet offers flying opportunities with cost-saving and flexible fares as well as diversified services to meet customers’ demands.


Vietjet is a fully-fledged member of International Air Transport Association (IATA) with the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate. As Vietnam’s largest private carrier, the airline has been awarded the highest ranking for safety with seven stars by the world’s only safety and product rating website and listed as one of the world’s 50 best airlines for healthy financing and operations by Airfinance Journal in many consecutive years. The airline has also been named as Best Low-Cost Carrier by renowned organisations such as Skytrax, CAPA, Airline Ratings, and many others./.


Source: Vietnam News Agency