Minka + Judee Ann - a post from Barrett.

behind-the-scenes making the products Minka Kelly x fashionABLE press & media style & trends the women

in honor of our new collaboration, MINKAxFASHIONABLE, a post from our founder, Barrett... In 2005, my friends Matt Wertz and Dave Barnes helped me launch Mocha Club.   In 2010, my friends Matt and Amber Lehman, Kelli Cash Haywood, Lynn Taylor, and Adam Stunkle came to Ethiopia with me to help start fashionABLE.  From the beginning, all of this has been a journey of friends for me… which feels indescribably fortunate, both because it seems quite providential to be surrounded by friends who have the ability to give so many gifts, but moreover because getting to build things that matter with your friends only makes those friendships that much more vibrant and meaningful. And yesterday fashionABLE launched a new collection of pouches, designed by Minka Kelly. That’s because in 2009 my friend Matthew Morgan introduced me to Judee Ann Williams who brought her friend Minka to Ethiopia and Kenya to join my wife Rachel and I to see some of our partner work, including Women at Risk and HEKO. Minka Kelly x fashionABLE: Barrett and Minka in Ethiopia Since then, in that same vein of a friendship developed in the roots of service, I’ve come to know these two women deeply. We’ve traveled to Africa a couple times together, celebrated my 4 year old's birthday at Chuck E Cheese, played Heads Up in Debre Zeit Ethiopia, and shedded tears of both laughter and pain, as friends do. And with nothing to gain other than the satisfaction of giving of themselves, I’m always amazed by people who are so unselfish and give, without expectation, of their time, resources, and hearts. So as we launch this new collaboration today, I felt like telling you a couple of characteristics that I admire most about Minka and Judee Ann.  Sounded fun to me. Judee Ann Williams works with CAA and their foundation, and wields a mighty sword of getting things done for good.  And while she may make these huge sweeping impacts all over the world, the time and care and attention you get from her might lead you to believe that you are her only friend in the world.  Which is far from the truth.  She just has an enormous bandwidth to care for people, and those people always know it.  The characteristic I love about Judee Ann that I’ll share today is that when I enter into her presence, I immediately feel more joyful and bold and carefree.  It’s crazy really, somehow she has been gifted with a liberating presence that seems to come from a mix of grace, humor, comfortability with self, and highest humility.  Your only fear in coming in contact with Judee Ann is you may get steamrolled into doing something great with your life. Minka Kelly x fashionABLE Minka Kelly is an actress by trade, and a ferocious servant in everything else.  She greatly delights in seeing the joy in others.  I’ve watched her sit and revel in that joy, and seeing complete peace in her spirit in those moments, as it clearly satisfies her soul. She deeply believes and demonstrates by her actions that whatever moments she’s a part of (dinner, work, service, etc), they are just an opportunity to let someone know that they are valued and important and loved. The characteristic I love about Minka that I’ll share today is that she has the clairvoyant ability to love you right where you are.  Right where you are, to me, means that regardless of what you do right or wrong or poorly or well, you are loved just because you're loved.  She intuitively understands that loving someone for who they are and what they can become changes people and the world for the better, and that shame and condemnation does just the opposite. That intuition leads an effortless energy in Minka to help people live in their moment, whether joyful or painful, and gain the healing that comes from being present. It is one of the greatest gifts to have friends like this. I love working with friends. I hope the impact we have in this work together is to help people dream again. Imagine that you are unable to dream because your circumstances dictate so. So go buy one of these beautiful zippered pouches!  Our hope is that it will be a beautiful addition both to your style and to the story of real impact you are telling with your purchase. Hope you are well, and that today is a hope-filled day for you. - Barrett Minka & Barrett in Ethiopia | fashionABLE   *all photos taken by Esther Havens


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