As we head into the holidays, we're starting a new series: Faces of FASHIONABLE. The inspirational women behind our products have courageous stories of overcoming, and we are honored to share them with you.
Our new bold, colorful jewelry is providing jobs for marginalized and at-risk young women in Cambodia. In addition to the skills training, these girls are receiving an education in multiple other areas, including finance & budgeting, health & wellness, english language, goal setting, and conflict resolution. They get health care benefits, daily meals, and of course a safe and dignified work environment.
We asked the founder, Rachel, to share a little bit more behind the business...
Tell us more about your business. This is a big question! I founded it in 2013 and have not stopped running since. When I first came to Cambodia and learned that the local term used for any marginalized woman was ‘broken girl’... I became undone. It was in that moment that the business was truly born. An idea and a dream quickly became a necessity. We now have a small team of amazingly talented artisans. Now, my days are filled with building curriculum for our skill and job training, leading staff trainings, weekly individual staff check-ins, designing, building and maintaining customer and partner relationships (domestic and abroad), social media/web/marketing, scheduling and managing our community service outreach program, and all the other day to day business dealings that come my way. I wear a lot of hats but I wouldn't have it ANY other way.
When you’re not hard at work, what do you like to do in your free time? Free time? Joking. Movies are my absolute favorite. I take that back, coffee is my number one love so take me to a good coffee shop and I'm set.
We believe that every one of us understands what it means to overcome, and we are all ABLE to find purpose in the work we do. What is something YOU are ABLE to do because of your work? Because of my work, I am able to give safe, ethical, and honorable employment to young women who otherwise may not have had the opportunity. Because of my work, I am able to empower, uplift, and love young women who have previously been hurt, put down, undervalued, or unloved. Because of my work, I am able to help educate young women who simply never had the chance or option. And because of my work, I am able to impact not only my staff, but our community and the lives of others by the higher standards we set and the love we give to others by reaching out and giving care.
We have added 3 new products from CAMBODIA to our Jewelry Collection: the Nomad Tassel Necklace, Duo Choker (which doubles as a wrap bracelet), and the Triple Stack Bracelets -- all hand-made from beautiful howlite beads.