I'm a founder + the V.P. of Marketing at Trades of Hope.
To sum it up, I empower women around the world. That is what I GET to do. But to get an idea of how I ended up being able to do that for my CAREER, keep on reading!
When I was 15 years old, I founded Trades of Hope with three other strong women. Trades of Hope empowers women out of poverty by selling their fair trade, ethically made fashion + home accessories. These women come from backgrounds of sexual exploitation, sweat shops, abuse, and hopelessness in over 16 countries. But now they are finding hope by making our products and earning a safe, dignified, consistent income.
All around the world, different countries home talented, intelligent, creative people who don’t want charity. They don’t want to depend on another person. They don’t want a hand out that will quickly run dry. They don’t want to wait powerlessly for someone to help them.
They want an opportunity. They want an opportunity to show people their craft, to change their own circumstances, to feed their own children, to reach for their own dreams. And according to CARE Australia, when you empower one women out of poverty, she takes 4 more people with her. These women are earning a living wage in their country (more than minimum wage) and becoming leaders of their communities!
We empower her to be the hero of her own story.
We know that sustainable business is what will end poverty and create social, economical, and political equality for women around the world.
- founder -
I TRAVEL THE WORLD.
One of my very favorite parts about my job is traveling to far off countries to meet the women who make our pieces. I love experiencing their cultures and learning their strong personalities! I go to Haiti every year, just got back from meeting our artisans in Jordan, and will be visiting our artisans in Uganda and Kenya this summer! I get to hear these women tell their own stories. They enthusiastically share their favorite meals with me. And I fall in love with new countries in this beautiful world!
I SPEAK IN FRONT OF HUNDREDS MULTIPLE TIMES A YEAR.
I love public speaking! I get a rush and feel like a part of me falls into place every time. Because I helped found Trades of Hope, all of the topics I speak on I'm extremely passionate about: poverty alleviation, community development, charity vs. sustainable business, entrepreneurship, deminism, equality, leadership, social media/marketing/communications/creativity.
I STRATEGIZE NEW WAYS TO better THE COMPANY
As a Founder, I get to dream up new ways to grow Trades of Hope on a daily basis. I help decide what beautiful products will be released in which lines! (I excitedly always want every piece to be released NOW for you all to see, but we typically plan a year and a half out.) I get to collaborate with the other founders on how to lead our office of Home Team members with purpose and fun. We talk through big decisions for Trades of Hope and all of the people those decisions affect. And we constantly evaluate what is going on to make sure our core mission remains the focus. It's so fun working with 3 other women and working toward our vision together (our meetings often get a little goofy!).
- v.p. of marketing -
I lead a team of creatives, communicators, and social media strategists.
I love my marketing/communications team! We have brought so many ideas to life, launched so many campaigns, and strategized new ways to tell the stories of women OVERCOMING all around the world! (I collect all our print pieces like gold!) The nature of our work can be heavy sometimes, but I love the light-heartedness of this team!
I PLAN + DIRECT BRANDING, PHOTO SHOOTS, AND CREATIVE CAMPAIGNS
Our fashion + home accessories are so beautiful, and I love creatively strategizing ways to weave them in with the beautiful stories of our artisans in a way that speaks to the masses. Everyone with whom I work knows that I get SO EXCITED on our creative sets. If I like something, there is no question! I YELL AND DANCE AROUND. If I don't respond that way but I'm fine to move on, my awesome team doesn't settle until I'm freaking out haha. I love combining problem solving, strategy, creativity, and empowerment on a daily basis for my job!
I was made to empower women.
And to sum it up, that is what I do for work. I empower women around the world.
Women like Ya in Cambodia who was acid attacked, but finds purpose and new hope because of her job.
Women like Ms. Florence in Uganda who was a war refugee but is now a local political leader.
And women like Mary in Uganda who was in poverty but now provides for her children!
I would not be satisfied doing anything else. No matter where I live, who's around, what I'm focused on, I will always be working to empower women. The fact that my job involves all of those other things too makes me giggle in disbelief and gratitude.
At Trades of Hope, we wear what we believe. Poverty ending. Hearts hoping. Women rising. Nations healing.
With relentless ambition + passion I live intentionally to take my dreams from plans to reality + empower other women to do the same. I'm a Trades of Hope founder, public speaker, and designer living in Washington, D.C. When I'm not following fashion trends, catching airplanes, or playing with my redhead pup, I'm offering up fashion shortcuts, life lessons I'm learning, and free wallpapers to remind you of how much you've got this.