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These past few weeks we featured some of the great do-gooder companies we partner with! Hear about our new and exciting partnership with Ship Sunshine created by Anna Costello!

What inspired you to create Ship Sunshine?

When I moved to Colorado, there were many times I wanted to let friends back home know I was thinking of them but I wasn't quite sure what to send. I wanted to do something more than a card and more personal than flowers. My budget and time were limited and I just couldn't find many options. I wanted to be able to send the equivalent of a hug in a box - things that would make people smile and feel cheery. So, I built Ship Sunshine to do just that. My goal is to make it easy to brighten someone's day and celebrate the little and big things in life.

One of the reasons I wanted to start my own company was so I could insert my own values into it. Every Ship Sunshine box is hand-packed with eco-friendly materials, we donate proceeds from our boxes to a person, charity, or cause, we're collecting school supplies and toiletries for those in need, and we're totally open to more possibilities!

Why do you partner with Artisans Thrive?

I am truly inspired by Artisan Thrive's mission. I love that their approach is to help women entrepreneurs around the world hone in on their skills and expand their reach. Their model and training program is so well thought through and impactful to women artisans. 

 

Know someone that could use a smile? A brighter day is a click away! Visit www.shipsunshine.com and use promo code ARTISANSTHRIVE15 for 15% off any order!

A bit about you and how you started Pure Lee Photography

I've been a wedding and lifestyle photographer for the past 4 years. Photography has been a passion and a hobby my whole life, I never meant to make it a career but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Pure Lee Photography shooting our Spring/Summer 2018 photo-shoot!

RA bit about your mission and why it's important

After seeing the realities of sex trafficking in my own city of Denver Colorado and across the world in the Himalayas, it has stirred me into action. Sex Trafficking is our century's greatest injustice bringing in $150 billion a year worldwide. The wedding industry worldwide makes $300 billion a year. As a wedding photographer I want to use my skills and profession to make a difference for women trapped in this industry. I give back 10% from each of my wedding packages to a non-profit in Nepal that works with sex trafficking survivors.

Learning about the issue of sex trafficking opened my eyes to the harsh reality of human trafficking all around the world. Human trafficking takes it's form often in poorly run factories that manufacture clothing with hazardous unnatural materials, assembled and made by men and women who are working hours unfit for health and survival. After learning about this I pledged to be more conscious about the companies I support and to make sure that companies I photograph for or shop from are paying their workers fairly, creating good and healthy work environments and helping them to succeed in all areas of life. Artisans Thrive is exactly that! A company that supports their artisans and treats them as if they were family. 

Roseline Choker Necklace/ Wrap Bracelet photographed by Pure Lee Photography!

Mention this blog post and receive 20% off a shoot with Pure Lee Photography! Good until November 1, 2018.

Six months since the graduation of the Mujeres con Vision, we have continued to work closely with the group and monitor their progress!

After the graduation, the women found themselves putting their skills to work quickly as they had a few orders lined up for World Orphans, our partner in the development of this cooperative and who continue to play a vital role in assisting with the functioning of the cooperative.

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If you spend an afternoon walking through the quaint, dirt roads scattered around Buea, Cameroon, you may hear the hum, hustle, and bustle of many pedal machines fast at work. The textile and designing business is thriving throughout the city; everywhere you go, you can spot women in the streets wearing original designs, boasting the bold, colorful, unique patterns found only in Africa. If you look closely, many of the women work alone, or with a partner, or even one or two apprentices in their shop. There hasn’t been anything to unite these designers and seamstresses. We began discussing options for this project back in July 2017. Read More

I started Haiti’s Jewels in high school when my parents were living in Ounaminthe (Northeast Haiti) in 2009/2010. While we were living there, the devastating earthquake struck and our family was consumed in a whirlwind of emergency aid. I was so overwhelmed by the scope of need and how little I could actually do to help the hundreds of thousands of injured and displaced people in Haiti. 

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Wondering about the challenges of making products abroad? Not enough local consumers. Can’t get to market. No training opportunities. The list goes on. All of it perpetuates a cycle of poverty. Read the first in our 2-part blog series.  Read More
Briya was born after I returned from a 6 month stay in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The region I was living in is considered one of the poorest in the world and day to day life for the children I came to know was truly heartbreaking, especially for the girls. They had absolutely no resources, no paper, no books, nothing to draw a picture or practice penmanship with - nothing. Read More
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue. Like many, I learned about colors early in life from books, crayons and toys. Guatemala is a country with a centuries-old culture of weaving and here many young girls learn colors from their mothers and grandmothers while learning the traditional art of weaving.  Read More
 
Guest blogger and Executive Director of the Women's Global Empowerment Fund Karen Sugar shares about what we're celebrating and supporting mothers in Uganda.

This Mother’s Day remember moms around the globe who are working hard everyday to feed, educate and care for their children. WGEF provides women the tools and opportunities they need to create a brighter future for themselves and their families. 

Our program goal is poverty reduction, human security enhancement and women’s empowerment. We offer microcredit loans and social capital building programs to women in post conflict northern Uganda. 

Along with the small entrepreneurial loan, we focus on three areas: literacy, leadership development, health initiatives. Our clients are experiencing economic and social empowerment; women are learning to read, starting businesses, sending their children to school, eating more frequently, and advocating and participating in their communities, challenging entrenched patriarchy and inequality.

Our motivation is the possibility that very poor women can rise above poverty with dignity. We are working to transform the landscape, creating systemic change which will allow civil society to develop moving the entire community forward, enabling women to take care of themselves and their children, rebuild and recover their lives and communities. 

In honor of WGEF, we're featuring the Precious Bracelet which features inscriptions from WGEF mothers in Uganda and supports their work. Learn more here or below! 


 WPMarket is excited to feature one of our partners, Kiran Social Enterprises.  

The following blog was written by Jane Wilson, founder of Kiran

All of March, our featured item will be the Kiran Veer Necklace, in junction with International Women's Day. More here!

 

India is a country of vibrant colour and culture alongside heartbreaking stories of unmet need. If you have heard of Kolkata, you may associate the city as the long time home and final resting place of Mother Teresa, a place steeped in literature, song, dance and well founded pride the rich Bengali culture, but where poverty reigns.  A lesser known fact is that beyond these stories of adversity are many strong women fighting to overcome circumstances in their lives that most of us would find it hard to imagine. At Kiran Social Enterprises, we are glad to be working with five of them.

Kiran (meaning 'ray of light or hope' in Sanskrit) was established in 2012 as a direct response to these particular women living in a busti (slum) community together and facing issues such as unfair working conditions or unemployment as well as the huge array of consequences of gender inequality. And what better way to address these issues than going right back to what is already in abundance in India – spirited colour, feminine resilience and beautiful artisanship.

At Kiran, we embrace these assets and combine them with training in multimedia jewelry design and craft. The result is a beautiful piece of Kolkata, ready for you to wear or gift on, embedded with the stories and strength of the five women who made it possible. In turn, our artisans are paid a living wage and provided with medical insurance and financial assistance as necessary. But perhaps even more crucial is the chance to spend time in community with each other, where laughter is plentiful and dignity is for everyone.

 

You can see how this is a partnership – our artisans and Kiran leadership work closely together, but we can't continue this transformative work without those who are willing to value the stories and artisanship enough to take a piece of it with them. We'd love for you to take a piece of Kiran with you, and to further close the gaps between us all. Many pieces of the Kiran jewelry range are based on the iconic Indian sari, so you are wearing a symbol of strength, resilience and traditional feminine India.  And we think you're going to love it!

Learn more about Kiran and our March campaign here