We’re always envious of our Makers’ ability to follow their dreams and turn their passion and creativity into a business, but everyone discovers their calling in a different way. Kirsten + Sophia of Raven & Lily explain the path they took that ultimately led to creating their fair trade line of clothing and accessories.
Kirsten: Sophia and I started Raven & Lily in an effort to utilize our love of fashion + design with our passion to alleviate poverty among at-risk women. During a trip I led to India with friends from Hollywood about 5 years ago, I saw the trend of training women in design skills to help break the cycle of poverty and oppression. Though the women had gained skills, they lacked market access and modern design input to really turn their skills into income generating opportunity. I came home with a dream to come alongside these efforts to empower these women. For me it was a joy to develop a way to connect women in the West with the amazing women I have met around the world.
Sophia: Kirsten and I were brainstorming on how we could combine our love of design with a larger purpose to help those less fortunate than us. I was a graphic designer so I had a lot of connections to printers and other designers. I called up a few of them, told them about this idea we had to start a design company that would help others, and asked for some donated materials. We received gorgeous cotton papers and beautiful silk fabrics. We gathered a group of friends, made greeting cards with the donated materials and sold them at trunk shows. We made over $2000 and used this money to place our first production order in India!
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