I met Meghan over lunch a couple of months ago to talk about a collaboration between her lifestyle website, The TIG, and BRIKA and our artisan community. I was taken by her warmth and grace, but what really struck me was her heartfelt passion for feeding families and fighting hunger. We are so excited to have collaborated with her on this exclusive collection of lovely wishbone-inspired items, all created by our talented artisans and designers, just in time for the holidays. 20% of sales go towards Feeding America and Second Harvest, which help feed hungry families across the US & Canada. #WishBig! Shop the collection here and read more about the lovely Meghan Markle below.
I started working at soup kitchens when I was 15 years old in skid row of Los Angeles—I went to an all-girls catholic school and community outreach was a requisite for graduation—and I’m so happy it was! It 100 percent changed the way I see the world. Being involved in the community and seeing the value of giving back became so important to me. So when I moved to Toronto to film Suits, one of the first things I did was find an organization that provided meal service to those in need. I realized our leftovers from set meals were going to waste, and reached out to our executives to help change that. There were many hurdles, but with the help of Second Harvest, we were able to find the missing link—an organization that could deliver the food to surrounding shelters and guarantee it was being handled and delivered up to health code. They do incredible work, and I am so grateful to see those meals go to good use both at the center I volunteer for and the surrounding shelters and soup kitchens.
You (and your character Rachel Zane on Suits!) are known to be a foodie. How did you develop a passion for farm-to-table dining in particular?
Being from California, farm-to-table cooking is such a part of our ethos. Alice Waters has long been a role model for me in how she sees food and celebrates the harvest. It was a natural extension to have an appreciation of food and an awareness of people who don’t have access to the nourishment they need. It’s all connected.
What appealed to you about working with BRIKA’s artisan community on this project?
I think it stems from the same impulse of honoring community and craftsmanship. It’s amazing to me because when I was younger I didn’t connect the dots of how interconnected it all was—of loving farm to table and going to farmers markets growing up, of appreciating goods that are less commercial and made with love—the food I love, the products I love – they all share that same spirit. BRIKA really honors that, so when they approached me about a partnership, I was really humbled and excited to be a part of it.
How would you encourage people to get involved with providing food for people in need?
I would say you should just do it. And to not limit your involvement or awareness to just Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Hunger is something that affects people 365 days of the year.
Whether you can help at a soup kitchen or not, there are lots of small things you can do. Here’s an easy one: pack a few sack lunches in your car with a bottle of water or juice, a granola bar, some nuts or some cookies (things that are non-perishable and easy to enjoy). If you see someone that’s homeless and hungry—someone in need—give them one of the bags. Easy, effective, and so uplifting. It’s really those small acts of kindness and practicality that go a long way.
1: My nickname is: Meg, nutmeg, MM, m&m…and my mom has always called me “flower”
2: The first thing I do when I wake up is: open the back door to let my dog, Bogart, out.
3: I can’t live without: My passport
4: If I had one week to escape: I would go to The Rockhouse in Negril, turn off my phone, eat jerk chicken everyday, and just chill out.
5: If I only had $10 in my pocket: I’d invest it in The TIG.
6: Everything tastes better with a little: Maldon sea salt.
– Kena Paranjape, Co-Founder BRIKA
Meghan Markle stars as Rachel Zane in USA’s hit series, SUITS, which returns for the second half of season four in winter 2015.
A Los Angeles native, Meghan is actively involved in the socio-political arena, working closely with The United Nations Women, where she was asked to be a presenter at UN Headquarters for the HeforShe Gender Equality Campaign in September 2014. Markle is also a panelist on the esteemed list of speakers for One Young World (Dublin, 2014), and will be traveling on a USO tour to thank the troops this winter. She recently launched a lifestyle website www.TheTig.com celebrating fashion, travel, food and redefining the idea of beauty.