One of the most beautiful things about the online space is how incredibly nimble people can be to make awesome things happen. In October when I traveled to Ethiopia as part of the ONE Moms delegation, our team created such an online stir about fashionABLE that they were able to create three new jobs. This past winter, fellow Ethiopia companion and dear friend Gabrielle Blair, of Design Mom and Alt Summit, worked with ONE and fashionABLE to challenge the Alt community to design an exclusive ONE/fashionABLE Mother's Day scarf. And today the beautiful Genet scarf is available for purchase (with free shipping today and tomorrow).
If you're not already familiar with fashionABLE scarves, here's the skinny: each scarf is named after a woman who has helped produce the scarf. Each of these women has risen from prostitution and poverty to forge a new life through her work at fashionABLE. I met these some of these women in Ethiopia. I had an opportunity to dye thread with these women. I watched them spin and weave. I listened to their stories. I cried some big ugly tears.
The Genet scarf takes three days to produce by hand. Below is Genet's story. Please buy her beautiful scarf for a mom you love (yourself and/or another!) and support this amazing woman and her daughter:
I don't remember my birth mother, and I don't know my birthday or actual age, so the timeline of my story is based on my best guess. I was brought from the countryside into the city of Addis at age 3 by an aunt who promised my family I would be sent to school and have a "better life." Instead, I was groomed to be a housemaid and given so many responsibilities that the load of work become impossible and overwhelming. By age 12, I ran away and began living on the street. I felt lost and I was continually raped. Eventually, I became pregnant. With a baby at 15, I learned to have sex for money so I could support her. I coped with life through drinking, drugs and smoking. I recently learned about [the fashionABLE] program and am enrolled in counseling to work through my addictions, my childhood trauma, and learn ways to reconnect with my now 6-year-old daughter. I am also working at fashionABLE and am grateful to have a job that provides dignity.
All images courtesy of ONE