This is just a little post to introduce myself... Esther's is coming soon! It's such a privilege to have this platform and feel your support around what we're doing here with bonJOY. Wow you guys are cool.
This is an incredibly exciting project for me to be on. I love working on creative Next Things, so when Esther approached me about being her sidekick for a stylish project that offered me the chance to write, design, and strategize PLUS pulled in anti-trafficking work, it was an easy yes to give.
I first heard about human trafficking in college, when Dave Batstone, the founder of Not For Sale, came to speak. World. Changed. As my path shifted, I listened and followed, getting in with my state's chapter of Not For Sale and helping with their newsletter, then joining the Amirah safe house team as they developed their interior design vision and communicated that to volunteer decorators and renovators. Both organizations held on to beauty and joy instead of the hurt and despair that's just overwhelming and terrifying with this issue. I'm all about choosing beauty. I need it to be that way, especially as I look at my daughter and fight imaginings of all the pain and hurt I fear could touch her.
My husband and I were married in 2012, and slavery and exploitation is something we're both pretty passionate about. Cause-wise, there are actually a lot of things that get us going, and although at the time we wanted to support them all, we found that we were writing more and more checks but they were getting smaller and smaller. So, we decided to get focused and pick one cause to maximize our small drop of effectiveness. Human trafficking is such a clear injustice and spoke to both of our hearts, so we settled on that one and continue to support it however we can.
Prior to meeting Jonathan, I worked at Rue La La in Boston for four years (I call it my "past life," since everything changed once we were married and had our daughter), presenting fashionable goods (way more stylish than me! I'm pretty sure I was the first person to wear TOMS to the office). But I felt like my heart wasn't engaged, and I wanted to hope that fashion and style could have more to it, though brands who were doing the right thing were either hard to find or beyond my budget (because honestly, who ISN'T money tight for?).
I like things. I enjoy owning delightful, thoughtfully designed, aspirational things and surrounding myself with them. I want to touch and feel story, quality, and beautifully executed purpose. Paper and home goods along with just the right jewelry can stop me in my tracks, darn it. I love having a space that's me and sharing it with people I love and building community.
But, despite all my excuses and past mistakes, I don't want my purchases to steal opportunities from someone else, no matter what country they're in, what language they speak, or what they wear. It's a great big world out there, but I also believe I can change it, even for one person. And I hope, through sharing bonJOY with you, that in my little way I'm making it a little easier for you to do good with the things you love and own.
Thus is the story of my path to bonJOY! I'd love to hear your journey, too. Feel free to share it in the comments below or email me anytime at email@example.com.