While attending the ONE Girls and Women AYA Summit last month in DC, I was completely floored, well, by lots of smart, fearless, inspiring folks. One woman in that group of dynamos was Jane Mosburger Morris, who runs To The Market, a retailer that supports hundreds of artisans via multiple distribution channels, including pop-up shops, custom sourcing, retail partnerships, and their online marketplace.
TTM showcases handmade goods made exclusively by proud and passionate artisans who have overcome the perils of abuse, conflict, and disease. By assisting local partners around the world in bringing these goods “to the market,” they take an active role in equipping the survivors they employ with economic independence, while raising awareness of the challenges that they face. Additionally, TTM offers a platform for these survivors to share their stories with all of us.
I think one of the things many of us struggle with in regards to incredibly daunting issues such as global poverty and disease is wondering what WE can do, personally. It’s extremely overwhelming, and so easy for us to just shut down and buy another pair of ankle boots. (I know this from personal experience.)
But here’s the deal, guys. We all have the ability to help and empower others. And what I’ve realized is that there is no ONE way to go about it. We all can help while staying true to ourselves. Whether by spreading the word about charitable causes, donating your time and efforts to a beloved cause, educating ourselves and friends on the issues at hand, or choosing to purchase items that support companies and organizations who are creating stable lives for many, many people.
My thing? Well, I’ve always loved to tell you all about cool stuff. And I know most of you enjoy shopping now and again. (Ahem.) So why not shop for items that directly affect lives in an incredibly positive manner? Sounds like a win-win to me. I have some other great organizations to tell you all about soon, but for now, please take some time to check out To The Market.
From top left, left to right:
Oralia Diamond Foldover Clutch, $85