… Fair Anita. (Post discusses sexual violence.)
I met Fair Anita founder Joy McBrien at a a women’s mentorship event that she organized back in April. Nearly 200 women attended and the entire experience was affirming and inspiring. Joy herself was also inspiring. Her passion for creating conversations around and opportunities for women leaders is shines out of her when she speaks, and her dedication to helping women overcome sexual violence is intense.
Joy is very open about her own experiences with sexual violence, and makes it quite clear that her own life events inspire and drive her work. As a student at the U of M business school, she designed and took a self-directed study abroad trip to Chimbote, Peru, a town of nearly 400,000 people, where 80% of the population lives in extreme poverty and 70% of women report having experienced domestic violence. She helped build a battered women’s shelter there, and then realized that helping these women reclaim some of their agency through economic empowerment could be even more valuable.
Fair Anita was created to make that possible. As the website states, “As a social enterprise, Fair Anita exists to create opportunities for women and girls, especially through leadership and entrepreneurship. We provide trendy products made by female entrepreneurs around the world to conscientious, fashion-forward consumers. The sales of these products provide economic opportunity for over 1,000 talented yet marginalized women in over 10 developing countries. Our message is women investing in other women: supporting one another’s leadership and growing comfortable in our own skin, creating positive impact on communities locally and globally. As a for-profit, mission-based organization, we are demonstrating a model to generate profit and social value.”
I had lunch with Joy shortly after the mentorship event, and she told me that she has met with more than 90 of the artisans who sell goods through Fair Anita. She travels the world to meet with artisans and talk with them about their crafts and needs.
Pop over to the site and you’ll find gorgeous jewelry, funky clothes, lovely scarves, and boldly colored bags. Most products are under $50, and you’ll be purchasing with the knowledge that your money helps support women artisans all over the world.
Do swing by and see if anything at Fair Anita catches your eye.