I get inspiration from a lot of people and places. Lindsay Sullivan is one of those people. She’s a doer. Unlike some people who like to complain or feel that they can’t do anything to help make the world a better place, Lindsay is making things happen.
Lindsay knows firsthand how lack of opportunities for women in developing countries fuel the poverty cycle. But rather than writing a check and hope for the best, Lindsay decided to do something about it – and she’s thinking big.
Lindsay grew up in suburban New England, and by her own admittance, largely sheltered her from the harsh realities of international trade and exploitation. In her role as a production manager for a large consumer goods corporation, Lindsay had traveled on business to Southeast Asia, where, she learned, a high percentage of women are trafficked. It was soon after moving to San Francisco in 2005 when she read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle that changed her life: Diary of a Sex Slave. The story introduced Lindsay to the horrific plight of thousands of young women living as slaves right in her own neighborhood.
In her spare time, she began volunteering with SAGE (Standing Against Global Exploitation) to learn more about the issues. She soon realized that she could use her knowledge of overseas production and sourcing and her newfound passion for ethical trade to help stop exploitation. This passion inspired the creation of SET Boutique, an online marketplace that offers alternative shopping options that she hopes will end modern day slavery and exploitation.
Most entrepreneurs might stop there. Continue to seek out product for the business and sell it to consumers interested in making a difference through their purchasing power. But not Lindsay. Instead, she has decided to launch her own line of fair trade apparel and handbags, working directly with women in developing countries.
“The styling is modern, easy to wear, and takes fair trade fashion a step above the stereotypical images of ethnic print tunics, sack dresses, and sling bags,” says Lindsay. “I’m out to prove that fashion can be ethical, and fair trade can be stylish. You’ll find custom SET Boutique prints in draped bamboo fabric, and New Zealand Merino wool that is hand spun and hand knit into cozy sweaters.”
Lindsay has launched a funding campaign through Kickstarter, which will help her raise the capital she needs to design and deliver her exclusive styles through this summer and fall. Her goal is to raise $7,000 by early April.
Lindsay recently returned from a trip to Rwanda (that’s her in the photo in Rwanda with some of the children she met during her travels) and her video footage on Facebook is a treat to watch: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/SETboutique.
I love the way Lindsay is making things happen. Want to support an amazing women entrepreneur whose work will have a ripple effect for other women and children all over the world? You can. Visit http://kck.st/g2o3Mg and help Lindsay secure the funding she needs to make it happen! Become a fan of her Facebook page and follow her story.
We need more Lindsay’s in the world – she’s the kind of inspiration we all need!
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