MEET THE TEAM:
Founder + Executive Director
As far back as I can remember, I've wanted to spend my time focusing on long-term, sustainable solutions for men & women living in poverty in developing countries with limited opportunities. I am drawn to the beauty of international cultures & want join along side their fight against the systems that keep people in poverty generation after generation.
From summers spent in Mexico & Bolivia to longer stints in Guatemala & Honduras, I've seen the need for sustainable job opportunities first hand. (You can read more in this blog post.)
I started Purse & Clutch in 2011 to connect talented artisans with a market here in the States. I was amazed to learn about how these jobs were transforming the lives of the women & men we were partnering with & realized since I was based in the States I could help facilitate that connection to help them grow. We have the privilege of working directly with artisan groups in Ethiopia, Mexico & Guatemala, designing beautiful textiles & styles that are meant to stand the test of time.
Jen has an undergraduate degree in Chemistry & received her Master's in Leadership & Ethics from John Brown University in 2009. Purse & Clutch launched in 2011. In addition to running Purse & Clutch, she & her husband Jonathan do their fair share of running after their daughter Grey. Contact Jen directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've always loved being a part of organizations that "do good" for others. But when I was in college, I started a degree in Non-Profit management and really started digging into the idea of what "doing good" was. As I fell more in love with sustainable development, I began to learn more and more about the other side- the side that non fair trade brands don't talk about.
It hurt my heart like crazy to know that the $10 top I bought was as cheap as it was because it was made by underpaid, overworked women, men, and children.
So last year, after doing a massive purge of clothes I didn't wear, I decided to make sure all future purchases were from brands I knew had a transparent labor policy and paid their workers a living wage. I want men and women to take pride in the work they do and to be able to use it to support their families long term and I know the only way to change the policies of brands I like that *don't* meet ethical standards is to create more demands for those that do.
Customer Service & Education Coordinator
For as long as I can remember, I've always been somewhat in conflict with the system (I even tried to give up money & technology for lent in high school!). Since graduating from high school & leaving home 15 years ago, I've tried to be more conscious & intentional about my life choices and the footprint I'm leaving behind. While the path to living simply hasn't been easy (and I've had more than my fair share of missteps), living abroad for 7 years, meeting my husband, & moving 17 times in 15 years have all been incredible teachers.
Over those years & moves (plus a few screenings of movies about consumerism & fast fashion), I've learned quality is better than quantity, to care about what goes in & on my body, & about the people behind the products. I'm not perfect (and never will be!), but I do hope to leave the world a little bit better. For me, that means shopping less, caring more, & helping those in need.
Interested in getting involved? Learn about opportunities here.