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 Lewis 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 daughters Grey & Paige. Contact Jen directly at email@example.com.
Market Rep + Editorial Photographer
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.