A Long Overdue Update

Summer came and went and left us with hardly a moment to catch our breath. It’s been far too long since we posted here, but it’s not been for lack of news. Thank you to everyone who made the summer sales a success, and while I'm looking forward to introducing you to some of the new artisans I'll be featuring this fall, I want to take a minute to update you on another project I've been working on.

In Kenya, tens of thousands of adolescent girls have been forced into prostitution. The mechanisms of this trade are complicated. Work is hard to find in much of Kenya, and for women finding a job that pays enough to support a family is nearly impossible. In order to provide for their children in the face of abject poverty, mothers are often forced to sell their daughters for sex. For most of us in the United States, this is an unthinkable decision. For many in Kenya and across East Africa, it’s the only option.

Kenya-based non-profit Art and Abolition is working to change this paradigm. Founded by American artist and activist Brittanie Richardson, the organization recruits girls out of the sex trade, and by providing housing, therapy and education, helps them find a different, positive course for their lives.

Brittanie Richardson with girls in Kenya

Brittanie Richardson with girls in Kenya

I am inspired by Brittanie’s courage and vision, and inspired by Art and Abolition’s goal to eradicate the Kenyan sex trade. And I am grateful that she has agreed to partner with Plume on her Women For Women project, which seeks to snub out this epidemic at the source: by ensuring that mothers have better options. The project provides training in artisan craftsmanship--giving women the skills needed to create beautiful, high quality and marketable goods, while also creating new avenues to the marketplace. In July, my friend and supporter Nell Daniel, hosted a Plume sale to raise funds for Women For Women. We are grateful for Nell, and the amazing turnout. With the proceeds, we were able to buy Women For Women new sewing machines to help get them started. 

I am looking forward to continuing the partnership with Women For Women. This winter, we will be traveling to Kenya to meet with Brittanie and the women she is training. The plan is to collaborate with the women on my new designs for Plume, with the ultimate goal of bringing the items into production and to our customers sometime in 2016.

Brittanie with the Mamas of "Women For Women"

Brittanie with the Mamas of "Women For Women"

This is an exciting time for us, but there’s a lot of work and many obstacles on the horizon. We will be having a sale later in September, and we look forward to sharing some details in the coming weeks. But for now, we just want to say thank you for reading this post. And thank you for supporting Plume.   

Please check out plumecollection.com, some new pieces have been added!