Business Spotlight: Fashion & Compassion
Fashion & Compassion is a Charlotte based charitable business that empowers women coming out of poverty and injustice. Artisans inspire women from around the world with collections from Uganda, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Rwanda, Mexico, Honduras, and locally in the United States. These women are given light out of the darkness in their lives. Connecting communities with beauty and dignity is the mission for Fashion and Compassion.
Business Name: Fashion & Compassion
Twitter Handle: @fashion2empower
Facebook Page: FashionNCompassion
Could you describe your business or brand? Fashion & Compassion is a non-profit that works with women overcoming poverty & injustice by training them to make jewelry and accessories both in the US (Charlotte, NC) and around the world. We donate 100% of our net proceeds back into our community partners in each of the communities we serve.
Where is the business or brand based? We make jewelry in Charlotte, NC at our headquarters as well as at our projects and partners in Uganda, Ecuador, Mexico, Rwanda, Honduras & Ethiopia.
What sets the business or brand apart? That we are a non-profit that is focused on helping women overcome the challenges they face. We not only give them a job but we work to help them address their issues by connecting them with resources available in the local community. We also donate 100% of our net proceed back into our partners.
When and who founded the business or brand? Michele Dudley founded Fashion & Compassion in 2012 with Celeste Bundy. Michele & Celeste had been working together with the project in Uganda and a small jewelry project in Charlotte under another non-profit called Seeds of Hope. As the popularity of the products grew, it made sense to launch Fashion & Compassion as its own non-profit organization.
What achievements is the business or brand most proud of? In 2014 we donated over $100,000 to our community partners around the world! We also partner with Proverbs 31 Ministries, a Christian women’s group, and we made over 15,000 pieces of jewelry for their ministry in 2014 which enabled them to raise more funds for their work encouraging women.
Which nonprofits does the business or brand support? Our partners include The Dove’s Nest, Compassion to Act, Changed Choices, Behailu Academy, Rise up/Justice Ministries, Market Your Mind, Education Equals Hope (Ecuador), Hanna’s Home (Ethiopia), ALARM (African Leadership & Reconciliation Ministries), Mission Lazarus (Honduras) and The Blessing School for the Visually Impaired (Rwanda).
How do these causes relate to the business or brand? All of the non-profits are based in communities where we have partner projects where (mostly) women are employed making the jewelry and accessories that we sell. We donate to the partners who work with us to support the women we are serving in the projects.
What cause marketing products or services does the business or brand sell? We do not sell any items that are not made by people overcoming poverty or injustice. Everything we sell is tagged with the product story and many items (where it is safe to do so) are also signed by the artisan that made the item. We also make custom jewelry designs for other non-profits or companies that can be sold to raise funds for their work.
What percentage of revenue received goes toward helping others? 100% of our revenue goes to helping other as everything we do is focused on empowering women!
What annual fundraising events do you participate in? Selling jewelry and accessories is our preferred means of fundraising as it helps us achieve all 3 of our primary goals: 1. To empower women through employment, 2. To educate our customers about the issues women face in the US and around the world and 3. To raise funds for our community partners. We participate in many events, some of which are fundraising events for our partners but we do not currently have any events focused exclusively on fundraising for Fashion & Compassion.
How can people get involved with your business or brand in giving back? The best thing people can do to help us give back is buy our products or help us sell our products through trunk shows, inviting us to conferences or events or connecting us to retailers and organizations that are interested in a custom jewelry piece for their customers.