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Gifts & Giving for a Cause at the Holiday Gift Marketplace

20 Nov

Look who will be at EWI’s 1st Annual Holiday Gift Marketplace!

The marketplace is a unique shopping experience for holiday gifts and  a crowd-sourcing platform for engaging customers in providing ideas, connections and services that support local businesses.

Sunday, November 24th
11am-5pm
The Whittemore House
1526 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
(near Dupont Circle)

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Ansen & Elsa
Elsen Oils

With modern products full of damaging chemicals that affect hair and skin, Elsa and Ansen longed to find safe products for their children. While researching products and ways to protect their children from these products, they discovered the many health benefits of oils in their natural form. Their love for their children inspired themto search for healthier options and their love for people inspired them to turn their new passion into a business.

Screen shot 2013-11-14 at 12.17.53 PM

As Elsen Oils grows larger, Ansen & Elsa are looking to meet some of their needs. Do you know any retail buyersor chains? Can you or someone you know provide training and advice for contacts retailers? Come to EWI’s 1st Annual Holiday Gift Market and buy some all-natural oils while also helping to continue the empowerment.

Clementine3

Clementine Simmons:
Clems Floral Design Gallery, LLC

Clemz Floral1

While Clem was growing up, she remembers her mother holding a very special love for flowers. Her mother always had flowers around and outside their home. The love for flowers held a special bond between her mother and her. Clem never realized how deep her passions for flowers went until she helped a friend create a floral arrangement. After realizing the true strength of her passion, her dream became to launch her own business. As Clem grows her business she is searching for connections and partners to take her company to the next level. Do you have a referral for someone in the hotel industry that can help Clem’s business get hired? Do you know a manufacturer who can help mass produce Clem’s gift cards and wall art to include in her packaging? Can you assist Clem in getting her Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) certificate? Come to the EWI Holiday Gift Market and meet with Clem while picking up a beautiful bouquet.

Cleo2

Cleopatra Magwaro:
A Season’s Assemblage

Cleo_book

While growing up in Zimbabwe, Cleo constantly listened to stories told by her father and grandfather. While listening to these stories, Cleo was captivated and was left with a deep passion for literature. Her desire to recapture glimpses of her childhood and bring to life images and human connections led her to write her own anthology, A Season’s Assemblage.  Her goal is to educate people of the African experience. She is inspired by the people around her and hopes to reach as many people as possible through her stories. Want to help Cleo achieve her goal? Do you know and agent or a publisher who could help Cleo? Know anyone who could provide a grant to a way Cleo could gain funds to scan her books to publish onAmazon? Know potential clients interested in the African market? Do you know any other networks or NGO’s with an African focus? Come to EWI’s 1st Annual Holiday Marketplace and learn about another culture while making a change.

Rabia

Rabia Pervez:

Silk’ n Paint

Rabia Pervez

Rabia Pervez

Growing up, Rabia recalls her constant fascination with colors and fabrics. While at home, she decided to start experimenting with various dyes and silk.This experimentation led her to creating an elegant yet striking garment that led her to learn and experiment with her art even more. Since this break through, Rabia has created a line of products ranging for cosmetic bags to pillowcases to jewelry leading to the creation of her line Silk’n paint. As Silk’ n Paint grows, Rabia has needsthat need to be met. Do you know somewhere or someone who can help Rabia sell her products in gift shops, gift galleries, corporate gift shows, and boutiques? Come to EWI’s 1st Holiday Gift Place and give the gift of empowerment this holiday season.

Free Admission

Let us know you’ll be there and RSVP NOW!

Written by Ciara Salg, Marketing & Communications Intern

Your Skills + Their Dreams = EMPOWERMENT!

18 Nov

Look who will be at EWI’s 1st Annual Holiday Gift Marketplace!

The marketplace is a unique shopping experience for holiday gifts and  a crowd-sourcing platform for engaging customers in providing ideas, connections and services that support local businesses.

Sunday, November 24th
11am-5pm
The Whittemore House
1526 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
(near Dupont Circle)

Angela copyAngela Sargent
AIA Designs

Angela_product

Not one to sit around waiting for opportunities, Angela Sargent creates her own! From writing to knitting, she puts her talents to good use.  The knitting skills learned from her grandmother were put to good use in 2007 after she lost her job. Realizing that her crafts should be shared with others, she started AIA Designs and set up shop on Etsy.  Angela could use some help with business financing and social media branding. Is this the type of expertise you have?  If so, come out to EWI’s 1st Annual Holiday Gift Marketplace to let Angela know how you can help her move AIA Designs to its next phase!

Kamila

Kamila Barbour
Barbour House Publications

Kamila_prod

The frustrations that Kamila Barbour experienced when she picked up Islamic books and saw the poorly done illustrations led her to create Barbour House Publications. She knew that her design talents could provide better illustrations, as well as offer an encouraging outlet for Islamic writers, artists and designers to promote their own work. Barbour House could benefit greatly from a partnership with a business savvy and passionate individual. Financing is very important to the beginning stages of a business. Can you help? If these resources are something that you could help Kamila with, then EWI’s 1st Annual Holiday Gift Marketplace is a great place to start sharing your resources with Barbour House!

Mariana

Mariana Alvarado
LunaMar Jewelry Collection
Mariana and Sergio Alvarado

Mariana’s father Sergio started crafting jewelry, sculptures, and other objects by hand in Mexico City more than 30 years ago. This jewelry making venture is a family affair, as she and her father work to create one of a kind pieces. Mariana would love to turn her passion for creativity and jewelry into a viable business and you can help her do it!  The 1st Annual EWI Holiday Gift Marketplace is the perfect place for small business experts to share their knowledge while shopping for the holidays. From basic start up advice to the best way to partner with galleries, Mariana could really use your help!

Sharmilla

Sharmila Karamchandani
Artist, Designer & Art Educator

Freelance_Graphic Design_Sharmila

Meet Sharmila, a creative force who hopes to use her artistry to open an art school one day.  Sharmila uses her creativity to practice henna painting at art festivals, designs jewelry and creates graphic art.  As a graduate of EWI’s Entrepreneur Training for Success program, Sharmila possesses a solid foundation to turn her dream of art school into a reality. However she could use the expertise of a business professional to help her solidify it.  Do you have contracting skills? What about an overflow of graphic design projects? Even better, are you good with numbers?  Any of these skills and resources could help Sharmila be well on her way, come shop for a cause at EWI’s 1st Annual Holiday Gift Marketplace and get to know Sharmila and how you could fuel her dreams!

Free Admission

Let us know you’ll be there and RSVP NOW!

Written by Veronica Hughes, a freelance writer with a passion for global women’s issues and social justice. You can learn more about her over at her blog, Lifestyle and Thoughts

Good Things Come to Those Who…Come Early!

15 Nov

IMG_0095evelynCome early to EWI’s 1st Annual Holiday Gift Marketplace on Sunday, November 24, 2013 at The Whittemore House, from 11AM-5PM. First 100 guests will receive one of Evelyn Brook’s special Peruvian seed charms at the door!

What makes these little seeds so special? Why not join us on Sunday with a friend, or two, and find out for yourself! You won’t regret it!

To learn more about Evelyn Brooks please visit,

http://twoworldsonechica.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Evelyn-Brooks-Designs/165285455548

To find out more about the marketplace please visit us at http://conta.cc/18ToUX1

New Items in Etsy Shop

30 Jul
EDUBETSY

Preview of EWI’s online shop

Want to see the stunning hand crafted  products of EWI’s current and former students? Visit EWI on Etsy Shop. Etsy Shop is an internet marketplace that connects artisans and small businesses to the wider community and creates a medium for them to pitch their stories. On this site, EWI students can directly sell their products to clientele, profiting more than 95% of their product’s price.

EWI has sold items for two years with proven results. More than eighty two orders have been filled accruing revenues amounting to over $3000. EWI’s Etsy Shop includes handcrafted jewelry, clothing, and more both bought and sold on behalf of our students. Posted with every item are EWI students’ unique stories including the story of Peruvian native Evelyn Brooks who uses South American huayruro seeds as a centerpiece in her pieces. To see fifteen of EWI’s new postings, please click on the following link: Empowered Women International Etsy Shop. Among these new handcrafted items are beautifully painted and culturally inspired silk scarves and cards and much more.

Etsy Shop was created to help communities “reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world.” Etsy Shop aligns nicely with EWI’s mission because of its global focus on sharing products and cultural stories from around the world.

Thank you for your continued support of Empowered Women International.

By LaNesha Kearse, Marketing & Communications Intern

Aside

Kudos to Kathy Kemerait for her Art Collection of Empowered Women!

16 Apr

Artists, Kathy Kemerait and Michele Black of Mountain Bird Designs Raise Funds to Empower Women!

A heartfelt thank you to Kathy Kemerait for allowing us to use one of her wonderful artworks in our Spring2Action April 17 Day. We are so excited about how the campaign turned out that we want to share her powerful art with you all.

Kathy’s artistic style is a unique combination of free flowing whimsy and a joyful spirit unbound by convention. Her reverence for the natural world and her respect for the feminine spirit are reflected in her art.


Her creative energy flows freely from her imagination without constraint in a seemingly endless stream of delightfully intricate and loving details that appear in each of her wonderously unique creations. Kathy and her business partner, Michele Black, are proud to announce the launch of their new business, Mountain Bird Designs.

Mountain Bird Designs offers a variety of pottery, drawings (originals and prints), handmade and one of a kind business and travel bags, all of which may be purchased through EWI.

Mountain Bird Designs is located in Western North Carolina.

Felt artist Lisa Jacenich on keeping creativity sustainable

25 Jul More about Lisa Jacenich or the Mongolian Project at http://www.artfulgifts.biz/

What does is mean to create “sustainable” art? Today, the word appears everywhere from advertising to corporate policies, making it difficult to discern what it means and how we can live in a sustainable way in order to minimize our impact on the environment.  Innovative artists like Lisa Jacenich articulate what the term signifies for them by incorporating certain practices into their creative process, and lucky for us, Lisa was kind enough to take some time from her busy schedule to explain her interpretation of keeping creativity sustainable.

Jim, Geanina, Lisa, Alexandra, Perri – after a visit Lisa did to our office to introduce us to her new sustainable felt art

Sustainability = careful use of resources

Lisa found her niche working with wool thanks to a series of relatively spontaneous events, starting with her impulsive relocation to the mountains of Virginia accompanied by her husband and a dream to become an artist.  After helping shear sheep at a local farm one day, Lisa learned that the wool was destined for the dump and was astonished by the fact that such a versatile material was being wasted.  It was through this resourceful instinct that Jacenich started using the spare wool as a medium for her designs.  And her “waste note, want not” attitude carries on into every aspect of her artistic process.  Not only is her choice of fabric incredibly sustainable (the sheep aren’t harmed and can be used for meat, milk, etc.) but she also takes care to collect the materials left over from the felting process and reuse them later.  Lisa has also expanded her portfolio to include recycled and revamped sweaters.

One of Lisa’s creations …

Sustainability = careful use of energy

And not just any energy, but your own creative energy!  Lisa admits to her own inner struggle in sustaining her artistic energy, saying “it would be much more efficient to use the assembly line method,” however, rapid fire production would cause her to fizzle out much faster as well.  In order to recharge, Lisa varies her activities, sometimes switching from a creative task to a more administrative task if she feels low on inspiration.

In addition to her own sustainability strategy, Lisa has been invited abroad by the Mongolian government to introduce the felting machine she uses to take some of the physical work out of the process to small groups of women in order to develop their wool-making capacities and make their products more accessible to international customers.  While the machines don’t cut down the amount of time it takes to roll the wool, they would allow the women to redirect their energy to other areas of the creation process.

Lisa is now taking her sustainable felting process to Mongolia

Sustainability = careful treatment of others

Not only does Lisa visit her wool suppliers to ensure that they treat their sheep in a humane way, but the continuation of her business itself also depends on mutual respect between her and her husband and business partner, Jim Jacenich.  Fortunately, the two have different skill sets that compliment each other well in a business setting, but they also entered into the partnership already having worked together.  Based on this experience, Lisa advises any budding entrepreneurs to spend enough time with a potential partner to ascertain whether you would both be compatible.  In the end, says Lisa, a partnership is a relationship and “relationships are hard, you must work at them.”

EWI would like to thank Lisa for sharing her story and inspiring us to take better care of our world! More ore about Lisa and Jim Jacenich at http://www.artfulgifts.biz/

A Presidential Scavenger Hunt- Just in Time for the 4th!

2 Jul

“Looking for Presidents,” story book by EWI artist Sushmita, was inspired by her son and his thirst for knowledge. The book turns the act of learning American history into a scavenger hunt, allowing young readers to make connections with the stories in the book and the world around them.

“When Sushmita first told me about the project, Looking for Presidents, I started thinking about how streets, bridges, etc. are named—I usually think about this when I am in the car and I see a street sign name of an obscure person from history which is just about every day.  Her book idea changed the way I see things.”

— Geri Provost Lyons, Youth & Family Program Coordinator, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

To learn more about “Looking for Presidents,” please visit her website: http://home.comcast.net/~sushmaz/HandmadeStorybook.com/Looking_for_Presidents.html

To purchase a copy of “Looking for Presidents,” contact Sushmita at: sushmaz@comcast.net

EMPOWERED WOMEN INTERNATIONAL:

EWI is a non-profit organization that helps immigrant and refugee women in the Greater DC Metro area integrate, participate as new citizens, and become self-sufficient by using the arts as an economic driver and a catalyst for social and cultural integration. All of the work available in the EWI Etsy Shop is handmade by our members or supporting artists. Learn more at www.ewint.org.

SUSHMITA MAZUMDAR

Sushmita Mazumdar is a Greater Washington DC area writer, graphic designer and book artist. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Arts from Bombay University in India and subsequently worked as an art director in the advertising industry in Mumbai. Sush volunteers as a docent with the Smithsonian’s Freer & Sackler Galleries of Art (National Museum of Asian Art) in Washington DC where she was trained in Asian art history. Sushmita is a graduate of EWI’s Training for Success program and lives in Arlington with her son, daughter, and husband.

Item of the week!

25 Jun

Red Peruvian Huayruro Seed Bead Bracelet

Get an extra 10% OFF item of the week! 

Huayruro seed beads are produced by the ormosia coccinea plant and as they are naturally occurring, each bead is unique, with no two being alike.

EMPOWERED WOMEN INTERNATIONAL:
EWI is a non-profit organization that helps immigrant and refugee women in the Greater DC Metro area integrate, participate as new citizens, and become self-sufficient by using the arts as an economic driver and a catalyst for social and cultural integration. All of the work available in the EWI Etsy Shop is handmade by our members or supporting artists. Learn more at http://www.ewint.org.

EVELYN BROOKS:
Peruvian-born Evelyn Brooks is a graduate of EWI’s Training for Success program. She has received much press and recognition for her efforts in fighting poverty by giving proceeds of her jewelry sales to local and international causes. Evelyn has built a profitable arts business that provides work and learning opportunities for over 10 people each year. She also teaches at-risk youth and women ex-offenders jewelry-making and marketing to build confidence, self-esteem and re-enter in the society.

Item of the week: Dream Beaded Rectangular Resin Earrings

18 Jun

https://www.etsy.com/listing/86464975/dream-beaded-rectangular-resin-earrings

Item of the week: Dream Beaded Rectangular Resin Earrings

NADIA’S JEWELRY

All of Nadia’s earrings and necklaces are handmade by herself. She basically takes reprints of her paintings and make jewelry out of them. Each design is unique and both front and back of all pieces have distinct designs. Jewelry is wood-based, extremely light-weight, and coated in high-gloss resin.

EMPOWERED WOMEN INTERNATIONAL:

EWI is a non-profit organization that helps immigrant and refugee women in the Greater DC Metro area integrate, participate as new citizens, and become self-sufficient by using the arts as an economic driver and a catalyst for social and cultural integration. All of the work available in the EWI Etsy Shop is handmade by our members or supporting artists. Learn more at www.ewint.org.

Item of the Week: Handmade Two-Piece Glass Dish Set

11 Jun

https://www.etsy.com/listing/71565387/yellow-handmade-glass-two-dish-set-with

Item of the Week: Handmade two piece glass dish set.

This beautiful dish set was created through the intricate method of fusing glass. To make a fused piece, requires that glass be selected, individually cut, pieced, glued and fired. Some pieces require multiple firings in a kiln. The artist has created an eye catching pattern in a vivid range of color, golden yellow with white and rainbow colored accents. The smallest dish measures 2.8 x 5.1 inches and the larger measures 5.3 x 5.3 inches each with a .5 inch lip. These dishes will make a gorgeous statement in your home and can be used for display or for serving treats.

EMPOWERED WOMEN INTERNATIONAL:

EWI is a non-profit organization that helps immigrant and refugee women in the Greater DC Metro area integrate, participate as new citizens, and become self-sufficient by using the arts as an economic driver and a catalyst for social and cultural integration. All of the work available in the EWI Etsy Shop is handmade by our members or supporting artists. Learn more at www.ewint.org.

il_fullxfull.233510952.jpg
DEBORAH SCHRAN:
Deborah Schran is a graduate of EWI’s Training for Success Program. She started out as a painter and printmaker, and found that fused glass lended itself to similar interplays with light, color, design and creativity. She stated, “It is great fun to work in this medium – every time the kiln is opened, it is an exciting event”.To learn more about the artist and her work please visit her website:
http://www.befusedhotglass.com

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