Archive | June, 2012

ETS Graduate Organizes Creative Summer Camp

27 Jun

Looking for a way to get the kids out of the house this summer?  Sushmita Ideas and Design is offering several programs during the months of June and July that promise to get your child’screative juices flowing!  Activities will revolve around the process and the history of bookmaking, and campers will get the chance to work with a variety of interesting and ancient materials such as papyrus and vellum!

To learn more or register for these classes (to be held in Glen Echo Park) use the following links:

Book Arts Around the World Camp (Ages 6-11):

Explore the Arts of India Camp (Ages 5-10):

How Many Books Can You Imagine? (Ages 5-10):

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.

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

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

Item of the week: Dream Beaded Rectangular Resin Earrings


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.


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

Marga Fripp Reflecting on Entrepreneur Graduates Class 2012

12 Jun

… At the heart of every desire is the desire to feel good. And so, the standard of success in life is not the things or the money, but the amount of joy you feel. – Esther and Jerry Hicks

The amount of joy I feel as our 20 micro-entrepreneur women completed their business incubator program and are ready to launch their businesses is immeasurable.

The process was complex and many students had to face their fears right in the eyes. Besides battling medical challenges, financial and emotional crisis, doubt was probably one of the most challenging of the fears.

Would they actually be able to turn something that for the most part of their life was “a hobby with passion” into a business? Would their dreams finally come true despite all realities of not having a steady income, or in some cases a place of their own? Would they have permission to continue to pursue their aspirations after the program?

Four months is not a long time, yet it is enough for women to learn, grow and blossom; forge new friendships, rebuild confidence and develop a renewed sense of possibility.

But then, will they find the right niche, the marketing pitch, and the clients who would love buying their products again and again?

Every step of the way, our trainers, mentors and staff – ensured our women kept on moving on, pursuing their dreams with no compromises. The ultimate goal of this program, beyond the business side – is the journey of self-discovery, learning, and embracing others.

All women graduates are changemakers – women who not only are in business to support themselves and their families, but to give meaning to other people’s lives.

“EWI has led me on a journey of self-discovery, through education, mentoring and empowerment. The program allowed me to gain a clear vision and realization of what I want to change in my own life, as well as what I can do to change the world we live in. One person can make a difference in a community, but a community as a whole can make a significant impact across the world.”  Valerie Fair, Graduate 2012, Owner of Fair Consultants

I take joy in seeing these women reaching new heights, and I can’t wait for all of you to meet them on June 23 at the graduation reception.

You too will be proud, empowered and inspired! Thank you for all your support.

Onward and upward!

Marga Fripp
Founder and President
Empowered Women International

USAID’s ‘Women’s Leadership in SMEs’ Seminar

12 Jun

When you hear the word “entrepreneur,” do you picture a man or a woman?

According to the three dynamic speakers featured in “Women’s Leadership in SMEs,” this question is as pertinent today as it was several decades ago, despite the advances made in integrating women into the labor force. Liz, EWI’s new Program Manager intern, attended the seminar on June 8th and learned that women continue to represent a minority of small business owners. Moreover, this weak rate of participation only shrinks as the size of the businesses studied gets bigger. The panel, featuring professionals from the World Bank, USAID and ITC, discussed possible explanations for this phenomenon, including a theory that women are more risk-adverse and therefore less likely to open their own small business. While the seminar had a broad, global focus, it raised several issues that remain closely related to the work done by EWI on a smaller scale in the DC area. If you find the subject of female entrepreneurship as interesting as we do, make sure to sign up for the rest of the seminars in the “Growing Economies Through Women’s Entrepreneurship” series, presented by USAID! Learn more here:


Gail Consulting Group- Featured Graduate: Addie

11 Jun

Addie Gail’s success story begins before the family emergency that took over her life a couple of years ago. Addie had already been gaining experience in her field of business and marketing when a family member became sick and needed Addie’s assistance.

During this chaotic time, Addie lost her job—and subsequently her home. But, she was gaining something else in the process: faith in herself, and a desire to be a business owner.

Addie had a decision to make; she was at a crossroads. “I said, ‘I either have to do this now or I’m not going to do it at all.”

Addie sought help to get her business off the ground. She went to the public library, hoping to access information that would help her to launch her business. She began attending small business networking events and seminars, but she worried that she wasn’t getting the information or making the contacts that she needed to get to the next level.

She felt frustrated. “There’s got to be someone who can help me,” she recalls. She came across a flyer for the EWI program, and immediately filled out the application.

Addie has enjoyed meeting other women who share her dream of owning a business and being self-sufficient. “Women make relationships through talking. Light bulbs start going off and everyone has ideas that could have wings. You never know what can happen,” she says.

Addie says the coaching she has received from EWI’s volunteers has been invaluable to building her skills as well as her self-confidence. “They give you another confidence––an affirmation that you’re on the right track,” Addie says.

She has gained mentors, and further developed the skills she needed to launch her own business, The Gail Consulting Group, a management consulting firm. Addie offers strategic planning, management training, and facilitation services. She hopes to work with government agencies and programs, and faith-based non-profit organizations.

Addie continuously looks for opportunities to make connections, meet potential clients, and discover how she can meet their needs. While she faces challenges in growing her business during a tough economy, Addie’s passion and determination to achieve success also grow every day.

What’s Addie’s advice for other future business owners? “You have to believe in yourself and believe that you can do it,” says Addie. “You never know what can happen. You have to put yourself out there.”

Written by Willona M. Sloan

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

11 Jun

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.


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

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:

Stylesmiths- Artist Feature: Kelley

9 Jun

Kelley’s ambition and determination are a result of her mother’s past struggles after emigrating the US from Taiwan. Kelley’s mother worked long and laborious hours at any job she could find. Because she wasn’t fluent in English, often times her employers took advantage of her work and refused to pay her. These injustices pushed Kelley’s mom to pursue higher skilled work and to improve her English, and now they are Kelley’s inspiration to push herself to expand her ideas and build her own style consulting business, Stylesmiths.

“Stylesmiths provides style consulting services to image aware, goal oriented, successful professionals in the DC area.”

Kelley has always had an interest in the fashion industry, but has found it difficult to break into the business without years of experience or formal training. Kelley turned to EWI to strengthen her business skills in order utilize her knowledge of fashion to develop her own style consulting business. Kelley has has had previous experiences working as a stylist for fashion photo shoots and has even taken classes to learn to make clothes.

“EWI is truly a great program.  It has allowed me to gain valuable knowledge on what it takes to plan, operate, and manage a successful business that I would not have had the opportunity to learn without their team of extremely knowledgeable women and their network of business owners, financial advisors, social media experts, and attorneys.  I have gained a network of empowered women.”

Written by Perri

Fruit of the Spirit Floral Designs- Artist Feature: Clementine

8 Jun

Clementine is currently enrolled in EWI’s spring 2012 Entrepreneur Training for Success
Program. She is a floral designer who loves to create beautiful wedding pieces and floral
arrangements for special events.

She stumbled upon her talent for creating elegant floral arrangements by chance. A close friend
of Clementine’s, who had taken Clementine to an arts and crafts workshop during a retreat
together, asked her to help with Christmas wreaths and floral arrangements. This was when
Clementine discovered her passion for creating works of art through the arrangement of flowers.

Clementine is fascinated by the variety of flowers types and the awesome colors. Her favorite
flower is the calla lily, which embodies simple elegance in its form and style. The flower
symbolizes magnificent and beauty, adjectives that she feels defines her floral business.

Clementine launched her first business in 1999. Called “Fruit of the Spirit Florals”, she owned
and operated it part-time while working full-time for the federal government. Unfortunately,
the business failed to take off. Undeterred, Clementine refused to give up and sought out the
assistance of EWI to help make her dreams come true and provide her with the skills and
knowledge to make her passion for creating floral arrangements a successful business venture.
In 2012, Clementine renamed her business “Fruit of the Spirit Floral Designs, LLC”.

Clementine has more than 10 years of experience in creating unique and individualized bouquets
and displays for weddings, anniversary celebrations, and other special events, as well as
for homes and offices. She is also experienced in creating one of a kind arrangements with
silk flowers. Clementine adds a personal touch to all her artistic creations, incorporating the
customers’ desires into every piece she makes.

“EWI has helped me to really focus on my business and for that I am grateful. I am surrounded around a much of like minded women who have a talent that they want to market into a business and we encourage one another to be successful. EWI is just like a body, there are many parts, each part has its own function, but the parts work together to obtain success.”

Written by Alexandra Standal

Great Opportunity for EWI Artists

8 Jun

by Lanyapi

Are you an artist who designs clothing, handbags, accessories, or jewelry? Nana, a DC based boutique, values things that are made creatively with a unique design perspective. They are always on the hunt for new and cutting edge designers and know it can be a huge leap to start selling in a retail space. In order to assist start-up fashion designers and for our shop to stock the newest of ideas, they’ve developed an Emerging Designer Program.

by Lanyapi

Vendors who are accepted into the program will have their designs featured in Nana’s shop for 2 months and will receive 50% of the revenue from the sales of their designs. They will advertise your line with Facebook, Twitter, on our website, as well as to our press contacts and extensive email list. Select vendors will have a small meet and greet so that you can meet interested customers. Emerging Designers will be in charge of designing, funding and manufacturing of all of their own designs. Also, if your submissions are clothing, each piece must come in a full run of sizes.

To Apply:

  •     Email Nana photos of at least 6 of your designs.
  •     Send a small bio about you and your background.
  •     Name your line and explain your inspiration.
  •     Submit designs and information to: with “EMERGING DESIGNER” in the subject line.
  • Vist their application site to learn more!