WIP IT

Young Women Leaders

How to combine fashion + local craftsmanship + recycling + social entrepreneurship

At the beginning of your career, you may not get to work with all things that interest you. Granted, you do not KNOW what you´re interested in (neither do I). But as events and time progress, you will figure more of it out. If you feel like you still do not know, think about what you do NOT want to do, I find that it is sometimes easier. You will see that at some of the groups you belong to/meetings you go to/jobs you have, you will know that parts do not interest you. By cutting those out, it may get easier to figure out what yo really do want to do. 

The next step is figuring out how to combine the things that interest you into one job/task/life. It may sometimes seem impossible, but imagine the reward and success you will feel when you actually do succeed! One person that seemingly have got this all together is Swedish entrepreneur (which is my labeling, not hers) Veronica Henryson Stavby, founder of the brand Lou & friends.

According to her blog, Henryson Stavby began selling bags made of leather in 2008. Traveling the world she has been inspired by other cultures, something that has added inspiration to her products. She writes, “it is […] very important that [the products] ha[ve] been produced in a way that is sustainible and benefit the local societies.”
One example are the boots that Henryson Stavby sells in her webshop, so called keliboots. These boots are made by old Moroccan rugs, reusing this old and beautiful material, and leather. They are handmade by craftsmen in Morocco, ensuring that this knowledge lives on. 

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All pictures: keliboots.com
Lou & Friends is also supporting ActionAid,
an organization that “help poor and vulnerable women and children all over the world.” (quote: louandfriends.com). I´m not sure exactly how they are supporting ActionAid (money-wise or in some other way), but I find this to be brilliant!

All in all, Henryson Stavby has integrated a lot of factors that matter to me when buying a product: 
– Fashion. The boots look amazing! Plus there´s a lot of other products too. 
– Local craftsmanship. The makers of the boots live in Morocco and use an old traditional method.
– Recycling. The boots are partly made of old rugs, putting another craft into good (and fashionable!) use. 
– Quality. Leather boots will last longer than some plastic stuff you buy, so even though the boots are a bit pricey, it´s money well invested. 
– Social entrepreneurship. Lou & Friends support an organization that benefits women and children in the world, aka investing in the future. 

Wow! I´d like to be able to combine interests like this! 

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