My path to Trades of Hope has been a little meandering to say the least. After receiving a law degree & MA in International Relations from Syracuse University, I did what every other newly minted law graduate would do – take the bar exam and eventually begin practicing law. I assumed this was and had to be my set path for the rest of my life. After all, it was what I went to school to do! Being the first in my family to graduate from college, let alone law school, also cemented this path as necessary to me. However, life has a way of surprising you when you choose to open your mind.
After my husband, Dan, and I moved to North Carolina in 2012, I was faced with a choice…do I continue down this path that has been the “necessary” one to take, or do I stop to consider other possibilities? Needless to say, I took the brave, scary step to begin to consider other possibilities. I took a step back in my career at the time and worked as a paralegal for a while. I even ended up at a software company for a little over a year, and then worked briefly as a wine consultant. While these were different experiences from which I learned new skills, I felt like something was still missing.
In taking some time to do some soul searching, I realized what had been lacking in my life. I had always wanted to make more of a global impact, and my legal career had not allowed for that opportunity. So, I started researching and looking for a way to accomplish this goal of mine. Even if it meant making my own opportunity.
That is where Trades of Hope came into my life. Trades of Hope’s mission is to empower women out of poverty through supporting them in building sustainable businesses. We are partnered with artisans in over 15 countries. I am a Compassionate Entrepreneur with them, and sell their hand-crafted creations here in the United States. I am able to do this through hosting and organizing “Parties with a Purpose” where I am honored to share these women’s stories with others and be their advocate. This is a new experience for me, one which has led me to look a little differently at some of the choices I have been making. As I enjoy writing, I decided to start a blog to share some of my new experiences with others. I hope you enjoy reading them.