I recently had the honor of traveling to Mary Kay’s largest subsidiary, CHINA! My visit is always full of learning and I return to the U.S. with a head full of ideas and a heart full of gratitude.
My recent trip was no exception.
My colleagues in China developed a program for Shanghai Fashion Week to raise awareness about the need to support women’s entrepreneurship in Nepal and the Yunnan province of China. Together with independent designer brand – JUST FOR TEE – and the accessories brand TIMI Cheng – the beautiful Yi embroidery work from Yunnan province and the cashmere fabrics from Nepal hit the red carpet and runway.
The Yi embroidered garments and accessories were produced by women who are part of a Mary Kay China led program aimed at improving the lives of women in the Yunnan province. In partnership with the China Women’s Development Foundation and the United Nations Development program, Mary Kay China has helped promote 2,385 women in cultural industry development projects with micro loans. My friends in Mary Kay China have shared that the economic income and social status of these women has been remarkably improved.
Artisans from Nepal were also featured in the show to help drive awareness for the region’s ongoing struggle to rebuild after the devastating earthquake last year. These women provided hand-woven cashmere items for the fashion show. Mary Kay China launched a special crowd funding initiative as part of the Shanghai Fashion Week event and donated $20,000 USD to help women entrepreneurs who were affected by the Nepal earthquake with culture-based development.
It’s amazing how art inspires life and how this program helped drive awareness for women owned businesses. Take a look at pictures from Mary Kay China’s event at Shanghai Fashion week, and tell us how you’re supporting women and small businesses in your community in the comments below!
Today's blog post is from Kirsten Gappelberg, who has what she considers to be her dream job. As Mary Kay's Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Kirsten builds programs to support the company's charitable efforts to transform, inspire and empower women's lives around the world.