Describe your business. Did you find it, or did it find you?
Mama Willow Tree is a global fair trade marketplace for women producing indigenous artisan goods. We work with women-owned businesses and women-run cooperatives in developing countries to provide them access to the global marketplace. The idea came from my extensive travels to developing countries where I volunteered in orphanages and worked with women to improve their socio-economic status. I observed that in communities where women actively participated in changing and improving their own economic status, the communities as a whole benefited. After immersing myself in these communities, I gained a profound love and appreciation for the indigenous beauty created by the female artisans. This underlying philosophy, that improving the socio-economic status of women is the key to improving a community at large, is the root of Mama Willow Tree.
What life accomplishments are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of being a mother—it’s truly the most amazing blessing and has brought me more joy than I ever imagined. I’m incredibly proud of the fact that I completed law school while working full-time and was able to open my own law practice, which enabled me to have the flexibility to travel the world and have experiences that led me to starting Mama Willow Tree. Lastly, I’m proud that I can make my own schedule, which allows me to put my daughter as the first priority and incorporate her into many Mama Willow Tree activities.
Where do you go when the going gets tough?
Meditation. I’m so glad to have had difficult experiences in my life. Meditation has helped me remain focused and clear and has brought me calm and peace—even in times of turmoil.
What’s your hidden talent?
Sewing. Although I’ve been sewing since I was 10 years old, most people who know me today don’t know that I can sew almost anything. At one point I was even making my own business suits!