Last week I visited the recently opened Jonathan Adler store, located on the corner of East 58th Street and Lexington Avenue on the 2nd floor. Stepping off the elevator, two things hit me at once: the size of the new store - it's huge and is an accessories mecca. I haven't been in a Jonathan Adler store in a very long time, so I was surprised and delighted by a world of choices in cushions, ottomans, lighting, mirrors, throws, rugs, ceramics and occasional chairs.
However, the main reason I was in the store was to attend the Same Sky fundraiser, which I was invited to by my dear friend Ilene Wetson, one of the ambassadors. Same Sky was founded in the wake of the horrific genocide in Rwanda in 1994 where, by the UN's estimate one quarter of a million women and girls were raped and 70% contracted HIV/AIDS.
Same Sky's mission has been to train Rwandan women to become artisans, earning a living creating and selling their beautifully crafted, shimmering hand-beaded bracelets and necklaces worldwide. As artisans, their income is 15 - 20 times the average wage in sub-saharan Africa, lifting these women out of grueling poverty, living with dignity, becoming self sufficient and able to provide for their families.
100% of net proceeds from the Same Sky jewelry sales are re-invested to train and employ future artisans.
The beaded bracelets created by the Same Sky artisans "is a ribbon that ties you to courageous women a world away - a beautiful piece of jewelry made more beautiful by the connection it symbolizes and how it makes you feel." With an army of ambassadors worldwide, Same Sky is a global movement.