Create Beautiful Dignity. This is the Pearls with Purpose motto. Alone, the words are powerful, full of depth and meaning. Consider them individually.
Creating happens, whether we plan it or not. A memory is created–good or bad. Habits, messes–being alive means creating. Intentional creation is different. It’s setting out to contribute- to take already existing resources and channel them into something new. The pearl girls and I are striving to create value.
Pearls with Purpose created a co-op in the Philippines. Women who were once destitute and unable to provide the basic necessities for their children now manage a jewelry business. By creating jewelry, they create opportunity.
Pearls with Purpose created a co-op in a leprosy colony in India. Considered the lowest class of citizens in India’s caste system, these women literally have no other job options. By creating jewelry, they create an identity.
Pearls with Purpose created a program with a non-profit orphanage in Cambodia where youth aged 16 and up make and sell jewelry to pay for tuition for higher education or trade school. By creating jewelry, they create a future.
I like lipstick, I like floral skirts, I like pictures where my hair looks shiny. I can flip through fashion magazines, browse Sephora and stare at the_real_houses_of_ig with the best of them. I hold a strand of pearls in my hand and think, “This is beautiful jewelry.” And it is. But there is more to beautiful than this surface beauty. I love this familiar quote by Sam Levenson:
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.
Pearls with Purpose seeks this beautiful. I’ve seen it and you’ve seen it. It’s the smiling woman, wrinkled, missing some teeth, hair thinning and waist thickening. She emanates beautiful. She smiles with her eyes and her outstretched hands. You’ve seen it. It’s the child– content, warm, fed.
Some women make the Pearls with Purpose jewelry, some women buy it, some women sell it. I write this blog to promote it. We are all women of dignity. None of us is reaching down to help the other. We’re holding hands and bringing each other along.
The less cited portion of Sam Levensen’s quote says, “Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
Helping yourself and helping others. That is dignity.
The Fringe Bracelet is a beautiful way to wear pearls and create jobs for women in developing countries. Buy it here.