Progress Unfolding

In a moment your entire life can change. Everything you have built with love pulled from your grip as a tug of war with reality. I stayed in bed for a day when sponsorship, visa issues and financial limits plagued the AVEH program progress. Selling the remains of the house. I tried to find an answer some life line to make the bad dream go away, but the truth is doing business in Bali as an expat is very expensive and ridden with immigration hazards.

The most amazing women have gathered in my corner and are making the shift possible. I have cried for many days, as if I was grieving a loss of sorts. I took down my dream board and unpinned the collage. Outside in the bin the rain had mixed the colors of fashion mags and dreams past. To clarify I have to pack up my samples and leave the place and leave Bali. I could stay and make a way, but sometimes it is letting something go that we can see our path clearly. I am spending my last month making sure the management system and people are in place to take care of the social programs for the kids, fashion artisan making and finishing up a beautiful wedding dress for my good friend.

Leaving Bali for now seems to be a necessary move for my own happiness. For the past three years I have spent my life and time in the villages sitting with artisan and working with the girls to believe in themselves. I have not been on a date in 3 years and have little time for leisure. This is completely my own doing. As my sister says, you have allowed your passion to fuel you to no end. I could go on this way for many years if not stopped. I just cannot help feeling a sense of responsibility to the world. Though I am no good to this program when I am burning myself and my finances out by funding it. Here we turn this corner. My gorgeous friend Sammy reminded me that this shift is exciting! I am moving to a dreamland for some: California. Well for the time being at least. My sister continues to remind me, ‘you have spent so much time in Indonesia that you have forgotten your own worth’.

Bali Fashion Dream will continue, but it cannot do so without my own happiness along for the ride. Poverty is hard to watch, but even more difficult to experience. This is a good exercise. I teach the women and the girls in our program, ‘that they have the power to change their circumstances. That they can create opportunity through enterprise. Then I need to take my own advice and show them how I must pull myself up’.  

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APPMI Bali gathering of top fashion designers to work together to create livelihood through fashion. Here I stand wearing the crochet dress and flower made 100% handmade by Hana Rose. We have worked together for 5-months to move her collection from ‘home-industry’ to a competitive product. Now she is building her own business through her talent. I will continue to support her with marketing and sales so that she can provide for her family as a single mom. 10% of the sales from her products will be donated to the social program to support other artisan mother’s to build their own business. I used my own funds to buy yarns and provided free advice to networks to bring her out of the home and in front of the fashion world. 

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All these dresses Hana makes during the time between school runs, cooking, doing laundry and just being a mom. I am amazed to watch how she dreams up the designs and then starts with just a crochet needle and thread. 

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Warms my heart to see Hana standing with top Indonesian Fashion Designer Ms. Poppy Dharsono. 

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Featured in the Radar Bali Newspaper for APPMI. We are going to show her collection at a high end market so that when I leave she will know how to sell her collection. I will continue to support the growth of her business from California. Progress starts with pain :). 


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