Locally Made Monday - Creative Women of the World

By ANDREW LOGSDON | alogsdon@wfft.com

Published 12/23 2013 03:41PM

Updated 12/24 2013 08:34AM

Normally on Locally Made Monday, we feature local companies who send their products across the world.

Today, we have a local store in Fort Wayne that's bringing world-wide products here.

And all the things in this store are made by women across the planet.

Creative Women of the World are helping women who come from poor conditions, start their own businesses, and make an impact.

"It is actually a non-profit boutique that is dedicated to helping women rise out of extreme poverty, human trafficking, or disaster through the power of creativity,” says owner Lorelei VerLee.

It's through that message that Creative Women of the World features products from women in nearly forty countries.

And each item- a necklace, a bag, or clothing- all has a story.

"We go around the world, we train women in business, we help them develop products, and then we help market their products. And all of the proceeds from the products go to help fund that training,” VerLee says.

She started the store over two years ago and some of the first items were these cards made by women from Haiti.

Also, this jewelry from women in japan, who collected the shards after the tsunami.

These necklaces are made by HIV positive women from Kenya.

"I love that connection. And I knew that this needed to happen all over the world,” VerLee says.

Since then, the project has grown.

"We began going into different countries and now we represent products in our boutique from thirty-nine countries, and we work directly with the artisans in training and mentoring in six of them,” VerLee says.

VerLee says that's expanding to ten in the next year.

She says one of her friends says it best.

"The greatest joy is when you speak to a woman, you see her shoulders raise, her smile break open, and her chest just is saying, 'i did it! I really did it!’” VerLee says.

In the next few months, she's even opening a shop featuring local artists upstairs.

To find out more, check it out at—

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