Green Festival Speakers
After a long and successful career in business, including running her own management consulting firm, Stephanie A King arrived at a path-changing conclusion. She realized she didn’t want her greatest accomplishment in life, other than raising her son, to be enriching corporate interests. A lifelong volunteer for many organizations, she decided to focus her energy and talents on people in great need, especially women. After much research and a year-long course exploring social justice issues run by JustFaith.org, she found the perfect match for her background and new focus: Fair Trade. Fair Trade is a trade system whose aim is to empower and improve the livelihood of marginalized people around the world. It is centered around the exchange of goods based on principles of economic fairness and human rights. Like most people in the U.S., Stephanie was aware of fair trade chocolate and coffee. But as she continued exploring fair trade, she found it had much more to offer. She was especially interested in high-quality accessories such as jewelry, apparel, purses and home décor. She spent many hours researching where to find them, so many hours, in fact, she decided to share her efforts with other fashion-conscious and ethical shoppers like herself. The result was Fair Trade Designs, an online retailer of fashion-forward, Fair Trade home and personal accessories. Women make up the majority of the artisans who handcraft the beautiful products on the site. The fair wages, training, and health care they receive from their work have allowed them to escape not only devastating poverty but in many cases to free themselves from human trafficking and other abusive situations. Stephanie lives in Livermore, California with her husband and teenage son, along with a dog, 4 cats, and a rabbit.