More often than not I find myself asking the same question, “What can I do to make a difference in the world?”

Life is full of grey. I learned this as I travelled in my younger days. I experienced one adventure after another, with a smile on my face that went from ear to ear, while simultaneously witnessing and experiencing hardships that affect many people around the globe. I am more than just a small business owner. I am a mother, with a deep love for the world! Nomadic at heart, and in life, I have ventured to places many people only read about. The love I developed for people stemmed from my childhood, and is rooted in the footsteps of my dear grandmother. I was eager to get into the world, so I could fight for human rights, and I did in Australia, but I also saw heartbreaking scenes in Indonesia; they are things I will never forget, and part of what drives me today.

The explorer in me loved the adventure, but my primary purpose was to act as a voice for the indigenous people as I stood beside them in protest of human rights violations.

While in Indonesia, I witnessed the human sex-trafficking industry firsthand. The injustice those women experienced encouraged me to push on, and to find a way to make a difference by bringing awareness. The fear that permeated me could have stopped me from being true to my passion, but instead I continued my travels.

I landed in Venezuela & in Argentina. Then, in 1999, I returned to the United States. My profound compassion and understanding for others, as well as my love of people is what led me to study Anthropology at University of Central Florida. I learned I was expecting, so I moved to Hawaii where I finished my B.A Degree from Thomas Edison State University. Then, I built a house in Fiji.

A few years later I moved to Florida, and then back to Hawaii where I began working in archaeology. After an accident at work I was left with no job, not much food, barely a place to live, a dog, and a car that my workers compensation just couldn’t pay for. I felt stuck, which was not okay with me. I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to make a difference just that I wanted to, and I realized I also had to support my daughter, so I took a business class.

The vision I had for my project was something I couldn’t let go of. I imagined selling artwork from various countries and then paying the artists for their work. After some more digging I learned my dream had a name: fair trade! I dove into the market headfirst, but I had another goal in mind – environmental sustainability.

Creating jobs for indigenous people is also part of what motivates me, so I decided to take both ideas and combine them. As a result, Rootzy Fair Trade was born. We recruit villages around the world to clean out landfills, one piece of trash at a time. The artisans then use the items collected to make various artwork, which includes fashion, such as purses and clothing, as well as aesthetic pieces. Our products are unique, and handmade by people that used to depend on charity, and suffered poor working conditions. All of our pieces come with information about the artist, which makes each product more personal. Because of fair trade values we are able to pay fair wages and to establish good working conditions, for the people in these villages, while we also do our part to clean up the environment.