So Just Shop: empowering vulnerable communities

So Just Shop is a new website selling beautiful hand-made products from women artisans in developing countries. The company works directly with women to help them gain financial independence, both by providing training and support for their businesses and by giving them access to an international customer base.

Jennifer Georgeson, So Just Shop’s founder and CEO has a background in international development and has lived and worked in some of the poorest communities in Asia and Africa. She has explored the link between women’s financial empowerment in developing countries and the increased likelihood that those women go on to access healthcare and education for themselves and their families.

When you buy from the So Just Shop website, you can find out who made the product, how and where they made it. You also know that you’re helping some of the most vulnerable communities in the world to build better lives for themselves. So Just Shop provides more profit for the artisans allowing them to sell directly to the consumer.

I talked to Jennifer, who is passionate about So Just Shop which only launched a few months ago.

Jennifer Georgeson, founder and CEO of So Just Shop

She explained: “without economic independence, women all over the world are excluded from having a voice in healthcare, welfare and education for their families. Most of these communities have access to free healthcare and education, but if they can’t afford to get the bus to the clinic, their children won’t get the vaccination they so desperately need. Providing women with economic independence, learning a craft or a skill that enables them to be paid a living wage, has a dramatic impact on the health and prospects of the whole family.”

As the saying goes:

Obviously this is a great cause, but that’s not the only reason to shop here. The products are unique and beautiful. Jennifer kindly sent me an African Star necklace so I could experience the quality for myself. The jeweller, Savannah Chic made the necklace in Kenya from handcrafted brass, with a pendant of recycled cow horn – which is only sourced as a bi-product of the food industry.

African Star Necklace from So Just Shop

I’ve worn it every day since it arrived. You can read more about Savannah Chic’s story here.

[Tweet “#Shopping never felt so good. #fashion #style #shop #lblog #women #empoweringwomen @sojustshop”]

One of the best sellers since So Just Shop launched in April has been the Peacock Scarf by Sneha.

Peacock scarf by So Just Shop

Sneha is a non-profit organisation working in the slums of Mumbai, India. Until So Just Shop came along, the group was relying on donated fabrics and providing their own training. Since the company became involved they’ve provided Sneha with better quality fabrics and have taught them new skills such as block printing.

Jennifer has big plans to expand the brand globally. At the moment they are just a small team of three, but I anticipate great success. Please help me spread the word. The website is www.sojustshop.com

Please subscribe here to receive my weekly newsletter, with a round up of my posts.