Sunday, June 21, 2015

Black & White Summer

Summer is officially here. Don't get me wrong, I love the colorful hues of a summer wardrobe but it is hard to take the neutrals out of a New York girl. The easiest way to transition Winter wardrobe pieces into a Summer wardrobe is to add pops of colorful accessories. 

I'm loving my new accessories from Juicy Couture. Under new ownership, Juicy is rebranding themselves as a more high end brand with fashion forward pieces for woman of every age. Pairing old with new, I'm loving this Summer day or evening look. 

I wore this look for brunch in Chelsea at Cookshop with my sweet friend Kait from Madly Mignon. 

Purse: Juicy Couture / Bracelets: Juicy Couture / Necklace: Juicy Couture / Hat: Joe Fresh / Sunglasses: Kate Spade / Watch: Charming Charlie / Tank: ASOS Skirt: Express / Shoes: Seychelles

photos c/o Kait from Madly Mignon

Happy Summer!
naturally ginger

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Penh Lenh

I'm so excited to share some beautiful jewelry pieces from Penh Lenh. My friend Rachel lives in Cambodia and works for this amazing company. She reached out to me to share what she was doing and I could not wait to share. See below for more information about Penh Lenh and the life of an American girl in Cambodia!

Tell me about Penh Lenh. How did it begin, what is its purpose and mission...
Before Penh Lenh had a name or we even began, it started as this beautiful passion my friend Sarah Hale had to create vocational training and job opportunities for women in Cambodia. We decided partnered with the organization Hope for Justice and started Penh Lenh. We did not quite know it would become what it is today, but we have tried to place each decision in God's hands and his promises truly never fail.  

Penh Lenh's mission is to empower young women in Cambodia to pursue their life goals through quality education, vocational training, and advanced career opportunities.

Where do the supplies come from? 

We use semi-precious stones and handcrafted brass beads and chain from Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma) and also a few select pieces from the good ol' USA.  It was a long process finding venders and partners to source supplies from in Southeast Asia, but we felt it was vital to creating a sustainable business model.  

For our first two collections we partnered with some amazing designers from the states.  First, Lindsay Farrer of Simon and Ruby Jewelry in Nashville, TN.  Second, we partnered with Victoria Case in NYC.  Victoria is a stylist with a beautiful eye for design.  

How are the designs created? 
Our girls are able to design most pieces on their own as our Vocational training program includes everything from seasonal color palettes, designing for the Cambodia market vs. the US, and more.  Everything we sell in Cambodia is designed by our Cambodian artisans and we are working toward the same for the US market as well.  

How can one purchase products from Penh Lenh?

Penh Lenh currently sells in both Cambodia and the US.  For each country, we have very different marketing strategies.  In the US, our strategy is based heavily on online advertising and cross promotion with strategic alliances with bloggers, celebrity endorsements, non-profits, as well as targeting partnerships with retailers.  We are currently working on a really exciting partnership that we will hopefully be able to announce soon!

For Cambodia, it is much more of a grassroots approach. There are no online sales here (because there is no postal system here....crazy, I know) so if anyone wants to purchase Penh Lenh, they have to know about one of our 8 consignment stores found in 3 cities in Cambodia.  To get the word out, we use a combination of "leave behind" cards at coffee shops, hotels, and restaurants, we love to host events or trunk shows, and we have several tuk-tuk ads throughout the city.  Do people in the US know what tuk-tuks are?  If not, in simple terms, it is Cambodia's version of a taxi.

When you moved to Cambodia did you know you would stay? What kept you there? 
My initial plan was to move to Cambodia for six months, set up and launch the program and train someone else to run Penh Lenh.  I quickly saw this was not a sustainable plan, and not to mention fell in love with the work, the girls, and growing Penh Lenh to provide opportunities for as many girls as possible.  It has been two years now, and I do not plan on leaving anytime soon.  My heart is here now and I am completely invested in the work we do.  This may seem like a cop-out answer, but I can only say it has been God who brought me here and God who has kept me here.  

How is life different from the USA?
Life is vastly different here.  For starters, I drive a moto (like a small motorcycle), I've learned to enjoy crickets as a road-trip snack, and I speak a new language! Sure, I do not have a lot of the convenient amenities I had while living in the US (central AC, hot water, a washing machine, starbucks), but I wouldn't trade my life here for any of it.  The work we do is heartbreaking at times, and complicated, but the hope outshines it all.  Seeing God's promises fulfilled is my absolute joy.  I heard so many times that God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the called and boy is this true in my case.  

Thank you so much Rachel for a peek into your life and introducing NYC to Penh Lenh Jewelry.

naturally ginger

Photos c/o Lemeki Salusalu