Back in January I did a little photoshoot with one of my friends and coworkers, Abbey (you can check out her blog here). She is one of those young voices who just likes to inspire and talk about the things that are important to her and the world and if you give her like five minutes of your time to chat about one of her favourite organizations, she’ll probably make you want to be apart of it too. Even if it’s just as simple as buying a bracelet. Abbey has such a huge heart for the organization Me to We which is a global initiative that gets people involved in making a difference in places in the world that need our help. There are lots of ways to get involved and it doesn’t even have to be that expensive. Of course there are the trips to Kenya and going into WeVillages that will be quite expensive, but I know Abbey will tell you the trip is so worth it. There is also just supporting them and the companies that support them.
When I first met Abbey, we were actually being interviewed at Chapters for a seasonal position (#indigoemployee in the house!) We didn’t really talk to each other and honestly, I didn’t even realize that that was here until like months later. Then we became friends, and the company decided to keep us both as permanent employees and it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship (and twinship!). There are often times when some of my managers will call me Abbey, and Abbey my name because we kind of look alike. We’re about the the same height, same hair colour, same weight, and we both wear glasses. From behind, the only way to really tell who is who is by our distinct differences in clothing style it would seem, despite our seven year age difference. I’ve even had her sister come up to me when my back was to her and called me by her name, and when I turned around, she was like, “You’re not Abbey.” It gave me a good laugh.
One thing Abbey did share with me while we worked together is her love for the products that come from Me to We. She is always talking about these beautiful rafikis that she wears to anyone who will listen and the cause that they support is a fantastic one. Because of her love and passion for this organization I have so many rafikis of my own (I currently have fourteen and I have two Imani bracelets on their way to me this week!) I have also bought them as gifts for friends because they are such a beautiful and simple piece to add to an outfit, but yet is doing so much good. Single rafikis run about ten dollars per, and when you buy one there is a code written on the back so that you can track your impact.
These two rafikis are my current favourites that I wear all of the time. My Refresh rafiki gives water and my Forever rafiki provides financial tools. When putting my codes to track my impact, I find that my Refresh rafiki has brought clean water to a child in Los Rios, Ecuador and my Forever rafiki has brought a financial literacy toolkit for a woman in Pimbiniet, Kenya. Awesome!
What’s wonderful about these rafikis is that they are all handmade with love by a woman in Kenya. It’s giving them the skills to make products to support themselves as well as those in their community, and beyond. Each piece that is made and sold brings money to a child and their family by supporting their healthcare, their education, food, clean water, financial tools, and opportunities. It’s one small thing that I can do in supporting, selling, and talking about what a fantastic thing these rafikis can do. When talking to my customers at Chapters (#indigoemployee), they get just as pumped hearing that this small thing they are buying for someone or themselves is doubly awesome by also supporting someone half a world away. I also love telling them that these rafikis are not the only things made supporting these families, but that there is a whole website selling so much more that support them (Me To We Store).
Also, their fantastic partnership with DavidsTea that is also bringing support to families half a world away, and for someone who loves DavidsTea, this makes me so happy. This partnership is bringing clean water to children, each product providing a different amount. A 100g tea of their Me to We Tea brings one month of clean water to a child. Their Me to We travel mug brings six months of clean water, and their lip balm and rafiki bracelet gives access. It’s so awesome seeing these two incredible Canadian companies coming together to work on a global change.
So, when I was feeling in a funk about doing my photography stuff (because I get the winter blues, yuck) I had the idea to have a little photoshoot with Abbey to explore a product we both really loved. When I asked her if she’d like to do it, she was practically bouncing she was so excited. When I asked her if she would be down through text, her first response was “HELL YEAH” and so we did it. We were both so excited to do this, and being able to get a photoshoot done with someone that I’m passionate about while having a model who was passionate about it as well was so much fun. Afterwards we grabbed a coffee at Starbucks and chatted, and it was just such a fantastic day that brightened up my winter blues a bit.
Abbey enjoying that post shoot java boost. My friend is cute as a button!
So, without further ado, the photos from our shoot!
And just because we have so much fun when we get to hang out, here are a couple outtakes that are just there for the giggles.
Thank you Abbey for just being you, and bringing your love for Me to We to me.