Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Seven Women


Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie Woollard at one of her Seven Women fundraising events that our mutual friend helped organize. I loved how she shared her experiences and stories through her journey towards starting this amazing non-for-profit business; you could truly tell how much this cause meant to her. She is the founder of Seven Women, a women’s skill training center in Nepal to train and employ disabled women and help them earn a living by selling their beautiful handcrafted items. 

The Beautiful Stephanie Woollard, the founder of Seven Women.

With Stephanie Woolard and Leeyong Soo from Style Wilderness

With Diya from Karlek Coffee

Steph, can you tell us a bit about your business? 
My business began with seven women that I met in Nepal three years ago who were operating out of a tin shed at the time. They were selling soaps and candles to the local market and finding it very hard to sell these products because of the stigma that comes with being disabled in Nepal. All these women had physical disabilities and were finding it hard to rent a place in Kathmandu because no house owners want to rent to a disabled person because they feel like it will bring bad luck to their building and that they won’t be able to clean up after themselves properly. I invested in training for these women; so they received training and gained skills in hand making craft items. So, that has begun a social enterprise in Nepal and we’ve registered as a charity in Nepal where these women can receive skills training and employment and I’ve been selling the goods here in Australia.
So, it’s a not-for-profit model – there’s a group of students at La Trobe University who sell the goods every Wednesday and I’ve been selling the goods at markets all over Victoria. I’ve also started to wholesale to shops around Victoria and we’ve just got a new State Manager in Sydney, she’s going to be selling the products to different places.
So, that’s the business in a nutshell. I’m also getting trained in public speaking, so I’m going to be doing public speaking events and taking trips to Nepal at the end of each year.

Stephanie organizes a trip to Nepal every year along with 15 willing applicants.
It looks like an amazing experience, and you can find out more details on the Seven Women website or contact Stephanie Woollard by e-mail on steph.w@seven-women.com.

It was truly great meeting Steph and learning more about what she does and how she helps those beautiful women in Nepal. I feel really blessed to meet such wonderful and kind-hearted people. 

Non-event photos courtesy of Stephanie Woollard.