ABLE | Peru

 

"ABLE is a lifestyle brand focused on ending generational poverty by working with women who have often overcome extraordinary circumstances. We manufacture directly in the communities we wish to impact, both locally and globally, creating jobs and ending the cycle of charity dependency."

Last June, I traveled with the fashionABLE crew to meet their partners in Peru.  We choose leather from local tanneries for their 2018 shoes & handbags.  We also toured Lives Sac, a small batch factory operated by three sisters who are committed to ABLE's mission of breaking the cycle of poverty by creating jobs for women and paying a living wage.  ABLE's apparel is manufactured by Lives.

2017: a recap

2017 highlights:

bought Fran the Van & built her out with my grandfather

led a women's backpacking trip in TN

moved from Nashville

Austin -> Big Bend -> Tucson -> Moab -> Salt Lake

hiked 5 days in the Grand Canyon

joined some pals on the AT for 8 days

documented 7 days in Peru with fashionABLE

spent 2 months working at Voyageur Outward Bound in Ely, MN

snuck in a weekend to my favorite place in September

documented a 5 day backpacking trip in CO with SheisABLE

documented a 5 day whitewater canoeing trip with VOBS in Big Bend

moved to Santa Barbara

"I was not sure where I was going, and I could not see what I would do when I got [there].  But you saw further and clearer than I, and you opened the seas before my ship, whose track led me across the waters to a place I had never dreamed of, and which you were even then preparing to be my rescue and my shelter and my home."  - Thomas Merton

This life is a gift, and this year was no exception.  I am thankful.

happy franiversary

Mikaela Hamilton- Cali Fran-1.jpg

I bought this little lady on this day last year.  It has been one of the most bold & unpredictable years of my life, and much of the credit goes to having the freedom to take an off-road turn when it presented itself (even if that meant occasionally taking a wrong turn and getting stuck in sand).  Cheers to another year of open hands & sharpened eyes to the world around me.  There are wonders everyday if we choose to see them.

Women's Backpacking Trip | Virgin Falls, TN

One of my most treasured moments from 2017 was a women's backpacking trip I lead in Tennessee's Virgin Falls State Natural Area.  There were 7 of us in total: some old friends, some new faces, some experienced campers, some first timers.  A few months prior, I sent an email out to a handful of female friends in the Nashville area, inquiring that if I put together a women's weekend backpacking trip, would they be interested, and what would they want to learn?  I was floored by the response- my email flooded with an overwhelming amount of "heck yes's" and "I've been wanting to do something like this, but didn't have the equipment".  Most of the responses expressed a basic desire to get outside, but a few things prevented them from going.

Since it was impossible to adhere to everyone's schedule, we decided to have an evening gathering for anyone interested, even if they couldn't attend the trip.  15 women sat in my living room, and we shared our experiences in the outdoors.  We discussed the basics of packing a backpack & made sure everyone was well equipped for a weekend outside. 

I headed to Virgin Falls a day early with two of my compadres, to solidify a camp spot and make sure the trail was manageable.  We had a beautiful, warm evening and were filled with anticipation for the rest of the group to join us.

The next morning, we woke up to snow & temperatures in the teens.  Anxiety swept through me, for camping in the snow can be quite unpleasant, especially for a beginner camper.  I texted an update, that we were staying and it seemed like it would clear up, but that I completely understood if people didn't want to join us.  All I got in response was, "WE ARE COMING."  I thought I would burst from joy.

We were gifted with the slowness of a snow day, with a fire burning from afternoon until bedtime.  The morning brought sunshine and a motivated hike out to reward ourselves with some good ole Mexican food.  

Cheers to getting outside despite inexperience or lack of equipment!   Endless thank you's to my camping buddies for trusting me to lead you outside, regardless of unideal weather. 

Who's up for a backpacking trip in 2018?

Small Business Saturday | Unison Made

I had the privilege of traveling to San Matias, Honduras last June with Considerthewldflwrs to document the women of Unison Made.  For the past six years, Emily has been teaching women in the local community how to make and sell jewelry.  For Small Business Saturday, Considerthewldflwrs is selling Unison Made necklaces, and I'm partnering with them to sell prints from our trip to Honduras.  All proceeds will go towards Unison Made.  

Buy necklaces here.

Buy prints here.