My friend Jané Gautier~Shadoin is a survivor of Hurricane Katrina. And many other life crises that would have stopped the average person. But they didn't stop Jané.
About 3 years ago I came home from a research trip to Thailand with a notebook full of information—and a bag full of jewelry made by women and girls rescued from human trafficking.
Jané has been involved in fashion her entire adult life, so when she spoke, I listened.
She's been a stylist, in sales, and entertainment/fashion event planning in the US and France, where she lived for 15 years.
With the events of 9/11, she returned to the US and lived in Biloxi, Mississippi, where her family is. When Katrina hit, she lost everything.
That and many other life crises did not stop her but instead fueled her passion to do good. She took what she knew how to do and launched out in an entirely new direction—founding The Butterfly Project to market jewelry made by women and girls rescued from human trafficking.
Each year millions of women and girls are sold into sex slavery around the world including in the US. A small percentage are rescued each year, and many support themselves and the shelters where they live by creating beautiful jewelry and other handmade products.
“The Butterfly Project purchases directly from safe houses all over the world where rescued women and girls live and work,” explains Jané. “That helps them with living expenses as they heal and build new lives.”
Jané also donates part of the proceeds from jewelry sales to The Born2Fly Project to stop child trafficking.
“Purchasing this beautiful jewelry is a powerful way to help these women and girls experience the dignity, hope, and freedom to create something beautiful,” explains Jané. “It’s a small step that makes a big difference. Something beautiful has come out of disaster.”
The Butterfly Project is based in Florida. You can contact Jané at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @SireneduMississ.
Photography by Karen Sandvick.
Special thanks to chihuahua Annabelle Coco Chanel.
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Watch for information soon on a special Butterfly Tea Party featuring jewelry from The Butterfly Project. Saturday, December 11, in Orlando. Proceeds help support The Born2Fly Project to stop child trafficking. Details coming soon!