Sunday, January 13, 2013

Juliana Um's Maiden Nation

Name: Juliana Um

What is your job? Co-founder and Creative Director of Maiden Nation

What social causes are most important to you?
Economic empowerment, especially for women.

What charities do you support – and how?

 I’m all about short term and long term support for communities. 
Charities are a wonderful way to catapult change and implement immediate necessities.  And it is also important to support the long-term growth and sustainability of the projects through finding ways to be give in deep ways, like through service or volunteer work, and continuously promoting the community to grow roots.

Artisan Business Network empowers Haitians with entrepreneurial tools, design input, and market access.  I am part of their founding team and assist in market development and design.
I also support Madre's community projects and like UN / Girl Up and Kiva.

Why do you have a passion for this, is there a personal tie?

I have a deep passion for working in Haiti.   Immediately after the 2010 earthquake, I was invited to go to Haiti with a company called Fairwinds Trading to see if there is potential to work with artisan communities to create jobs.  There were more then just potential, but vibrant energy and creative spirit.  I’ve worked with several communities throughout Haiti since to create collections for Macy’s, Anthropologie and build ABN.

Being with these communities have inspired me to create Maiden Nation with my co-founders Willa Shalit and Elizabeth Brown.  We are inspired by visionary, powerful women and plan to build an online nation for women to come together to share, support and create.

Is there a particular way you would want to encourage readers to be involved?

Find something that you are passionate about and share it with others.  Be conscious of the greater community and support them in your own way.  And of course, I’m going to self –promote – check out Maiden Nation and shop, share and follow us.

How would you define social responsibility?

Being considerate, aware and authentic being and striving for that in daily life is being socially responsible.

Do you have any tattoos that relate to your work? 

Yes.  I have a chunzum – dharma star – on my inner left wrist.  It’s a design I drew from a text that reads : two triangular pieces, stacked one on top of another.  I’m told that it’s more like beams of light.  It is a symbol of where we take birth and reminds me of wisdom and love.

Who did your work?

Yoni Zilber.  Amazing artist + person.
Shinji Horizakura.  Master artist and a wonderful being.

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