Worn This Winter
Buddha knits with her heart and the lovely result is a job she is proud to have.
If you’re looking at the picture above Buddha is the one radiating with a gorgeous smile and appropriate heart adorned sweater. Across it lies the necklace that she makes for Worn, a non-profit company whose product sales provides the income in which refugee women receive to support themselves and in Buddha’s case her daughter. She beamed when she talked about her 19 month old daughter, Ballerina, with whom she stays home with to raise and is able to work during off hours knitting products for Worn. She has been a master knitter for Worn since 2011, but her life before arriving lies in stark contrast.
Buddha lived in a refugee camp in Nepal since she was 3 years old. She is Bhutanese and spent most of her life in a large refugee camp located in eastern Nepal with her family. Life was not easy as you can imagine, but it was all she knew. She grew up there and met her husband in the camp and traveled with him and her father-in-law to the US in June of 2010. Nepal, although granting asylum, cannot support the large refugee population and therefore countries such as the US step up to allow them an opportunity to have a dignified and safe home. This is where Catholic Charities steps in.
On the Worn website, they highlight, “Refugees from all over the world come to the United States for resettlement, leaving behind the affliction and persecution they faced in their home countries. Catholic Charities Fort Worth, along with other resettlement agencies, help the refugees transition into American culture which includes setting up apartments, English as a Second Language classes, enrolling children in schools, and help with integration into the American employment system. The vision of Catholic Charities Fort Worth is to provide the necessary skills that allow these refugees to be self-sufficient and regain a sense of both self and dignity.”
Worn is the brainchild of Abbi Ice. She was a case manager for refugee services and while visiting the homes of the newly relocated refugees began to notice the incredible handiwork of the women she was helping. She had an a-ha moment and brought the idea to the attention of the Catholic Charities CEO, Heather Reynolds. Heather a phenom herself taking helm of the entire organization at the young age of 25 immediately green-lighted the idea and the first products launched in Fall 2011. Abby has since left the organization, but I was able to meet with the ladies running the program who are skilled in helping lead the company with a focus on fashion. Katelin Cortney who graduated with a fashion merchandising degree from TCU brings a keen eye to the product development process, and creates trend boards prior to beginning a new collection. Not only does she run this initiative but she is also the Communications Director for Catholic Charities. I’m not sure companies, non-profits or otherwise understand what kind of an endeavor it is to manage multiple initiatives. Typically overseeing a brand is a job in and of itself, but she and Kathryn Arnold who oversees digital PR for both Worn and Catholic Charities are pulling double duty and doing a fantastic job.
We at Tanglewood Moms would like to suggest that you make a purchase from Worn this holiday season to give back to our amazing community. By purchasing a scarf, necklace, or bracelet lovingly crafted by women who are thankful beyond measure to be able to live in Fort Worth, will not only be an amazing gift to the recipient but will also warm your own heart for supporting such a worthy cause.
Worn is offering our readers a giveaway. Bree Perez, the TanglewoodMoms.com photographer, and I were able to get a tour of the offices to meet Buddha and we decided you might love the Foxtrot Circle Scarf in stone. Please comment below with what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving to be entered for a chance to win. Winner announced Wednesday afternoon.
Some other items available for purchase on the site that we love. Please honor a friend by gifting a piece from their collection this holiday.
Thank you Katelin and Kathyrn for allowing me to learn more about your team, services, and the women of Worn.
I’m thankful for my baby girl who will be celebrating her first Thanksgiving this year.
I’m thankful to live in a free country where I can worship God. I’m also very thankful for my wonderful family, 4 furbabies, and a great job!
I am thankful for family, friends, and fireplace weather!
I’m thankful for good health for all our friends, family and loved ones!
As he weather gets colder, I am so thankful for a nice home and a cozy warm bed. So many people are so cold all winter long, and I’m grateful for warmth.
I’m thankful that I was given the wonderful opportunity of being a mother through adoption and that I work a job at a school that allows me to spend so many days off with her.
I’m thankful for all the amazing things this year has brought me, and I’m looking forward to the next!
I am so thankful for the many blessings in my life. Most especially, I am thankful for my family, our closeness and bond.
I’m thankful for moving to Fort Worth and making so many great friends. I am most grateful for my sweet 6 month old baby and my loving husband.
I’m thankful for a hardworking husband who sacrifices a lot so that I can stay home with our 2 year old son. I am thankful to live in a free country & to God for his mercy & grace!
I am thankful for the kindness and compassion that my 6 year old son shows me daily. I am thankful for those little hugs, kisses on my forehead and the morning “I love you’s.”
I am thankful for my three wonderful boys. My husband and two sons are the best part of my day – everyday. I’m thankful for our health, home and all the laughs we share together ?
I am thankful for my sweet kiddos and the wonderful support system of family and friends they have rallying around them!
I am thankful for community resources, relationships, freedom to worship, friends and family. I think my list could go on and on…
I’m thankful for God blessing me with a great husband and two beautiful and healthy children.
I’m thankful for the countless blessings from family to having a job and a house but most if all, for the gift of life!
I’m thankful for my family — baby #2 (due in March), my toddler son, my husband and rescued Labradors. I’m thankful I woke up this morning in good health with food to eat, clean water to drink, and a roof over my head in safe environment where I can raise my precious little family. Perspective is everything and we are so blessed.
What a great story! I can’t wait to find out who I get to buy for for Christmas on Thursday. Crossing my fingers for a savvy lady who would appreciate a gift from Worn!
You won Jenn!! How exciting! I’ll send you an email to get your address!
I am thankful for this country, the land of opportunity!
I am thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful to live in the U.S. and have a roof over my head, even more so as I watch what is currently happening in our world. It really puts everything into perspective.
I’m thankful for a healthy family!!!
I am thankful for more things than I can list. My faith and the hope it gives me in the midst of all of my struggles is my biggie right now. And my 2 sweet and curious kids who teach me about life and myself everyday.
I am thankful for my 4 year old daughter. She brings a joy to my life I never knew I was missing. I am also thankful for modern medicine and technology, because of the two, my husband has been seizure free for over a year!
I’m thankful for my miracle baby and celebrating the best year of my life!
I’m thankful for my sweet hubby and 2 daughters. They’re my world and I thank God for them everyday.
I’m thankful for my healthy family!
This year I am thankful for my son. He made me a mother, something I always knew I was meant to be, and has filled my life with joy since his arrival.
I am thankful for a loving God who provides and is ever faithful especially during the difficult times. I am also very thankful for my family and our health. Thank you to Catholic Charities for the wonderful work you do with ALL people.
I am thankful that we were able to participate in operation christmas where I could show my children what it means to give to others. To be thankful for what you have instead of always thinking about what you dont have.
I’m thankful for my healthy 2 year old! (He has come along way from a 3lb preemie) We are so blessed!
This summer was a rough season for us. I went into premature labor and the Drs were unable to stop it. My son was born at 33 weeks with Down Syndrome and spent 2 weeks in the NICU. I’m thankful for the NICU staff and also for my in laws who were able to come down and watch our 2 year old while we spent our days at the hospital.
I am tremendously thankful for the opportunity to celebrate this holiday with my family – my mother is in remission from breast cancer and my father has just been placed on hospice, but I will cherish every moment with them.
Wonderful story! I am thankful that I have a reason to spend time with all the folks at Catholic Charities, especially those newly arrived in our country!
I’m truly thankful for organizations like CCFW that see the opportunity they have to change people’s lives for the better! Love that they took a risk and put in the hard work to give these refugee women a better life!
I am thankful for friends and family supporting me during a tough, high risk pregnancy with twins.
I am thankful for my family and God, who loves abundantly.