The first shall be last.
Those who want to be the greatest must be the servant of all.
Unless you are willing to lose your life, you cannot save it.
I am paraphrasing of course, but the crazy reality of some of these truths have become so much more of a reality to me in the past few months.
It’s an upside down world!
This morning I spent a good chunk of time with Donna Karan. The fashion designer.
I am not really sure how it happened, but a key person for the Apparent Project right now is a super cool chick named Caroline Sada who has a restaurant right by the embassy that serves all natural and fresh food! A sweet little restaurant, she gets all kinds of big wig traffic and she is one of those restaurant owners who knows everybody that comes in her door. She had fallen in love with our jewelry and our mission sometime around August and has been peddeling our stuff out of her restaurant to all kinds of big wigs. It has been through her that we have been able to sell and tell our story to celebrities such as Olivia Wilde (Tron and House) and Maria Bello (Grown Ups, Coyote Ugly, and ER).
A couple of days ago, Caroline called me and said that sme people from DKNY wanted to meet to look at the jewelry. I was flattered… but stunned when I found out that it was ACTUALLY Donna Karan and that she was looking for a “Haitian artisan” themed fashion line.
I have been spending a lot of time in tin shacks, tents, with sick people, starving people, desparate people, hurting people, abused people. I have been spending my last three years getting to know some of the poorest people in our hemisphere and I find it so extraordinarily astounding that in the midst of that, that I would have the opportunity to spend the morning with Donna Karan, have Maria grace our artisan house with her presence, and have red carpet Olivia Wilde pose for a shot with our little Molene who lives in a pup tent in a tent city of 5000. It boggles my mind.
So Donna Karan wants to do something with our jewelry. She wants to base some of her prints for her fashion line off of the color scheme of a few pieces so that people can wear our jewelry with some of her fashion line…. it was truly an extraordinary meeting and I am not sure I fully understand what just happened or what will happen.
I do know that she asked me if she could buy every piece out of our boutique.. I cringed as I know a few people who might be dissapointed if we were completely out of stock this week. So she settled for buying every piece that I had brought to show her- probably close to $2000 worth. Wow. cool.
My life is upside down. I run a business with 130 employees who can’t figure out how not to poop on the floor of the bathroom. My goal in business is to minimize profits and maximize labor costs. I hurt alongside my friends as I am still grieving from earthquake aftermath, still seeing people struggle for their lives with cholera, still watching people get rained on because they don’t have a roof over their heads, still trying to figure out whether I should confront our street boys for consulting with a Voodoo priest, still listening to my neighbor lady get her head bashed against the cement as they try to exorcize her demonic manifestations, still coming up with design ideas for what our artisans can make to add a few more dollars to their pockets, still trying to send my emails with attachments that take one hour to upload, still waiting on the airport to shut down because Aristede might be coming this week, still trying to drive my car with no shocks or brakes or air conditioning or windshield wipers, and yet in the midst of this wacked out life, there are GREAT things happening.. beyond what I could have ever imagined. I look forward to what is to come….
Blessed are the poor.
It is with the poor that I have found my greatest and most humbling blessings.