Stephanie is Beautiful! A jewelry making, India restoring, Human Trafficking stopping, Purchase with a Purpose Girl!
Beautiful Girl of the Week is a series of Beautiful Girls who are stand outs for what they contribute to the world through their beautiful actions! We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the Rewrite Beautiful blog as an attempt to inspire other girls and women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative calling!
Once upon a time, 2 ½ years ago I traveled to Southern India with a bunch of Jesus People from ROCKHARBOR and Harvest India. While there I saw with my own eyes some of the most devastating human conditions in the world. I saw girls as young as 12 prostituting themselves to feed their families. Others worked as hired help in homes, their only job being to kill rats and mice. The caught rodent was their salary. They then cooked the rodent as a MEAL for their family. People have very different reactions when they see this kind of poverty. Some change their own spending habits and sponsor children to go to school and stop the cycle of poverty. Personally, I became even more passionate about Rewrite Beautiful. I saw how my education, personality and charisma could help so many people in India on this side of the pond. It made me think of how many blessings and resources American women have and how vital it is that we stop eating disorders so we can focus on helping others instead of harming ourselves.
Stephanie Pollaro’s approach was a little different. She was incredibly touched by seeing child prostitutes and wanted to do something to get them education and out of this trade. Seeing that need and utilizing her own passions Stephanie started a jewelry line called International Sanctuary (iSanctuary.) iSanctuary gets the girls out of the sex trade, sends them to school and teaches them how to make jewelry. I’ll let Stephanie tell you the rest!
Irvina: Oh my gosh, I’m so stoked to talk to you today! I know you’re so busy bouncing from Bombay to Orange County! Thank you! Thank you! Please tell us about a fun project you’re currently working on?
Stephanie: Along with Wendy Dailey, I co-founded International Sanctuary, a US based non-profit that advocates for the oppressed people of the world, educates communities about human trafficking and equips survivors with the skills to be integrated as valued members of their communities. I am proud to be apart of iSanctuary and serve along side some of the most fascinating and dedicated people in the world! Right now we are in the middle of launching iSanctuary's India Jewelry line: Strength & Beauty into the Indian market. This is a huge undertaking as we have to build new branding, contacts and customer base. It also has the potential to create an even greater level of self-sufficiency that will directly benefit the iSanctuary artisans in India. At the same time we are trying to streamline production so that we can be more efficient with our manufacturing, packaging, and shipping of our purposeful jewelry.
Irvina: Wow! That’s a lot of work! How exciting to see your business growing! I’m so happy to hear that! So Stephanie, besides jewelry and abolishing sex trafficking, what are you passionate about?
Stephanie: I am passionate about helping women realize and embrace their individual strength and abilities hidden inside them. Globally, most women believe the lies that society, families, boyfriends tell them: that they are weak, good-for-nothing and just overall incapable. Nothing is more gratifying than to join a woman on her journey from that reality into the actual truth: that she is a beautiful, hand-crafted, strong, and amazingly gifted individual.
Irvina: So true! I love how you have made that passion apart of your entrepreneurial adventure with iSanctuary. It’s seriously INSPIRING! So, what do you do for fun?
Stephanie: I love long drawn out dinners at home around the table with my family.
Irvina: Awe! I’m sure! I love those too! I’m sure with doing so much international travel for work you miss them a lot. So, which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?
Stephanie: The answer depends on who you ask... I guess creativity is exhibited as I do most of the designing for iSanctuary jewelry. Strength because it isn't easy to give up your creature comforts for a life in a developing country. Kindness cause this isn't just a business, we truly care about the women we serve and employ.
Irvina: Love it! Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?
Stephanie: One of the most beautiful women I know is my sister Sara. Her beauty goes well beyond her physical attributes. She has always been her own person--guided by her own ideas and desires. She has a sense of humor that could make a sailor laugh and she doesn't apologize for it. She cares deeply for others and works as an advocate for developmentally disabled adults.
Irvina: She sounds incredibly beautiful! What do you wish young women knew about beauty?
Stephanie: That different isn't wrong it's just different. There is so much beauty in how we are each specifically and uniquely created. And with that understanding we as women should be able to walk confidently and proudly just the way we are.