“You are making a definite difference, you are equipping me to speak out to the younger generation and truly rewrite beautiful in our world.” – Mia, Supporter
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!
Alli is best known as a local socialite here in the OC. The first time I spotted her she was in a business meeting at Kean Coffee, but abruptly interrupted it to avalanche a friend she spotted with a hug. This friendly gal is the PR and Marketing Manager of 31 Bits a jewelry business designed to give internally displaced women in Northern Uganda an opportunity to counter poverty. 31Bits kindly donated jewelry to the Rewrite Beautiful TELEIOS Art Show raffle last summer. I’m stoked to be putting my journalism degree to use by giving you an insider look at Alli’s life and her projects with this interview below. Enjoy!
Irvina: Hey! So what is a project you’re currently working on?
Alli: A couple of my closest girl friends and I started a business called 31Bits, in which we work with women in Uganda that design beautiful jewelry out of recycled paper. We started a couple years ago with 6 ladies, and now we employ over 110! It's only by God's grace that we've gotten this far, and we feel so privileged and honored to play a small part!
Irvina: That’s so rad! How fun to work with your friends AND help women on the other side of the world! I've been hugely inspired by the BITS story myself! So what are you passionate about?
Alli: I'm passionate about people. If I could get paid to go on coffee dates and have long, deep conversations all day long I would! I love hearing about the ways that God is moving and stirring our community. I love hearing how our ladies in Uganda are joining together to dream and plan for their future. I love observing the girls I work with; how they love and care for each other. There is nothing cooler, or more exciting, than to see God at work in the people around me.
Irvina: Awesome another deep convo girl! Yes! Welcome to the club! So what do you do for fun?
Alli: I am addicted to baking. I'm constantly searching Foodgawker.com for the next killer cookie recipe. I also love to go to Disneyland and people watch (not creepy, I promise). And I love to shop. What girl doesn't?!
Irvina: Yes! I’m right there with you with the baking! What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Alli: I white water rafted the Nile! Pretty stoked that I survived that one.
Irvina: No way! White Water rafting is on my Bucket List! I can’t wait to do that! So, what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?
Alli: 31 Bits! This organization is my heart! Check out the "Designers" page and read up on some of the women we get to work with. I am SO blessed by these ladies!
Irvina: Oh girl, I've already checked it out! I love it! I also love that you’re job allows you to empower other women to find their own gifts and talents. I hope other companies follow in your lead! Kind of like me! Ha! So which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?
Alli: CREATIVITY. I'm convinced I work with the most talented and creative people on this planet! Our photographer, our graphic designer, our jewelry designer, our stylist. I could go on and on. These people are so visionary and passionate about what they do. Every new look we come out with, whether it's a special edition Wedding Collection, or our Summer line, keeps getting better.
Irvina: I think it’s so crazy how when we work to help others we are helped 10 fold over! That’s been my experience with Rewrite Beautiful and it sounds the same with 31 Bits. So who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?
Alli: I’m going to be so cliché and say my mom. Her strong faith and service for the people around her constantly challenges and inspires me. She's the most selfless person I know. She's also gorgeous. And she makes some bomb Greek food!
Irvina: Haha! I don’t think that’s cliché at all! So if you could sum it up, what do you think makes a woman beautiful?
Alli: I think that there is nothing more attractive than someone that is following their dreams, loving others and enjoying the life God gave them.
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Imagine that you have flown the 30 hour flight to India. You have taken the 9 hour bus ride from Hyderbad to the small town of Tenali in Andrha Pradesh, India. You are now in front of a crowd of starving, sick and desperate Indian people. You are passing out bananas and bread to small children and the thought in your head isn’t “smile and hug the children” it’s “I feel fat. I wish I didn’t eat breakfast. I want to purge.” This exact predicament is what an eating disorder does to a girl. No matter where she is or the circumstance she is paralyzed in her thoughts. She is a girl that can’t go beyond her thoughts and definitely can not help others.
This is why Rewrite Beautiful is Changing how girls see beauty in themselves. If a girl does not see the beauty in herself she can not help others to see the beauty in themselves. There are millions of girls today that are not only paralyzed from helping people in other nations, they are paralyzed from just being present for their families. There are girls who stay locked in their rooms because they don’t like the way their jeans look on them. We believe no one deserves to hidden from the world, no matter what they look like in their jeans. The world misses out when these girls are not present. This is why we are trying to create Girls that can Go and use their talents, passions and education to help others in need.
When girls are healthy and outside of their bedrooms and not obsessing about the size of their jeans they do amazing things and start amazing organizations like these:
31 Bits www.31Bits.com
Founded by: Brooke, Alli, Anna, Kallie
The Go: A mission trip to Uganda
Vision: 31 Bits works with women inNorthern Uganda. The Ugandan women make awesome jewelry that is sold here in the US. The money is sent back to the women so they can sustain their lives. 31 Bits "strives to build a loving community that cares for individuals’ spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical needs."
International Princess Project www.intlprincess.org
Founded by: Shannon Keith
The Go: A mission trip to India
Vision: IPP helps Indian women get out of prostitution by giving them the opportunity to learn a new trade, Punjammie making! These women make gorgeous Punjammies (Pajama pants made out of beautiful Indian fabric). The women once enslaved in the sex trade not only have the opportunity to support themselves with a skill and dignity, but they also are provided a place to live and to heal in body and spirit and to live lives of freedom.
Founded by: Stephanie Pallaro
The Go: A mission trip to India
Vision: iSanctuary exists to provide opportunities for girls who were formerly in the sex trade to grow, gain restoration, and eventually sustain themselves by earning an income as they reintegrate into society. Another awesome jewelry making venture...iSanctuary gives the girls the opportunity to create jewelry that is sold in the US and the profits are sent back to support them. "Education and vocational training combat one of the most significant factors that make women and girls vulnerable to trafficking and poverty." Just a little FYI: Many women in 3rd world countries go into the sex trade because they have no education thus they have no skills and selling their bodies is the only job available for them.
Iam Hope and Healing www.iamhopeandhealing.org
Founded by: Hallie Kotrla
The Go: San Diego, California
Vision: I AM is a safe and secure place for women and men who struggle with anorexia, bulimia, compulsive overeating, binge eating disorders and body image issues, as well as any associated problems related to these areas. IAM helps newly recovering ED survivors find Sober Living, Sponsors, Meetings and a community of support.
This is just a glimpse of what Girls that can Go do. It takes a ton of work to start and run organizations like these. I hope these girls inspire you to either get healthy enough to Go or support girls that Go.
On an Inspirational note: Harvest India is a non-profit organization based in Southern India that helps every person under the Indian sun in need in the name of Jesus Christ. The pastor, Suresh Kumar is visiting the US right now. I ran into him the other day. He asked me about Rewrite Beautiful, I told him about us going into schools and changing the way girls see beauty in themselves, he was excited. Then I told him that the vision is that these girls would eventually turn into women who are equipped to Go to India and serve other women. I got a classic, thumbs up from Suresh, a head nod and a “Good job man! God job!” If I do say so myself, “Right on!” I hope all of you girls know that you have something in you that you need to GO and give to others, small or big you have it to share. And I hope all you boys keep encouraging all us gals to GO and be the women we were created to be.
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