Carly Burson and Ashley Faircloth are two women who recently waltzed into my life and made it sweeter than the sound of summer rain beating against the window. The funny thing is that I have never officially met these two amazing women in person, but I feel as though I have known them for a lifetime.
Maybe it’s because our hearts thump to the same tune: the three of us sharing the same passion to empower women around the world.
Carly recently asked Ashley to join her on a beautiful journey to start a company called Tribe Alive. Through Tribe Alive, Carly and Ashley will partner with non-profits in Honduras, Guatemala, and Ethiopia to bring their jewelry and bag designs to life while giving women the opportunity to raise and provide an education for their children and families.
They recently travelled to Honduras and Guatemala with their Tribe photographer, Michael Newsted, to meet with the women they will be working with through the non-profit Mi Esperanza. When I spoke with them after their trip, they could not put into words the beauty of the lives that engulfed them. Michael captured the beautiful and colorful lives in Guatemala and Honduras in ways that would make the average eye light up with wonder and awe. When I asked them the beautiful secrets that touched their lives in these two countries, they gave me 3 solid answers that still dance in my mind.
Beauty in Age. We live in a society that dreads the day when wrinkles surface and grey hair becomes the norm. Women fear the aging process. When Carly and Ashley were in Central America, they noticed something that opened their eyes to the way they see physical beauty. They sat in the markets with older women and noticed how these women aged without complaint. Each wrinkle told a beautiful story. They told stories of hard work. The deeper the wrinkle, the harder the women had worked. The smiles stretched wide as the women sung their songs of life and weaved patterns as detailed as life itself. Their fingernails were covered in dirt, beautiful dirt. Carly and Ashley gazed at the women’s raw beauty. They memorized each make-up free face. They were thankful to be in the presence of women who valued the deeper meaning of physical beauty.
Beauty in Community. Living in America, we forget about the value that community brings. We leave work, hop in our cars, and drive home. We run our errands alone. We occasionally have dinner parties, inviting friends into our homes. More often than not, we find ourselves in a lonely place especially as women. We forget that we were made to live in relationships and community and there is beauty in sharing our lives and lifting each other up. Carly and Ashley quickly realized that the women in Guatemala and Honduras are beautiful and fruitful because they value community. They work with and help each other raise their families. When Carly and Ashley walked through the markets and villages, there was a whisper in the air among the women that said, ““Here, let me hold your part of the sky for a minute so you can rest.” The beauty of this community breathed a new truth into Carly and Ashley’s hearts.
Beauty in Resilience. Nothing speaks louder than words then the beauty that comes from a resilient woman. With each new day, Carly and Ashley would stand in awe of the actions that women would take to provide for their families. It didn’t matter how far they had to walk or how many kids they had bring along; the women would stop at nothing to give their families opportunity. One woman walked four miles each day to work, a four-hour round trip commute. Women would bring their children to work. There was not a divide between life and work. Their resilience created a beautiful balance that we desperately desire in our own lives.
As Carly and Ashley continued to reflect upon their journey with me, they came to a realization that there is strength that comes in having nothing. The untainted, beautiful faith they observed among the women in Honduras and Guatemala encouraged Carly and Ashley. They travelled to these countries to help and encourage women and received encouragement themselves. After all, no matter your circumstances as a woman, we are all in this life together.
If you want to be part of this tribe of amazing women, you can go to https://tribealive.tilt.com/empowering-women-through-design and help Tribe Alive continue to give back to the women who graciously gave to them.