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HALF UNITED - The Passion of Youth is Feeding Children

It’s impossible not to be inspired by passionate young people actively committed to a cause, especially when the degree of that commitment is affirmed by the professional choices one makes. Brother and sister team Carmin and Christian—the two ‘halves’ of Half United—are the living embodiment of exactly this kind of commitment. The passion in their goal to help feed hungry children is not only evident but tangible: energy and enthusiasm infuses everything they do, from starting their company, to communicating their goals, to working tirelessly to realize broader, longer-term objectives. Carmin and Christian grew up in a home where giving was part of their daily life. Their father was a pastor and they often helped with community events, many that...

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CHAN LUU - “Always think ten steps ahead.” How determination has enabled CHAN LUU to design a life of success from a bedrock of challenge

When our designer, Chan Luu, was a little girl growing up in the Vietnamese coastal town of Nha Trang, she felt keenly the sensory influences of shape, form, and color. They affected her emotionally, viscerally. She liked to do things with her hands. She explored. She painted. She wanted to be an artist. At the time, Vietnam was a country ravaged by war. It was a war that affected the countryside and the borders more than the cities and the seaside towns, the sort of environment in which Chan Luu lived. Yet while it rarely touched her directly, it created an omnipresent impression and left a lasting effect. When she was nearly 18 years old, Luu’s family moved to the...

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JANE DIAZ - “My ideas; their hands, their skills.” How anthropology, art and dance are drawn together by craftsmen in Nepal.

OUR DESIGNER: Jane Diaz, has always been fascinated with miniature things. When she was a little girl, her mother had a charm, a tiny tin man fashioned out of platinum, with legs and arms that moved. Jane would ask her mother if she could bring him out so that Jane could hold him and look at him. When Jane was sixteen, her mother gave her the tin man as a birthday gift. It was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with charms, trinkets, jewels—anything small and precious. For Jane, jewelry is more than something just to wear: it’s something compelling, that speaks to us, connects, carries sentiment or spiritual significance. And as with all compelling things, it is the...

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KUI - Crafting dreams in the urban jungle.

Three women found in the ancient sites of Peru the seeds of their future business… Like Penelope’s Stories, our designer, KUI believes in storytelling. When they talk about stories, however, they talk specifically about the conceptual inspiration behind each of their creations. Each collection has a theme, and begins with an inspiration board that is populated with whatever is relevant to that theme: signature colors that dovetail with industry color trends; locations that have inspired them; arresting images; symbols; and just things, be it seashells, or birds, or flowers. These are then framed within a ‘story’ that adds depth and inner meaning to the collection as it evolves. KUI’s own story, however, began in Peru. Yuki, Yuko and Ai Ito...

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SATYA - “Where you are in this moment is exactly where you are meant to be” …

There are few places that lend themselves quite so evocatively as the opening setting for a story as a beach in the Bahamas. One imagines that inspiration comes easily in an environment defined by a color-palette of saturated blues and turquoises, cool golds, and salmon-pinks; by sunrises and sunsets over silky white sands; and the continuous soothing lull of the surf in the background. While this is not the very beginning of Satya’s story—that starts many years before—this is where Satya found herself, ten years ago, at a turning point in her life. She was searching for new direction.   Satya’s dream has always been to help children around the world. She transitioned from early experience as a pre-school teacher,...

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