Empower Her World: Creative Women Of The World Celebrates Fashion, Female Empowerment

By Kayleen Reusser
The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Ind.)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A nonprofit organization called “Creative Women of the World” (CWOW) works directly with women in 11 countries, including Kenya, Honduras and Indonesia, helping them create sustainable businesses. CWOW founder and executive director Lorelei VerLee has hundreds of items for sale at her Indiana store, including chocolates, jewelry, clothing and home décor, representing artisans from 48 countries on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.

The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Ind.)

Twice a year, Lorelei VerLee ventures from the comforts of her Fort Wayne home to travel internationally for business.

During her visits, she may encounter people with bug bites on their bodies, homes with mud floors and governments where extortion and bribery are accepted as the norm.

The difference between VerLee and the average corporate executive is VerLee travels on behalf of women living in extreme poverty, human trafficking and tragic disaster. The purpose of her excursions is to offer women hope in escaping their impoverished conditions through artistic expression and experienced business advice.

“Many women around the world are talented in arts and crafting but have limited access to business training and broader distribution to larger markets,” she said. “My goal by meeting with them in their native countries is to offer through local liaisons who speak English and have internet access, training for women who want to sustain their own artistic businesses and improve their lives.”

VerLee is founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization called Creative Women of the World (CWOW), which is hosting a fundraiser Tuesday night. Empower Her World: A Celebration of Fashion will feature a fashion show of artisan clothes, jewelry and bags made by CWOW-trained female entrepreneurs from around the world.

VerLee is a lifelong artisan and business owner whose husband, Ron VerLee, is the retired pastor of St. Joseph’s United Methodist Church.

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