Good People Doing Good Things:
Laurinda Lee-Retter Believes in the Power of Kindness
Weall want to believe in the power of kindness - don't we? However, sometimes it can seem difficult to know where to put our attention and time to make it part of our lives in a meaningful way.
At our core, Brave Soles is about celebrating what can be done with creativity, courage, and kindness. Our love for fashion and beautiful things can also be a reflection of our values and the world we want to build.
Kindness changes things.
Just ask Laurinda Lee-Retter, the founder of Kind Karma Company, based out of Toronto, Canada.
As part of our Good People Doing Good Things Project, Laurinda gave us some insight into how they work with at-risk youth to create employment and meaningful life changes through their production.
How a Jewelry Brand Can Change the Future for At-Risk Youth
2016 was a hard year For Kind Karma founder, Laurinda Lee-Retter. Determined to make the following year much better she decided to do her part in spreading kindness and positivity to those that needed it the most.
For Laurinda, that determination took on the form of working with vulnerable youth in Toronto to create Kind Karma Company.
"Most 'bad kids' are simply vulnerable and don't have many alternatives for survival. They end up either on the streets or in foster care because of situations they did not create or domestic environments that are so unhealthy. Many of them face mental health challenges as a result of trauma or a lack of education."
Their employment options are often limited as a result of their unique circumstances and Laurinda recalled her own difficulties in maintaining employment when she herself suffered mental health challenges.
As a result of her own experience, Laurinda devised an art therapy-based employment model for youth.
The results are what we now know as Kind Karma Company. .
"Confidence and self-esteem have shown our youth artisans that they are capable of achieving anything they set their mind to. It's a privilege to see them flourish as they begin to once again believe in themselves."
Kind Karma was born on the principle that if we do good, not only will good come back to us in the form of karma, but it will continue to spread and create waves of positive impact throughout the community.
"Our number one superpower is the ability to truly change not only lives, but communities. Our youth artisans have told us that they have 'never held a job for this long' or that they finally 'found my wings and am learning to fly'. "
Who knows what impact this one person will have on those around them?
"By changing individual lives, we are actually creating ripple effects throughout the greater community whose positive impact will hopefully be felt by all."
As you can imagine, that's why we love her so much at Brave Soles, too;)
Here are some of our favourite creations from the team at Kind Karma Company for this year:
IMORSE CODE BRACELET
Each of these bracelets spells out a different word in Morse Code by using small gold-filled beads as the language.
The perfect gift to give to those special people who enrich your life just by being a part of it.
TEARDROP GEMSTONE NECKLACE locally made in the Toronto area and handcrafted by at-risk and transitioning homeless youth.
This blog is part of a series we are doing here at Brave Soles called "Good People Doing Good Things."
It takes courage to stay the course and stay true to your values and vision. Now, more than ever, we believe in the power of raising our voices, passion and attention to GOOD PEOPLE DOING GOOD THINGS.
Do you have someone you recommend us to feature here? Send us your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.