When I first heard Francesca Kennedy’s story of why she started her company I.X. Style I was immediately inspired I knew I wanted to help in some way! I.X. Style Huarache Sandals are making a difference in the lives of Guatemalan families all because Francesca noticed a problem and found a way to help the place she loves so much!
I.X. Style is a charitable fashion company created because the lake Francesca was baptized in and played in as a child had become contaminated with blue algae. The sight of young children collecting this dirty water to use was something Francesca could not let go on… so she did something about it!
No tells the story better then Francesca herself, this is a video she made with The Gap – One Stitch Closer Campaign. Through this opportunity The Gap donated $10,000 to the non-profit responsible for getting the clean water filters in the areas affected!
Francesca is so empowering, when I asked her about her experience thus far her response was “this will take more than my lifetime to complete, but I will not stop until all of Guatemala has clean water in every home and school!” And she’s doing just that! Francesca is a one woman show with the help of her amazing interns but she keeps pushing, opening more doors of opportunity to get all the help she can! She took her story and appeared on Project Runway Fashion Startup – and was able to get 3 of the designers/entrepreneurs to invest in her company.
Her struggles were not limited to gaining the trust of the artisans but they also speak more than 20+ different dialects around Lake Atitlan, she’s made countless trips to learn all she could with translators by her side in order to create these amazing sandals and handbags.
This Easter holiday Francesca will be traveling with world famous photojournalist Steve McCurry to capture the stories of some of the Mayan women artisans that she works with and will be sharing their stories in an exclusive book! This is just another way that she is giving back to her community.
How can we help?
With every purchase from I.X. Style – 15 % is given back to the cause. There are designs from the classic Huarache sandals, to the gladiator and ankle strap look! Francesca is also 1 of 30 finalist in the Tory Burch Competition where she could win $100,000 and be mentored by Tory Burch world renowned fashion designer, philanthropist and business women! Tory Burch created this opportunity to empower women entrepreneurs to reach their goals and Francesca needs our votes! Here’s how to vote! Click here and it will take you to the page, just enter your email and vote…. and you can come back and vote each day until April 4th!
“If I win, I will donate 15% of the money to my favorite Guatemalan causes!
Half will go to FUNSEPA to buy computers with the Khan Academy.
I’m FUNSEPA’s 2017 Hero of Education.
The other half will go to buy water filters from Ecofiltro.
We will provide the filters + computers to communities around Lake Atitlan!”
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Francesca reminds us all that going with your heart and doing something that will change the world is truly possible!