The transition from two weeks spent studying social entrepreneurship abroad in Rwanda to my summer internship at Raven + Lily, a social business in Austin, TX was perfect. What I learned in Rwanda made for an easy and seamless transition to my marketing internship with Raven + Lily. When I had left for Rwanda, R+ L was a non-profit design studio dedicated to empowering the women artisans who hand make their designs. While in Rwanda, we saw a lot of poverty and remaining scars from tragedy almost two decades ago but were overwhelmed with the emphasis on the whole country’s desire to improve their quality of life and the amount of social businesses located in Rwanda. Upon coming back from Rwanda, I had come to my own conclusion that social businesses, not necessarily non-profit aid is what will truly allow a country like Rwanda to rebuild itself. After arriving back home, I was excited to find out that Raven + Lily is now a for profit social enterprise, a move that will allow R + L to be more sustainable and help the women’s business grow even more.
My role at Raven + Lily is to identify our market and get that market excited for the products that we are selling. This is a period of transition and growth that I am thrilled to be a part of. It is refreshing to know that every time I go into work, whatever I do that day is going to help women in Ethiopia, Northern India and Burundi to make the fashionable jewelry that they base their livelihood off of. I am most excited about bringing more of a Raven + Lily inspired presence to the Baylor campus as well. A challenge has come in the form of how best to make this partnership work, both for the Baylor students and for Raven + Lily. Some ideas being thrown around are to bring our founder to campus for a discussion on social business or a possible benefit concert. Raven + Lily is a business I am proud to work for and though sometimes I feel like I have no clue what I am doing, the women that we are working for inspire me and so does the mission.