An interview with Carole Murphy on being an Activist for Change
Carole Murphy is an activist in the movement of women, working as the founder of two powerful organizations: Purse for the People and Gratitude 4 the Goddess. She spends her days redefining fashion and using her organizations to encourage and uplift women. She uses her gifts to make other women feel important and empowered. I was fortunate enough to interview her. Here’s what she shared:
What made you so passionate about women?
My desire to see all women on the planet elevated is largely spiritually base and connected to how I see feminine/masculine balances at play in nature. My entrepreneurial journey began with the general premise that we can do business better, and that we must take better care of and consider the environment when doing business. I believe that our survival on planet earth necessitates the need for women to be equally represented in and key participants in all aspects of human life.
What is Purse for the People?
We at Purse for the People believe in the #slowfashion movement, and that what we wear can be both beautiful and good for the planet. Fashion is the second most polluting industry globally, and many workers are exploited. This can and must change. Purse for the People allows you to design your own bag online. You are able to select the style, colors, and finishes you want. Your custom bag is then brought to life with quality, handmade workmanship here in the U.S. and shipped directly to you.
We have taken care to use beautiful, organic, and natural materials from the rain forest in our designs. With our partners at Non-Timber Forest Products, we follow standards that provide long term solutions to the everyday challenges native citizens of the forest face while maintaining healthy thriving forests.
Over the years, how have you seen growth in your organizations?
It is extremely difficult to manufacture products in the U.S., and or source components (leather, fabric etc.) that are made in the U.S. We have worked very hard to be a part of the re-shoring movement by holding fast to the vision that our handbags be made in the U.S. We have also seen eco-friendly components (textile, leather, packaging, etc.) become increasingly more available as the fashion industry wakes to the damaging effects of #FastFashion on people and the environment. Along with all of the above we also see an increase in Consumer Activism and demands for earth friendly fashion. Technology is playing a positive role in our evolution as “configurators” (i.e. the specialized software used for customization becomes more sophisticated and commonplace).
Do you plan to get sustainable materials from any other countries besides Indonesia?
Yes, our plant-based leather substitute is from Italy and our bengala dye is from Japan. All of these elements and products will be available when we launch our "Designed by You" feature on our website.
Where do you see Purse for the People in 10 years?
We hope to first launch our "Designed by You" custom bags, currently in Beta testing. We then hope to begin manufacturing our own textiles form locally-produced hemp and hemp-wool blends. We also plan to use in-house local manufacturing of all our handbags (currently outsourced and located in Boise, Idaho), and expansion into international markets.
You also have an organization called Gratitude 4 the Goddess. Where did that originate?
I wanted our company to be a direct participant in lifting women up, which I believe requires that we, women, see ourselves and each other differently and in a more elevated status than that currently allocated culturally. We use uplifting e-cards called Goddess cards! By sending Goddess cards to each other, women are reminded of their brilliance and importance. When women collectively stand for and appreciate each other we can stand in unison with greater strength! Via the “Goddess on the Rise Search,” rising female stars are placed in the spotlight and acknowledged for their accomplishments. Our winner is selected by public vote, so really everyone can participate in spreading the love and gratitude. If we value women and girls for who they truly are, slavery and trafficking would cease to exist. By doing business in a more balanced and socially-just way, economic pressures will be removed that push humans into slavery.
What is the hardest part of being a founder of two amazing organizations?
Having access to adequate start-up funds. The average founder can only bootstrap their company so far and must at some point rely upon loans or investor capital to grow the company. The current economic system tends to concentrate these funds in the hands of a few (mostly men) as opposed to being distributive, spreading and growing wealth across all sectors of societies.
You are a part of Dressember’s monthly donor program. Why does giving monthly matter to you?
It fills my heart with hope that one day slavery and trafficking will be abolished globally.
Being able to interview Carole Murphy was incredible, as she plays such a huge part in things that I believe in. I am absolutely ecstatic to be able to follow her and her organizations as she makes waves in the empowerment of women.
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About the Author
Hannah Blair is a psychology major with an end goal of counseling survivors of human trafficking, such as herself. She is currently pursuing a certification in Biblical counseling and is excited to be a part of Dressember! She enjoys running, cooking, and most importantly, napping.