With a passion for women’s rights and awareness of the need for economic opportunity around the world, Joy McBrien founded Fair Anita to launch a more inclusive ethical fashion movement.
In January 2015, Joy started Fair Anita—a fair trade artisan-made clothing and accessory shop supporting women in over 16 countries. The designs are made here locally, and then more than 8,000 artisan women around the globe create the products.
This year at Holidazzle from Dec. 8-11, Fair Anita will be selling jewelry, accessories and clothing. You will find products made from recycled bullet casings, a new sterling silver line and many items under $25. Holidazzle’s full calendar run is Thursdays through Sundays from Friday, November 24 through Saturday, December 23. It is open Thursdays from 5-9 pm, Fridays from 5-10 pm, Saturdays from 11 am-10 pm and Sundays from 11 am-7 pm.
“Holidazzle is such a great way to promote holiday spirit,” Joy said. “I really love the environment surrounding Holidazzle and the community it brings together.”
She loves seeing all the different ways people choose to give back to the community during the holiday season, and it couldn’t be any easier with Fair Anita products. The Fair Anita team has been working on how they can stress the importance of consumer power. Each purchase from Fair Anita supports women around the world, and furthers this ethical retail movement.
Joy’s passion for women’s rights came after experiencing rape as a senior in high school. Later, as a freshman at the University of Minnesota studying nonprofit management and business, she knew she needed to work on something that had meaning to her in order to fully learn the material.
“I felt a really strong pull to start working towards creating solutions for violence against women, to start to heal personally,” Joy said.
She started out by working with a group of local women in Chimbote, Peru, to build the city’s first battered women’s shelter.
“I wanted to better understand what violence against women looked like in different cultural contexts,” Joy said. “So I ended up traveling to quite a few communities, meeting with women and bonding with them over shared experiences.”
Across every border, one universal message was clear: The need for economic opportunity. She learned that financial insecurity is the No. 1 reason women stay with an abusive partner. With a steady income, these women are more likely to leave a violent situation and/or the abuse levels decrease due to having more worth within the home.
Joy and these women then started co-creating products as a way to help support their financial needs and concerns. So, with a combination of the women’s traditional artistry and U.S. influenced designs, Fair Anita was able to open up markets and sell products that people here really love.