Miss A Columnist

Chanoa Chen is a fashion professional and freelance writer with a penchant for international travel. Her fashion expertise and credentials include a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fashion Merchandising from Miami International University of Art & Design in addition to over a decade of experience working and volunteering in the fashion industry. Chanoa has worked or volunteered for a number of established industry names including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Guess, Zara and Miami Fashion Week. Her professional experience has found her working in several different sectors from retail management to wholesale representation.

Her work as a freelance journalist, magazine writer and blogger specializes in fashion, music, luxury goods and lifestyle and may be found in sources that include QVC Insider Germany, Examiner.com, Time Warner and Tilllate Magazine.

Chanoa hails from upstate New York and was largely raised in South Florida. While South Florida continues to be one of her home bases, Ms. Chen also spends her time living in Eastern Europe – with colder months spent in Belgrade, Serbia and warmer months on the coasts of the Adriatic Sea in Montenegro. Chanoa speaks the languages of former Yugoslavia (Montenegrin/Serbian/Bosnian/Croatian) in addition to some Spanish and she is currently studying Italian in her free time.

Same Sky’s Jewelry Empowers, Educates and Employs

Same Sky logoSame Sky‘s website is already an apt place to shop with stylish, high quality jewelry for men and women but their social efforts are what make it so irresistible. 100% of the proceeds from every piece is reinvested into Same Sky to train, educate and employ their jewelry artisans who hail from less fortunate backgrounds in Rwanda and the USA.

The Founder of Same Sky with a Same Sky Artisan

The Founder of Same Sky, Francine LeFrak, with an Artisan Photo Credit: SameSky.com

Founder Francine LeFrak spent eight years researching the Rwanda Genocide which consisted of a tragic 100 days when 1 million perished and hundreds of thousands of women were raped, the majority of which were infected with HIV. Despite such a tragic history, LeFrak saw opportunity for women to flourish in the African country that is home to a Parliament of 56% women. The Rwandan Same Sky Artisans earn 15-20 times higher pay than other workers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Coral Hope Necklace

Coral Hope Necklace Photo Credit: SameSky.com

LeFrak also extensively studied women of less fortunate circumstances in the U.S. for her HBO film, Prison Stories: Women on the Inside. This led to a collaboration with The Most Excellent Way Halfway House in Jersey City where women transitioning between jail and home are empowered and receive job training and sustainable employment by Same Sky.

Same Sky alludes to helping women who all live beneath the same sky. The focus is on giving women the power of education, job skills and training so they may provide for themselves and their families while helping their communities to flourish. Interested supporters may help in several ways including sending donations, hosting local trunk shows and shopping the Same Sky collections.

Silver Teddy Necklace Photo Credit: SameSky.com

Silver Teddy Necklace Photo Credit: SameSky.com

The attractive designs are available at varied price points for greater accessibility. There are a number of Friendship and Benefit Bracelets to be found for $20 all the way up to $425 necklace models such as the Celadon Hope Necklace (the sale of one necklace educates one artisan for an entire year). The special “Teddy to the Rescue” disaster relief collection donates 100% of proceeds to fighting Ebola outbreaks worldwide. The gorgeous necklaces sold for $100 each are available in gold and silver with the option of pink or clear heart stones. Gift cards that do not expire are also on sale.

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