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Empowered Purchasing

Filtering by Category: events

Fair Trade LA @ Homeboy Industries’ “every angeleno counts” 5k


Fair Trade LA supporters!  

rHope was so privileged to join Fair Trade LA and be part of their booth along with Laurel from Vida Verde at the Homeboy Industries’ “every angeleno counts” 5k Saturday October 18.

The walk had over 2,000 runners/walkers, food, a climbing wall, merchandise booths,  artists from all over LA displaying their works and more. Every volunteer and participant was smiling because they were running for hope and part of something that offers a chance.

Homeboy Industries supports people like Thomas. Thomas was working in the stall next to me.  He has grown up in Florence, in and out of gangs and prison much of his life. Ultimately he is thinking of his two year old daughter and wants a better life for her. How can he do that if people won’t hire him or give him a chance? Homeboy Industries is one of the only places for rehabilitation. They work with high risk, formerly gang involved men and women and provide services and paid job training. The founder of Homeboy Industries, Father Boyle set out 25 years ago, to provide jobs and education as alternatives to  gang life.  Over 120,000 former gang members and formerly incarcerated individuals have passed through Homeboy Industries and have changed their lives for the better.

Homeboy Industries tag line is “products with a purpose” which is in line with rHope and Fair Trade LA. We support artisan families, pay them a decent living wage and provide safe working conditions.  We also offer “products with a purpose”. Look for Homeboy industries products at Farmers Markets, grocery stores, have brunch at Homegirl Café, buy a t-shirt and/or remember that we all deserve a second chance and are capable of great things.

Royal Cup in Long Beach


Thanks to Raj, of Royal Cup Cafe in Long Beach, we were able to join for a beautiful event featuring art, poetry, live music and our very special hand bags. We jammed to the funky grooves of John "Fingaz" Caldwell and friends amid art by Tabala Jala Thomas, Nate Luben, and poetry by Cristie Bennett. To top it off, we enjoyed Royal Cup Cafe's fantastic sandwiches, gourmet coffee and teas.

rHope at Veteran Feminists of America Conference


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Michele Ceballos Michot and Natalia Ronceria Ceballos

rHope attended the Veteran Feminists of America’s Women and Media Conference thanks to Zoe Nicholson. It was a celebration of second wave feminists who dealt with issues related to sexuality, family, the workplace, reproductive rights  and inequality.  Every woman had an incredible story to share. rHope- Veteran Feminists of America Conference The event focused on Women & Media, with panels such as “Women’s Voices on the Radio” with radio journalists Sonali Kolhatkar, Frieda Werden Maya Jupiter, and Marlene Montanez moderated by Lynn H. Ballen. Research and statistics on the state of women in media were shared. As a result of a severe lack of representation for stories of non stereotypical women in movies or women’s perspectives, media perpetuates gender inequality. Check out this short film by Feminist Frequency on the subject. Additionally, we were treated to an inspiring screening of Jennifer Lee’s “Feminist Stories from Women’s Liberation,” a documentary about the women’s liberation movement in the United States from 1963 to 1970. With each panel and story, we thought about the women that rHope supports with our partner Chhoti Si Asha. These women were born to poverty by no fault of their own. We are glad to stand with them and sell their handmade products. When women are economically and socially empowered, they become a potent force for change. Men and boys are taking a more active role in housework as the women are earning a much needed income, and finding a stronger voice. These women are confident, talented and creative. They are rising up against the norms of what is expected of them and are changing the future for the better just as the wonderful Veteran Feminists of America and others have done in the past and continue to do today.  We are indebted to the struggles of women the world over for basic rights and are honored to play our part in it. Thank you for your support! [nggallery id=9]

Women in Social Enterprise Dinner LA at Tara’s Himalayan Cuisine


IMG_0439 Yesterday, our Women in Social Enterprise dinner joined three of my passions, food, social enterprise, and incredible people doing good. The idea began with a few women with social enterprises or plans to begin businesses, who met to create a supportive environment built on doing good, building connections, relationships and community.

Last night we met at Tara’s Himalayan Restaurant in Culver City. In addition to a variety of dishes, including delicious momos and a Nepalese thali with mouth watering korma in coconut milk, a percentage of profits benefit a school in Nepal. IMG_0437

Tara who shares the name of the female Buddha in Buddhism, shared her story of growing up in a mountain village in Nepal, her escape from a bad marriage and the start of her life in the USA. When she arrived in the states, she did not speak or read English which made it tough to find work. Over the years, through hard work and the kindness of others she worked her way up to eventually opening her restaurant in Culver City. Tara is a stellar woman running a business with outstanding food and customer service. Appreciating the importance of education through her own struggles, she wants the girls in her village to be educated, empowered and have access to opportunities which she did not. Students range from the age of 5-12 and of 72 kids 50 are girls. Many of these children come from farming families who would not have the opportunity to get an education. In the future, she wants to help single mothers with literacy as well.

Other attendees included:

Stacy McCoy, founder of Give to Get Jobs, a job board and information hub for jobs that use a sustainable business model to address social and/or environmental issues. A portion of the proceeds from each job posting is donated to fund job creation programs. The site also has an incredible database of social enterprises.

Kristeen Singh, creater of rHope which is about empowered purchasing. It is a social enterprise that builds sustainable livelihoods for underprivileged women in India by selling the beautiful products on this website.

IMG_0442 Colleen Choi spent several months in India volunteering and working with artisans. She is also a jewelry designer and transforms sterling silver, gold, acrylic and wood into unique, one of a kind jewelry for the modern woman.

Amara Javed is a web and graphic designer whose projects involve graphic design for print, web design and development. She created my user friendly website

Molly Drobnick is a graduate with a Master of Arts in Social Entrepreneurship and Change. She has a passion for social enterprise, environmental and animal rights. Currently she works as a Project Manager for The Energy Coalition. They design and implement energy blueprints that engage community in using accountable energy practices for shared benefit.

Shruti Garg grew up in Socal, but most recently spent 4 years in NY where she worked for the Open Society Foundations. Previously she worked for a women’s rights org in India. She currently is an independent consultant for foundations and nonprofits. Her areas of interests are immigration, workers' rights and human rights.

Karen Levanthal is the founder of, a convenient marketplace for sourcing sustainable and socially responsible products and services. On her site, you'll find companies that offer high quality, environmentally friendly and ethical products, professional services, and raw materials--all of which can better your business, your life and your world. (though not at the dinner she was among that first group of women with whom we started the group).

Email us at: if you would like to learn about upcoming dinners.

rHope at DTLA Art Mart


[nggallery id=5] rHope joined the famous Downtown Los Angeles Artwalk in their marketplace called Art Mart. We loved connecting people to the beautiful work of our friends in India. Thanks for all the smiles and support!

rHope at the Rose Bowl


We joined the Rose Bowl on Sunday to share our products and connect people to the wonderful work of our friends in Chandigarh, India. It was a beautiful day of sharing stories and supporting livelihoods through stylish handbags. Thanks for all the love and support! [nggallery id=4]



rHope at Cannibal Flower Art Show


We had fun joining the Cannibal Flower Art Show with our handbags and accessories amidst all kinds of beautiful art and music!

rHope at Tiyya Foundation Spring Fling


We were thrilled to join the Tiyya Foundation for their fundraising Spring Fling event. Tiyya is an inspiring non profit working with refugee families here in Southern California. Refugees often come with little or no support networks in place beyond initial government services which are a good start, but not enough to help these families that often arrive from conflict zones, leaving all that they know behind. We were proud to come out and support such a worthy cause. The event featured performance, live paintings and some heartfelt stories about the impact that Tiyya has had on the lives of refugees, interns and volunteers.

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rHope at Worldfest 2013


We had a great time at Worldfest 2013 this past weekend. There were many interesting booths, such as the solar powered oven from Sunflair and Mad Guru with beautiful art prints. Our new line had arrived just days before, and it was the perfect place to debut all the beautiful new designs. Here are some photos of our new friends from the day. Thanks for these great smiles! [nggallery id=2]


rHope at Anti-Mall People b4 Profits


[nggallery id=1] Thanks to our rHope supporters for bringing hope and empowerment to all the women supported by our partner on the ground in India! Thanks to the attendees at the Anti-Mall event for sharing what they are hopeful for this year!