Tuesday, September 10, 2013
McKinney Boyd grad opens online fashion boutique with social justice twist
It supports any women's fashion accessory with a cause attached to it.
What do you get when you mix an adventurous spirit, love of fashion, and desire to help others? You get All Good Things.
Gabby Vannozzi is a McKinney Boyd High School alum whose bright idea has blossomed into a full-fledged business with a purpose. All Good Things is an online boutique from which women can purchase unique, fashionable accessories whose proceeds go straight back to the women who created them. It's a win-win that brings humanity to the fashion world.
It all started over spring break.
"I had discovered Nepal Mission Bracelets in northwest Arkansas where I go to school, and was enamored not only by their beauty, but also the cause attached to them," Vannozzi said. "The bracelets are handmade by women in Nepal, and the proceeds made from the bracelets directly benefit those women and their families to help them out of poverty."
While vacationing in Florida, Vannozzi decided to rock a few of the bracelets and was shocked at the feedback she received.
"People everywhere I went commented on my bracelets, and a few even asked me to buy some for them when I went back to school," she said. "I began wondering if I would able to buy the bracelets in bulk, and then did a ton of research. I found a few different people who sold them, but only one that was willing to sell to me since I didn't have a storefront."
One Sunday morning over coffee, Vannozzi sprung the idea of an online storefront on her mother, who instantly knew it could work. Vannozzi got a business license, thought of the name, drew up a logo, and All Good Things was born on June 1.
"My business supports any women's accessory that has a cause attached to it," she said. "Working with numerous fair trade products has really opened my eyes to how important fair trade is. If we have the opportunity to make a difference in Third World countries just by the choices we make as consumers, why wouldn't we?"
Vannozzi said many of the countries she is working with support mainly women artisans, many with children, living in poverty or trying to escape sex trafficking. When asked how it feels to help those women, Vannozzi said, "It makes my heart smile."
Products are found and chosen thanks to some help from Google and an eye for fashion that started at a very young age.
"I have always had an independent style unlike my brother and sisters," Vannozzi said. "I knew exactly what I liked and what I didn't like, which led to many fights in the dressing room with mom when I was younger."
Her love of fashion led her to the University of Arkansas Apparel Studies program, which she juggles with her online business and coolly schedules around the hours of operation of the local post office.
All Good Things is providing Vannozzi much-needed experience, and so far, she said she has no set long-term goals.
"I'm just going in the direction it takes me," she said. "It's a great experience to learn some things that will help me with my major, and it's creating some good in the world at the same time.
"I would love the opportunity to travel abroad and meet some of the women that make the jewelry, perhaps find some women in need, myself, and help them out of poverty by providing them with a sustainable job. Who knows, I'm up for anything."
Pegasus News Content partner - Star Local News