For the past 5 ½ years it has been my great privilege to serve as the first Executive Director of The Wilson Foundation.  I am so proud of the progress we have made during this time: creating a website, brochures, blogs and other communications tools to help tell our story, expanding fundraising efforts and activities with a variety of events and other initiatives including the Hope Bracelet, increasing our donor base, both in number and in geographic scope, and deepening the Foundation’s partnership with our grantee partners in South Africa. 

As Executive Director I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of generous individuals and companies who have supported and believed in our mission.  I thank you for that.  You have believed that working together, we can make a difference.  And we truly have! 

Children in the preschool training program

During my trips to South Africa over these years I have seen this difference first-hand:  people who are alive today because we have been able to provide funding for life-saving antiretroviral (ARV) medication; children who live in a third-world setting are receiving a first-world education; local community residents who have been employed as caregivers and counselors are providing inspiration and hope to their neighbors; at-risk boys who have been mentored by responsible adults have learned about goal-setting, morals, and values, and now these young men are taking their place among the leadership of the community. 

As I move on to lead another nonprofit organization in Dallas, I want to express my deepest thanks to my Wilson colleagues, to our loyal donors and supporters, to the many people inVaalwater, South Africa who I am proud to count as friends and to the children to whom I have been known as “Mama Tori.”   Most of all, I want to thank Trisha Wilson for giving me this amazing opportunity.  The Wilson Foundation’s mission is to “change lives, one child at a time.”  I know without a doubt that this experience has changed mine.  The Wilson Foundation and the special people of South Africa will be in my heart forever, and I am grateful.

Thank you.

Tori Mannes

Executive Director

What a wonderful event we had last night at the Ralph Lauren store at Highland Park Village!  The store looked beautiful, with incredible displays, fab outfits and must-have home accessories displayed everywhere!  The turnout was terrific, with lots of longtime friends of The Wilson Foundation as well as many new ones too.  Trisha signed many, many copies of her book, Spectacular Hotels, and guests sipped champagne while shopping for everything from handbags to mens shirts (love the new gingham shirts in bright summer colors!), to items for the home.

Heartfelt thanks to our special friends at Ralph Lauren – Dana Guercio, Jay Hamby and the rest of the HP Village personnel, and to Lyndsie Jackson who came in from Chicago for the event.  The party was wonderful in every way and we are honored to be associated with Ralph Lauren.  Thanks again to everyone who attended.

Dana Guercio of Ralph Lauren, with Trisha Wilson and Tori Mannes

Official party photos will be posted on our Facebook page soon!

For all our design industry friends and supporters who will be attending the HD Expo + Conference in Las Vegas next week:

I wanted to let you all know that I will be speaking at Hospitality Design magazine’s booth  on Wednesday, May 18 at 2:00 pm on “Philanthropy and Business – Why it Matters Now.”

The Wilson Foundation supports programs for disadvantaged children in rural South Africa.


Trisha Wilson, CEO and Founder of Wilson Associates, established The Wilson Foundation in 1997 with a two-fold motivation: to provide opportunities for an education and a better future to extremely disadvantaged children, and to provide some balance to the world of luxury, beauty and privilege in which she and her employees worked every day.

“My employees and I have been blessed to work with some of the most beautiful and luxurious products and properties in the world, and it’s sometimes easy to forget there are children out there who have no parents, no education, and no opportunities,” Wilson says. “Through The Wilson Foundation, we and our industry partners and friends focus on these forgotten children, to give them hope and help.”

Social responsibility is part of the corporate culture at Wilson Associates, and I am thrilled to discuss this important topic as part of HD Magazine’s annual ‘HD Salon.’  The HD booth will be located on the upper level, Sands lobby, adjacent to the Radical Innovation Exhibit—Mosaic on the concourse.

Please stop by to say hello — I will have giveaways for all our friends!

Hope to see you there!

Tori Mannes, Executive Director

For most high school girls, babysitting is a tried-and-true way to earn some extra spending money.  But high school senior Ellie Hamm has discovered another option: creating her own business.  After receiving a candle-making starter kit for Christmas, Ellie discovered she had a knack for creating wonderfully-scented, long lasted soy-based candles, and thus, Eleanor Hamm & Co. (http://www.eleanorhammandco.com/) was launched in January 20008.  Ellie creates over 100 candles per month, selling them to friends, through her website, and at local markets and shows.  She sells her candles in three sizes- small, medium and large – with some oversized and specialty containers also available.  There are over 14 fragrances to choose from, though the top sellers are French Market, Oak Moss & Clary Sage, and  Citrus & Basil.  

Since she’s still busy with things like attending high school and working on college applications, Ellie receives backup support for her business from her mother, Madeline.  As the self-named ‘supply gatherer’ and logistics coordinator, Madeline helps keep track of all the moving parts.

We are proud that last year’s Tseelana Market was the first official market that Ellie participated in, and in the past year her business has continued to grow.  We applaud Ellie’s creativity and entrepreneurship, but mostly her generosity in committing a portion of her sales proceeds to support the children served by The Wilson Foundation.  We are proud to have her back as a 2010 Tseelana Market participating merchant. 

Thursday, October 21 5 – 8 pm

Friday, October 22 10 am – 4 pm

7501 Turtle Creek Boulevard (corner of Turtle Creek and Hanover)

For questions, please call 214-523-7577.

Special thanks to Ryan Osborne Homes and Briggs-Freeman (Lindy Mahoney, Realtor) for enabling us to use this fabulous new home.


When I first met Deborah and Ashley Montgomery, the mother-daughter duo who founded Beyond Baroque, they were marketing their jewelry  through a series of  home shows.  I especially remember the fabulous pearls – rings, earrings, necklaces – laid out on my dining table for my friends to come and peruse.  Fast forward over  10 years, and Beyond Baroque has grown exponentially, with a private, by-invitation studio and a loyal following of clients who stop in regularly for the next ‘just gotta have it’ piece!  For me, Beyond Baroque offers fabulous everyday pieces for work, special items for more formal occasions, and tons of options for gifts for my friends. 

Cultured baroque pearls

Beyond Baroque was part of the inaugural Tseelana Market last year and we are thrilled to have them participate in the 2010 Tseelana Market!  We appreciate their support of The Wilson Foundation and all the “Wilson girls’ who are fans of BB!

Join us and “Shop with Purpose” at the 2010 Tseelana Market benefiting The Wilson Foundation!

Anya Aquamarine Dewdrop Earrings

Thursday, October 21 5 – 8 pm

Friday, October 22 10 am – 4 pm

7501 Turtle Creek Boulevard (corner of  Turtle Creek and Hanover)

Dallas, TX 75225

Special thanks to Ryan Osborne Homes and Briggs- Freeman for the generous use of this fabulous new property!

As we were looking for additional women entrepreneurs to round out our group of 2010 Tseelana Market participants, one name kept popping up:  Abi Ferrin (www.abiferrin.com).  Turns out, Abi is a business woman who proclaims her commitment to give back in her company’s motto:  “Fashion with Freedom and Purpose.”  How could we not like that?!

Shortly after moving to Dallas to grow her innovative clothing line, Abi Ferrin was named Texas’ Next Top Designer by Stanley Korshak and the Dallas Fashion Incubator in 2007. She received a prize package and design space on Lamar Street, and a business grant to expand her growing company.  Now, her beautiful, head-turning designs are taking the fashion world by storm.  Her collection features form flattering dresses, tops, skirts, pants, and jackets all made using the finest fabrications.

Her motto, Fashion with Freedom and Purpose, is the driving force behind her brand. Abi Ferrin empowers and employs women rescued from the sex trade in Nepal by incorporating their hand-made buttons into her designs. The company purchases the buttons at fair market value; then donates an additional 600% of the asking price back to the organization.  Abi Ferrin is literally changing the world one outfit at a time!

We applaud Abi Ferrin for her Freedom Project initiative to improve the lives of women in Nepal who are part of Guardian Village Handcrafts. This organization focuses on providing oppressed women with training, fair pay, food and shelter for their work. The micro-businesses that are created due to this training also fund foster care and quality education for children rescued from slavery, women and children rescued from prostitution, and other abusive environments.   Abi says, “This is an avenue that opens the door for the consumer to invest in more than great fashion. We hope that the cultural details woven into the collection, coupled with the information we provide about the program, will ignite an awareness of global issues. To the Abi Ferrin customer, this should provide an added satisfaction for contributing to a greater cause.”

We couldn’t agree more!  Come “Shop with Purpose” with Abi Ferrin and the other merchants who are participating in the 2010 Tseelana Market benefiting The Wilson Foundation.  Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 21 5 – 8 pm

Friday, October 22 10 am – 4 pm

7501 Turtle Creek Boulevard (corner of Turtle Creek and Hanover)

Dallas, TX  75225

For more information, please call 214-523-7577

Special thanks to Ryan Osborne Homes and Briggs Freeman Realtors for the generous use of this exquisite new home.

Megan Adams

We met Dallas native Megan Adams (www.meganadamstextiles.com) several months ago and were immediately impressed with her beautiful, creative designs.  Megan is a working fiber artist and fabric designer who has had her own clothing line and has completed several commissioned works including custom paintings, custom painted wine glasses, and custom printed fabrics. She also creates her own line of one-of a-kind fabrics for use in both the fashion and interior luxury markets. Working with designers and clients, Megan can create and produce unique fabrics for home textiles, apparel, or their own product line. Her designs are inspired by patterns and textures in the natural world and then the imagery is repeated in an unexpected, organic manner. Depending on the project, she either screenprints or digitally prints on natural fabrics including linen, cottons, and silk. Artists such as Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, and most of all Mariano Fortuny influence her work.in the Dallas Fort Worth area. She received her MFA in fibers from the University of North Texas in 2010 and a BFA in painting from Southern Methodist University in 2005.

Megan Adams Textiles

Megan is another of the talented young entrepreneurs who are participating in the 2010 Tseelana Market benefiting The Wilson Foundation.  She shares the same commitment to giving back, and to ‘doing well by doing good.’  Megan will be offering a range of products of her own design, including apparel, pillows, coasters, placemats, and clutches.  Come ‘Shop with Purpose’ with Megan Adams and the other merchants participating in the 2010 Tseelana Market!

2010 Tseelana Market

Thursday, October 21  5 – 8 pm

Friday, October 22 10 am – 4 pm

7501 Turtle Creek Boulevard (corner of Turtle Creek and Hanover)

Dallas, Texas  75225

For more information please call 214-523-7577.

Special thanks to Ryan Osborne Homes and Briggs-Freeman for the generous use of this exquisite home