Archive for October, 2010

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.


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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!

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Presenting Abi Ferrin

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.

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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

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Margaret Miller (http://www.margaretmillerdesigns.com/index2.php#/home/) was launched in 2009 after the overwhelming response designer and owner Margaret Brungart received to the stylish, easy to wear knit  dresses she made for herself.  Margaret Miller embodies the relaxed lifestyle of growing up on the beach, and always wanting to wear something fashionable and flattering yet super comfortable.  The brand is defined by effortless clothes that travel well and flatter the curves of a woman’s body. 

Margaret Brungart grew up in a family of exceptionally creative women including her grandmother, who had created beautiful clothes for her grandchildren and who gave Margaret her first sewing machine.  Margaret decided to use her grandmother’s maiden name, Miller, for her business as a tribute to her inspiration and strength.

We are thrilled to welcome back Margaret Miller as a  participant in this year’s  Tseelana Market.  Founder Margaret Brungart is a longtime supporter of The Wilson Foundation and when she established her company she made a decision to designate a portion of sales to support the Foundation’s work.  The Wilson Foundation and the merchants who participate in the Tseelana Market share a commitment to ‘do well by doing good’.  We are pleased to promote Margaret Miller and appreciate her company’s commitment to the Foundation’s work.

2010 Tseelana Market

Thursday, October 21 5 – 8 pm

Friday, October 22 10 am – 4 pm

7501 Turtle Creek Boulevard (corner of Turtle Creek Blvd. & Hanover)

Dallas, Texas  75225

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We are pleased to spotlight two talented Dallas artists who will be presenting their work at the 2010 Tseelana Market benefiting The Wilson Foundation.

"Rock Valley" - Brenda Bogart

About Brenda Bogart:

Dallasite Brenda Bogart (http://brendabogart.blogspot.com/) is blessed with an abundance of creativity as well as the talent and   know-how to express it in many ways.  She spent a number of years in interior design and was also the owner of an enormously popular children’s clothing business called B’s T’s.  In 2006 she picked up her paintbrush and began painting in earnest, exploring a range of themes in oil on canvas.  “Painting is a thrilling new challenge for me,” Brenda says.

A longtime friend and supporter of The Wilson Foundation, Brenda helped launch the idea for the Tseelana Market after she expressed an interest in having an art show to benefit the work of the Foundation.  From that conversation, we expanded the idea to incorporate additional artisans who shared Brenda’s desire to ‘do well by doing good.’ Brenda exemplifies the spirit of Tseelana – ‘helping each other’ – and we are thrilled to work with her again on this year’s Tseelana Market.  




About Shirley Steere Marsh: 

"Nest on Rug" - Shirley Steere Marsh

Native Dallasite Shirley Steere Marsh attended Parsons School of Design in New York, and most recently has been an art student at SMU, studying under Mary Vernon and Barnaby Fitzgerald, and Larry Scholder.  She works primarily with oil on canvas, and also in acrylic and printmaking.  Shirley says, “Supporting The Wilson Foundation is special to me because of the time I spent visiting my daughter in Guinea, West Africa, where she served in the Peace Corps.  To me it was an honor and privilege to get to know the people there,  and to feel their warm hearts and generous spirits.  Their thirst for education and  will to be productive was inspiring and beautiful.     I definitely share the Wilson Foundation’s commitment to give back, and the spirit of “helping each other!”

Please join us on Thursday, October 21 from 5 – 8 pm or Friday, October 22 from 10 am – 4 pm for the 2010 Tseelana Market.  A portion of sales by each participating artist will benefit The Wilson Foundation and its programs for children in rural South Africa.  For more information, please call 214-523-7577.

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We are thrilled to welcome Elizabeth Carlock Designs (www.elizabethcarlock.com) as a 2010 Tseelana Market* participating merchant!

Elizabeth Carlock is a talented and inspiring young fashion and jewelry designer who established her business in 2009 to combine her passion and talent for design into a charitable career.  Her collection includes necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, and hair accessories hand crafted from metal and semi-precious stone.  Her beautiful pieces are versatile and perfect for all occasions from casual to formal to everything in between. Not only are they reasonably priced, but Elizabeth donates a portion of sales to support charitable causes in hopes of making a positive difference in women’s lives.  Earlier this year Elizabeth traveled to Uganda to work with the Akola Project, part of the Uganda American Partnership Organization, where she taught local women to make jewelry that they could sell in the US for a fair price. 

Elizabeth Carlock is successfully blending her gifts and talents with her passion for charitable causes.  She shares The Wilson Foundation’s commitment to give back and make a difference, and she understands the spirit of Tseelana, or “helping each other.”   

Join The Wilson Foundation and Elizabeth Carlock Designs at the 2010 Tseelana Market and “Shop With Purpose!”

*Tseelana (pronounced “Say-lana”) is an African word meaning “to help each other”

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2010 Tseelana Market benefiting The Wilson Foundation

The 2nd annual Tseelana Market benefiting The Wilson Foundation will be held on Thursday, October 21 from 5 – 8 pm and Friday, October 22 from 10 am – 4 pm.  The event will be held in a fabulous newly built home at 7501 Turtle Creek Boulevard (corner of Turtle Creek and Hanover) in University Park.  This home was constructed with extraordinary attention to detail by noted area homebuilder Ryan Osborne of Ryan Osborne Homes.  This exquisite property is currently for sale so be sure to make time to tour when you come for the Market!  

Special thanks to Ryan Osborne for opening this beautiful home to The Wilson Foundation for our 2010 Tseelana Market!

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The entrance to the Ngata YaSetso Cultural Village

Our hearts are heavy today.  This morning we received word from Marion Frew, our Wilson Foundation representative in Vaalwater, South Africa, that our friend Zach Molekoa passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last night.

Zach was a young man from the Leseding Township who started the Ngata YaSetso Cultural Village, located next to the rubbish dump.  The mission of the Cultural Village was to provide shelter, food and homework support for some of the AIDS orphans in the township who had nowhere to go.  Zach was also focused on helping the kids keep their African culture, and he taught them cultural songs and dances that they performed for visitors from the nearby game lodges. 

Dancers at the Cultural Village

Trisha and I visited Zach last fall, and he proudly showed us how he had taken rubbish from the township’s dump to create his village.  Zach had a gift of taking other people’s trash — old tin plates, broken pieces of rock or brick,  cardboard, plastic bottles and other items– and repurposing them to create a charming and inviting place, right in the middle of total poverty.  He pointed to his shack next door, but was embarrassed to show us inside because he hadn’t made up his ‘bed’, which consisted of a pallet on the dirt floor! 

Just a few weeks ago when we were in South Africa, we interviewed Zach and the kids at the Cultural Village for our new film.  What progress he had made in the past year since we had last visited!  The Cultural Village now has proper thatch huts for the children to sleep in, a homework hut, and even a bathroom with a sink — amazing, considering where it was located — which he constructed for the visitors who came to the Village to see the young people perform.  He was full of hope and optimism for his project, and he truly had a heart for the children he was helping.

We are truly saddened by the sudden loss of such an inspiring, creative and good-hearted young man. 

Trisha Wilson, Tori Mannes and Amy McEvoy with Zach Molekoa

We don’t know what will happen to the children under his care, who were among the township’s most vulnerable, but we hope someone will step in to carry on his work.

God bless you, Zach, and thank you for the great work you did during your short life.  You inspired us with your enthusiasm and creativity, and you will be missed.

Tori Mannes, Executive Director

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Many of The Wilson Foundation’s friends and supporters have heard about Simon Makinta, the young man from Leseding Township who we have been helping for the past several years.

Just over two years ago, Simon was a young man with big dreams but no way to achieve them.  He had just graduated from Meetsetshehla High School in Vaalwater and had no prospects for employment.  After meeting Trisha Wilson and Marion Frew, our local Wilson Foundation colleague in Vaalwater, Simon persuaded the foundation to help him further his education and pursue his dream:  to fly.

Simon Makinta with Marion Frew and Trisha Wilson

With funding support from The Wilson Foundation, Simon graduated from Jeppe College in March with a hospitality degree.  The next step was to attend a cabin crew training program. He completed his course last week and today we received word that he has passed his Civil Aviation examination so he will become licensed to work for an airline!

It hasn’t been easy:  along the way, Simon was mugged (twice) and robbed of everything he had.  Since English is not his first language, he struggled to understand the material in some of his classes.  He often did not have enough money for food.  To enroll in cabin crew training he had to learn to swim proficiently.  All these things he accomplished while living away from his family and familiar surroundings.

Simon Makinta and his family with The Wilson Foundation team in Vaalwater, South Africa

The one constant throughout his journey has been the support of  The Wilson Foundation.  Having the local ‘on the ground’ support of our representatives Marion and Angus Frew has enabled the Foundation to manage its grant programs efficiently and where necessary, provide additional assistance and help.  This certainly made the difference with Simon, as Marion was there to guide and encourage him along the way.

Now Simon will receive his license and will be actively looking for a position with an airline in South Africa (anyone with contacts please let us know!!).  As the first in his family to attend and graduate from college, and pursue a job that is almost unheard of in the township where he was raised, Simon is an example of how The Wilson Foundation ‘changes lives, one child at a time.”

For Simon Makinta, the sky’s the limit!

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