Monday, August 13, 2012

Santa Barbara Believes in Fashion for Freedom


While sipping bubble tea with Nomi Network’s co-founder and president Diana Mao, Chelsey Clark felt immediately connected to the work that Nomi does. To benefit Nomi and raise awareness of sex trafficking, Chelsey organized the Fashion for Freedom Consignment Sale - http://fashionforfreedom.us/#/home/ - a fundraising event that took place on Saturday, July 19 in Santa Barbara, California. We are so happy to share the scoop on Chelsey and Fashion for Freedom!

NN: So tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got involved with Nomi Network.

CC: I have worked as a biblical counselor at my church in Santa Barbara for the last two-and-a-half years. Working wit h many women who deal with sexual abuse and its ramifications has played into me connecting with what Nomi does. My boyfriend is good friends with Diana and introduced us. I wanted to come alongside Diana and support her and support the work that Nomi is doing, recognizing that financial support and awareness are needed.

NN: What will Fashion for Freedom look like?

CC: A variety of women have donated high-end clothing for a consignment sale. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to Nomi. There will also be a silent auction, gift certificates from local businesses, information tables about Nomi, and other resources around that are fighting sex trafficking. First Business Bank is on our main shopping street.

NN: Where did you get the idea for Fashion for Freedom and how did you get people involved?

CC: Every woman loves to shop, and with the way the economy is, I thought it would be an opportunity to bless women to buy nice clothing for less expensive prices. I really didn’t have to do anything other than tell people about it. I have an incredible network of people who are passionate about social justice issues.

NN: What do you hope to accomplish through this fundraiser?

CC: I’m praying that this will be an opportunity that would awaken our culture here in Santa Barbara to injustices around the world. It is an opportunity to see that they have a voice. Our gifts, talents, and resources can be used in a powerful way. I know it’s just selling clothes, but I hope that it will inspire people and help to create a community.

NN: Have you had any prior experience in fundraising?

CC: No, definitely not. (laughs) It’s a new adventure, a good challenge. It's causing me to be stretched in different areas, asking people to get involved isn't something I haven’t really done before. It's been pleasant to do.

NN: Do you have any advice for people who want to join the fight against sex trafficking, but don’t know where to start?

CC: Just start. I spent so many years desiring to do something and not knowing where to start. Then I started talking to people, and there are so many other passionate people out there with incredible hearts. If we're willing to just plan a little bit and dream boldly, it comes together. We're really not alone in our desire to help.

- Melissa Pan

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