In 2005, Shannon Keith traveled to India with her husband, where through a chain of serendipitous events she found herself in a red light district, face to face with women and children living in sexual slavery.
After returning home to the States, Shannon began to research the problem of human trafficking and the modern day abolitionist movement. She became convinced that this was a cause she needed to contribute to, and that if she was going to do something, it needed to be more than “raising awareness” – Shannon wanted to create a sustainable way for women and girls to escape the economic systems which led to their involvement with the sex trade.
Shannon’s first project was to create Punjammies: casual women’s clothing inspired by traditional Indian colors and textures. She began experimenting with pattern making and sewing, and eventually hired her first six employees in Bangalore. Shannon has expanded her original product to create Sudara, a clothing line now large enough to employ 200 formerly trafficked women in India and Bangladesh, all of whom are paid three times above fair trade standard.
Collectively these women are mothers to 300 children, meaning that 500 lives remain free from slavery because of the work provided by Sudara.
Support From Bijou
In order to maximize her impact as a changemaker, Shannon has decided that she is ready to create a public profile for herself as an individual, above and beyond her work with Sudara. Shannon hopes to advocate for the power of socially conscious entrepreneurship as the most effective means for creating sustainable progress.
Shannon engaged Bijou to assist her with elevating her public profile. We designed and published a website for her in time for her recent TEDxBend speaking engagement, and we are now undertaking the process of growing a social media audience, pursuing media interviews and guest blogging opportunities, and identifying additional speaking opportunities.
Please visit her new website to find out more about Shannon Keith.