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Emily Hill, Founder of Stop Traffick Fashion (INTERVIEW)

Empowering Employment for Women

— February 9, 2012 — Business
Stop Traffick Fashion is a social enterprise dedicated to offering empowering employment opportunities and resources to women who have been affected by prostitution and other forms of human slavery.

We've previously featured a profile on Stop Traffick Fashion, and today we're taking a deeper look into the business itself, and exploring what's it's like to run a cause-oriented business. In the questions below, the founder of the social business, Emily Hill, shares the story of Stop Traffick Fashion, what inspires her, and how she keeps her creativity going.

4 Questions With Emily Hill, Founder of Stop Traffick Fashion

1. How did the idea for the business model come about?
Stop Traffick Fashion is part of my abolitionist journey. After finding out about human trafficking nearly 8 years ago on a trip to Thailand, I knew I would never be the same. However, it took time to find exactly how I could get involved.

Finding out about such a big problem left me feeling overwhelmed and I didn't know how I could possibly make a difference. As I got more involved in the anti-trafficking movement, I came across various organizations providing rehabilitation and job skills training for survivors. They were making great products and I felt like there were so many people who would be interested in buying them, if only they knew they existed.

That's when Stop Traffick Fashion was born! Our goal is to bring together the most fashionable products made by survivors in order to reach the socially-conscious, fashion-conscious consumer. By bringing the products to a mainstream market we can help survivors by empowering them to create a sustainable income to support themselves and their families. Currently we act as a retailer for the products, but in the future we aim to grow by designing our own products that we retail and wholesale to other boutiques.

2. How did you decide to join this sector?
As I mentioned, finding out how to get involved was definitely a journey, but I knew there was no way I could ignore the issue. I believe once we know about human trafficking, it's our job to respond in any way we can to help put an end to the injustice. STF combined my passion for the cause, my business background and my interest in fashion and design. In addition to helping sell products made by survivors, our goal at STF is also to encourage everyone to look at their own skills and interests to think about how they can contribute in order to become everyday abolitionists.

3. How do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from everywhere! We love to hear what our fans and supporters like and what products they are interested in. We follow lots of other abolitionists on Facebook and Twitter and look to many ethical and sustainable fashion blogs for design ideas. We also have a lot of volunteer photographers and graphic designers who make huge contributions. For entrepreneurial advice, Inc. and Under 30 CEO have great blogs and websites. Oh, and I've also finally succumbed to Pinterest!

4. How do you reset yourself to be creative? Do you have any rituals?
I rely on God every day to do this work. This is his idea and I can only do what I do through him. I also have a great team of leaders and volunteers who contribute great ideas and encourage one another when things get tough. Together we all work together to make STF what it is.