I can hardly believe that it’s been almost two years since I left on a journey to the other side of the world that profoundly changed my life. So very much has happened in the last 2 years, all of it (with much grace) has somehow propelled me to this very place.

And so, it’s with great, great joy that I ready myself and my luggage to return to Nepal in just a few days. I am equally thrilled to be returning with my friend, partner-in-crime and co-founder of GIVEGIVE, Annalisa Oswald. It is quite literally, a dream come true.

I just re-read a couple of the posts from my blog/journal of that trip (Beauty* Lost and Found), particularly the posts about Nepal. I was reminded afresh of the raw beauty of that country. The mountains, the people, the community. It’s so different than my western life here. In some ways shocking, in some ways a total relief.

We are really excited about what lies ahead— even more so because of the gift of retrospect, the ability to look back, the ability to see purpose in the often rocky, messy journey that brings you to the place where you can finally see part of why things happen the way they do. My heart is grateful for that.

Here’s a sneak peak of what we will be sharing with you in a few days when we are on the ground. See you soon Nepal!

Nepal | Places:
Nepal | Faces:




We discovered HOLSTEE and their super inspiring manifesto a few months ago, right around the time we started GIVEGIVE.

They just did a really awesome collection of stories of people that are making shifts in their lives to do something different, following their passions, etc. And, they included us in their collection. We are thrilled!

Check it out:


At least once a week, Annalisa and I both have these “what are we thinking?” moments. Starting a business is equally exciting and terrifying. We are good at some parts of the equation, and other parts we really don’t have a clue. Part of what makes this endeavor fun is learning new things. Part of what makes it scary is the realization that there sure are a lot of new things we need to learn!

I’ve been rereading one of my all-time favorite books— “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction”, by Eugene Peterson. Its forthcoming and truthful message is that anything that we are passionate about, anything that stirs us to a lifetime of commitment, anything that requires a serious act of commitment and sacrifice, is in fact, a pilgrimage. A concept we hear very little of in our google-it-quick world. We are an impatient people and we want what we do to be act-and-react, start-and-succeed. This I know.

So we at GIVEGIVE are on a pilgrimage. This is a journey over unfamiliar terrain. We will ask a lot of questions along the way. We have to get comfortable asking for a lot of help. We will need to sit down and take rocks out of our shoes. We’ll probably need to turn around at times and retrace our steps. We’ll probably even want to quit and retreat to the comfort of the familiar at times. That’ll be normal. And that’ll be okay.

But, along the way, we’ll see incredible vistas, meet amazing people, hear stories of life-change. We’re bound to be indebted to countless hands who help. We’re going to learn more than we ever imagined and definitely arrive at a different place than we started.

“The experience of being in-between—
between the time we leave home and arrive at our destination;
between the time we leave adolescence and arrive at adulthood;
between the time we leave doubt and arrive at faith.

It is like the the time when a trapeze artist
lets go of the bar and hangs in midair,
ready to catch another support:
it is a time of danger, of expectation,
of excitement, of extraordinary aliveness.”  – Paul Tournier, A Place in Time

So, here’s to the pilgrimage of extraordinary aliveness!

One of the key tenets of GIVEGIVE is that we believe in the power of love to heal, to empower, to uplift and transform lives. To say that you love someone or something is to say that you believe that person or that thing. So when we say that GIVEGIVE is designed with love and made with hope, this is what we mean. We believe in the power of creative work to change women’s lives, and the world, for the better. Let’s face it, we are all in this together.

Happy Valentine’s Day.



One of the most exciting things in life is to start something – something new, something BIG, something daring, something meaningful, something worthwhile. And starting can be scary. But one of the things I’ve learned in my almost-40 years on this earth is that if you have a partner at your side, it’s not as daunting as doing it on your own.

That said, Tanja and I (Annalisa) have been hard at work starting GIVEGIVE. We’re learning as we go, and we have already learned so much, and been blessed by so many people offering their help, experience, and insights. We are thankful. While our business model and designs are “crystalizing”, as Tanja likes to say, the one thing that hasn’t evolved over the last few months is our mission. That’s been clear from day one.

GIVEGIVE is a fair-trade fashion brand. Our mission is to provide sustainable, creative work to women in developing nations — work that minimizes their risk of entry into abusive vocations such as forced prostitution and bonded labor. GIVEGIVE is designed with love and made with hope.

We are delighted and excited to share with you our experiences in developing our company and transforming lives. We hope you’ll join our mailing list and keep checking in on us. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and right here via our RSS feed.