The mama behind Hope & Fortune, Louise, really is a force to be reckoned with and a real personal inspiration to me. Her designs are second to none with a range of blankets offering not just a beautiful muted colour palette, but also gorgeously soft organic cotton, perfect for delicate skin.
Each is constructed of 3 organic cotton muslins using no nasty dyes or chemicals. Beautifully presented in a gift box with a little sachet of extra gentle baby laundry powder for that first wash, leaving them soft and wrinkly and perfect for snuggles. Money from every single sale goes to charities and projects tackling child exploitation. This is in addition to the money we donate to our chosen charities!
We caught up with Louise to find out a bit more about her inspiration for Hope & Fortune and her incredible passion for the charity she's partnered with.
What led to the start of Hope & Fortune?
"It was a long and slow burn! I have worked as a Family Planning, Reproductive Health and Specialist Child Sexual Exploitation Nurse since 1993 and I have always been a closet creative. Cue my children flying the nest, a burning desire to make a difference on a global basis, a need for a creative outlet and bang! Hope & Fortune was born."
Where did the Hope & Fortune name come from?
"Hope is my daughter's name, and hope is the most precious human emotion we have in this world. It is all that is left when everything else is lost, it is all that some women and girls have left. Fortune was my horse, the most elegant, graceful and patient creature I have ever known."
Who or what inspires you?
"Dignity, passion, bravery, peaceful protest, grace. People who speak up, are determined to make a difference and refuse to give up. Audrey Hepburn, Rosa Parks, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (the authors of 'Half the Sky').
Dr Rola Hallam, founder & CEO of 'Can Do', who made 'The people's convoy' happen last Christmas funding and building a children's hospital in Aleppo after the last one had been bombed.
Anyone who does their thing with humility, humour and raw altruism. My children Archie and Hope underpin my life and everything I do."
Tell us a bit more about the work that Missing does?
"MISSING is the creation of the utterly inspiring artist Leena Kejriwal.
3 million girls are sold and trafficked every year in India. That's one every 26 seconds. The average age is between 9 an 12. That means that along side the brutal abuse they suffer, they lose their identity, family, any remnants of a happy childhood and their chance for education. MISSING uses the power of Art to raise awareness about trafficking. Working locally and globally, the campaign is transforming public perceptions, educating individuals, communities and policy makers, and inspiring action to put an end to modern day slavery. I have followed and supported Leena and MISSING since they began.
I wanted to get involved in a practical way to help the girls with economic empowerment so we have got involved with the Livelihood project that MISSING have set up.
Based in the rural area south of Calcutta (this area accounts for 42% of the trafficking that occurs in India) the project rescues girls from sex slavery, reaches out to girls who are vulnerable and works in schools to raise awareness to prevent grooming and trafficking.
We are currently designing a blanket that the girls will be making and they will receive all of the profits from the sales.
I spent some time with Leena and visited the project in June this year, you can read a bit more about it and see photos here"
If you were marooned on a desert island, what 3 things would you take with you?
"Gin, Tweezers, Bear Grylls."
Favourite brand and one to watch?
"Toms, I dream about making that much impact/ difference in the world.
Pukka Teas/ Herbs, I reckon they are going to do more in this world than just make lovely tea."