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Holly Hulett

Brave Spotlight, Sseko Style

How To Build An Ethical Wardrobe| The Trendsetter

Bre Cruikshank is a fashion blogger and product manager at Nike. Long-obsessed with fashion and the arts and how that impacts the world, mixed with Bre’s studies in International and human rights in school, she’s now found the bridge between the two in the world of ethical fashion. “It’s just what I love. I want my clothing to be beautiful, look really nice and be something that I love to put on, but I also want it to have an ethical purity to it too.”

Building an Ethical Wardrobe

 

Meet the trendsetter, Bre!

You may have heard the saying “Every purchase you make is like casting a vote for the type of world you want to live in.” As Bre sees it: “You wake up in the morning with 2 decisions: what you’re going to eat, and what you’re going to wear. Those two decisions are very important—they’re ones you face every day of your life. As consumers, we have the responsibility to make those decisions matter by shopping the brands who do have ethical practices.” We asked Bre to put together some Ethical Fashion Tips for our readers, and we’re excited to share her advice with you!

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Brave Spotlight, Sseko Style

Travel Advice from The Voyager

If you want some great travel advice, just talk to Blair Littleton! Blair is a voyager, approaching life and culture with a curious and humble spirit. An avid reader, her own life adventures are worth writing a novel about. From Australia, to Central and South America, Asia, and Europe, this gal has been everywhere! Blair’s pursued a career in medicine, which she views as the perfect vehicle to allow her both to travel and to bring positive change as she does. She is currently a Physician’s Assistant, working as the Attending Physician at an Urgent care clinic in Portland, OR. We hope you’re as captivated by her dreams, passions, and pursuits as we are!

The Voyager Travel  

Meet the Voyager

Blair Littleton

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Brave Spotlight, Sseko Style

An Interview with the Band Joseph | The Composers

Meet Allie and Meegan Closner, two of the dynamic trio that make up the band Joseph. Joseph was formed in the small town of Joseph, Oregon and is comprised of three sisters, twins Meegan and Allie, and their older sister Natalie. From playing in living rooms to playing at Red Rocks in Colorado with David Gray, they’ve been making waves across the US with their genetically perfected harmonies, raw lyrics, and artistically distinct style. Through their music, these three women have a way of finding their way into the depths of your soul where they uplift and remind us all that we are not alone. We sat down to coffee with them where they shared with us a bit about the art of fashion and music, the songwriting process, and how they seek the unfamiliar in their day to day life on the road.
The Band Joseph in Sseko

Meet the Band Joseph

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Brave Collective, Brave Spotlight

One Sseko Brave’s African Dream

After learning about a current project Sseko Brave Collective member Chido Dhliwayo is embarking on to help her mother publish a book, we were captivated by the story she is telling and the story of her mother, Letwina’s journey. While acclimatizing herself in Portland, Chido attended Portland State University and it was through an internship she had that crossed paths with Sseko. Sseko Designs had brought the documentary “Girl Rising” to Portland and it was there that Chido first learned about Sseko’s mission and ultimately joined the Sseko Brave Collective. It wasn’t long until Chido and Letwina began taking Brave steps together! We are honored to share with you the story of these two and how bravery has shaped the narrative they are writing.

I grew up as the only girl in a family of four and was the only sibling to obtain a degree at the University of Zimbabwe. Despite the obstacles I had to overcome, I got my dream job as a project manager at the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and married the man of my dreams (at the time). I gave birth to two amazing children and I thought I had it all figured out. During this time, the Zimbabwean economy was booming, agriculture was thriving and the donor community was investing into numerous programs. I lived comfortably, while my children attended private boarding schools I looked forward to hosting/attending baby showers every now and then.

One Sseko Brave’s African Dream | Sseko Designs

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Brave Spotlight, Sseko Style, The Future is Bright

The Future is Bright: Nikia Phoenix

When you first see Nikia Phoenix, you’ll likely be as struck by her unique beauty, name, and style, as we were. Having worked with Nikia before and in getting to know her over the past couple years, we’ve learned there is so much more than meets the eye. She continues to captivate us with the depth of care she has for her community and the way she thinks about the world and her place in it, she is a true freedom fighter through and through. Using modeling, blogging, and insanely good style as a platform, she is working toward a brighter, more just world. We asked Nikia to share her thoughts on a few questions with you, we hope that you are as inspired as we are by her responses:

 

What is your dream for a brighter future?
I hope that in our near future the playing field will be leveled so that more women and young girls are afforded the same opportunities around the world. We are strong, intelligent, and more than capable of performing at the same level as men, so why can’t we? I’m not saying we are better than men, but we are most certainly equal to them. Our emotions, our compassion, and our willingness to help others are what make us undeniable forces on this earth. Unfortunately many would like to suppress that power because they are afraid of what we might do with it. All we really want t do is make life better, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The Future is Bright: Nikia Phoenix | Sseko Designs
What tenet of the Sseko Brave Manifesto resonates most with you and why?
Stand up for yourself and those who can’t.
If you can believe it, I was a quiet, nervous kid. I was afraid of the world and everything in it. I didn’t know how to speak up for myself, then one day this booming voice came out.. “I’m here and I’ve got something to say!” Ever since I’ve been calling out the injustices and unfairness and holding people accountable. I will always speak up for those who haven’t found their own voice.

 

Any words of advice / inspiration to our Sseko fans?
Be proud. Be humble. Be present. Know that you are a force all on your own, but imagine how powerful you can be standing beside others just like you.

 

Nikia took her Caramel T-Straps and some fun interchangeable accents with her to the beach, were both she and the sandals had some fun in the sun!

 

The Future is Bright: Nikia Phoenix | Sseko Designs
 

The Future is Bright: Nikia Phoenix | Sseko Designs
 

(Pictured: Sseko Designs Caramel T-strap sandals with the Talula T-strap Accent, Elba T-strap Accent, and Plain Caramel T-strap Accent)

 

Be sure to head on over to Nikia’s blog modelliberation.com, be inspired, and check out her post on Sseko!
xoxo,

Team Sseko

Brave Collective

Own your Brave

Hiya Braves!

Holly at Sseko HQ here. This month we are focusing on what it means to ‘Own your Brave’. To kick it off, I want to share with you a small piece of my Brave story and what it means to me to ‘own your Brave’.

From a young age i’ve been labeled by my family as the brave one. The first to jump off the high-dive at the pool or keep a stoic face as the nurse gave me a shot in the arm. I spent a solid two early years of life with a black eye from various failed endeavors trying to prove myself with very little height or coordination. Bravery soon became synonymous with ‘doing’ and the idea that performing grand acts like being first to test out the homemade bike ramp or later on in life, packing up and moving to another country by myself for nine months, was the only way to prove that I have a brave spirit and to gain recognition as such.

I moved to Portland three years ago from my home state of Texas. Over the course of this time, my life has looked different that what I’d initially dreamed and schemed of. The plan after finishing school was to travel the world, starting with just a year in Portland.To follow my wanderlusting heart around the globe spending time as a shepherdess in New Zealand, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, running along the Great Wall of China, and driving from Cairo to Cape Town, that was the ultimate dream. Well friends, as you can see, that didn’t exactly happen. I fell in love with the city of Portland, its people, and my job so I stayed. Every so often I feel an overwhelming panic that i’ve missed my chance, that I’ve failed and I’m not brave because I didn’t fulfill the story i’d written for myself years ago. But then I remember the reality is that I was brave in choosing to put that narrative aside and stay, and although my story has taken a different course than my original intent, it is brave too. Choosing to stay meant digging deeper into relationships, exploring the curious pulse of the Portland culture, and working to make something beautiful in this world through my work. In my moments of panic, I remind myself of this truth: my story IS brave, and I own that Brave.


Own Your Brave | Sseko Designs
When you own something, you don’t have to prove that you own it, it’s just yours. The shoes I am wearing right now are these amazing blue ballet flats (made by this really rad company i’m into, its called Sseko Designs–maybe you’ve heard of it). I don’t have to prove that the shoes are mine, I know they are mine because the insole has formed to the mold of my foot perfectly, the small mud stain on the side of the left shoe indicates the exact location where I stepped out of my car into a pile of mud ( I live in rainy Portland, mud puddle awareness is an issue). With each passing day I choose to wear my shoes, the more mine they become because I choose to live life in them, and life is messy and leaves its marks.

Bravery isn’t something we have to prove. I don’t have to walk around telling every person I interact with that the shoes I am wearing are mine, it is assumed because i’m wearing them. Likewise, I don’t have to jump off makeshift bike ramps, or quit everything to travel the world to be marked as Brave (although it is still a dream and if you’re doing that, I want to hear all about your travels please!!!) . Brave is not something we have to ‘do’ in order to show the world that we have it. It becomes who we are the moment we claim it and wear it, we begin to take ownership of it. At Sseko, we don’t encourage each other to ‘do’ brave, but to ‘be’ brave. There is a courageous, authentic, unyielding women inside all of us with inherent ownership over our own stories, our own Brave, that is different from any other woman’s Brave. Instead of putting our energy and focus toward proving to the world that we are brave and looking to our right and left to see how others live out their Brave, lets take ownership of our own story and wear it proudly, to me, that is the ultimate mark of what it means to Be Brave.


Own Your Brave | Sseko Designs
Own Your Brave | Sseko Designs
Interested in joining the Brave Collective? Learn more by visiting our Brave Collective page.