A Lancaster County entrepreneur combined color and creativity to provide impoverished women a second chance. In her first trip to Cambodia six years ago, Michelle Kime saw the unimaginable. She says, "The poverty levels, human trafficking, just tore at the soul of a mother, a woman."
When she returned to Lancaster County, she and her friend, Aiyana Ehrman, were determined to help.
Kime says, "It started out simple with raising money for drilling wells and sanitation projects."
Through Kime's non-profit, she got to know Cambodian women who had a talent in sewing. That's when her business, "Imagine Goods" took off.
Kime says, "Slowly is just kept growing into an employment opportunity for the women who'd been rescued from trafficking and gone though counseling and healthcare, cared for- to employ them with a living wage to care for their families and be educated and empowered."
Kime's promise to help the artisans in Cambodia gives customers a reason to shop at several stores in Lancaster County.
Fresh Vintage store owner, Amy Soper sells the products. She said her customers see the products and say, "Wow these are so pretty and then we tell them what the proceeds go towards and they're thrilled."
Proceeds go back into fabrics and the artisans' wages.
Kime says, "Thinking of all that these women have been through and we're just a small part of their healing and their dignity and being able to empower themselves."