Clarenville teen Monica Snow and her mother Carolyn Burton have been recognized at International Development Week in Ottawa this month for their fair trade endeavor, Sol Company.
Snow and Burton’s story is part of International Development Week to demonstrate the impact individuals in Canada can have in improving lives both internationally and at home.
Sol Company is an online retailer dedicated to providing ethical options to rural Canadian consumers throughout the country.
Inspired by the female entrepreneurs they met on a life-changing trip to Honduras through World Vision in 2015, they founded the Sol Company to provide people in the developing world with fair pay, while also giving rural Canadians access to fair trade products.
In a news release from World Vision, Snow and Burton say the trip opened their eyes to the world.
“It’s been the biggest learning experience of my life,” said 17 year-old Snow.
Upon return to Clarenville, Burton ultimately quit her job as a financial advisor to seek part-time employment and volunteer her extra hours with her daughter and the new business.
Snow, having been a World Vision Youth ambassador since she was in Grade 8, learned through World Vision No Child For Sale campaign about problems that exist in the world, like child labour.
During another visit to Honduras in May 2018, they visited a skills training centre called Mi Esperanza, which sells handcrafted items by local women.
This served as the birth of Sol Company, with the two placing an order for these goods — like keychains and sewing crafts — when they returned home.
Sol Company makes ethical, fair trade shopping available for all Canadians.
International Development Week is an annual time to recognize how Canadian aid is making a difference around the globe.
This year, from Feb. 3-9, Canada championed gender equality, and the health and rights of girls and women.