fash i on styl i st
Meet Oregon Native and Cabi Fashion Stylist, Jeanne Shannon. Married with 6 children, Jeanne originally professionally resided in a male-dominated field as an Athletic Trainer. This loaner on the football field strongly emphasized with the challenges of being a competitive woman, proving herself as a professional, and fighting to maintain her personal sense of style and identity. During Jeanne's fight to find her groove in the "boys only" club, she quickly realized she lost her own persona of who she was. It wasn't until her constant turn to faith and soul searching, that a clothing company called Cabi came into her life. For those that don't know, Cabi is a company for women, by women. It is a unique clothing line that never has the same look twice, and once a season-line is gone, you can never get another piece in that collection like it. You would think a competitive sports medicine major would have lost her marbles giving up her life-long passion of Sports Medicine, to be in women's fashion. You would be wrong...
Jeanne quickly saw exactly what this bigger-than-life company was doing behind the scenes and took an indefinite leave of absence from Athletics. A year into working the Cabi "trunk show" circuit, she started seeing women transform in the clothing, and realized she was a huge part of more than just the garments. Her God-serving heart simply traded athletes for working women through the Cabi platform. Jeanne wasn't doing anything different with her work ethic, it was a simple change in audience that brought true meaning and originality back into her life.
In her everyday job, Jeanne customizes wardrobes for her clients that work for their lifestyle, relationships and profession. beyond this daily serving task, Jeanne is a leader, speaker and torch bearer for a culture where women crave connection and are designed for love and belonging while we (as women) fight for these personal and precious resources in such an isolating society.
Enter scene; Heart of Cabi. The Heart of Cabi Foundation is a program created to encourage and empower women in need. From distributing clothing in communities affected by natural disasters to empowering women entrepreneurs in the developing world to work their way out of poverty. This Women Entrepreneur (W.E.) program has currently funded over 16,000 micro loans and is the only company that does a one to one loan. Instead of the usual way of a micro-loan donating to a community, the W.E. loan donates to one woman. This woman is considered a "sister Entrepreneur". Jeanne's Sister Entrepreneur happens to be in Rwanda, Africa. Jeanne raised over $10,000 to travel to Rwanda and personally submerse herself into the culture she now is destined to share with the world. Her reasoning behind all of this work and money to make such a voyage? She says, "its one thing to fund a loan, its a whole different connection to see that loan, in person, come to fruition". She said the impact a micro loan can have on a family and a community (particularly in a place like Rwanda) is earth-shattering.
These Sister Entrepreneurs, who are funded the loan, reside in a "trust group" which is usually 8-10 ladies who support one another and meet every week. If theres ways they can help each other out, they will (i.e. making sure they are accountable for each other paying these loans back). Jeanne was able to meet with her Sister Entrepreneur to see that she used the loan for sewing machines to make clothes and open a school for women to teach other women how to sew. While Jeanne was meeting with her business counterpart, she was able to witness another group called Opportunity International come in to support and educate these trust groups and teach them how to budget, be efficient on spending, how to pay the loan back and apply for another loan.
While this scene unfolded for Jeanne, she quickly developed an understanding that she was bearing witness to healing from the genocide that occurred in this country in 1994 and watching these tribes regrow their trust in each other and in humanity.
The greatest lesson this athlete-turned-stylist learned during her travels with Cabi to Rwanda, is that she keeps coming back to her core values of courage and wholeheartedness. She witnessed the humanity of these women being incredibly courageous, stepping into the unknown of a loan program, and not knowing if its going to succeed or how they're going to pay it back. "To go through knowing your family was murdered and to know you can create beauty from the ashes touches my heart" Jeanne says. Who is Jeanne Shannon NOW? Jeanne is a powerhouse entrepreneur living wholeheartedly, being mindful of how she thinks, feels and leads with love. All of these behaviors she has developed through Cabi absolutely aligns with her core values.
FUTURE GOALS WITH CABI...
Jeanne's future goals fall inline with her vision to continue to come along side other women to help them create a business thats sustainable and to see the impact they have in other women's' lives. She wants to continue to create a culture and environment that is supporting, caring and loving. Its how Jeanne lives out her relationships with her husband and people in her community and how she wants to live out the rest of here career as a Cabi Fashion Stylist.
JEANNE IN YOUR CLOSET...