JESSICA SHAMBAUGH
Special to the Legal News
Published: December 31, 2013

Screen shot 2014-02-27 at 5.09.27 PMFor a group of women in Ohio, the shiny, shimmering links of women’s jewelry are what is holding together women across the globe.

The owners of soHza jewelry had a big mission in mind when they launched their company in April — forging the bonds of women across the globe to help make a difference.

“When women are at the center of change, anything is possible,” said soHza co-owner Debbie Lepariello.

The company, whose motto is “helping people here, by helping people there,” was founded by four women, three of whom are sisters.

Through a web-based jewelry store, the women have been able to put local nonprofit organizations in contact with global organizations so that they can more easily help one another.

The global organizations work with women in places like South America and Africa, teaching them to make jewelry that tells the story of their community by using the resources available to them, such as seeds or grasses from their part of the world.

“Some of our products are made from recycled bullet casings from HIV women in Ethiopia, some of our products are made from survivors of sex trafficking from all over the world, from India and Nepal and Cambodia, and some of our stuff is made from South America from things found in the rain forest,” Lepariello said.

That jewelry then goes to soHza and local nonprofit organizations can pick specific pieces to add to a collection.

Lepariello said they try to get mostly statement pieces and 15 percent of each purchase goes to the nonprofit that organized the collection it came from.

Currently, soHza is working with five groups in Columbus and five groups in Cincinnati.

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