What Runway? This Local Designer Is Inspired By The World

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    When was the last time you came back from a vacation and said, "That trip really changed my life!" And, no, we don't mean that spring break excursion you took back in college. Instead, we're talking about inspiration in an Eat, Pray, Love kinda way. Except, forget Julia Roberts. Local gal Jennifer Moran proved that with an open mind — and heart — you can achieve goals that can last long after you've unpacked your suitcase.

    A self-professed globe-trekker, Moran was inspired to launch her amazing fair-trade retail portal, Greenola Style, after an inspiring mission trip to Bolivia. It was here that she established an incredible bond with the local artisans — many of which were single moms who were creating crafts to secure their children's futures. "I immediately knew my place and my life's direction," Moran says.

    And, thus, Greenola Style was created. All of the clothing and jewelry are designed right here in Chicago by Moran and one other designer. Next, she works directly with and fairly compensates 55 female artisans in Bolivia and 12 in Uganda (she travels there regularly) who make all of the pieces by hand. The result? Ethically produced wares that you can feel good about buying and wearing.

    The new spring/summer 2013 collection is now available (online and at two small retail storefronts) and we were thrilled to see that one of the online models was our Real Girl, Real Beauty subject Lauren-Ashely Elrod! The collection, Käzmik Voyage, pays homage to the bold colors of Bolivia, as well as traditional African prints. While you can see the entire collection on the Greenola Style website, click through to see some of our favorites.

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