JULIE BUXTON, FOUNDER + PRESIDENT
Growing up in a small town in Oklahoma, I dreamed of one day owning my own business with the word “global” in the name. Instead of playing with Barbies or dolls, I played ‘business.’ Fast forward a few years after I obtained a finance degree from the University of Tulsa and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago and experience in corporate America. After 20-plus years of climbing the corporate ladder, I realized there had to be more to life than pursuing titles, bigger salaries, larger offices, and the like so I acknowledged the hole in my soul and decided to do something about it. With two mission trips to Africa and a local leadership class designed to prepare me to leverage resources to improve policy decision outcomes that help maintain the long-term viability of communities – North Tulsa in particular, it was time to get started. I am passionate about making a significant impact on the world so I started GiFTT as a way to empower others by offering a helping hand (not a hand-out) and make an impact globally and in my ‘neck of the woods’ which is now Tulsa, Oklahoma.
I have personally selected women-owned and managed fair trade-certified companies based in eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) which employ and train women artisans. These women are taught various skills to produce incredible and unique handmade items such as jewelry, leather handbags, decorative bowls and pillow covers, blankets, and beautiful scarves. Materials include mohair (a close tie for my favorite), merino wool, bamboo (my favorite), recycled paper, pulp, canvas, brass, and cotton. It my goal to bring to market certified fair trade high-end creations from all over the globe which have been beautifully crafted, are unique, and support women and their families. In what favorite stores would you like to see these beautiful goods?
As GiFTT grows and expands, Tulsa area women in recovery, those returning to the workforce after incarceration, and single moms on government assistance will be hired as employees and receive training in basic business management and all that it entails. They will be encouraged to learn new skills to empower them and prepare them to continue the journey of life for themselves and for their children. Once profitable, a GiFTT non-profit will be created & funded with its purpose to offer scholarships as well as other funds for emergency car repairs, unexpected medical expenses, and tuition assistance for the ladies and their families.
To learn more, please contact me.