Flora Stationery - Funding Futures

by Emily Betzler October 19, 2015 1 Comment

Flora Stationery

Funding futures in Kosovo

Women in Eastern Europe, specifically Kosovo, lack the resources to fund a university education because of high unemployment, low economic development, and societal mentalities that discourage this access to higher education. Flora Stationery works to support women in developing countries in Eastern Europe, specifically Kosovo, by providing financial assistance to pursue higher education. Scholarships are funded through the sale of stationery products to consumers who desire to be invested in the future of these women.

Our goal is to support women pursuing higher education in Eastern Europe through the sale of journals and stationery products.

11358144_419305621591291_1770809030_n

1.) Tell us about the history of your organization?

The idea of Flora Stationery started after co-founder, Ashley VanBuskirk, studied abroad in Kosovo. When she returned to the States, she decided along with her sister to create an organization that could sustainably fund college scholarships for young women in Kosovo. The idea became a reality about 7 months after when Ashley and her sister jump started the team at the university she was attending, Miami University. The first semester, 12 women were supported, 15 women the next, and now 18 women are supported on full-scholarships to attend the national university in Prishtina, Kosovo.

624db2_8f6b4122af814108a2d343dfdfba26bb_7ba61cc2-4d98-48b5-9361-79419333b986_large 624db2_b479fa5349964185bab48506050b875b_large

It was definitely a “God thing” that Ashley met Ema, the young woman who inspired Flora Stationery. Ema is a Christian and was attending a church service at the same church Ashley was visiting. After meeting briefly, they both decided to connect at a coffee shop later that week. Learning more about Ema’s struggles and daily life, Ashley saw not only her strong faith but her passion for earning an education. However, because of her economic situation, Ema could not afford to attend university full time. This inspired Ashley to support Ema through Flora Stationery.

2.) What are some of the trials and triumphs you have faced in bringing your organization to where it is today?

One trial has definitely been balancing the time put into running and growing Flora Stationery along with our lives both socially and professionally. However, it can be nice to have a lot of things to do with very little time to accomplish them, because it creates a laser-like focus on the most important tasks to finish first. A triumph is most definitely all of the support we have received and continue to receive from individuals who hear about our work and want to be involved. Most notably, our collaboration with Keds, to create shoes featuring Flora Stationery designs!

10253928_700312473431895_1234731523036198035_n

3.) How have you seen God provide/move/blow your mind?

Growing Flora has been a lesson of letting go of control and allowing the Lord to lead the organization where He intends. From day one, both my sister and I created the organization to champion not our own names, but His alone. Placing a focus on working towards His will for our lives and the organization places both trials and triumphs into perspective.

4.) As an organization what are you most excited about right now?

We cannot wait for the shoes we collaborated with Keds on to come out in Spring 2016!

5.) We can't wait to see what the future holds for you. What are some of your hopes and goals for 2015?

For the rest of 2015, our goal is that individuals will see Flora Stationery as an incredibly thoughtful gift to give their friends and family to share the message of hope and help us continue to fund futures. In the future, we’re working on developing new products with new designs from our artists in Kosovo as well as we’re continuing to build a mentorship and job training program for the women we currently support in Kosovo. Our ultimate goal is to expand and replicate this model to another country.

11049624_700312720098537_8562928486975624181_n

 

Join us as we fund futures through Flora.

Shop now!





Emily Betzler
Emily Betzler

Author


1 Response

Sydney
Sydney

May 08, 2018

Excited WITH you for what God is doing through Flora & Keds connection! :)

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Hey, you found us…which means you’re likely an amazing person with a kind and generous heart. Join us to live with impact!

 Join in the fun as we encourage each other to #LiveOutLove