Francesca Kennedy

Ix Style | New York City

Selling fashion made by Mayan women artisans in Guatemala.

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Ix Style sandals made by Guatemalan women artisans.

Company Description…

Ix Style is a charitable fashion company that sells bags and sandals made by Mayan women artisans in Guatemala. For every purchase, we donate 15% of our proceeds to provide clean drinking water to children in Guatemala, where my family is originally from. Ix is the Mayan word for water.

I started my business because…

In 2009, Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, which once was considered the eighth world wonder, almost died. This lake is where I was baptized, it’s where I learned how to swim, and it’s where my grandparents lived.

Overnight, toxic blue green algae covered almost every inch of the lake. NASA called it one of the worst natural disasters to occur in our lifetime as you could see the contamination from space. During that trip, I saw little girls collecting the water to drink and the markets were empty as tourists had stopped visiting. Ix Style started as a simple idea to help one woman artisan and morphed into working with over 600 women around Lake Atitlan.

What makes my company unique…

Our social impact to empower women artisans and provide water to communities in Guatemala. Our work creates a multiplier effect that helps the people of Guatemala get out of extreme poverty while providing them with a bright future!

Mantra I live by…

Always leave people and places better than how you found them!

You should vote for me because…

Your vote is for the women who make our products, who can now send their children to school, buy their children books, provide them with the basic necessity of water. Your vote literally can transform the lives of so many people immediately and directly!

Top 3 goals for my business are…

  1. Empower women to be agents of change in their communities.
  2. Provide a basic human need — water — to all Guatemalans.
  3. Inspire other people to be social entrepreneurs and create the solutions their communities need!

Women entrepreneurs are…

Changing the world! They invest 90% of their income back into their communities and families. If we want to see the solutions we dream of for this world, we need to invest in women!

Being a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow would allow me to…

Scale my business and help the women artisans of Ix Style to transform their lives.

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