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One Refugee at a Time

by / Monday, 19 December 2016 / Published in Blog

Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman’s business called MiMi Globe Goods was born out of her idea to marry her passion to create and her desire to help marginalized individuals or communities. Ming-Ming was inspired to make fabric necklaces when a friend took notice of one she bought from France. It was also a friend and a Fashion Degree Instructor at University of Washington who told her about Muses Conscious Fashion Studio, a nonprofit in Seattle which trains low-income immigrant and refugee communities in apparel production. She met Toma from this organization, Toma then introduced her to Padam and Rewati, all of whom she presently works with in the company. Toma, Padam and Rewati came from Bhutan and were refugees for twenty years.

For Ming-Ming, it is rewarding to see these three Bhutanese women become professionals in their work, acquiring skills in creating and marketing accessories and earning a living for their families. Their lives were transformed when they went onboard with Ming-Ming’s business idea. They are being immersed in the culture and society of America—they are learning and speaking the language, plus they have the opportunity to participate in events and interact with people through MiMi Globe Goods. “I see an opportunity to make a change,” she says, and change she has been making.

These days, they are producing four different styles of necklaces, earrings, and even berets for little girls. One of the styles is called sentimental wherein they repurpose old clothes into fabric necklaces. It is no wonder that her business is gradually gaining success. She humbly brags that her products can be found in many boutiques and children stores in Seattle. They are also showcased in Chihuly Garden and Glass, a museum and a tourist spot in the city. What’s more, she was asked to participate in Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Giving Marketplace event last December 2-3, 2016 and sell her company’s merchandise together with nineteen other social entrepreneurs.

Ming-Ming plans to expand MiMi Globe Goods with the hope that it will reach every major city in the country, so that more and more refugees will have access to fare wages and benefits. She truly embodies an individual who deeply cares for others and applies it in her business.

For now, her goal is to put together high-quality products and market them in plenty more shops in Seattle. She has been working alongside Jessica Conaway, who is a business consultant here at Business Impact NW’s Veteran’s Business Outreach Center, toward securing a loan to fund and develop her small enterprise.

Her beautiful collection can be found here.

She also won the Audience Award in our IMPACT PITCH competition, this is the video she submitted.

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