My work as a philanthropist is about so much more than simply “giving back.” Likewise, my work as an interior designer is more than decorating the interior of a house. In both instances, I want to be a part of building something. My job allows me to focus on empowering women as an example. Simultaneously, my philanthropic work gives me the opportunity to support girls and women as they fight to create a life and space for themselves in their communities. The interwoven strand between these two aspects of my work is the emphasis on creating a place of safety, solace and security—a “home”—both physically and emotionally.

Interior Design and Beyond

To debunk a myth about interior designers, we don’t just beautify residential spaces. Our jobs extend much further than that. We work to capture the essence of the families and people who will live in those homes. And, we determine how they will best use the space and bring utility to the home. Further, we find ways to embody homeowners’ personalities and put them into the physical structure that will be a haven for them. This is the epitome of empowering women and men to be their best selves in their homes. It brings me so much joy.

As noble as I feel this profession is, and as proficient as I believe I am at it, it can still be tough for us women to climb the ladder in this male-dominated industry and world. Women are regularly put in situations where they have to prove themselves as equal, worthy and capable. But somehow, it is automatically assumed that men can naturally handle positions of authority and rank. I have had to deal with stereotypes and preconceived notions in my industry despite having the portfolio of commercial work and residential projects as proof.

Because of this, empowering women became more than a passion. It was, and continues to be, a mission to show other women that it’s possible to find success, create the life you want as well as a legacy for your children, and show other girls and women coming up that “difficult” is by no means “impossible.” And if anyone knows what existing in the seemingly impossible is, it would be the young girls I met in Kenya, Africa.

The Plight of Empowering Women in Kenya

When I think about the women and girls in Kenya who are trying to escape to a life where they are no longer being held hostage by outdated, unnecessary, harmful practices and traditions like FGM, an innate protector and emancipator rises within me. I will never know—and will never compare my journey with—the struggle of fighting to escape FGM. Not many people reading this will. What I do know, and what propels me to fight for my Kenyan sisters, is the parallel plight of being seen as inferior, and wanting a better life and future despite the powers that exist to deny that for women.

There’s a great deal of crossover in what it means to create the world you want and the life you deserve as a woman. What I see in my Kenyan sisters’ desire to escape is a hope and a dream of having a brighter future. I understand escaping FGM and child marriage is not only about safety. Doing so gives these young ladies a shot at education, which can help them become wage earners in their community. That’s all any of us wants: the inalienable right to pursue happiness and freedom for ourselves.

The Power of Philanthropy

As a female entrepreneur, I want to use my God-given gifts and abilities to not only beautify spaces but also provide for my family. In that respect, NOT in our experiences, I feel a kinship with the girls in Kenya. It’s why, as a philanthropist, empowering women and girls in Kenya is a priority. Having a choice in who you become, what you can do, and what happens to your body should never be anyone’s decision but your own. Now, it’s not only their fight. It is mine, too.

I am a self-professed “homemaker.” I make physical homes for people across the country. But I also work to provide a sense of “home” for suffering women who need to be embraced and protected from cultural practices like FGM that do not serve them. For me, it is a moral mandate. If you want to help me in this plight, visit for more information.

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