Meet Jella. This gem of a human is someone I’m privileged to call a new friend. Have you ever met anyone and thought, ‘hmmmmm… I bet they’ll change the world someday’?
That’s pretty much a summary of my thoughts as I was getting to know Jella. If you want to know her story I would highly recommend you give her a shout. She is one of those out-in-the-open humans that will be more than happy to share her journey as well as ask you about your own. This is another reason I like her so much.
She is a blogger. Well, kinda. Don’t tell anyone, but her website is almost done. I keep telling her she needs to hurry. 😉 Blog or no blog (yet) she is definitely a writer. She’s also a hand-lettering expert. Just her regular handwriting will make a grown woman cry. She’s from the Philippines, drop dead gorgeous (as you can see) but has spent her last 4 years or so in the United States.
She is also founder of The Humble Bee Society. Basically the story in a nutshell is that she was watching a documentary, and was horrified to see the high cost that the fashion industry was having on human lives, so she decided she was going to do something about it. She had no idea what, but she knew she needed to do something. I love stories that start that way. She started reading everything she could, talking to everyone she could and generally trying to hear what was happening in the world. And trying to figure out what she was going to do about all of it.
She started an instagram. Her very first post said:
“I created this page for people like YOU and ME who want to shop ethically & responsibly. If you’ve chosen to follow this page then you are instantly a member of this society. You are now a HUMBLE BEE. Yay! Together, we will: choose PEOPLE over profit; invest in those whose stories are woven behind each thing we purchase; support brands/campaigns whose mission is to make an impact in the world through giving; promote buying local; encourage thrifting; live with purpose; and sprinkle goodness by walking in kindness. Join me in this journey and let’s use this platform to change the world one click at a time! It’s time to choose ourselves and each other! Oh, and I’m really big on ENGAGEMENT so don’t hesitate to SAY HI!”
That post was the beginning of something really amazing. Actually, I think it was just an outlet for someone trying to do something instead of nothing. Either way, I’m a fan.
Jella called me with an idea. She said she had a bunch of amazing ethical vendors that she wanted to highlight and bring together for a styled photography shoot. Her hope was to continue to get the word out about who these vendors are, the products they offer and what they promote as companies. That then turned into everyone getting extremely excited about her plan and deciding an instagram giveaway would be a super fun way to grab some attention about all they were doing and bless someone in the process.
One of the things that makes me beyond thankful to be a photographer is the opportunity to help people see things differently. It’s something I get to do on a regular basis. To change perspective, to show a different view. Whether it’s how a dad looks at his daughter on her wedding day, a young woman seeing how beautiful she truly is in an image, or seeing that no matter who we are even the smallest steps can have the greatest impact.
From everything Jella is wearing, to each of the vendors featured in the giveaway and shoot, each represents a vision to be something more than just a company. The idea of #peopleoverprofit drives these professionals, and in turn provides vision for their respective companies.
I am continually grateful to the opportunity to be a part of moments like these. I highly recommend you check out all the beautiful companies listed at the end of the blog, and obviously follow Jella. She’s just worth following.