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December 18 2018

Remnant Studios – Porcelain Jewelry That Fights Human Trafficking

Who are you? & Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hello! I am a research chemist turned stay at home mom turned creative maker and entrepreneur. I could have never predicted the different hats I’d wear over my 40-something years but I’ve never felt more fulfilled than I do now, pursuing a dream of intersecting creativity with helping the world. I’m a mom of three fantastic kids and a wife to a great guy who empowers me to do what I feel called to do.

What exactly is Remnant Studios?

Remnant Studios is a hand-made porcelain jewelry business with the aim of raising money through sales to fight human trafficking. I donate 100% of our profits to organizations that are fighting trafficking globally and locally in Austin, TX. I also partner with an artisan group in Thailand that serves the Burmese refugee community by teaching them to make ceramic jewelry as a vocational program. They are Sojourn Studio and they are making and selling their own jewelry now, which is so exciting.

What inspired you to start Remnant Studios?

When I was home with my kids and taking pottery classes at the local community art center I dreamed that one day I’d be good enough at ceramics to sell my wares and support a charity with the profits. I had no idea at the time I’d end up switching to jewelry (I don’t really like jewelry that much) and what global crisis I’d want to fight. But using my talents for good was my heart’s desire so I kept on that path until the pieces came together.

How did you come up with the name?

Being a 30-something wife and mother means you’re very busy. Add a job to that and you’re life is insane. So, I would work on my art late into the night and whenever I could steal an hour or two in the day. It always felt like what was left over of my life; the remnants of my life, after meeting the needs of my family and side-gigs. In naming this Remnant Studios, I wanted to remind myself, and inspire others, that God can use every bit of our lives, even what we feel is the remnants and scraps to touch the world. Our gestures can be imperceptibly small or quite grand, but none are a waste, they can all be used for good.

Your products are fighting human trafficking; can you tell us about that?

I donate the profits from the sale of my jewelry (revenue after expenses) to the A21 Campaign, which is a global organization fighting human trafficking and to The Refuge in Austin, which is an inpatient ranch that rehabs minor girls (11 to 17 years old) rescued out of slavery in Texas. Since starting in 2014 I’ve donate $51,000. I learned of the global crisis in 2012 when I helped put on an awareness walk in Austin and was so horrified by the statistics that I knew it would be the battle I chose to join when I started Remnant.

Is there a favorite product?

They’re all my babies so it’s hard to say… but I love the bigger pieces with which I can be the most creative. So, right now, I’d say the marbled leaves with gold accents. I love the marbled look, especially mixed with the gold.

What is your favorite part about running Remnant Studios?

My favorite part continues to be the creative process. Experimenting and trying new ideas and colors and materials… it all brings me so much joy. I will never get tired of opening the kiln each time to behold my creations.

What is your least favorite part about running Remnant Studios?

All the business-y things. Accounting, taxes, the pressure to post on social media, running my website… basically anything that keeps me from making new pieces.

How do you spread the word about your company?

I have amazing friends that wear my pieces and help me spread the word. But mostly I am seen through instagram and local markets. I’m part of a social business group in Austin that has flung me into the ethical fashion world, which I never saw coming. So that, combined with my social justice focus means there are a lot of hashtags I can use to attract people to my product and my story.

Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?

Disclaimer: my faith informs my advice. My advice is to believe and act as though there is a path ahead of you, already planned, where you can take the gifts and talents that are inside of you and use them to solve problems in the world. You are uniquely made to be the hero in a unique story with a unique conflict. Walking that out just means that you have to know who you are and stay faithful to that (therapy can help :)). The rest will unfold.

Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? 🙂

Not surprising given my last answer: “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I’ve been noticing lately how many women there are with the call to encourage and empower other women. I think this is because we don’t know our own strength and worth and purpose. There are so many messages telling us we’re not good enough in some form or fashion. And that’s just a lie. So, I really appreciate what you’re doing to help speak life and purpose into young women who are looking for their gift to give, their sphere of influence, and their passion. Bravo, and thank you for the honor of being able to participate in She’s Fit to Lead.

About Zara Puskuldjian

Hi, I’m Zara Puskuldjian! I am from Long Island, New York but I currently reside in Boca Raton, FL. Recent graduate from Lynn University with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Photography. I love traveling, my friends, family, photography, warm weather and my 3 lbs. min pin, Nova. Oh and how could I forget my undying love for… chipotle. I am a firm believer in the wise words of Coco Chanel “Beauty begins the moment you decided to be yourself.” (:

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