Artisans Around the World Share Their Wares While Ashlee Tells Their Story
Somewhere in a local farmers market, 21-year-old Ashlee Nawrocki stands outside her nonprofit Wear Love Wagon trailer, talking to shoppers about the handmade jewelry, handbags and accessories she is selling to support anti-trafficking organizations.
“I’m so thankful for every customer that comes in and wants to learn about how they can be a piece of the solution,” Ashlee says.
The idea for Ashlee’s Wear Love Wagon mobile boutique all started in 2016 when she was on a mission trip with Youth With a Mission in Nepal and met an 8-year-old who was being trafficked. Ashlee says that experience completely broke her heart. Ashlee then decided to “start something that can … just shed a light and also be a solution,” she says.
Ashlee works with mostly women—and some men—artisans in nine different countries and three different continents who are survivors of human trafficking, as well as those coming out of red light districts and poverty. These artisans sell their handcrafted jewelry and handbags to Ashlee, who then sells their goods out of her wagon at Denver-area farmers markets, festivals and other events. She says she pays the artisans above fair wage because she believes they deserve it.
“We’re able to employ and empower them and to also equip them into having job skills that help them rise above poverty,” Ashlee says.
Ashlee strives to be a voice among these women. Her slogan, “Fashion to Fight In” is inspired by “girl power,” the feminist movement, and women advocating for fair wages in third-world countries.
“I think that not fighting with your fists but with your words and your actions right now is so powerful,” she says. “And we can do that while still looking beautiful.”
Ashlee says she is fueled to continue paying for missions and aid in anti-trafficking because, “People want to help other people. And that’s just my dream, to be a part of ending human trafficking.”
6:30 a.m.: Wake up and get ready.
7 a.m: Time to drive to the trailer park where I keep the wagon and hitch it up.
7:25 a.m.: Pray and be on my way.
7:45 a.m.: Arrive at venue.
7:50 a.m.: Unhitch the trailer and get set up.
9 a.m.: It’s selling time. I get to do my favorite thing and tell our story and invite customers to become “partners in anti-crime.”
1:15 p.m.: Time to put each unsold item back.
2 p.m.: Time to hitch it to my car.
2:20 p.m.: Arrive at trailer park and unhitch, letting the wagon get some good rest until the next market.