This Kentucky Nonprofit Helps Refugee Women Thrive

Surekha Kulkarni, founder of Beaded Treasures, has made it her goal to empower refugees and other disadvantaged women in her community.
Before partnering with Volunteers of America to open a Beaded Treasures retail store in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, Kulkarni was already teaching women to make and then sell their jewelry at home gatherings.
Kulkarni was inspired to start the project after taking a jewelry-making class while visiting relatives in India. When she returned to her home in Louisville, she realized she could use those skills to teach refugees and other disadvantaged women in her local community to do the same.
In addition to jewelry-making skills, women also learn all aspects of running a business, including marketing skills and financial literacy.
To learn more about Beaded Treasures, watch the above video.
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Wearable Technology That Can Keep Women Safe (and Fashionable)

Wearable technology might be the next big innovation in the tech world, but for many women, the aesthetics leave a lot to be desired. Designer and former retail executive Deepa Sood was taken with the idea that technology could be worn and accessed easily, especially in times of emergency, but she wasn’t prepared to wear anything that looked like it came from The Jetsons. “Everybody is talking about the wearables opportunity, but nobody is doing it well,” Sood told TechHive. So she set out to disrupt the industry with her new product, Cuff.
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Currently available for pre-order, Cuff is a fashion-forward accessory and security system combined. The CuffLinc module, a nondescript battery of sorts, can be added to any of the line’s jewelry — from bracelets to necklace pendants to keychains — providing quick, two-way communication between the wearer and her closest family and friends. The CuffLinc connects to a smartphone app over Bluetooth and can be pre-programmed by the user with up to five distinct presses. For example, if the wearer is in immediate danger or in a car accident, they can squeeze the jewelry in an extended press. The people in her network will receive a message with GPS location and emergency information that the user pre-programmed, such as allergies, insurance and blood type. For other, less urgent matters, users can program their Cuff with two quick presses to text someone that they’re on their way home or three presses to message that they’re trying to reach them. The Cuff system can also alert a user if someone in her network is trying to contact her. “Say my phone is somewhere in my bag. It’s ringing and ringing, and my babysitter really needs to get me,” Sood says. “I’ve programmed her to break through to me. It will vibrate on my wrist, and I’ll know to check my phone.”
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There are a few issues that haven’t been ironed out yet. Most importantly, how to deal with false alarms. Sood says that when one user sends a message to another, her accessory vibrates as well. If she sent the message accidentally, the user can simply go into the app and cancel the call. Another downfall is that the CuffLinc battery has to be replaced every year (an upside to that is that it doesn’t ever need to be charged). And while there’s a nice variety of jewelry to start, Sood is looking to partner with more accessory designers to create pieces that would appeal to a larger audience. But Sood isn’t worried about these things. As a mom of three, it’s the security that Cuff offers — along with its wearability — that makes the product stand out. “What industry needs a facelift more than personal protection?” she asks.
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