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Learn more about Rebecca Van Bergen, a special woman who loves her Alex Woo VOTE necklace and is making a huge impact in the global artisan community with her company, Nest.
Rebecca van Bergen is the Founder and Executive Director of Nest, a non-profit bringing transparency, economic development and advocacy to the global artisan community.
Inspiration One of my mentors is Natalie Chanin, the founder of Alabama Chanin, whose work to build a cottage industry in Alabama is a huge inspiration. We think about craft as being global and yet often forget that there are beautiful craft traditions like quilting, sewing, and basket weaving right here in the US. I really love… the Nest Artisan Leadership Summit! This is my favorite Nest initiative. Once a year, we bring 20 artisan leaders from around the world to New York City for industry immersion and peer-to-peer learning. It is always a truly inspiring experience that reminds me why what we do at Nest is so important. Seeing worlds converge and people unite here in this city I love is energizing. Zodiac Sign… Aries. And, I certainly exemplify their fiery spirit! Style icon… Nest’s work is hugely linked to the fashion industry, but I’m a social worker by education and fashion is not a big focus for me. I am most comfortable in a pair of converse and jeans!Dream vacation Anywhere with my family: my husband Chris and daughter and son, Ella and Sawyer. I cannot wait to show the two of them our work and introduce them to the communities and crafts that have long inspired me. They are only 4 and 2 so we have some time before they become regular work travel companions, but I dream of that day!Lucky number… 4, The fourth month of the year, April, is the month my daughter and I were both born in.Best advice If you don’t ask, you’ll never know! I like to aim high, take risks, and never shy away from making a big ask! The worst that can happen is someone says “no.” Cause I am most passionate about This is an easy one since Nest is really my truest labor of love. Craft production is the second largest employer of women in emerging economies. I am proud of the work that Nest is doing to alleviate poverty, strengthen families, and preserve cultural traditions by creating greater transparency, innovation, and economic opportunity in the artisan sector.Spirit animal Salmon! Salmons swim against currents, representing perseverance and determination even in the face of adversity.Favorite Alex Woo piece I love the Little Activist Vote necklace. My daughter came with me to vote in the most recent election and it was an inspiring moment to share together. The fact that the vote did not turn out as we had hoped just underlines how important it is for all of us to have a voice in the policies that shape our lives.
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