Dilworth non-profit uses jewelry to give women a second chance

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Every inch of Fashion & Compassion sparkles. The Dilworth boutique sells beautiful jewelry that would be hard for any woman to turn down. But before the pieces are placed on shelves, they're intricately crafted by unexpected artisans.

Michele Dudley started the non-profit after coming home from a missions trip to Africa. She realized the great need for empowering women around the world, but also at home.

"We just found that making jewelry, using their hands, creating something beautiful was really healing for them," she said.

Inside the boutique on Cleveland Avenue, you'll find bracelets and necklaces made by women across the globe, as well as in Charlotte. Three times a week, Fashion & Compassion hosts jewelry projects where underprivileged women are paid to make the jewelry they sell.

"We really get to see women taking ownership of their lives and empowering their own lives, and we get to be a little piece of the puzzle encouraging them along the way," Dudley said.

When Shelly Robinson walked into the non-profit five months ago, she felt lost.

"I feel like they need me here to do something. Making this jewelry is just amazing," she said.

Robinson's fiance died suddenly, derailing life as she knew it.

"He was everything to me, and here I've put God back on the front burner," she said.

The money that's made in the boutique goes straight back to funding more jewelry projects.

Fashion & Compassion not only offers women a job but also important life skill training in hopes they can find full-time work once they graduate from the project.

Leading up to Christmas, the boutique is open six days a week. For hours and more information, visit https://www.fashionandcompassion.com/.

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