This guest blog post is by Nicole Marett.
Many people are surprised to discover that slavery still exists. Though slavery has been abolished, there are more people in slavery now than ever before in human history. What’s even more shocking is that it’s happening here. There is human trafficking in Austin, our beloved and quirky city.
After pursuing a short-lived dream of a career in beauty and fashion, I left the United States to travel the world for a year. I had heard about human trafficking, but never really knew or cared that much about it. Nine months later, I met slaves face to face. I looked them in the eyes, knew their names and heard their stories.
Several months later, I returned to Austin with the intention of finding a job and settling for a while. But I was never able to shake the people who I met. Researching how to get involved in something that would make a difference in the trafficking realm took over. The results were disheartening. All I could find were opportunities for lawyers, investigators, social workers and the likes of those people.
I became enamored with the idea of everyday people being able to make a difference. Exploring my own talents and childhood dream of working in the beauty industry led me to begin Radiant Cosmetics, a social enterprise makeup company dedicated to ending human trafficking.
People thought I was crazy. “How can you fight human trafficking with makeup?” You simply buy it. I love knowing that something as simple as my daily makeup routine is doing something. My favorite bright lipstick served as a reminder to never forget the millions around the globe who don’t have a voice.
Radiant Cosmetics just celebrated its first birthday on August 1st and I’m excited to turn new pages in the next year. As a company, we’ve always donated 20% of our profits to an anti-trafficking organization in Houston.
But giving money wasn’t enough. I grew tired of talking about the issue, but still feeling that I could do more. Recently, Radiant began a new partnership with an organization called Redeemed, a new nonprofit and future safe home in Austin for victims of human trafficking.
Our new partnership not only allows us to continue to pour profits into a cause I’m passionate about, but opens doors to be physically involved – personally and along with many of my Austin customers.
It’s just another way that we can fight human trafficking one lipstick at a time.
There are a number of ways to get involved with Radiant and the fight to end human trafficking. Through purchasing products, 20% of profits go directly to helping victims of trafficking in Austin. You can visit Radiant’s website for more details, to discover ways to get educated and to raise awareness. You can also get involved by visiting our Facebook or Twitter.
Nicole Marett is the Owner and Founder of Radiant Cosmetics, a social enterprise makeup company based in Austin, Texas whose vision is to end human trafficking.
Photos courtesy of Kelly Wendt and Jennifer Crane.