Easing Shopping Guilt Through Art & Eden’s Feel-Good Platform Easing Shopping Guilt Through Art & Eden’s Feel-Good Platform Last week I had the honor to visit the Art & Eden showroom in midtown and chat with its founder and CEO Susan Correa. Correa is the epitome of a girl boss. The fashion veteran’s journey includes leading multi-million-dollar apparel operations around the world, co-founding contemporary brand Cooper + Ella and managing a global sourcing company for brands in Europe, the United States and Canada. Her new project, Art & Eden, is her latest cherished creation. The children’s clothing brand exudes her passion for fashionably outfitting kids while feeding the less fortunate. When she speaks of helping children in need with her brand, Susan’s eyes light up and become imbued with life. “Helping children is something I always wanted to do,” she declares. Two years ago, Susan’s mentor asked her if there was anything in business that she’d like to do. She couldn’t answer the question right away and told him she would get back to him. A few days later while commuting to work, she continued to see a leukemia advertisement on the side of a bus. It read “Someday Is Today.” At that moment she knew she had an obligation to use her abundance to help children. Her first thought was to create a collection of clothing that would help feed a child in need in India. “I took the plunge. I launched not one, but two multi-million dollar businesses. Family and friends saw this as crazy, but I knew it to be necessary,” Susan affirmed. Susan Correa Her idea launched Art & Eden and the Empower program. For each Art & Eden piece sold, a child is fed. The program provided a warm, nutritional meal to children at the Hope Foundation School in Bangalore, India. Many of the poverty-strickened students came from families with an income of $50 a month. For some, the lunch served at the school was the only meal the child got for the entire day. The experience was life-altering for Correa. “When I launched Empower I was transformed in my thinking about business and the possibility of harnessing its power to become an incredible force for good,” she says. Since that first trip, she’s traveled to El Salvador for the same purpose. With time, Susan realized feeding children wasn’t enough. She recalls being a teenager volunteering in the Juhu neighborhood of Mumbai. “I mentored children like the ones in the movie Slumdog Millionaire. They don’t go to the doctors. Growing up we weren’t rich, but my parents made sure we had doctor check-ups. I wanted these kids to have medical aid.” Along with Global Giveback and a team of 60 volunteer doctors, Susan traveled to El Salvador on November 4th. The launch of the first leg of the program, the team of 80 handed out vitamins, taught kids how to brush their teeth and wash their hands, distributed medicine to keep them parasite-free and gave medical evaluations. The experience left everyone feeling like they made a huge difference to the small community. In the future, the medical program will also visit Guatemala, Paraguay, and other countries in Central America. Susan Correa’s global impact goal is to help 4 million lives. She’s even making a local impact by providing a leadership program at the Camden Street School in Newark, New Jersey, where 95 percent of the students live below the poverty line and 40 percent of the students are special needs. Through the years, consumers have made it a priority to shop with a conscience. They want to know that the products and brands they invest their money in are fair trade, use organic or sustainable materials, and treat workers with respect. Blending fashion with charity, Art & Eden uses low impact dyes and certified organic textiles. Their line is made with organic cotton and all clothing is produced at factories that share Art & Eden‘s vision of a better world. Prices are affordable (starting at $20) and prints are exclusive, one-of-a-kind art by artists from like Stockholm, Brooklyn and Sweden. Susan went through over 400 portfolios to find artists who would add individuality to each piece. Art & Eden fits children 6 months to 10 years of age and is sold in over 100 boutiques worldwide, through Nordstrom, EL Palacio de Hierro, and at ArtandEden.com. The Quick 10 1. What app do you most use? But of course : Google docs. 2. Briefly describe your morning routine Wake up every single day filled with gratitude for yet another day to live and to love. Come down to my favorite breakfast prepared every single morning by my amazing husband. Spend 30 minutes each morning in family prayer. Spend 30 minutes en route to work in quiet time and reflection. Enter office and ready to roll! 3. Name a business mogul you admire. Yvon Chouinard– the reluctant businessman. 4. What product do you wish you had invented? With a 34 billion valuation, Snapchat for sure. 5. What is your spirit animal? The dolphin. 6. What is your life motto? Always believe that something wonderful is just about to happen. It actually does. 7. Name your favorite work day snack. Dates & nuts (the dried fruit kind). 8. Every entrepreneur must be able to see: Opportunity in every adversity. 9. What’s the most inspiring place you’ve traveled to? Toledo in Central Spain. 10. Desert Island. Three things, go. 1. My husband who also happens to be my best friend. 2. Tons of books to gain wisdom. 3. A boat to finally get back to Art & Eden Tania Tania is a former model turned writer with a passion for fashion, skincare and travel who promotes girl power whenever and wherever she can. When she's not typing away on her laptop, you can find her brunching in Soho, perfecting her yoga poses or catching a flight.