New Skincare Products and Beautiful Pottery from Birmingham, Alabama

Francine Lefrak

Posted on September 11 2019

New Skincare Products and Beautiful Pottery from Birmingham, Alabama

By Francine LeFrak

On Friday, I had a wonderful visit with a group of talented artisans who are part of the Same Sky Foundation’s business training program with Nest in Birmingham, Alabama.

The women I met, though talented and creative, lacked the business experience necessary to make their dreams a reality. I was moved by their stories about the challenges they faced. Many worked other jobs as they launched their artisan career. Not knowing about local support available in their underserved communities was a real hardship.

Thanks to Nest, the Same Sky Foundation, and Autumn, a local partner who helped identify participants and create the program, they are able to overcome those barriers and obtain the resources they need.  The program with 106 women participating includes a marketplace at Pepper Place this Saturday where they can sell their products.  Here is a sample of what is being created by these artisans.

Tracey has a line of organic skincare products and now plans to create an online store and open a pop-up store. “I attended the July workshop and it changed my life!”

Gelenda is making jewelry from distressed leather and is putting a business plan into action. “I look forward to utilizing the tools and skills I’ve garnered to build my business.”

Meghan is making pottery and is saving up to buy a kiln so she can produce more pottery and compete with local potters. “I would like to grow my fine art hobby into a larger more substantial part of my daily life.”

Kenzi is creating her own online store with Etsy. “I design and handcraft aprons, totes, and multi-purpose bags for busy, everyday women who strive to balance practical needs with the desire to indulge in beauty and luxury.”

Wilhelmina is using her talent to combine sewing and photography to make works of art and has started selling her art.

You can feel their excitement and passion when you talk to them.  Each one has a goal of launching a business that would allow them to work in this creative space full-time. Thanks to the business training they received, they now know how to access capital, set prices for their products, and place a value on their work.

I am so proud of the women in Alabama, it was a privilege to meet some of them. I hope they felt empowered and appreciated because I certainly did. I especially enjoyed offering my advice and wisdom to them. No statement rings truer than “TALENT IS EVERYWHERE, BUT OPPORTUNITY IS NOT.” Same Sky is confident that these women’s skills will now go from invisible to visible.


“Being able to speak to Francine was one of the most
memorable experiences.” – Tracey

Marika from Nest, Francine, and local partner Autumn.

“It was such a joy & blessing to spend the afternoon with
Francine along with the other Makers.” – Gelenda


Will you be near Birmingham, Alabama this weekend? 

Go support these talented women at

the Market at Pepper Place

this Saturday, September 14th

If not, be sure to shop their products online here.

starting September 16th until December 15th!


To support more artisan programs in America, donate to The Same Sky Foundation here.

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