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How one woman went from art classes with her kids to coordinating over 100 artisans.

By uniting, these artisans give each other a chance to make a living.

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Facebook #SheMeansBusiness

The first time Hema Balakrishnan started working with clay in a course taken with her kids — she knew it would lead her somewhere.

But where? Making a livelihood as a terra cotta artisan — transforming riverbed clay into colorful jewelry — was next to impossible. Freelance jewelers in her community would sometimes have to wait 40 days to be paid for their products.


All images via Facebook's #SheMeansBusiness campaign, used with permission.

That's more than a month before seeing cash flow.

Hema reached out to other artisans and found they all were experiencing the same problem.

She also knew there had to be a better way. A stronger business solution.

So she did it herself.

On her own, Hema connected with 11 separate terra cotta artisan groups — 200 terra cotta artisans total — and coordinated these groups to make feasible career options for the artisans.

The business is thriving.

As she was starting out, things weren't exactly all cheers and support.

"My in-laws were not in favor of me going to work," she told 99% TV Telugu,"so it was a sort of forced staying at home, which made me interested in pursuing lot of courses. So that's what made me interested in pursuing the clay course with my children."

But she didn't give up. This business was her calling.

As Hema told 99% TV Telugu, "Perhaps they thought this was a hobby or something that I would sit from home and do. This is something beyond a personal gain for me. This is something I want to do from the core of my being. It's an inner calling for me."

Many of the women who do the meticulous work of creating terra cotta jewelry are in the field for the love of the craft but also to support their families. Families don't have 40 days to wait for payment. So Hema got involved in all aspects of production of the jewelry to create a system where a livelihood for women artisans was possible. She knew that by pursuing her business, Color D Earth, she would not just be helping herself grow, she'd be empowering others.

"When this business is giving livelihood to so many terra cotta artisans, it gives me great happiness."

Using Facebook to not just sell products, but to promote the social good of her business, Hema has seen her customer base grow. As she told the Facebook #SheMeansBusiness initiative, "The story mattered, and the best way to communicate that story, aside from just speaking about it, was to use the internet."

And she's not stopping there.

After reflecting on all that she has learned in growing Color D Earth, Hema knew she wanted to pay it forward. Now, in addition to running this business, she offers mentorship workshops and coaching to women looking to start their own enterprises.


From a love of clay, she's created a business infrastructure that gives that love back to her community.

And it all started with her following her instincts, listening to her gut, and sticking to it.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


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Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

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Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

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