Listen to Mary Lenz’s daughter, Julia, compare her bespoke bracelets to the girls profiled in Girl Rising and you’ll forever think all jewelry is priceless: ”They’re colorful. They’re pretty. I knew all my friends would like them because they come in all different shapes and sizes. It’s a connection to the girls [in the film] because they come in all different shapes and sizes too.”At nine years old, artisan Julia is already a social good entrepreneur whose Girl Rising bracelets were a big hit at “Taste the West Village”, an American Express sponsored event in New York City where chef’s tasting proceeds benefit PS 41, The Greenwich Village School. Julia made and sold rainbow loom bracelets with her friends Lindsey, Paige, Ava, and Ruby. They sold the bracelets for as low as two dollars and raised $634 for the Girl Rising Fund. She accomplished her impact goal of generating enough money to sponsor uniforms and tuition. “I’m very lucky to have an education. We should all have the same right to have an education. My hope was that I would make enough money so a few girls could actually afford to go to school. At first I was worried that not many people would come to our craft table. When I walked in I felt excited and nervous at the same time.”
Girl Rising’s Cassia Reynolds attended the fundraiser and interviewed Julia, who with unflagging enthusiasm, told her she’s not only selling bracelets, she’s also teaching people how to make them.
International Day of the Girl is tomorrow and Mary can recall her daughter’s early desire to work on a project that would raise awareness. They placed pictures from Girl Rising and education facts on their bracelet table to inform shoppers about the girls in the film and the significance of the bands Julia and her friends were designing. When Mary overheard one of Julia’s friends say “Anyone can go to public school…It’s free” she knew that Julia’s jewelry and the message she was sending would be invaluable.