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Name: Pamela Norton
Location: Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Industry: Consumer Goods
Reason for starting? The vision for Liberti began more than five years ago when I first volunteered to help with refugee assimilation once they had arrived in the US. This eye opening experience gave me such insight on how difficult it would be to come to a country after spending years in a refugee camp. You’d basically arrive with the clothes on your back and virtually no skills or money to get you started in trying to create a new life. You’d also have to learn a new language, culture and you might not even know a soul here. Every year, 75,000 refugees leave their homelands and legally obtain their place in our country. They are immediately thrust into a whole new world and expected to assimilate into this different way of life and hit the ground running. But it’s just not that easy. In a land created from immigrants and refugees, I’m proud that our country continues to provide a place for families fleeing war and persecution to rebuild their lives here in America.
Liberti will capitalize on the good will and consumer behavior generated by these social pioneers, but with a different spin since our artisans are the poor and marginalized living right here in America. We will focus on creating fashionable accessories and jewelry that are already in demand, but provide a touch of culture and unique story behind each beautifully handcrafted piece. We have successfully secured an angel investor this year and met our Indiegogo campaign to hire our first refugee.
Related: Read about another entrepreneur giving back through her business here.
How do you define success? My vision for success has always been to become a leader that will inspire, teach and help raise a generation of entrepreneurs who will go onto make even greater impacts around the world. At Liberti, we put a tremendous amount of creativity, care and passion into every piece we lovingly create and produce right here in America. From start to finish, everything we design, create and deliver to you is a labor of love. We imagine original designs, insist on high-quality production standards, and utilize only the very best, ethically sourced materials. We hire artisans and use a proprietary blend of time-honored jewelry-making techniques and technologies, resulting in little pieces of perfection we know you’ll come to love.
Biggest success: Hiring our first resettled refugee in our manufacturing facility in June this year. Our program is an employer-driven program that provides our refugee employees a “learn while you earn” model that combines on-the-job training with job-related mentors who provide training and instruction tied to the attainment of the skills required for the job. Our unique model also involves progressive increases as our apprentice’s skills increase.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Our greatest challenge was to ensure our entire product life cycle is manufactured and crafted in the US. We are committed to using the the most environmentally friendly, sustainable, high quality metals for our product line to ensure our customers will value and cherish them for years to come. We worked very hard vetting the best companies and partners to ensure we deliver on our commitment to our friends and fans of Liberti.
As an entrepreneur you must always put yourself last. You have to be comfortable with putting your all into a new venture. You work 24/7 without pay, time off or a pat on the back that you’re doing a great job. It can be very lonely and you wake up many days asking the question “what am I doing?” It can also be the most rewarding time in your life. Ensure you surround yourself with “positivity” people who will help you keep on track so you can continue to fulfill your dream.
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Who is your most important role model? I’ve always believed God places certain people in your life at certain times. I have been blessed with a great number of influential people throughout my life – from long time friends and amazing mentors who have helped me throughout my career. Throughout, there has been one person who has always been in my life. My mother. Without insufficiently stating her impact and influence on the person I am and aspire to become, I must say my mother is the only role model I’ve ever had. She taught me to always look deep into my soul, talk to God every day, bless others, be kind, love and find your purpose in this life.
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Edited by The Story Exchange