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The Hearts Behind the Scenes

audrey3.pngFounder/CEO of Thought Collective and Class Clown - My name is Audrey. I volunteered in Tanzania in 2010 and knew immediately it was my home. In 2011, I became the coordinator of Faraja Orphanage Children’s Home in Arusha and was running a sponsorship program enrolling orphaned children in competitive private schools. I watched the children take hold of this opportunity-- they became so confident and proud having something to work for, something to believe in. I decided I wanted to provide a workplace that allowed women to escape the cycle of poverty with dignity and pride as I had witnessed each day in the kids and Thought Collective was born. I think that there is something incredibly unique about ethical fashion. Not only are we providing fair wages and a place of dignity and empowerment to those abroad, but we are opening up a discussion and collaborating as a whole to change the meaning of fashion, a sometimes empty, brutal and exploitative industry in the United States. The fashion world is for the most part a chaotic one. But I believe in always finding a place of grace amongst the chaos. I believe in seeing beauty and light in an industry that is often cold and harsh. I love dressing up, just like you. But what I love even more is walking out the door in garments that have touched the hands of strong women across the globe that are grateful for and proud of the work they produce. I believe in feeling confident in my style as well as confident in my choice as a global citizen. We've created Thought Collective for you: so that you are able to be a part of a movement that matters. It is an opportunity to look good and feel even better. So join us: Thought Collective, a place of integrity, empowerment, unapologetic beauty and boldness. Karibu sana, friends. We all love you so much.

Knitwear and Day Maker — My name is Mama Gifte. I have three children, Gifte, Glory and Daniel. Before I was working in Thought Collective I was helping to make school uniforms for my children and their friends but was not making enough money to take care. Now, I can knit and make money at the same time.






glory3.pngHead Seamstress and Wisdom Guru — My name is Mama Glory. I have one girl. My favorite thing to do is to make beautiful clothes like jackets, pants and blouses. Thought Collective is letting me do what I love. I don't want to do anything else. This is my favorite career.



christina.pngManager of Thought Collective and Life of the Party — My name is Mama Christina. I have three kids and I love working for Thought Collective because it's a very creative organization and it helps me with many things like paying school fees for my kids and other basic needs for my family. I am happy working for Thought Collective especially because we are family. Life here in Africa has many challenges for a woman. I am proud that in facing those challenges I have become a strong woman and this organization helps keep me strong, that's my favorite thing about being an African woman.




joeili3.pngSeamstress Extraordinare and Healer of all Things — My name is Mama Joeli. I have 2 kids. Before this, I was volunteering at Faraja Orphanage where my children were staying and it was there I met Audrey and she gave me a job in Thought Collective. I really love working for this organization because it helps me to create a life. I am now running my own life. I am proud to be a working African woman and find independence.


Seamstress in Training and Uncontrollable Laughter Machine - My name is Mama Amairy. I am a single mother with three children. I have always wanted to be a tailor but didn't know how to do it. Even though I don't know much about tailoring yet, I am so blessed that Thought Collective is here to teach me and give me a career in tailoring as I have hoped for because now I don't have to worry so much. I like to play with my children and cook local dishes also when I am not working. 


johnson.pngSeamstress in Training and Wildly Ambitious Lioness - My name is Mama Johnson.
Hi to everyone. I am Mama Johnson I am mother to four children, my oldest is Johnson. I am the newest one to Thought Collective but feels like I have been here long time because it is such a nice community project. I am learning every day at work new things and to be better at what I already know so this is so great for me and my family. I really like all women and the new clothes I am learning to make and special thanks to Audrey for giving me a chance to do good for myself and my family. I thanks God for this work, really.

jacklin3.pngMerchandise Distributor and Warrior Princess 
— My name is Jacklin. I previously worked as a department manager at Free People in New York City and was extremely excited to get the opportunity to be in a similar line of work with a socially conscious brand when moving to Austin! As the merchandise distributor, I am in charge of e-commerce orders, wholesaling, collaborations and partnerships. I have a major passion for fashion, pizza and spend most of my time with my sweet dog, Whiskey. I am so stoked to be a part of the Thought Collective family and am glad you are here!



shea2.pngOperations Manager and Daring Dreamer, Resident Risk Taker  My name is Shea. I am honored to be a part of this amazing, inclusive vision that has the power to lift women up and the boldness to remain committed to ethical trade and the freedom it can give.  My hope as Operations Manager is that we consistently offer stylish pieces that reflect this shared partnership between the artisan and buyer. I'm excited to bring my varied experience, knack for organization, and love of socially responsible fashion to Thought Collective as together we–as artisans, as  buyers, and as a company–strive toward empowering generations that demand with every purchase ethical accountability at all points in the supply chain. Amazing fashion, equitably sourced.

I live in Austin with my husband, children, 2 dogs, 2 cats, and an ample supply of berbere and buna (Ethiopian coffee).