Meet Taylor Davis, a third-year student specializing in Accounting and Marketing, and January 2016’s Sauderite of the Month.
Since her first year at UBC, Taylor has committed her time, effort, and passion to various extracurricular involvements to give back to the communities that she is a part of. She began as the First Year Representative for Sauder Sports, and also travelled with the Arc Initiative to Addis Ababa Ethiopia in the summer of 2014. In her second year, Taylor joined the UBC Recreation and Intramurals team as Assistant Director of Marketing, and continued to contribute to the Arc Initiative as Internal Events Coordinator and Home Team Lead. This year, she is the Director of Sponsorship for UBC Recreation and Intramurals. Taylor is currently on exchange in Bordeaux, France.
In December 2015, Taylor founded the7dayringproject. The Cavalier had the pleasure of chatting with Taylor and learning more about her social enterprise.
What is the7dayringproject?
Taylor: The7dayringproject is a social enterprise selling silver rings with 7 bands that are handcrafted in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. The aim of the project is to fuel empowerment in three different ways:
To empower the ring wearer to seize the day.
To empower the business we work with in Addis Ababa by sharing their story and providing an additional source of revenue.
To empower girls in rural Ethiopia by providing high school scholarships.
How was the7dayringproject founded?
Taylor: When I was in Ethiopia with the Arc Initiative, I met Salem Kassahun, an entrepreneur who makes traditional Ethiopian products and who has worked with the Arc Initiative for a long time. She embodied the strong business person that I aim to be. But, what was more striking was her incredible passion for and execution of benefiting her community, whether it was through supporting her husband’s youth mentorship program, providing fair wage, or training for her employees. When I returned to Vancouver and wore Salem’s product, the7dayring, everyday, I grew attached to the ring as a reminder that like each band on the ring, each day we have is precious, fragile and beautiful. I was also consistently getting asked where others could purchase one.
The real catalyst for the start of the program was when Salem told me of a little girl named Kiddist. Kiddist had little opportunity to attend a strong educational program in her community. Noticing her potential, Kassahun sponsored Kiddist’s schooling.
Now, at 16, Kiddist is the top student of her class, in the top four in Addis, and is set to receive a university scholarship. It was just another piece of evidence over the countless statistics available of the power of education. I knew there had to be a way to make the ring accessible while making an impact. I was lucky enough to have met a friend at Sauder, Peony Au, who shared similar ideas. After running the business plan and the initial website by her, she took initiative and came on as a full partner. We wanted to create more success stories like Kiddist’s and to foster the next generation of female leaders, like Salem by selling a special product.
What is your vision for the7dayringproject?
Taylor: We want the7dayringproject to be the present you get your sibling for their graduation, your mother for her birthday, a pact between you and your close friends, a reminder to you to seize every day we are all so privileged to have. But more importantly, our goal is that the ring becomes a symbol of the pressing need of girls’ education. Not only is education a right, but, just like the Arc Initiative emphasizes, it provides a toolbox for fueling entrepreneurship and economic growth. For both Peony and I, the7dayringproject has been an amazing way to apply what we have learned at Sauder.
How can readers find out more about the7dayringproject?
Taylor: They can head to www.the7dayringproject.com.
Thank you Taylor for being a part of The Cavalier’s January issue, and for allowing us to share your experiences and insights with the Sauder community!