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Woman of Freedom - Malala Yousafzai

I am free to be Authentic and free to be Educated. I am free to be Truthful, Outspoken, Courageous and Equal. I am free to be a Discoverer of New Things and a Leader of People.

My Extraordinary Women Series began in 2016 with Women of the Goldrush. I was totally captivated by the amazing lives of the 6 women I chose to research and telling their moving life stories through the jewelry collection I designed for them was fluid and natural.

Fast forward to 2017, a year that the topic of Freedom became poignantly important with a historic American election. It was time to find the women of the next series; Women of Freedom. As I started the hunt for 6 distinguished women that embodied my idea of Freedom, I got anxious about re-creating the passion I had for the first collection.

Until I met Nobel Laureate, Malala Yousafzai, in freaking person! At the age of 11, Malala started secretly blogging about the Taliban terrorism that kept girls from attending school.

**We were scared but our fear was not as strong as our courage**

At 15, her identity was discovered and she was shot in the head while on the school bus. Instead of silencing her, the brutal attack only served to embolden the teenager, who has used her voice to promote the right of every child to safe education.

**With guns you can kill tourists, with education you can kill terrorism**

I saw her speak in downtown Minneapolis at the Target center. She was a small girl on a big stage but she was larger than life as she made demands worldwide for access to education for girls.

**Once I had asked God for one or two extra inches in height, but instead he made me as tall as the sky, so high that I could not measure myself**

I became immersed in her life story and read everything I could find about her. I felt like I was with her on her journey and she became my friend.

Her collection is built on the metaphor that books can set you free and each one of the pieces I designed for her are intended to help, in my own small way, to carry her message.

** One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the word**

A heartfelt and sincere thanks to my tolerant friends, patient family and kind-hearted customers who knew that a visit to me will come with a handful of ‘Malala-isms’ since I could not resist quoting her wisdom to everyone that would listen.

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