How do you go from wanting something warm to wear on an airplane flight to starting a business that makes well-priced, pure cashmere wraps which don’t pill AND helps support girls in China who want an education?
Meet Amy Cooper and her fabulous Red Twist wraps. I haven’t taken mine off since she sent me this gorgeous charcoal sweater wrap I’m wearing in these photographs!
When Amy Cooper’s husband took a job with Microsoft in China, Amy quit her job—Program Director for the Conferences for Women, the largest conference network for women, with over 35,000 attendees at conferences in Texas, California, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts—and they moved to Beijing. While in China, Amy gave birth to a daughter. When she decided to reenter the workforce, Amy helped a school in Beijing that was partnering with an organization that helped girls have access to school.
Like many other countries, girls in China, especially those living in rural areas, have a hard time getting an education. In many Chinese families the sons are considered more valuable–because they’ll support their aging parents–so they get an education while girls stay home, work the land and help care for their siblings.
As the mother of three girls, Amy is passionate about education. She decided to start a company that helped support girl’s access to learning. At the same time she wanted something lightweight and warm to wear on long flights back to the U.S., so she designed a cashmere sweater wrap and had one made. After the flight attendant asked about it, Amy made 30 more and sold them in a week. That was seven years ago.
Finding the right fabric for her sweater wraps was the hard part. Cashmere is the fur from the underbelly of a goat, however, not all cashmere is created equal. Ninety percent of the world’s cashmere comes from Nepal, Tibet and Mongolia, dry climates where cashmere goats thrive. Amy searched until she found the right one: a fabric that was two ply so it doesn’t pill, is lightweight but keeps you warm, and something you can easily throw in your bag and carry on an airplane.
Amy needs seven goats to make one of her Red Twist cashmere wraps. There are lots of cashmeres that are blended with something else, but Amy loved the yummy feel of pure cashmere and the durability of two ply. Amy still wears the first wrap she made seven years ago.“It just gets softer,” Amy said.
While buyers would like to carry Amy’s wraps in their stores, because cashmere is so expensive, it would have to retail for $390-$425 as opposed to $195 on Amy’s Red Twist website.
“I want it to be accessible to more women,” Amy said. “As a woman entrepreneur, it makes sense to sell it direct.”
Please visit Amy’s website and take a look at her wraps and all the beautiful colors. Yes, she gifted me the gorgeous one I’m wearing, but it’s the best cashmere I’ve ever owned. Hands down! It’s affordable and will last me for years.
It’s Christmas time!! Think about buying one of Amy’s luxurious wraps for yourself and/or your daughter, daughter-in-law and sister! You’ll also be helping to educate a girl. Now that’s something that’s beyond chic!