Kara Ross is a world renowned and award winning jewelry designer whose creations have been featured in museums around the country and worn by celebrities and influencers like Kate Hudson, Oprah Winfrey, Anne Hathaway and Michelle Obama.
In 2015, Kara launched DIAMONDS UNLEASHED, a purpose-driven brand whose mission is to inspire women’s self-worth and create educational opportunities for girls. The brand donates 100% of its net profits from the sale of products and sponsorships to organizations that provide educational scholarships for girls.
“I think service comes in lots of different ways. I mean, to me, whether it's giving of your time, your creative spirit, your energy, your money. I mean, all of those are different efforts that can go towards service. I mean, I myself love education. I think education can make or break an individual and give opportunities that perhaps couldn't have been there.
And actually, when I wound down my jewelry business, I started a nonprofit myself, and it was it's called Unleashed. And it's to support female artisans and entrepreneurs through the lens of storytelling. As soon as you tell individual stories, people seem real and they're able to communicate. And then all of a sudden there's a special connection and it makes people relatable. And you want to help more because you're hearing their individual story.”
Kara shares her illustrious career as a gemologist of over 25 years and how her journey brought various opportunities to give back and make a tangible difference in people's lives. Kara talks to me about the importance of identifying the needs of your own community, starting your journey of service at the grassroots level, and why hope is essential during this period of political divisiveness and civil and racial unrest. In our conversation, Kara and I also talk about how our paths crossed and why we're honored to have Kara as Head of Creative Design at Service First Inc., the company behind this podcast.