Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Two Heartisans with a Unique Idea and Tons of Heart!

We met Melissa Van Leeuwen and Melanie Larsen at The Backyard Boutique last weekend and were so impressed by what these two ladies are accomplishing! They have started a business called kharisma, an online import store that will be filled with unique, handmade items from the people of Bali. Melissa and Melanie have recently visited Bali Indonesia where they searched for the most unique items they could find to bring back to the US and sell on their website and at boutiques. Their first shipment will be arriving this summer, so if you'd like to join their mailing list for the big event, email! We love what kharisma is doing! Such a unique and fun way to share the Bali culture with us! Not only do they buy these amazing handmade items from the people of Bali, they also give a portion of the money they make back to the Balinese Orphanage. Read this awesome bio written by Melissa and Melanie:


Balinese Orphanage

This beautiful orphanage in Denpasar, Bali-Indonesia, sits on a slope of a mountain side overlooking vast rice patties. At any given time there are roughly 95 children who live in this home, ranging from ages 2-24. Each has an individual set of circumstances, some motherless or fatherless & some have no parents at all. By living at an orphanage, these young children are offered the chance at a better life through education and religion. The home is run by Sister Esther, a “seasoned nun” in her late 60’s. She keeps them on a tight schedule: up at 400am, chores, scripture study, school, more chores, playtime, and before you know it bed time again. The children raise frogs to sell for extra money (as this is a delicacy there).

Upon our arrival, we were greeted with warm smiles and hugs. The children had a special program prepared with songs in both English and their native tongue. It brought tears to our eyes to hear their sweet angelic voices sing praises to God and thanks for all they had. After sharing our gifts with them, (which were donated by our generous clientele), we were given a tour of their home and watched them play with their new toys. It was a sad departure, BUT we know it will forever be a top priority to visit them each time we return to Bali.

We have been given a deep sense of appreciation for our luxuries here in the United States. And as we continue to know the people in Bali, we feel this is a small way to give back to their community.

Thank you for your interest in our plight and for any way you are able to help contribute.

Our website is set to launch this summer, and we will always have a section to update you on these children and the efforts being made.

Terima Kasih

(thank you)

Melanie & Melissa


We are honored to present the Boutique Frenzy Heartisan Award to Melanie and Melissa of kharisma. We are excited for their upcoming launch and can't wait to be involved in this humanitarian effort!

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