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Shannon Keith Is Preventing Intercourse Trafficking in India, One Lovely Pajama Set at a Time

Keith’s clothes line, Sudara, is placing ladies to work, serving to them escape the brothels that so typically thrive on poverty.

7, 2018

6 min learn

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their very own.

Editor’s notice: Entrepreneur’s Builders sequence interviews feminine leaders in numerous industries, providing perception into what profitable ladies do to push by feeling caught, annoyed and noncreative as they construct unbelievable manufacturers and companies.

I’ve at all times admired corporations with a “giving-back” part, so after I began Entrepreneur’s Builders Sequence, I knew I needed to interview Shannon Keith, founding father of Sudara. Sudara is a thriving profit company that creates coaching and jobs for ladies who’re on the highest danger of intercourse trafficking.

On Keith’s second journey to India, in 2005, she heard story after story of girls there being bought into the hopeless, horrible world of trafficking. These are ladies and ladies at excessive danger of struggling that destiny as a result of some are orphans picked up off the streets by native pimps. Others are daughters turned over to traffickers by their households — as a result of they lack the training or assets or expertise to have a selection.

Shannon Keith

Picture credit score: Paula Watts Pictures

Again in the US, Keith fashioned a crew of household and mates to search for on-the-ground teams in India that would assist ladies looking for a means out of the crimson gentle districts. Partnerships have been arrange with stitching and expertise facilities in Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. Keith’s vogue line, Sudara, was subsequently based to supply living-wage jobs to ladies in these cities who right this moment create the road’s stunning Punjabi-style loungewar and robes. 

Sudara strikes past “merely giving again,” giving these ladies freedom-filled selections and recent begins. I do know you’ll study simply as a lot about making a mission-backed enterprise and derive as a lot inspiration from Shannon as I did.

What have you ever constructed? What impressed you to construct it?

Sudara Inc. is an authorized profit company [B-corp] and ecommerce-based life-style model of pajamas and loungewear which have an authentically relaxed and exquisite Indian flare.  Sudara’s merchandise and mission assist ladies and kids stay free from the brothels by dignified job coaching, placement, and creation in India. I used to be impressed out of a visit that I took to India with my husband.

Had been you born a builder or did you must study to be one?  

My mom says I used to be a born chief, however I need to admit that constructing has been a realized course of and continues to be a strategy of iteration: testing, failing, studying and making an attempt once more.

Who was the primary lady you regarded as much as? Why did you need to be like her?   

My grandma June.  She was so sturdy, loving, type and opinionated … and knew methods to get shit finished! … With seven kids and twenty-plus grandchildren that was not at all times a straightforward activity! She taught me that life throws many curve balls, however the journey and household are well worth the exhausting work it takes to make one thing nice.

What’s the best danger you’ve taken?   

Quitting my company job and turning into an entrepreneur. It’s an thrilling a wild trip as a result of there are not any security nets to catch you while you take the leap.

When have you ever damaged down, personally or professionally? How did you break by?    

I’ve damaged down and felt wrecked by individuals who stated they have been loyal to me personally and the mission of Sudara, so I put my belief in them as teammates and mates; however they have been actually out to make a reputation for themselves on the expense of the mission and private relationships. Pulling these knives out of my again and therapeutic has been painful, however attainable with a number of trusted teammates and mates.

Associated: Craiglist Blocks Private Adverts to Protest Anti Intercourse-Trafficking Regulation

What makes you doubt your self? How do you handle it?   

I doubt myself after I take my focus off of my God-given mission and objective and begin listening to the distracting — and infrequently untruthful — voices and “noise” in our overstimulated world.

How are you aware when to depart somebody or one thing?  

[I know to do that] when the idea of belief, if it is an individual, or a price if it is a factor, has gone past rebuilding or restore. Poisonous folks and conditions will unfold like most cancers if not handled truthfully and swiftly.

When was your bravest second? How do you follow being courageous?  

I feel my bravest second was taking step one in beginning Sudara. So many instances now we have good concepts, passions and imaginative and prescient that die with none motion being taken to get them off the bottom.  I follow being courageous by saying sure and taking motion round issues I consider in, particularly after I don’t really feel enough or up for the duty.

Understanding what you already know now, was it value it?

Sure! Completely!  I consider every part occurs for a purpose, and God makes use of all of it [to advance] lifelong studying and to refine [our] characters to turn into extra sensible, type and loving human beings. Life will assist us mature our souls if we’re keen and intentional contributors within the course of.

What are you able to see your self constructing subsequent?  

A lifetime of intentional journey with my husband for our household. I need my kids to see the world and domesticate hearts of empathy, compassion and motion round an important problems with our time … and likewise expertise the marvel and majesty of our unbelievable planet and all of it’s numerous landscapes and cultures.


A visit to India in 2005 impressed Shannon Keith to discovered her nonprofit to fight intercourse trafficking in India. Her drive to disrupt the social enterprise area and create an enduring influence for feminine survivors of, and people in danger for, intercourse trafficking, led her to discovered Sudara, a thriving profit company. Sudara merchandise assist coaching and jobs in 4 Indian cities. Greater than a give-back mannequin, Keith’s group permits ladies to make freedom-filled selections for themselves and their households.

Associated: 5 Causes to Turn out to be a Profit Company

Keith has been acknowledged for her work a number of instances: She is a 2016 Bend Enterprise Convention (BVC) Social Influence winner, an Financial Growth for Central Oregon (EDCO) member and TedX speaker. She was chosen as a High 25 SheEO World Enterprise finalist. She was the recipient of the 2017 Bend Chamber of Commerce Feminine Entrepreneur of the Yr award and has been featured within the publications The Good Commerce,Acutely aware journal, Actual Easy and Forbes.

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