The New Normal

What is the new normal? This is a question most of us are asking ourselves at this time. What will life, school, travel look like in the future? It’s a question many must struggle through on the cusp of illness, transition and trauma. That we even dare to dream of a new normal is hope. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. We know life may look different, but we trust that there will be good and there will be freedom.

Each week as we visit women still in exploitation, we attempt to paint a picture of this hope. Hope that things can get better. Yet for many women, hope has been deferred for so long that she can not allow herself to even dream of it. That was the story for Mae Lee, our Starfish Project photographer. 

Mae Lee was trafficked to Greece at 15 years old with the consent of her own mother. Absolutely heartbreaking. She was alone, exploited and afraid for 6 long years before help found her and assisted in her return to Asia. Mae Lee had no idea what to expect when her life returned to “normal.” Although Mae Lee wouldn’t have dared to believe it, hope was alive. A career and restoration was waiting for her at Starfish Project. 

Since joining us at Starfish Project, Mae Lee has helped prosecute her trafficker, brought restoration to her family, developed a career in photography, gotten married and has just returned from maternity leave after having her first child. Your impact is astounding! Your jewelry purchases make this happen! You help us to create this light at the end of the tunnel for women and girls like Mae Lee. Thank you.

Globally, as we all begin to take steps toward the new normal, whatever that may look like, let’s unify our hope and believe big! Mae Lee big! 

Celebrate Mae Lee’s return from maternity leave with us by joining our #wearhopegivehope Photo Competition. Enter to win $50 in beautiful jewelry, plus have your photos featured on our new website! (Yes, that’s right, new website. More on that to come.)

Steps to enter: 

  1. Take a vertical photo of yourself, your mom, or your friend wearing Starfish Project jewelry.
  2. Tag us on social with #wearhopegivehope or send your photos to
  3. Don’t forget to tell us why you love your Starfish jewelry!

*Photos may be used on our website or in future social media posts.