My Favorite Things: Fancy Freedom Designs
Have you ever met someone and almost immediately knew they were a kindred spirit? That’s how it was when I met Krysten. Before working together in the same building, we had met each other through not one, but two “chance” encounters. The first, of all things, was in response to a post on Craigslist.
Several years after that first meeting, I was transferred to her building and back to my beloved third grade. As a second grade teacher, we didn’t have much opportunity to interact, but I was always impressed by her. She was the kind of teacher who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and did whatever was needed to provide her students with the very best education possible. The kind you'd want teaching your own kids. Eventually we began working on the same committees - both passionate about literacy, remediating student deficits, and improving instructional practices in our building. I found myself nodding in agreement whenever she spoke in meetings and continuing conversations on our own long after others had left.
As she likes to say, she was "my kind of people.”
I can’t even tell you specifically what made us “click.” As I admitted yesterday, I'm not one to open up to new people, yet I found myself sharing details about my life that I wouldn't trust with anyone else. She quickly became my sounding board for new ideas, a listening ear for my occasional rants, and source of support in all occasions.
My admiration for her doesn't begin and end in the walls of a school building. It's in knowing that her character is consistent regardless of who's watching and in sharing her passion for making a difference in the world. She’s one of those kinds of women who challenges you to be better. Not just for your students or your spouse, but for yourself.
Outside of the classroom, she spends her time as a modern day abolitionist. Moved by the stories of those enslaved by human trafficking, she creates jewelry and donates a portion of her profit to Freedom ala Cart, an Ohio organization that works diligently to end modern day slavery. As we all know, teaching is more than a full time job. Yet, Krysten always finds time to devote to her true passion. On weekends, and during the summer when others are relaxing by the pool, you will find her at local markets, craft shows, and awareness events speaking about human trafficking and selling her designs.
Self described as "funky," her designs don't resemble those you would typically find at your local jewelry store. Instead, they were designed with the purpose of starting conversations. Her Etsy store is relatively new and lists those pieces that are constantly stocked in her workroom. You can find more pieces and images of past work on Facebook and Instagram. She also creates custom work. See something you like, but want a different quote or charm? Or have an idea for a one of a kind gift? No problem! Simply message her and she'll work out the details.
For our giveaway, Krysten is offering one of her Kae cuffs: