What if we could give back with every purchase we made? At Rays Together we make that possible.
Hi my name is Rayna, Welcome to Rays Together! We are a marketplace, brand, and community created for humans that want to make this world a better place. At Rays Together we work with social enterprises to curate and design sustainable and ethical lifestyle and home goods products made by rural artisans in South Asia to showcase on our marketplace. Each purchase you make allows you to give back to one of our partnered nonprofits that are solving pressing social issues in rural communities. Our mission is to empower our rural communities through giving work, preserving and respecting human capital, supporting social enterprises, minimizing waste, and facilitating economic recovery by working together. More than ever, it is critically important to focus on making conscious purchasing decisions and that’s what we stand for.
My journey in the social sector started in 2016 when I knew I wanted to do more than just having a standard 9-5 corporate job. Spending half my life in India I first hand saw the economic differences and struggles of rural communities in India. I kept thinking about how I could give back to the underprivileged mothers and daughters, like the ones that used to work at my grandparents home in India cleaning and cooking. I remember the mothers and girls would tell me stories about their life, childhood and plans to get married by the age of 16. It was shocking and made me realize how starkly different our lives were. I started to feel like, maybe I’m the outlier or the lucky one? How can I change this? Why is this ok? I questioned everything. How was it that I was the same age, making plans to go to high school, college, get a job and the girl working in our house didn’t finish school and was getting ready for marriage? I didn’t like it, not one bit.
Post college after starting my corporate job, I followed my ambition and purpose, which got me 4 years in a non profit role developing a health and wellness program for underprivileged youth. However, I felt like I still needed to do more and maybe something different. In 2019 after reading Give Work by the late Leila Janah, I decided to take a step down from the program development side and explore ways to focus more on sustainability and economic development. I was inspired by so many brand founders that I now work with and felt a need for a marketplace and community for us to jointly share our missions and stories. This gave birth to Rays Together and our mission.
Fast forward in 2021, through the pandemic we worked as hard as we could to keep our artisan communities employed. In August we quickly got our inventory and decided to go live with whatever we had. Today we are still nowhere near perfect, but we are here. We are here to make a difference in our communities by sharing their stories, skills, handmade products and much more. I encourage you to check out our website, shop, and start making your impact at www.raystogether.com.
Thank you for listening to my story!
Founder & CEO of Rays Together