Nozomi Project's founder and director, Sue Takamoto, was invited to speak at the TedX Waseda event on July 2. The event's theme was "Ripples to Waves" and Sue's task was to share how the idea of creating something beautiful out of broken pottery has turned into a five-year-running social enterprise employing 13 women, training them to craft beautiful jewelry. She also called listeners to choose together to see beauty in their own brokenness.
At Nozomi, each team member names a line of jewelry after someone who is important to her. Many of the ladies have named lines after their daughters or mothers; one named a line after her sister-in-law (Rumi) who was lost in the tsunami of 2011. In her talk, Sue weaved together the stories of three women who are either currently working at Nozomi, or have worked with us and moved on to fulfill different dreams. She gave a glimpse into how each woman found beauty in her own brokenness.
Sara's grandfather is an unsung hero from 3/11 - when the waters were rushing in, he threw his wife and his grandson, Sara’s brother, onto the safety of a passing firetruck. He did not survive the 30 feet wall of sea. Sara’s mom finds healing by working every day with broken pottery that she makes beautiful.
You can view the Sara collection here.
Mika couldn’t leave her home for about a year because of severe PTSD and depression. She was able to slowly come to Nozomi as she was able, finding through that process a place of healing and wholeness.
You can view our Mika collection here.
Misa's mom was Sue's shyest mom friend on the school yard, struggling with the challenges of a son with autism. Over these 4 years of working at Nozomi, she has gained so much dignity and confidence. She says her worldview has been changed - she recently shared at our staff meeting how she used to view autism as a curse; now she sees what a blessing her son is to her and her family.
You can view our Misa collection here.
You can hear what some of the attendees had to say about Sue's talk here.
And in Japanese here.
We will let you know next month when the talk comes out on YouTube!
Great job, Sue!