New jewelry shop in downtown Louisville aims to empower local immigrant women

By Kristopher White

Volunteers of America has added the Beaded Treasures shop to its list of programs and services.

Mayor Greg Fischer and Barbara Sexton-Smith were present during the grand opening of the storefront Thursday morning.

The main goal of Beaded Treasures is to provide women with the tools and resources to overcome economic, social and language barriers to become successful entrepreneurs. Surekha Kulkarni founded the program and has trained hundreds of refugee and immigrant women in Louisville to make and sell handcrafted jewelry and accessories.

Women enrolled in the program purchase supplies from the organization and the money must only be paid back only when a piece of jewelry is sold.

"I knew Volunteers of America was the perfect home for her amazing program. The women we serve in our VOA Recovery Freedom House program are the perfect fit for our joint vision of empowering women," said Jennifer Hancock, President and CEO of Volunteers of America Mid-States.

The shop is at 564 South 4th St. near the Kentucky Convention Center. Shop hours are 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

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