Menomonie clothing business supports education opportunities for children overseas
A local woman and her team of three UW-Stout graduates and students are hoping to make an impact across borders and into Vietnam. The Cross Border Wear collection is all about kids helping kids and for every piece of children's clothing that is sold, half of it goes to help fund education for kids in Vietnam.
For now Vivian Ngo is working hard at her home in Menomonie, after a trip back to her home country of Vietnam, where she saw some kids without dresses to celebrate the New Year. "On the new year I remember even though we weren't very fortunate but I always had a dress to wear for the New Year, it's a big event in Vietnam but then they never have anything,” said Vivian Ngo, the founder of Cross Border Wear.
So she started sewing dresses for the girls, but quickly realized she wanted to do more and not only give them dresses but an education. "I see that women were struggling to find a job because most of them don't have high school degree and all of the manufacturing in Vietnam now requires high school degree to actually just work in the factory but education is not free in my country,” Ngo said.
Now, Vivian is making sure students with disabilities or those less fortunate have the tools and education they need to succeed. "Most of the kids are orphans or their families cannot afford to help them in school and they are deaf, so I think that I focus on deaf first because those little kids need help the most,” Ngo said.
Currently they support 5 kids in Vietnam by paying for them to attend school. "We want to give kids a tool to grow up and support them,” Ngo said.
And eventually as the company grows she hopes to add a new classroom at the school that will provide children with the opportunity to learn to sew and be a part of the business. "The center told me, the school told me that most of the kids would love to do this because they know that they are deaf it would be hard for them to do any other job and this would be a good thing to learn and gain a skill to support themselves,” Ngo said.
She is spreading stitches of love from her home in Menomonie all the way to the small countryside in Vietnam. "I think that if I can reach more and more kids is my goal,” Ngo said.
Vivian is not only passionate about helping the kids in Vietnam, but she says she also hopes Cross Border Wear helps kids in America to learn about kids in other countries and know that the clothes they are wearing are making a difference.
Right now she works from home and sells clothes from the website so she is currently working with local businesses to try to sell her clothing in additional locations.