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How do you go from wanting something warm to wear on an airplane flight to starting a business that makes well-priced, pure cashmere wraps which don’t pill AND helps support girls in China who want an education?

Meet Amy Cooper and her fabulous Red Twist wraps. I haven’t taken mine off since she sent me this gorgeous charcoal sweater wrap I’m wearing in these photographs!

When Amy Cooper’s husband took a job with Microsoft in China, Amy quit her job—Program Director for the Conferences for Women, the largest conference network for women, with over 35,000 attendees at conferences in Texas, California, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts—and they moved to Beijing. While in China, Amy gave birth to a daughter. When she decided to reenter the workforce, Amy helped a school in Beijing that was partnering with an organization that helped girls have access to school.

Like many other countries, girls in China, especially those living in rural areas, have a hard time getting an education. In many Chinese families the sons are considered more valuable–because they’ll support their aging parents–so they get an education while girls stay home, work the land and help care for their siblings.

As the mother of three girls, Amy is passionate about education. She decided to start a company that helped support girl’s access to learning. At the same time she wanted something lightweight and warm to wear on long flights back to the U.S., so she designed a cashmere sweater wrap and had one made. After the flight attendant asked about it, Amy made 30 more and sold them in a week. That was seven years ago.

Amy’s company, Red Twist, now supports Room to Read, an organization based in San Fransisco that supports gender equity in education.

Finding the right fabric for her sweater wraps was the hard part. Cashmere is the fur from the underbelly of a goat, however, not all cashmere is created equal. Ninety percent of the world’s cashmere comes from Nepal, Tibet and Mongolia, dry climates where cashmere goats thrive. Amy searched until she found the right one: a fabric that was two ply so it doesn’t pill, is lightweight but keeps you warm, and something you can easily throw in your bag and carry on an airplane.

Amy needs seven goats to make one of her Red Twist cashmere wraps. There are lots of cashmeres that are blended with something else, but Amy loved the yummy feel of pure cashmere and the durability of two ply. Amy still wears the first wrap she made seven years ago.“It just gets softer,” Amy said.

While buyers would like to carry Amy’s wraps in their stores, because cashmere is so expensive, it would have to retail for $390-$425 as opposed to $195 on Amy’s Red Twist website.

“I want it to be accessible to more women,” Amy said. “As a woman entrepreneur, it makes sense to sell it direct.”

Please visit Amy’s website and take a look at her wraps and all the beautiful colors. Yes, she gifted me the gorgeous one I’m wearing, but it’s the best cashmere I’ve ever owned. Hands down! It’s affordable and will last me for years.

It’s Christmas time!! Think about buying one of Amy’s luxurious wraps for yourself and/or your daughter, daughter-in-law and sister! You’ll also be helping to educate a girl. Now that’s something that’s beyond chic!

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  1. Beautiful wrap on you. Enjoy the blog and your writing. I was wondering about an update ( pup-date ) on your 2 new dogs. As we have 3 ( 2 are littermates we took from our daughter who could not care for them). That was 5 Year’s ago and we had a very rocky first year now life with 3 has settled . We love these 2 so very much. Happy holidays!

    • Thank you C. Your question about Annie and Lulu prompted me to write tomorrow’s BRENDA’S BLOG about the girls. I’m happy your pups have settled down! Three dogs… 2 littermates… Woah! Brave lady! Mine have settled down as well although they still move at the speed of blur. For a while, people told me I’d have to separate them because they’d always be little wild women. I’m overjoyed I didn’t do that because they wouldn’t be the same without one another, and I would have missed out on these joyous little girls. Sending them to boarding school in September was the smartest thing I’ve done. They learned skills and how to behave that have made all the difference. Tomorrow’s blog… Just for you! Happy Holidays to you as well. Brenda

  2. Thank you for sharing Amy’s story, it sounds like she has a big heart and is brilliant too. I have been in Heaven since ponchos, capes and wraps have come back in style. This one is beautiful on you and it sounds like it would be a favorite for many years. I’ve put it on my Christmas list:)

    • This wrap will never go out of style. I’m thrilled to have it. Yes, tell Santa what you want for Christmas. By the way, it comes in two different lengths… I should have mentioned that. I have the longer one. Thanks, Doreen! xoxox, Brenda

    • Hi Betsy, I forgot to mention they come in two different lengths. I have the longer one. Although the other one is still asymmetrical, I don’t think it’s as long in the front. Actually the length in the front is one of the things I love most about it. It’s dramatic. I wore it to the doctor’s office this morning. A woman in the elevator and the doctor’s nurse told me how beautiful it was. xoxox, Brenda

    • Betsy… In my first comment I should have told you the reason you want it longer in the front is so you can wrap it around your other shoulder.. or wraps both ends around both shoulders. Gorgeous and warm. xoxo, B

    • Hi Betsy, In my blog I forgot to mention they come in two different lengths. I have the longer one. Although the other one is still asymmetrical. The length in the front is one of the things I love most about it. It’s dramatic, plus you want it longer in the front so you can wrap it around your shoulder or wrap both ends around both shoulders to keep you warmer. I wore it to the doctor’s office this morning. A woman in the elevator and the doctor’s nurse told me how beautiful it was. xoxo, Brenda

  3. Brenda, I always give myself a gift at Christmas and this may just be the one this year! I love Amy’s story and the fact that her product supports Girls and their education makes it doubly special. Thanks for always highlighting such great resources. M

    • I always wind up giving myself a Christmas gift as well. Think it’s because I give gifts I’d like to receive, so I sometimes have to buy one for myself. Amy’s amazing! How many of us would have thought to start a company to benefit girls and their education in the way she’s done. So smart. I’m so happy you like the stories and women I write about. Thank you, Michaele! Brenda

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