Not long after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Abby Clevenger and her husband Lane began talking about how they could help the Haitian people recover. The couple had a longstanding relationship with the Caribbean nation and cared deeply about the people there.

Abby, who earned a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer science in 2004, had an idea. She would use her FACS background to design jewelry that would be produced in Haiti. These job opportunities would allow the people of Haiti to provide for their families and create security.

In 2015 she launched Béljoy, a distinct line of handcrafted jewelry designed by U.S. artisans and produced in Haiti. The company focuses on local sourcing of jewelry components like clay, paper beads, and horn. The use of locally sourced elements also enables Béljoy to support other Haitian artisans.

“My experience as a fashion merchandising student at PSU was critical to my role today,” Clevenger said. “My professor, Angie Dowell, was always very encouraging and gave me a strong educational foundation which fueled my love for fashion. The program gave me the tools and experience in the field that I needed to succeed.”