Rebecca van Bergen, MSW alum, founder and executive director of Nest, is featured in ELLE magazine’s “This Woman’s Work” series. Nest partners with artisans from around the world, bringing their work to some of the world’s most luxurious brands. At the same time, Nest is helping artisans transform their own communities by focusing on poverty alleviation, empowerment of women and promotion of peace.
“How did you land your current job?
I founded Nest at just 24, right after completing my Masters in Social Work at Washington University. After graduating, I was deciding on next steps when I realized that the perfect job for me was one I would create for myself. Over a glass of wine at my favorite wine bar, I was making a list of my strengths, interests, skills, and the opportunities I could contribute them to, when the idea for Nest began to take shape. Recognizing craft as a viable form of employment for women around the world—one that allows them to care of their children while doing something they love—I conceived of the idea to leverage craft sector development as a force for positive change. At the time, I was young and single with a supportive family, so I started Nest with a shoestring budget and an ambitious vision, and never looked back.”