Arkansan's success at NY Fashion Week helps Kenyan widows

A Little Rock native's designs have been featured in several fashion shows in the last few weeks.Channel 7 featured Anna Taylor in our Spirit of Arkansas in Africa series back in November.After doing mission work in Kenya and seeing the devastating conditions for widows there, Taylor developed the clothing line Judith & James to provide work for the women, and a non-profit sewing school that teaches Kenyan women how to sew at no charge.{}Now, back from Africa and a string of fashion shows, she said the exposure will allow her to expand her line. and give more women in Kenya the jobs they so desperately want."The show is great and it's exciting that the clothes are on the runways, but the more exciting thing is the result of more women being employed," Taylor said.Now the subject of national media attention and documentaries like one called Creating 4 Change, Taylor and her Judith & James clothing line are taking off.{}"It's just important for exposure," Taylor said. "It's a national platform that people respect and you instantly have credibility if you've been in New York Fashion Week."Her designs are handmade with African fabric by three widows in Nairobi.With the publicity and demand increasing, Taylor will be able to provide work for more women."I'm hoping to bring on two, and then we'll have five," Taylor said. "I know it's still small but I want to be sure that quality control is tight. So I'm really slow in bringing more women to be sure that the quality stays consistent."The Judith & James designs are available in Little Rock at Beyond Cotton and Tulips boutiques.