Recently, I had the honor of visiting a school in Cambodia supported by Room to Read. It was a humbling and eye-opening journey, and I returned a changed person. The most striking part of my trip was meeting the incredible girls enrolled in the school and their remarkable families.
These young women live in one-room homes, most with roofs made of coconut leaves. Yet each girl had an irrepressible smile and a sparkle of optimism in her eyes. They spoke of wanting to become doctors, teachers, scholars — one even confided that she is determined to become an actress. I was inspired by each one of them, how they rose above their adverse circumstances and reached for a new life.
This inspiration also guided my decision to use a lotus blossom to represent our partnership with Room to Read, a design incorporated into the new trustmark included on the TATCHA packaging. It seemed like the perfect choice, not only because of the lotus’ pure beauty but also due to its deep symbolic meaning. I saw countless lotuses in Cambodia, blooming in ponds or inside forgotten temples. My guide explained that the lotus bud is submerged beneath murky, still water, surrounded by mud and insects. As it grows, it rises above its humble beginnings, emerging from the water and opening its petals to the light.
The guide told me that the lotus represents vitality and awakening, and is revered both in Hinduism and Buddhism. An 11th century Confucian scholar once wrote, “I love the lotus because while growing from mud, it is unstained.” It seemed the perfect representation of these joyous girls, blossoming in a difficult environment.
The trustmark represents our commitment to provide a day of school for an incredible girl for each full-sized purchase on our web site or through any of our partner retailers. The lotus blossom represents hope springing from even the most unlikely places; the open book reflects the incredible heights that can be reached with an education and the dots represent the girls themselves. I am honored to include this mark on our packaging as a part of our partnership with Room to Read — and you — in this journey towards a better world.