Her Haven grew from Carey Dougherty’s vision to combine her interior design skills, and business experience with her desire to help women in need. With the driving passion that a “home can enhance one’s well-being and bring families together, and the recognition that women are often selflessly serving their families and their communities with little time for themselves, she wanted to give these women the gift of a ‘haven’.
Her Haven is a nonprofit organization that performs volunteer design services for deserving and inspiring women in the community.
Carey then brought her organizational and networking skills to coordinate the efforts of various people and organizations. The first two Her Haven projects were a partnership with Fairfield University's Interior Design Program and Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County. 11 design students from the program worked to redesign and furnish the living and dining rooms of two new Habitat homeowners, Nordia Black and Elizabeth Bosques, both of Bridgeport, CT.
The projects have elicited strong community support, from local businesses, supplying materials, trades, design skills and volunteers who have all helped see the projects to completion.
Another outcome of Her Haven's beginnings was a course at Fairfield University , developed by Dr. Catherine Giapponi, associate professor of management at the Dolan School of Business (DSB).“Managing Nonprofits Organizations". The course introduced students to careers in nonprofits, while helping to develop a business plan for Dougherty. “There are many connections between entrepreneurship and starting your own nonprofit,” Dr. Giapponi explained, “And with entrepreneurship gaining interest around the world, this class gives students the skills to put together a complete plan that could be applied to nonprofits and for profit ventures.”
Her Haven has plans to expand its partner programs with additional design schools to provide both hands-on practical experience for it’s students with meaningful community work.
I was moved when Carey described a response to both projects. The women, who's home was renovated and furnished, separately said, the best part of their new spaces was having, for the first time, “a dining table, a place to sit with their family”.
Her Haven is realizing Carey Dougherty's mission, helping women to create homes for their families that they would not otherwise have. Carey has in the process been bringing together diverse groups, from other non-profits, to businesses, designers and educators.
Table d'Hote , table top and home accessories store, and Romanoff Elements are hosting an event Dec. 5th, with the artwork of Andrea Bonfils and Tulah Jems jewelry. A portion of the evening's sales will help support the mission of Her Haven, Designing a Difference!
Its been wonderful to learn more about Carey's vision and organization that is effectively reaching out and bringing together resources and people who understand the value of a well-designed and comfortable space for all women and families.