The name of Anna Taylor’s company, Judith + James, says everything about her inspirations. Judith is a seamstress in Kenya who works closely with Taylor on her fashion line, and James refers to the Biblical verse that admonishes us to care for widows and orphans.

Judith + James' clothing, jewelry and bags are made by Kenyan women, mostly widows, from impoverished parts of Nairobi. Beyond its mission, the line is notable for its fresh use of African prints, its fast rise, and it founder's age: Taylor is now 26. After only a few years in business, Taylor's designs are in an expanding number of boutiques and retailers. And she's found time to appear in a new, award-winning documentary, Little Stones, which follows four women using the arts to improve the lives of women and girls.

The seed for the company Taylor launched in 2013 was planted years before when she moved with her parents, who are missionaries, to live and work in an orphanage in Kenya. The challenges the children faced deeply moved her. "They even had to grow their own food," she says. "It was so unfair."

Taylor headed to the University of Arkansas, and during her freshman year returned to Kenya during winter break. A pastor her family had known for years suggested she manage a sewing program at the church to help widows earn validation and certification in the African sovereign state. Taylor agreed, and it was through that program she met Judith.

While in Kenya, Taylor had internships with two fashion companies. One was a high-end, London based company whose business model Taylor saw wasn’t scalable. The other was a non-profit whose products she felt weren't high-quality enough to compete with commercial brands. “I wanted to start a business in the middle, one that was sustainable and would make beautiful, quality designs,” she says.

Taylor returned to school to finish her degree, and made her first forays into designing products to sell. The start was a bit rocky. Taylor asked Judith to sew laptop cases, but the ones she made were the size of pillowcases. “I had just assumed she knew the right size," says Taylor. “I realized how much about their lives I still didn’t know.” Then the pastor who'd brought her into the training program stole its funding. Taylor says the incident opened her eyes to the realities of corruption in the country.Read more at:evening gowns | bridesmaid dresses online