Anna Taylor

CEO/Executive Director

Judith & James/James 127 Foundation

Little Rock and Kenya

Age: 27

Anna Taylor

Seeing a child-run orphanage in Rwanda inspired Anna Taylor to start Judith & James, a for-profit company that sells clothing made in Kenya to the U.S., and the James 127 Foundation, a nonprofit that provides vocational training to Kenyan widows and orphans.

“The feeling that these women have every day of not being able to provide for their children is unacceptable,” Taylor said. “It shocks and disturbs me to see the daily struggle. It enthralls me to see them come through to the other side, to employment and success.”

The for-profit is named for the first Kenyan woman employed by then 19-year-old Taylor. “She helped found the company with me,” Taylor said. The foundation is named for a Bible verse that instructs Christians to care for widows and orphans.

Taylor, who is from Little Rock and has a bachelor’s degree in apparel studies from the University of Arkansas, is following in the footsteps of her parents. They founded Go Near Ministry to lead mission trips to Kenya, she said.

Taylor also has great ambitions for both of her endeavors. She aims to have Judith & James represent brands from all over Africa and sell them in the U.S., to expand the foundation’s work in Kenya and to duplicate the nonprofit’s model elsewhere.