Feb 10, 2017 US United States
By Jessica Hansen
Borrower with a heart of gold spreads love with her San Francisco flower shop


As we approach Valentine’s Day, it’s important to take a moment to think about all the industrious small business owners who make these love-filled holidays happen for everyone. Everything from a box of chocolates to a bottle of wine to candles softly lit on the table may have come from a small local business owner, working hard to get you all you need to show the love this February.

Vanessa of San Francisco’s Polk Street Florist is a shining example of this. A beloved staple of her community, she takes incredible joy in sharing her passion for flowers with her customers and helping them find just the right way arrangements to communicate their feelings.

Check out her beautiful story on Medium, and this Valentine’s Day, be reminded that behind every beautiful bouquet there’s someone like Vanessa with an equally beautiful story to share.

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Jessica comes to Kiva with a background in international education, local capacity building, and global engagement in sustainable poverty alleviation. She heads up Kiva’s education initiative to enhance understanding, involvement, and the mobilization of students and teachers around micro-finance. Prior to this, she worked in remote rural Kenya with Nuru International and has also worked with the U.S. Committee for Refugees & Immigrants, Mercy Corps, the IRC/Women’s Refugee Commission, UNHCR, the Centre for Refugee Research, and MSF (Doctors Without Borders). She holds a BA of International Politics from the University of Central Oklahoma/University of Leicester and an MSW in International Social Development from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Her overseas work has been mainly in East Africa and Southeast Asia, and she is conversational in French, Thai, and Kiswahili. She loves people and travel, bouncing between the wilderness and big cities, savoring amazing food, and regularly fawning over children and animals.

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