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A Time to Help Haiti

https://www.dw.com/en/haiti-paralyzed-by-fifth-day-of-protests-against-president/a-47469709

As I try to put the complexity of this into words, I cannot help but acknowledge the beauty of an early spring that is bringing forth new life here in Texas.  As much hope as that brings, Haiti sits in dark contrast. 

Very little media coverage has documented the events of the past week.  Due to political unrest, large demonstrations have paralyzed most of the country. Roads are barricaded preventing Haitians from accessing food, water and medical care.  Gas and diesel are difficult to find, if one can even make it out of his home. Businesses and schools are closed. Gangs control many of the major roadways.  Their money has little purchasing power. 

https://www.france24.com/en/20190214-haiti-popular-unrest-turmoil-protests-stronger-death-toll-reaches-7-people-corruption

 The problems are so complex and it’s hard to begin to understand the corruption, injustice and unfairness that we will never personally know. 

However, the people of Haiti are resilient.  They are survivors.  They are beautiful.  But, they need our help.  We are asking you to stand with HUGG during this time.  Here’s how:

  1. PRAY! We will update prayer needs daily.  Only God can bring hope and peace to this beautiful country.
  2. DONATE! While we continue to operate on our founding principal of providing a hand up and not a hand out, we need to stand with our Christian brothers and sisters in Haiti to support them during this time.  Many people we know and love there are unable to purchase the necessities of life right now – water, food, medical care and fuel.  Help HUGG be the hands and feet of Jesus today.
  3. PURCHASE our products!  We have an amazing inventory here in the states of beautiful HUGG products.  Not only will your purchase encourage our artisans, it will provide the necessary funds to continue programs in Haiti.  

We are in constant communication with our Haitian staff.  All are safe and riding out this storm in their homes. In the meantime, we make sure they have access to food, water and basic living supplies. Our founder’s brother, Denim, said it best today:

“In these situations, trusting the Lord takes on a whole new meaning. Here at the HandUp house we have fuel, food and God’s favor.”

Denim Ramirez, Director of Manufactoring
Maxiben mastering macrame while the streets outside are in turmoil.
Maxiben mastering macrame while the streets are rife with turmoil.

Thank you for supporting us during this critical time.  We know that God is in control.  We pray that calm will return soon, and our artisans can work.  Our Spring collection is AMAZING and we are working hard to overcome the chaos and deliver the goods that you love.

Kandis Dennis, HUGG Founding Board Member

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world!”  John 16:33

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5 Ways to Stay Family-Focused

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
~John 13:34-35

After-School Rush

From the moment our family stepped foot in the house, the after-school bickering began. The oldest three went at it like a pack of piranhas picking at one another.  I threw in my standard “Ya’ll be nice to each other!” or “Can the two of you stop?” but soon another  conflict would ensue.

I knew Dan was getting home late that evening and I was determined to cook a decent dinner before school Open Houses, sports practices and parent meetings. But between breaking up arguing, turning off video games and putting the youngest two in time out; it was time to start heading out the door.

My head was spinning and what I wanted to do was pull out the lime and tequila and park myself by the pool for the remainder of the evening.

Eat a Meal Together

Instead, I took a deep breath and made the kids set the table and we ate dinner together. I didn’t care that we had to be at the school in 30 minutes and that my 10-year old needed to get ready for football practice. I didn’t care about the rat race—what I cared about was enjoying dinner with my family and THAT was what we were going to do!!!!

And that’s where John 13:35 comes in.

How are we supposed to be a testimony to the world if we act like flesh-eating piranhas within our families? We tend to brush these interactions off as normal and surrender to the fact that it’s just the way it is.  I know it’s normal.

Siblings are God’s way of teaching us to navigate relationships, but if how we love one another determines how others will view God then maybe its time to be a little ABNORMAL.

A few things I am not—

a planner;

a devoted homemaker;

a mommy expert.

I’ve forgotten (on multiple occasions) to take my kids to birthday parties and have shown up one week early to school events! I’ve recently said the S-word in front of my kids when one of them hit the car door on an innocent parked car—anyone else done this???

In spite of these imperfections, my husband I value family time and do our BEST to resist the rat race. We have to do things, that by the world’s standards, seem a little abnormal.  We’ve clung to these practices since the littles were homeschooled, but now that all five are in public school—we have to fight off the weekly crazies harder than ever.

Here are FIVE Family-Focused practices that work for us:

  1. Commit to a simple family devotional.

We chose a devotional that is low-maintenance, yet meaningful. Since we have been battling bickering—we chose Undivided. This devotional teaches family members how to live FOR and not just WITH one another. While we are loving public school (all two weeks of it), we realize that each grade level has its own ecosystem. It’s difficult to switch from that same-peer environment to the family environment where they have to deal with baby brothers and moody teen agers

We thought this “one another” based theme would help us navigate the dynamics of school with those of our family. The guide is split into 12-week devotions with short sections that involve short bible readings, discussion and easy-to-do activities.

When our kids were little, we did Long Story Short: Ten Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God by Marty Machowski—these short biblical stories were surprisingly insightful. What I loved most is how beautifully Machowski weaves the hope of a savior through each story. If your kids are little and you are making a mad dash to school–this is a good pick for you.

  1. Be deliberate about honoring family time.

 We looked at our schedule and saw that Monday nights were the only nights with no scheduled activities. We dubbed these nights Middlebrook Mondays. Now, if you know me, I am a notorious over-scheduler and double-booker.

For this reason, I’ve asked my family to hold me accountable to Middlebrook Mondays and to help me resist the urge to pounce on this open slice of space like I’m proned to do.

In addition to protecting Monday nights, we’ve commited to waking up together on Wednesday mornings and carving out 20 minutes of time on Sunday evenings. In total, we’ve set aside less than three hours for family time. It doesn’t take A LOT of time–just focused, quality time. For some of you, you can schedule a little less or a little more—the key is to be deliberate and treat these times like you would a work meeting.

  1. Honor Bedtime Routines.

Shhh-don’t tell anyone, but our older kids still like to be “tucked in.” It looks different for each of them, but our bedtime rituals are an important part of our day. For my 14 year old, it’s simply sitting on his bed and saying good-night. If he has anything to say, this is usually the time he will say it.

Not gonna lie—sometimes I’m exhausted and looking forward to hubby time, or my glass of red wine or maybe catching up on work.  Sometimes I even take tucking in rain checks for the olders, but I realize I’m investing in life-long relationships with these little people that live in our home.

Take the time now and reap the rewards later—you know, like when we become mother-in-laws and expect our grown sons to call us just to check in on us. I’d like to think that one day I’ll be able to trace those calls back to 5-minute bedtime routines:)

  1. Make Them Part of YOUR Daily Activities.

HandUp is an all consuming force that has required many sacrifices for my family. But instead of making it HandUp vs. my children, I have found ways to include them in this work. I admit my mistakes and give them updates on how the boys in Haiti are doing or will give them the heads up when a busy season is coming up. It isn’t perfect, but children are very understanding if you teach them to be.

Find ways to connect your children to your work and teach them the art of listening to others—even when it isn’t that interesting to them. Their future spouses will thank you for it.

  1. Take a time out.

Although these should be used sparingly, sometimes it takes a severe schedule detour to get back on track. I don’t regret having to miss part of my daughter’s Open House or driving 80 mph to make it to my son’s football practice on time—(sorry law enforcement and other innocent drivers). Those 30 minutes of dinner and discussion drove the point home to my children and they realized that they were not honoring the relationships God gave them.

Parenting is a never-ending opportunity of teachable moments.

If you want your kids to have successful families, we must be deliberate about teaching them how—both by example and through instruction.

These practices have made our family stronger but of course, they aren’t perfect. Just like anything else worth having–it takes work.  My husband and I understand that we are sewing seeds for our childrens’ future.

But in the meantime, we mustn’t forget that we have the potential to bring others to Jesus simply by how we love one another. So love well, my friends.

What do you do to keep your family centered?

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Why Abundance is Not Synonymous with Charmed

I live a life of abundance.

I reside in a great big house with a pool and have five healthy kids living inside its bedrooms.

I have an incredible husband who makes me coffee in the mornings and kindly dismisses most of what I say on my “woman-specific” days.

I have a thorough and honest housekeeper and my entire household gets to go to the dentist twice a year.

But none of these things—including the health of my children and a husband who provides well—are what make up my abundant life.

Sure—health and provision make my life exponentially better —but I don’t think these are the blessings Jesus referred to in His statement to bring us a life of abundance in John 10:10.

After all, He goes on to say how He will lay down his life for those who belong to Him. I don’t think He would have laid down his life so we could have healthy children, multiple bank accounts and live in excellent school districts.

If this is what He meant—then most of the world is royally screwed. Pardon my expression.

So what is an Abundant Life?

It’s inviting a little inconvenience and perhaps some chaos into our otherwise easy lives. It means saying “yes” to helping others when it’s not necessarily the right timing.

Inviting a life of abundance means relying a little less on your abilities and a little more on your faith. Of course, you’ll find that relying on faith cuts deep into your tight schedule, expectations, comfort zone and pocket book. It creates new headaches and new problems to solve.

I recently heard a mom complain that she couldn’t handle the stress of being a dance mom. While I want to be careful not to diminish the anxiety she was feeling, I did have to ask myself if our tolerance to difficult circumstances hasn’t gotten a little frail. That many of us have failed to flex our problem-solving muscles by focusing on trivial things that really aren’t problems at all.

Major inconveniences at best.

I admit that I wanted to grab that sweet, stressed out mama and say, “You need to come to Haiti with me and I’ll show you what real problems look like.” But I didn’t…because that would have been rude and self-righteous; but I did think it.

A life of abundance may mean looking down one day and wondering what happened to your pedicure-starved toes or realize you don’t remember the last time you had time to drive your car through the carwash.

Yet, in the midst of all the controlled chaos, there is a deep soulful satisfaction sustaining you. You begin to powerfully experience Jesus day-to-day, and there are moments where His presence is so undeniable that you vow to do whatever it takes for more of those moments.

Abundant living means fresh encounters, daunting challenges and a heart that is ALIVE.

I am a little embarrassed at the perception some people may have of our household. Just today I had someone sarcastically tell me how sorry they felt for me having to commute by foot to the HUGG office and navigate the motorized toys and grass to make it to work.

I laughed and had to resist the temptation to defend myself. I wanted to say, “Yes—it may seem like I live a charmed life but believe me—we’ve invited our share of heartache and hard work into our lives—ON PURPOSE!!! We are actually almost perfect. So there!”

But seriously—I can’t defend myself because at the end of day—

All of my good deeds are filthy rags before the Lord. At the end of the day, a charmed life leaves me lacking. (Isaiah 64:6) And that is when I realize that Abundance is Jesus. 

Your material blessings and the extra perks like health are given to you for a purpose.

Your house is given to you so you can open your doors to the broken hearted and lonely.

Your healthy children are future forerunners of faith that will carry on your legacy.

Your free time is given to you so you can sew good works in the lives of others.

I think that is why the health and wealth gospel is frowned upon by so many people. It makes us feel like our joy is measured by the things we have. And the things we have are given to us because we are “oh so deserving”.

Do some Christians get to experience health and wealth? Sure! And to God be the glory, but abundance isn’t measured by the good things we have- its measured by the good we give because of Jesus.

Jesus gave up His own life so you would have life to the fullest. Don’t glide through it simply enjoying your blessed life. This kind of life is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called “cheap grace.”  It is boring and ineffective. Did I mention boring?

And if your life isn’t easy right now, don’t get lost in the struggle and remember that we all have seasons of simply receiving. Sometimes you just have to ask for help.

We were never meant to live fairy tales here on earth. Abundance doesn’t mean ALL easy, it doesn’t mean ALL hard, it means ALL Jesus. And that, my friend, should be more charm than any one of us could ever want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Giving HUGGS is Saving Lives

Let me assure you that this is NOT a call for donations.

What I am asking is the following:

For you to consider carrying HUGG pieces in your church book stores, coffee shops, gift shops and lobbies.

For church leaders to learn more about a movement that seeks to create jobs in impoverished communities such as Haiti. We should be casting a vote to support artisans like Max by using our purchasing dollars for good. 100% of HUGG sales go back into our operations to create more jobs in Haiti. But more importantly, your purchase is saving lives. 

Let me explain HOW:

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting with the Association to Save the Children in Canaan and Onaville.

This committee was founded on the principles that all children have the right to shelter, education and access to food. Canaan is located about 10 miles outside of the capital city of Port-au-Prince. It is a post-earthquake, make-shift city settled on dry dusty hills with no plumbing nor electricity. It is a hard place for a family to carve out a living, but it is even harder for the children that drifted to this settlement without an adult to care for them.

Max, a HandUp artisan, knows just how hard it is to be an orphaned child in Haiti. He found himself a homeless teenager in Canaan. Although he loved his village, he knew that God was calling him to the city of Port-au-Prince. He didn’t know what he would find there, but he knew the answers were ahead of him.

After a few months of living on the streets of Port-au-Prince, Max was approached by a young man by the name of Patrick. Patrick had just aged out of an orphanage and was living with 6 other young men who had transitioned from the same boys’ home. Later Patrick would share with me the reason he was drawn to Max.

“I knew we needed someone like Max in the apartment. We needed someone to teach us more about the Bible and Jesus.”

After several visits with this young evangelist, Patrick invited Max into the tiny 3-room apartment he and the other young men shared. It wasn’t long before Max carved his place within this band of brothers. It would be months still before I’d show up in their apartment, asking these young men whether they wanted a job. These 8 would become the backbone of the HandUp program.

As soon as Max started receiving a steady income through HandUp, he went back to Canaan. It was simple at first. He started out by purchasing rice, beans and oil for a local lady to cook for some of the orphans there. Then it grew to him building a shanty for 16 parentless children.

Max’s shanty for 16 children.

He had very little resources and several of the other HUGG artisans started pitching in to help meet some of the children’s basic needs. Aside from taking care of the 16 most vulnerable children, he started working with other needy children in the community. Bible studies, crafts, singing and dancing all became part of a weekly program under Max’s leadership.

But it was too much for him to bear. He witnessed two little children die simply of infections that could have been prevented with antibiotics. After this incident, my Life Group in Conroe, Texas started supporting some of Max’s efforts by providing for food costs and allowing him to set aside some savings for emergencies.

These extra funds were the catalyst that Max needed to jumpstart his program. He formed a committee with HandUp artisans and local community members to bolster their efforts towards saving children from the grips of poverty.

Under Max’s leadership, the group has committed to taking care of 12 of the 16 orphans under Max’s care. The 12 boys will be living in a one-room house rented just for them. The rest of the group are girls and I will save their story for another day. We will continue to partner with the committee until we’ve placed each little girl in a loving home. But for now, this committee does the best they can to meet the needs of these children that God has entrusted in their care.

Max, Marcial and Richardson & the new home for Canaan boys.

Without HandUp Global Goods…

There would have been no job for Max and the other artisans.

Without a job, they would have been too busy surviving Haiti rather than helping Haiti survive and THRIVE.

Tools for Ministry

Max’s efforts to build a program in Canaan is a result of what he has learned under the leadership of HandUp staff. Education, spiritual discipleship, and mentoring are all things that have been poured into Max over the last three years. Without this holistic approach, Max would not have had the necessary skills to lead this ministry in Canaan.

A HandUp, Not a Handout

Because of one job, 16 orphans have their basic needs being met.

Because we give a handUp and not a handout, young men are experiencing a dignity attainable only through the work of their own hands.

Young Haitian men like Max must be employed, mentored, and trained so that they can be the ones to help their communities.

Once, these young men were destined towards the path of becoming orphan makers. Because of their jobs with HandUp, they’ve broken through systemic poverty and are being transformed into Opportunity Makers.

The Struggle is Real

Although our retail and wholesale orders are slowly gaining momentum; our donations are at an all-time low. Without these funds, we are unable to meet our operational expenses on the ground.

But I’ll be honest–it’s the sales that we need. We have beautiful pieces that tell an equally beautiful story. If we tell it right, God’s church WILL RISE to the occasion. I know God cares about the makers that make the things we wear and He desires to use the church to bless them, not to exploit them.

There are 23 young men in our program. Many who are also making an impact in the communities in which they live.  Would you allow us an opportunity to share their stories in your church?

THREE VITAL Ways to help:

  1. Host a Sunday Pop Up this Spring/Summer in your church.
  2. Invite us to come share the HUGG story at your next Event.
  3. Carry HUGG products in your church.
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Have you Met Max?

A long time ago Max had a vision that one day he would be a leader in a village called Canaan in Haiti. His heart hurts for the people there, because of his role with HandUp Global Goods—he gets to do his part to bring relief to the fatherless children there.

He and two others (pictured below) from our program, are providing shelter, nannies and discipleship to 16 children. Max is in the center.

THIS is what happens when you think BIG about tackling problems like extreme poverty and orphan care.

Our formula, Job Creation + Spiritual Discipleship = Orphan Prevention comes ALIVE through the hands of young men like Max. He believes in the power of our formula and he invites you to become part of this story of redemption.

He wants you to know he believes in this revolutionary way of thinking—your investment in HandUp provides Max with essential training and tools to be able to guide his people in a more impactful way. 

He personally wants to make a piece of jewelry for every donor that donates to HandUp.

Donate today and let’s help them become the spiritual leaders God created them to be.

Learn more about Max here. 

 

 

 

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Here’s a Coupon for your Support!

Because you said “yes” to giving a “handup”; he can say “yes” to lifting himself out of poverty with the work of his hands.

Here is how YOU changed the harsh reality for these teens through your purchase or donation:

  • 23 young men who were facing life on the streets are part of the HandUp program
  • 10 new teens in transition are under the loving guidance of our new TNT House Parent
  • A new Program Director oversees production and programming
  • 16 former street boys work at HandUp & earn a fair wage, health insurance & more
  • We achieved highest monthly sales to date this November
  • An artisan microloan system has been implemented into our savings program
  • All 3rd year artisans were able to pay their housing this year
  • HandUp artisans founded two ministries; Be the Change & Ti Moun Canaan

The good that you’ve poured into these young men is spilling out into their communities and fueling social change one bracelet at a time!

Thank you for supporting our work. We can’t wait to see what we can do together in 2018!!!

Donate today and help us create jobs for 7 more teens in 2018!

$5 off your purchase of $25 PLUS Free Shipping:  Use Code THANKYOU

There’s still time to do your holiday shopping HERE!

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Did We BRING IT HOME???

I believe that good resides in all people because God made people.

AND there is a little bit of HIM in every person—even when we don’t recognize that it comes from Him. ALL GOOD COMES FROM HIM. I try to remind myself of this when I am disappointed in people. I think of Brene Browns comments in Rising Strong that she MUST choose to believe that everyone is trying her best. Seriously. It helps a great deal when I choose to believe in these two things:

That there is a little bit of good in everyone AND that everyone is doing the best they can.

But I have to confess, sometimes things happen that shake my heart a little bit and these two thoughts are tossed out the door.

Let me explain.

We recently had a fundraiser so that we could bring on TEN more teens in transition that have aged out of our partner orphanage. Instead of these boys ending up on the streets and perpetuating the problem of poverty—they get to be part of a story that is seeking long-term solutions to poverty. The lives of young men aging out of orphanages are changing and we believe that they will one day become the leaders in their communities.

THIS is why we give a handUP; to break them free from a life of handouts.

This is WORLD CHANGING stuff I’m talking about!

Yet at our fundraiser—we failed to raise the $60K that we so desperately needed to bring on these ten teens. Although the event itself was pretty amazing, we did not bring IT home. IT as in being able to offer our FOUR CORNERSTONES to all of these young men.

I was striving to find my peace with this lack of resources and was doing okay until I saw this:

As a country, we spent $3.4 billion on costumes that we will most likely use once. I know-I know—it’s fun and we’re making memories and visiting with neighbors and eating chocolate. But for me, it’s a REAL struggle. It’s like choosing to have a Pina Colada at a pool while knowing there’s a kid drowning in it!!!

Okay–so maybe it’s not a fair analogy but I’m confessing to you that this is how it made me feel. It’s times like this that make me wonder if I’m cut out for this kind of work. But then I get footage like this:

This is Richardson teaching English to impoverished children from a nearby village:

This is Patrick and he’s started a street ministry where he teaches young boys on the streets how to read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Jean Ricard and he teaches the older boys at our partner orphanage how to make jewelry so that they can have the skills they need to get a job at HandUp.

THIS. This is the reason to keep moving forward and advocating for what we believe is right.

I believe that there has never been a better time to come together and put an end to extreme poverty.

I believe that HandUp is on to something revolutionary for Haiti’s aging out youth and that there is a BIG YES around the corner.

Will you believe alongside us?

The ripple effects of your donation to HandUp doesn’t stop at these young men. It spills out into their communities & THIS is what it takes to tackle poverty.

You can still TEXT to DONATE at 41444, TYPE in HUGG & follow the prompts.

At the end of the day, we want to know that we inspired you towards being part of this amazing story of redemption. We want YOU to know that you have the power to effect change on a global scale–so let’s tell this story TOGETHER!!!

 

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Dusting Off The Sewing Machine

I did it y’all. I dusted off the old sewing machine and I made something.

Not just any something. I made myself a dress. And I can actually wear it! I am sew excited! (See what I did there)

Now, for some this is not a big deal. For me, this is huge. I have always had an envious bone for those that can just whip something together. I am still sooooo far from this, but I am patting myself on the back for this one.

On this journey into fair-trade, I have also looked at the amount of excess I have in my life. Is everything I have a need or are most of my items wants? Having wants is not necessarily bad, but I was determined this year to really focus on not having too much stuff for the sake of having stuff. Reusing and recycling have become a part of my life this year.

I really wanted a new dress for an upcoming wedding but I was determined not to buy anything else. I am not sure if you follow Miranda Anderson from Live Free Miranda but I basically want to be her. She was the emcee at a conference I was at in February and I loved her. Her blog is amazing and filled with all kinds of crafty and beautiful items. She recently posted about a Kimono dress she made and I thought, “Yeah, let’s make this Leslie!”

The patterned looked pretty straight forward and with my mom at my side talking me through it all, I made this super cute and pretty simple Criss-Cross Kimono.

Cute right?! Here is the link to Miranda’s blog post (here) that takes you through each step. The only thing I changed was where it says you need 1.5 yards, I bumped it up to 2.5 yards to help with the length of the dress (I like mind right at my knees—this, of course, is your own personal preference).

It took a little more effort than going to the store, but I now have a one-of-a-kind dress that cost little and utilized items I already had.

Tell me what you think.

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When you Want to Buy the Trend: Confessions of a Capsule Wardrobe

Back in January, I made a commitment to create a fair-trade capsule wardrobe. Here I am, over halfway through the year and I have discovered a few pitfalls. Some of these pitfalls are purely psychological–I want to shop! Others are from a lack of planning; diving straight in to this idea. However, I have learned a lot about this process over the last 7 months. Here are a few things I wrestled with and how I am working on overcoming them:

  1. Never Buy the New Trend–Ugh! This has probably been the hardest. There are so many cute trends that are out there. What can make this more difficult is the fact that so many of these trends are available through fair-trade companies. It is amazing how far the fashion industry has come. We still have a long way to go but it is encouraging to see it moving in the right direction. But the purpose of my resolution is not to only buy fair-trade but to create a capsule wardrobe. This demands of me to be intentional in my purchasing. A trend will come and go, but a capsule wardrobe will last.
  2. Moving Away from Buying the Same Thing–I must be careful with this one. I have chosen a color pallet and tried to be intentional in what I need to search for when purchasing. But suddenly, I find myself looking at only black and white t-shirts, or jeans, or moving away from patterns. This does not have to be the case with a capsule wardrobe, but I just gravitate there now. I love patterns and textures and I need to learn to embrace that even in my capsule wardrobe. I can still look like me while being thoughtful in my purchases.
  3. Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More–There are great options on where to start building a capsule wardrobe. Just search for a capsule wardrobe checklist and hundreds will pop up. I downloaded one, checked off boxes of what I had, wrote in items I wanted rather than what was on the list and had a good plan of attack. Then, I stopped. This can’t happen. When the planning stops, you lose sight of why you started. So, as fall approaches, I am working on putting more planning in place as I add pieces. I will be posting about that process later.
  4. Give Yourself Some Grace–If you are a fellow Type-A individual like myself, this can be difficult. I have learned that this process is messy. I have messed up. I get lured like everyone else by cheap prices and trendy outfits that will only last a season. But it is ok. Mistakes will be made. I have learned so much through this process that I will be sharing on another post. What I have loved: When I am giving myself a hard-time, when it is not going smooth, my tribe around me has supported and encouraged. I love it and I am thankful for it.

If you are thinking of creating a fair-trade capsule wardrobe or maybe you are thinking about starting something completely different, know that the process is messy. Embrace that mess and push on. I am rooting for you.

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Our Clothes Can Serrv The Community

Since January, I have been creating a fair-trade capsule wardrobe. It has been going well and it has made me really think before I buy. At times this has been challenging but also freeing at the same time. This concept has caught on in my HandUp Global Goods family. While not everyone is ready to dive in to the capsule wardrobe, for the month of June, each member of the HandUp Global Goods team has purchased a fair-trade item to wear.

Last week, I kicked us off with a cute top from Girl Set Free. This week, our fearless leader, Natul is sporting a cute top from Serrv (see what I did there in the title)! This bright, lightweight tunic is 100% cotton and is perfect for these very warm summer months. Serrv has a variety of tunics, dresses and breathable sweaters that is sure to match any style. Right now, you can take an extra 40% off your clothing purchases! Just typing the word sale makes me super happy!

Serrv is unique in that they are an online store that sells a little bit of everything and each of those items that they sell are fairly made by artisans around the world. Think of it like an online fair-trade utopia! It has everything from home décor, to food, to clothing and more.

Going all the way back to 1949, Serrv is one of the first companies to sell fair-trade products in the United States. They are a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization and the Fair Trade Federation. Their mission statement is simple and clear, Serrv is a nonprofit organization with a mission to eradicate poverty wherever it resides by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers worldwide.

With 55 partnerships worldwide with various artisans, farmers and co-ops, there is something for everyone. Don’t be sad you missed a sale! Give Serrv a try today and you can sport a pretty top like Natul.