READ THIS before joining Trades of Hope

It’s important to research any new endeavor that we are considering.  I love to research, so I’ve done a lot of the work for you.  I’m going to share  FIVE THINGS about Trades of Hope that I didn’t know until I get involved in hopes that it helps you make a more informed decision.

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When I heard of Trades of Hope from a friend over 2 1/2 years ago, I was initially intrigued by the genius idea of creating jobs in America that directly partnered with artisans around the world to break the cycle of poverty.  And to do it not just practically, but through creating and marketing beautiful products was quite a bonus.  I watched every youtube video I could find (which wasn’t very many at the time) and scoured the website for more details.  I was hesitant about the Direct Sales and home party business model, because I had some negative experiences in the past.   Continue reading

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Sea Glass Miracles

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I woke up earlier than expected this morning, so I decided to be better about taking advantage of living in this beautiful coastal town.  I took our dog Sadie for a walk on the beach (I forget that it means an automatic bath for my furry friend) and found the ocean to be very generous with its gift of sea glass today. Continue reading

A different kind of Ugly Cry

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I feel ya, Blair.

My kids think I’m a little off because I’m regularly brought to tears by any number of things like:  children’s books, empowered overcomers, and (obviously) American Ninja Warrior.  (One of my pet peeves, though, is when people apologize when they cry as if it’s wrong or weird, so I have made a commitment to never apologize for my Leaky Gene.)  Over the years my heart has been tenderized into a pulpy, beautiful mess of compassion and empathy.  (And apparently peri-menopause is now an ingredient in my soul cocktail.  So that’s fun…)

But recently I’ve experienced tears of a different kind.  There are tears of joy, rage, sadness, and even gratitude, but lately, I have shed tears that come from a place of appreciating PASSION. Continue reading

Empower Retreat 2017 in quotes…

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It was another wonderful Trades of Hope Retreat – this time in Music City – Nashville, TN.  Here are the most inspiring quotes that have me on FIRE with HOPE to continue empowering women around the world out of poverty!!!

“There are women I’ve got to go back and save.” – Katrina, one of our Thistle Farms artisan partners who came out of years of addiction and prostitution to make the beautiful Love Heals set.

nnppp0744at08un7-2-768x513.jpg“Women represent half of the world’s population and therefore, half of its potential.  We are missing out when half of the ideas are silenced; when half of the potential work force that could boost national economies are not working; when half of the population are not being equally represented in the laws, policies, and governments around the world.  Poverty will not end until women are empowered.” Elisabeth Huijskens, co-founder of Trades of Hope Continue reading

Inspire 2017

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This “word girl” is having a hard time putting into words the incredibly inspiring time I had at the Trades of Hope retreat last weekend. But you knew I would push through 😉 so here are ten brief “word highlights,” because it is truly my heart for as many people as possible to learn about and partner with us in our effective mission and unique world-changing mojo. 😉 Let me know which one resonates with you:
14269402_10154049064693198_961792299_nEMPOWER – In 2016, we grew to empower 13,340 artisans in 17 countries (including the US) around the world! The ripple effect of sustainable business is impacting 42,884 people(!) in their communities – and counting…

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Brokenness & Beauty in Costa Rica

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The beautiful view of Alajuelita marred by iron bars and barbed wire.

It is difficult to put into words the experience you have when God drops you into another country and starts showing off.  But those who know me well, know that this “word girl” will certainly give it her best shot – and attempt to do so with brevity.   #lordhavemercy

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Our logo painted on the wall of the ministry house we stayed in by talented artist, CE and my new friend, Erica!

I just returned from a week long Trades of Hope Vision Trip with 9 other Compassionate Entrepreneurs from around the country (and 2 staffers – love you, Julie and Mary Ann!) to the beautiful nation of Costa Rica.  We partner worldwide with underprivileged artisans (and related ministries) by selling their beautiful handmade accessories and decor here in the states to empower them out of poverty.

It is specifically called a Vision Trip, because we are going to SEE with our own eyes: the need, the people, and the redemption.  And as I met our artisans, toured the ministry sites, soaked in the beauty, and even connected with my fellow sisters, I began to observe a weaving theme of CONTRAST.  It’s true everywhere, but I had the privilege of getting close to the brokenness and beauty of Costa Rica.   Continue reading

A Vision Trip to COSTA RICA!

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I am thrilled to announce that – after a 16 year hiatus from overseas travel – I have been selected to go on Trades of Hope vision trip! I will be traveling with 10 other Compassionate Entrepreneurs from around the country between June 23rd and 29th to visit our artisan group in COSTA RICA!
Despite being a wonderful travel destination, many of the Costa Rican families that we partner with have been rescued and redeemed from the growing sex-tourism industry.  (We will also be meeting with the ministries that we support through our Gifts of Hope program – Seeds of Hope for at-risk girls, the sustainable gardens of Vida Raiz, and some of the local churches.)

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