In March of 2015, I learned through a dear friend about a missional business called Trades of Hope. It was started in 2010 by 2 mother/daughter pairs from Florida to empower women out of poverty and sex trafficking through a sustainable business model. A sister-army of Compassionate Entrepreneurs (best job title ever?) market and sell the beautiful handiwork (jewelry, scarves, bags, decor, gifts, etc.) of women from 16 countries around the world including the US.
I researched the organization in March, hosted my first party in April, signed up to be a Compassionate Entrepreneur at the beginning of May, and have been on fire ever since! Well at the end of January, I had the pleasure of flying to Daytona Beach, Florida to attend the annual retreat with 300+ other Compassionate Entrepreneurs. I learned, I cried, I laughed, I danced, I listened and I met new sisters from all over the country.
Here is the Facebook post I shared about it:
Thanks to all who cheered me on at the Trades of Hope retreat in Florida. My soul is on FIRE. The following is my insufficient (yet brief) summary: the year 2015 in numbers. Because “numbers are not just numbers – they are people, faces, and changed lives.” – Chelsie Antos, Trades of Hope Founder
302,220 beautiful Fair Trade products sold.
7,594 artisans employed around the world!
2,400+ Compassionate Entrepreneurs working a job where their passion and purpose collides. (Join us!)
1200-1400 orphans fed in Uganda daily.
700 families in India empowered out of poverty
300+ baby chicks donated to villages in Africa on behalf of the 300+ CEs in attendance.
150+ care packages delivered to women previously captured by ISIS
40 therapy sessions for our Los Angeles Cherished artisans who have chosen to leave the sex trade, gifted by our founders on behalf of our top sellers.
10 families in Costa Rica that no longer have to consider selling their bodies to buy food.
7 girls in Haiti gifted a year of school through our Gifts of Hope program.
1 malnourished child given restorative formula for EVERY new Compassionate Entrepreneur that joins us in 2016 in our fight against poverty!!!
I am simultaneously thrilled by the exponential and sustainable impact that Trades of Hope has had, yet motivated by indignation for the justice that still needs to come.
This picture is NOT of our artisans, but of women who are waiting outside our Haitian artisans’ workshop wanting a job. I humbly and passionately ask you to participate in any way that you can.
When more women join our sisterhood of Compassionate Entrepreneurs, we can hire more artisans. When you host parties to see their handiwork and hear their stories, you are spreading hope exponentially. When you purchase our products, you are bringing dignity and hope to the artisan who made them.
Thank you for partnering with me to break the cycle of poverty through sustainable business!
“I want you to dream about ENTIRE COUNTRIES being changed because of Trades of Hope. Believe it! The opportunity is here.” – Mary Ann Detering, Director and Trainer
I will end with my favorite Top 10 Quotes from the Trades of Hope retreat.
“We are creating generational change.” – Veronica, Manager Compassionate Entrepreneur. Veronica was describing one of our 2015 Vision Trips. It is my goal to travel with Trades of Hope to Costa Rica this summer to meet our artisans and see, first hand, the impact that we are having!
“I didn’t want to start another orphanage. I wanted to prevent orphans…Stop and think how you would like to be helped if you were in need. Think long term. How fulfilling is it to wait for the next handout? How long before you live in fear that the aid will stop coming?” Gretchen Huijskens, Trades of Hope Founder
“Women and girls are being sold into sexual slavery for the price of our kits!” – Holly Wehde, Trades of Hope Founder
When asked if her son is in school right now… “YES!!!” – Stephanie Breaeault, Haitian Artisan who came to Papillion Enterprises pregnant and starving at 15 years old. She is now the Head Potter, manager of 30 employees, and trained in using Word and Excel. Her son is now 5 and her family is not hungry anymore.
“You sell, and I get to walk outside my gate and hire someone.” – Shelley Clay, Papillon Enterprises, Port Au Prince, Haiti
“I am passionate about family preservation. Poverty orphan needs to be a thing of the past.” – Jamie, Director Compassionate Entrepreneur and adoptive mom
“Through my Trades of Hope business, I have reached my goal of saving enough money to take my two daughters back to visit their birth countries, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.” – Erika, Director Compassionate Entrepreneur
“Where you live should not determine IF you live. Look at your children and picture that you have no food and then walk down the street and pretend that you are giving them to an orphanage. Imagine selling your daughter to a pimp to feed your other kids. Are we doing everything we can to help mothers? To prevent women and children from being trafficked? When action meets compassion, lives are changing. The number of orphans go down when we buy and promote Fair Trade.” J.J., Director Compassionate Entrepreneur
“I want to become the president of Guatemala!” – Karen, Guatemalan teenage artisan (maker of the Julia Necklace, Identity Bracelet, and Crimson Bracelet.)
“We are going to be the best business women in the world, because we have the most at stake.” Mary Anne Detering, Trades of Hope Trainer
“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough!” – Holly Wehde, Trades of Hope Founder
COME DREAM AND TAKE ACTION WITH US!
Great accomplishments; Great dreams!