I love when people come into The Marketplace and marvel at all the pretty bags we sell. What many don't realize is that we are so much more than a pretty bag. We are a woman's story.
Take a bag from Cambodia for instance; it was made by a woman who has been passed around all of her life. Through a broken life, beauty comes alive. Sak Saum is investing in her through counseling, teaching, and employing. They share the love of Christ; the only restorer from a life of horror. When you carry that bag, you are standing with her. It's more than just a pretty bag.
Some people see the tremendous amount of work it takes to sew a Jacaranda Creations Patchwork Medium Tote together. While that is true, I see a woman who once was begging now being about to take care of herself and her children. When I was in Nairobi Kenya I sat in a home of Gladys. The home was nothing more than a room that had a mud floor, mud walls, and a roof that constantly leaked. She was so excited to show me her home and all her beautiful things which she had to cover in plastic to protect from the rain. What I saw was not her belongings; I saw the spark of dignity in her eyes. She was so proud to now be able to provide an afternoon snack for her children. When I show someone that Medium Tote, I remember Gladys. It's more than just a pretty bag.
JOYN bags from India are beautiful. Many people marvel at how hip they are. It's true they are incredibly fashionable. But when I look at a JOYN bag I see all the hands it takes to make that bag. The fabric is woven by the leprosy colony. Another pair of hands block stamps the fabric using a vegetable dye. Another one washes the fabric and finally another pair of hands sews it into a beautiful bag. Each hand that touches it is empowered. Lives are changed. On JOYN's tag you will see the name of who wove the fabric, who block stamped it, and who sewed the bag. It's more than just a pretty bag.
At The Marketplace, we don't just sell pretty bags. You can get a pretty bag anywhere. What we do is share stories of transformation. Each bag has a story. Each bag is a person. Know that when you purchase a bag, you are investing in a woman in another part of the world. Transformation happens when people are given a chance. I love when people leave The Marketplace with their pretty bag and the story of the person who made it.
Thank you for making The Marketplace successful. Without you telling our stories, we are nothing more than a store that sells pretty bags.
Empowering people. Changing lives.