I am not a salesman.

I’m really not.  I don’t like working in a numbers driven environment.  I don’t like for my paycheck to be based on how much I sell.  I don’t like to be that annoying girl yelling BUY STUFF FROM ME on your Facebook wall.

I really am not a salesman.

But there’s this company that has grabbed hold of me, and I can’t help but talk about it.

You see, I had been praying for a way to be more missional in my daily life.  Find ways to change the world for Jesus.  Use my little influence to make waves in the people around me.  To help people, women specifically, find hope and encouragement in Christ.

And behold, this company fell in my lap.  I had been watching Ben’s cousin, Lindsey, promote this company for around a year now.  I loved the Turtle Backpack she had given Brooke Allen, and people asked me about it all the time.

So one day, I decided to ask Lindsey about it.  And I fell in love.

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What is Trades of Hope?

Trades of Hope is company founded on fair trade principles to empower women around the world out of poverty.  Our artisans create handmade jewelry, scarves, handbags, stationery, and home decor to provide for their families, get an education, and make an honest and fair living wage.

On average, a woman empowered out of poverty brings FOUR people with her – her children, her spouse, people from her community.  FOUR.  FOUR PEOPLE.  That’s FOUR MORE PEOPLE who rise above the poverty level.  Did you know that 40% of women around the world earn less than $2 per day?  My weekly Dunkin run costs more than that.  Women make 25 cents on the dollar that men make.  Often these women are widows of war, victims of sex trafficking, or unable to work in a traditional setting due to a disability or disease.

Trades of Hope provides more than just a living wage – it provides opportunity.  These women threading beaded necklaces and weaving handbag material are creating real lives for themselves and their children.  Building houses, buying land, sending their children to better schools…because of a necklace.  Or a scarf.  Or a clutch.

How cool is that?

Who are our artisans?

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Our artisans are all over.  We have artisans in Guatemala making bookmarks and jute bags.  We have artisans in Haiti and Uganda making jewelry out of recycled cereal boxes.  We have artisans in India making scarves and metal jewelry.  We even have artisans right here in the United States who make an awesome necklace called Redeemed.

But these women all have something in common – they are unable to work in a traditional setting.  They may be a widow, or of a low class standing.  They may have leprosy or AIDS.  They may be rescued from sex slavery or forced labor.

Trades of Hope is changing their lives for the better.

How are our artisans paid?

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This is what gets me – Our artisans are paid 100% of their asking price.  Knowing what it takes to create each item, plus cost of materials, and still earning a profit to live off of, they set the price they feel is fair for their product.  Only then does Trades of Hope price a mark-up of each item.  Trades of Hope purchases inventory from our artisans.  They are getting paid before the product ever reaches your doorstep!

What do I need from you?

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I need you to shop!  We are in the business of marketing for our artisans.  In order to continue the cycle of ending poverty, these women need to work.  Apply the rules of supply and demand – the more you shop, the more women we are putting to work!

You can shop any time through my website, www.mytradesofhope.com/ktparrish.  We run monthly sales, special items, and discounts.  Shipping is really quick – usually within a week.  When you click on an item, you can learn the backstory of the artisan group who makes it.

You can also host a party!  Hosting home parties is how we really get the word out.  Make a list of your friends from church, work, and social circles, that you know love to shop for accessories.  Invite them to your house for about an hour on a Sunday afternoon and put out a plate of cookies.  That’s it!  I do the rest of the work.  Hostesses receive free products of their choice, as well as discounts, just for opening their home and their friends shopping!

I can also do online and catalog parties.

Why Trades of Hope?

If I haven’t convinced you already (remember, I’m not a salesman), let me share this with you:

This business is not about me.

Changing Lives!

As I prayed to be more missional, I was reminded that God uses us as a conduit for His glory and His work.  By me sharing this company with you, and begging you to host a party, and posting a thousand times a day on your Facebook newsfeed, I am simply trying to share the mission of Trades of Hope and the awesome work they are doing in the lives of women around the world.  Yes, I make a commission.  But that is peanuts compared to what is happening to the lives of our artisans.

It’s about Vesline, a woman making bracelets from cereal boxes in Haiti.  Without Trades of Hope, she would have had to give up her child for adoption simply because she couldn’t afford to feed him.  Now she’s sending him to the best school in the area and has her own home.

It’s about the women living in a safe house here in the States, making the Redeemed necklace after being rescued from sex slavery.  We aren’t privy to know their names or their faces.  But these women were once stolen and broken over and over again, but now they are being made whole.

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It’s about Ya in Cambodia, who was burned from a container of acid flung on her.  She was on the verge of suicide when she began making jewelry.  She’s now on the path of recovery with the help of her small business.

I want to help.

Of course you do.  Maybe I’m a better salesman than I thought.  You can sign up to be a Compassionate Entrepreneur, like me, and get to work changing the lives of these women.  It doesn’t take much, and I would love to help you get started.

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I’m in love with this company and what we are accomplishing.  Won’t you join me in changing the world?  It doesn’t take much.  Just a scarf.

SHOP HERE