If you've read our story you know that we used to live in the Amazon and that a huge driving force behind our business is a little place deep in the heart of the Amazon called Grace House Amazon. As we started S&L and it grew we decided we wanted to pursue this full time. In March, my husband and I left a very comfortable life behind to put everything we had on the line so we could serve something bigger than ourselves. We knew we could make things work if we would sacrifice that comfort to do this thing full time.
When I think about it, this has never really been about selling clothes. It is also not exactly what either one of us envisioned for our lives but, without a doubt, it has been the right path for us to take. Yes, we are and continue to be passionate about fair wages and safe working conditions for the people that make our clothes but when we realized that was a passion of ours we didn't see it becoming our business. At one point in our lives, we knew we'd run a business we just didn't know what that would be or what it would look like. That was only the beginning of a long journey that involved us intentionally seeking out how we could make our passions collide with creating a business that would provide income for our family. From the start, we knew we wanted to find a way to use our natural skills to help our friends at Grace House Amazon because we left our hearts in the Amazon.
Eventually, an idea fell into our laps. We realized that not only could we be apart of all the amazing things Grace House Amazon is doing but we could also provide a business model that would help more people around the world. This is where we saw the opportunity to merge support for the children's home by selling ethical clothing that could provide jobs for artisans not only in the USA but for people all over the world.
We believe in supporting locals is the most effective way for long-term impact. Another reason why we love & believe in the Grace House is that it is run entirely by the locals! We'd like to introduce you to the real people who are changing lives in the Amazon. These ladies are my inspiration and drive. They are who I think about how I want to quit or I don't feel like working because I'm "too tired". They are serving day in and day out from sun up to sun down and beyond. If they can give selflessly of themselves each day, then the very least I can do is work hard to share their voice and mission with you.
Who are the people behind Grace House Amazon?
This is Rosa (pronounced h-aw-z-a portugese).
"At the age of fourteen, Rosa felt a strong desire to one day run a home for abandoned and abused children. Having been a young mom herself, she understood the difficulties that parents often face raising their kids, but she never allowed that to be an excuse for her to neglect her own young boys.
Since that time, she has taken in five children that are not her own, including the love-child of her husband. She is known as “Tia” (or Auntie) to many children whom she has taken in both temporary and long-term, despite her own lack of resources.
When we approached her about being the Director of the children’s home, she could hardly believe what she was hearing. For years she had asked God to do just that but never knew how it could happen.
Her love and natural gifts to nurture young people make her the perfect director for Casa de Graça."
Alongside her are several volunteers that spend their days loving on these kids, providing for their needs, while providing a space of comfort and hope. - The Amazon Network
I love what my friend Ashley says about what life is like in the Jungle:
"In the jungle, it was “easy”. The needs weren’t just present around us. They filled our homes and our schedules. My kids didn’t even perceive them as “needs” but simply realities and our hearts and doors remained open and full."
Seeing the needs of others is an easy thing to overlook living here in the States. It is easy to fill our time up with busyness and focus on ourselves and what we "need" not realizing there are people around us asking for help. We have to be intentional here and look for ways that we can be purposeful in reaching out to others. We may not have people knocking on our doors on a daily basis asking for help but we can go knock on their doors to extend our resources and time to others who need it.
I promise. Each and every one of you has something of value that can be shared with someone else. If you don't feel like you do or you don't know where to start. let us invite you into this work. The Grace House Amazon needs are always growing and changing. We'd like you to be a part of it. They are looking for people who want to partner with Grace House at $35/month. You can find more information here: http://theamazonnetwork.com/grace-house-partner
In addition, we want to be a part of are helping one of their workers build a house for her & her five children. They are also only $145 shy of reaching a goal to provide one of their volunteers with a new pair of glasses & a fridge to replace the broken one at Grace House. We'd love for you to be a part of this but also know if you have shopped with us you HAVE already been a part of helping Grace House Amazon grow. We can't tell you thank you enough for being a part of this work.
Want to know more? Visit their website here: http://theamazonnetwork.com/grace-house-amazon