“Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments”
At Mission Made we have a continually growing, everchanging “ideas” folder filled with late-night thoughts for new and different ways to make an impact. This “ideas” folder is one of our favorite things to fill, but one of our least favorite to tackle. Last year we had to force ourselves to begin to move these ideas forward by setting goals around them and creating outlines to bring these ideas to fruition. Consistently at the top of our “ideas” folder in big bold letters was create and train our artisan group. We constantly receive requests for custom products and fundraiser product options, although we simply were not sure where to start. So, for a long time, that idea stayed right there… lingering around, waiting for us to take steps until a “moment” happened.
One fateful day an email came in from our dear friend Becky Graves at Haiti Awake, “what if Haiti Awake and Mission Made partnered to train and develop artisans from our community in Haiti to make custom products?”. All that time the solution to so many business problems was right in front of our face. This little moment was a big beginning.
Each of our Mission Made trips to Haiti have been alongside Haiti Awake, and during that time we have been able to grow in our relationships with the staff and local community. Haiti Awake is an incredible organization that works to “equip local Christians to reach their communities and their own country through showing Christ’s love in action.” We quickly realized that we didn’t need to create, start, or manage anything; we simply needed to allow our Haitian friends to use their knowledge and skills to make an impact within their own community.
Shortly upon deciding to partner with Haiti Awake to develop a product line we received a custom product order from the Women in Pensions Network (learn more below). This order blessed us with the prospect of training the Haiti Awake staff on a specific project, with an exact order and due date. During our trip to January 2018, we proposed the opportunity to the staff and we were met with curiosity and excitement – they automatically started finding ways to perfect the process and began discovering who was good at each piece of the production process. Each person's unique skills and talents began radiating out of them. They dedicated long hours and hard work to creating over 500 hand-stamped cuff bracelets with the phrase “connections that count” to complete the order successfully. Coincidently this phrase would represent so much more than the order’s requirement but would stand for the incredible opportunity that this connection provided to our organizations.
Since that first order, we began working to expand our product offering into a variety of one-of-a-kind hand-stamped products, each with special phrases selected with the help of the Haiti Awake staff. Furthermore, some of the products are stamped with Haitian Creole phrases as a reminder of the person who made their jewelry and providing them the opportunity to share their heart with others.
Joy – “La Jwa”
Hope – “Espwa”
Love – “Lanmou”
We feel grateful for this incredible partnership, which provides us with an opportunity to create beautiful custom products for our customers and we are even more excited that this allows us to provide additional income for our friends and their families. These little moments led to some significant beginnings, and we encourage you to be a part of this journey.
"We never want to lose that. The intentionality behind our products is what makes us who we are. That's why each time your Mission Made Subscription Box finds its way to you; it will feel different. Because it is."
Three years ago I arrived in Haiti for the first time with no knowledge of the crazy path God was about to take me on. It was on that trip that I first met 13 incredible children and the incredible Haiti Awake staff who would become people I consider my family and closest friends.
At Mission Made Gifts we truly believe that relationships matter. Our vision since the start has been about creating jobs, restoring hope, and empowering people, and we believe that the best way to do that is to develop meaningful relationships. Each year the Mission Made team packs up suitcases of jewelry and other artisan items to attend the Excel 401(k) Conference in Las Vegas. Alongside our partners with Rekon Intelligence, we are able to share the Mission Made story and provide conference attendees and members of the financial industry an opportunity to learn about how they can approach client gift gifting with a purposeful and meaningful mindset.