This time three years ago, you could've found me during nap-times teaching myself hand-lettering and practicing watercolor in the hopes to come up with something decent enough to sale in order to surprise my husband with a special Christmas present. I was a first-time mama, staying at home with my 6 month old fresh babe, struggling my way through how to manage this new role, and itching to do something more than change diapers & the never ending laundry.
I loved that I got to stay home with my Eden, that is why I wanted to get my husband something extra special, as a thank you for working so hard for our family, so that I could. Yet, I had started working at the age of 15 & it felt weird to not be working for the first time in over a decade. I had big ambitions, a business degree and a baby that slept really well, so I started my journey.
The support I received from my friends & family when selling those first Holiday inspired watercolor prints, gave me the courage to keep going. February 2016, I opened up a little Etsy shop, making it up as I went and before long watercolor prints, turned into hand-lettered canvas prints & pouches.
Then as I returned from "maternity leave" in mid-2017, a group of women rallied around me and my pouches took off! I realized that I had found my niche and by 2018, I had grown enough that I wanted to bring on a cause for my pouches. In February of this year I introduced a Give Back model, supporting Ufulu Groups, a non-profit in Malawi empowering vulnerable and under-resourced single parents through skills training and dignified work, resulting in family reunification and family preservation. Learn more about that partnership here.
And now, humbled, I find myself once again growing and needing to make decisions of how to keep going. I'm excited to announce that I have formed a partnership with Vickery Trading Co. an organization local to me in Dallas, Texas equipping refugee women for long-term success through vocational training, personal development and fair wages.
Apart from the shop that VTC manages, they have a program set up for manufacturing goods for small shops. I spent months upon months researching ethical manufacturing options and when I finally came into contact with the founder, Stephanie, I hung up from our first call, knowing that I had met my match. I will still be cutting and writing all of my Eden & Emeralds pouches, but as of today, the sewing on all items other than customs, is being handed off to them, so that I can have room to grow my business and still put my family first.
Three years ago, I never would've imagined myself doing anything more than making a few secretive bucks to surprise my husband with a gift. Yet, with the encouragement and support that I have continually received I am so incredibly humbled that I am not only being given the opportunity to help provide for my family by chasing my dream, a dream that I didn't even know existed three years ago, but I'm also being given the opportunity to empower other women to chase theirs and to support their families. So, thank you! Thank you for your support and please know that when you purchase an Eden & Emeralds pouch, you not only are supporting my family, but now you are supporting multiple families from all around the world.