Who are you? & can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hello! I am Emily – aggressive hugger, dreamer, and fresh-cookie aficionado. I am also a mother to two (plus one on the way in May!), a wife (to an amazing proofreader/husband), and the co-founder + director of Bought Beautifully.
What exactly is Bought Beautifully?
Bought Beautifully is marketplace that transforms lives. We partner with artisans and small organizations around the globe who are living out God’s call to love by providing dignified job opportunities to disadvantaged people groups. We bring their stories and products to a larger market so that YOU can live out love and values through your purchases! We’re thrilled to have 43 partners across 22 countries!
What inspired you to start Bought Beautifully?
Bought Beautifully stemmed from our family’s personal journey as we stumbled through figuring out how to make make our truly live out our faith where we were planted . Long story short – despite having hearts that longed to live, work, and serve abroad, we ended up in a small town in rural Wyoming – pretty much the opposite of what we had envisioned BUT we felt certain that God was calling us to be there. So we started praying and figuring out how we could be in small town Wyoming yet still be engaged with the larger world and people who needed partners and advocates irregardless of the distance. With prayer and searching we realized that we could use our own financial blessings to help others experience a brighter future around the globe. So, we made the commitment to make intentional purchases that empowered the lives of others. We started finding these amazing, typically smaller organizations doing incredible work and we realized that if we could bring all these organizations and their beautiful products into one place, it might just be an incredible platform that others could use to make a difference right where they are, doing something they were already doing – shopping! And so…long story short…Bought Beautifully was born.
How did you come up with the name?
Well, I remember doing a big brainstorm session and having a long list of names. Bought Beautifully really stood out to me, as I loved the way is sounded and the fact that it represented what we were truly trying to do – provide a way for people shop in a beautiful and meaningful way! Funny story though, we didn’t choose Bought Beautifully at first, but after a few months of business we changed the name to Bought Beautifully!
Your products are ethically made and your partners use their business/ministries to show God’s goodness and love to a hurting world, can you tell us about that?
Absolutely! We search the globe to find people and organizations who are doing business in an ethical way (how Jesus would do business!) which means paying fair living wages and providing safe positive working conditions, but what really sets us apart from other, more typical fair-trade organizations is how each of our partners is committed to living out love in some specific way. These “love stories” are how we share what our partners do beyond just providing good jobs, we feature how they are living out the call to love by serving disadvantaged people groups, rescuing victims of human trafficking, providing education, training and, caring for the whole person mind, body, and soul.
Is there a favorite product?
Ha – no! We have so many great products, it is just too hard to choose! Our top selling products historically have been our druzy earrings, closely followed by Kuni Spoon Set and Sisterhood Soap. However, my current favorite product is the Bella Fringe Earrings!
What is your favorite part about running Bought Beautifully?
I truly love my job! I love getting to tell the stories behind the products and see people’s faces light up when they realize they are truly making a difference in someone’s life with their purchase. My all-time favorite part of the job is getting to meet, connect and work directly with our artisan partners to design new products with them. We just returned from a trip to Peru – where we toured the artisans’ homes, met their children, heard their personal stories of transformation, and worked hand-in-hand to design some new spring products. I treasure these opportunities as they give me perspective, motivation, and the drive I need to keep pushing Bought Beautifully forward!
What is your least favorite part about running Bought Beautifully?
Right now, I would have to say the pressure and responsibility of being the founder + director and how that relates to creating and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. I think there is a season when you first launch your business where that is sincerely all you want to do – your work is your hobby and your passion, so you happily dedicate all your time to it. However, this isn’t necessarily healthy or sustainable for the long term. We are 4-years in now, and I need to reintroduce some and personal time but creating new patterns can be hard. Especially when the world tells you its all about the “hustle”, that time = money and progress, combine that with the fact that with the fact that you are the one pushing your dream forward – this can make it really hard to say, I am going to go home at 5 and not work until tomorrow morning!!
How do you spread the word about your company?
This is a focus area of growth for us in 2019, up until now we have done minimal advertising and really depended on word of mouth, pop-up markets, and organic social media growth to help us reach new people. In 2019, we plan to tackle bigger advertising ideas, and really focus on growth outside of our communities.
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Of course!! Where to start? The two main things I would say are
1.) Don’t be afraid to start where you are, with the resources you have, – you don’t have to wait until you have the money, the perfect website, lots of followers, etc. to start! Some of your most valuable insights and learning can happen in those early days of just putting your idea out there.
2.) Be confident in your idea and vision and start sharing with people. You can learn so much from simple conversations with people – but it is so easy to let fear and intimidation take over – especially in those early days!
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? ☺
I have so many! Scripture definitely provides my daily nourishment and inspiration, but my favorite quote that keeps me motivated, focused and inspired when it comes to work is the daring greatly quote by Theodore Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
It’s a privilege to be here and share with you all – I love what you are creating at She’s Fit to Lead. It is such an exciting time to be a woman – there have never been more opportunities for us to lead, serve, dream, and really do anything we set our minds too! But with this opportunity comes responsibility and trials, I think so important to have community – like She is Fit to Lead – to turn to to support encourage, love and equip one another. Thank you so much for your interest in Bought Beautifully and inviting me to share here!