Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Adrienne, I am a very busy mom of 4 and have just celebrated 16 years of marriage to my best friend and soulmate, Joe. I am a NC native, although I have lived in Maine, Chicago, and Kentucky. I have a passion for social justice issues and fun (a weird mix, I know), and that is what fuels all that I do.
What exactly is Anchor of Hope Box?
We are a subscription box service that commissions survivors of trafficking, refugees and others in vulnerable situations to make handmade items. We desire to give these individuals dignity through the opportunity of work, and we are able to do this because of our faithful subscribers. When someone signs up and become a subscriber, they receive a box full of these handmade items each month, ranging from jewelry, baskets, homegoods, art, accessories and much more. Through the dignity of work, these individuals rebuild damaged and fragile lives as they work to overcome the painful situations that have brought them to this place.
What inspired you to start Anchor of Hope Box?
Through volunteering with World Relief, I was privileged to meet some amazing refugees and survivors of human trafficking. But I saw something in many of their eyes that deeply affected me. Many were working hard to restore hope and dignity, and I wanted to be a part of that. As I embarked on this adventure, aiming only to provide an income for these precious families, I saw something much greater happening. Through the relationships that have been building, we see the power of community strengthening individuals and families. Through the encouragement that their handmade items bring to subscribers all over the country, we see hope arising. And it’s a beautiful thing.
How did you come up with the name?
Hope is what we see being restored to these broken lives. It’s a crazy thing, hope. Without it, we can feel alone, ready to give up, life has little purpose or meaning. But when I see an individual grab ahold of hope, I have watched them become renewed and grow excited – able to keep going, to smile and laugh again.
What makes your subscription boxes different from the other ones out there?
Our sole purpose for existing is for these artisans. Each month, we meet with a group of local women, teaching them a new skill and paying them for their hard work. We also scour the globe looking for other organizations who do the exact same thing so we can include them in our boxes as well. Some of these artisans are survivors of sex trafficking in India and Asia. Some are women in Haiti that desperately need work in order to keep their daughters in school — the best way to keep them from being kidnapped and trafficked. Some are organizations that teach refugee women — relocated to the US — the skill of sewing or jewelry making so they can provide for their families. We purchase their products and feature them in our box to give them opportunities for more work. In doing so, you get to know about these amazing organizations. We strive to provide our subscribers with quality products from various artisans and multiple organizations in order that more and more hope would be spread throughout the world.
What is your favorite part about running Anchor of Hope?
Definitely the women I get to work with. I have met women from Syria, Cuba, the Congo – you name it. They invite me into their lives and our relationship gets to extend beyond the walls of our crafting spaces. My kids become their kids friends, we have meals together… they are seriously some of my favorite people. My life has been so enriched by these relationships.
What is your least favorite part about running Anchor of Hope Box?
Keeping up with social media! I much prefer the creating and relationship side of things. 🙂
Is there a favorite product?
Oh goodness….. I get excited about almost all of it. Whenever something new comes in…. that’s my favorite. (It happens every month!) We just had these beautiful coiled bowls that were made from recycled sari’s, by women who live a two days walk from the closest road in Nepal. There was also a stone necklace that I’m still a bit bummed that we sold out of, I would have kept one for myself. Having artisans in Haiti stamp the words ‘Never Underestimate the Power of Hope’ on a leather wrap bracelet also melted my heart. So I couldn’t say there is one favorite….. I think I love it all. The story behind it makes the beautiful object even more precious.
How do you spread the word about your company?
Right now our best advertising is our subscribers! They have done an amazing job helping to spread the word. People also find us on social media, or an article we get featured on.
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Keep going! I have a sign I found on a particularly hard day and it says “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” It was divine that I found it the day I did because, like everyone, I question at times if this is worth doing, should I keep going. But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you should give up. The sweet times are just around the corner. And you can do it! Press through the hard times because those moments are when we grow, so let’s not give up. Whatever dream you have, that dream is in your heart for a reason. You were made to bring change to the world, however that looks for your particular business.
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? ☺
During business hours, the one I just mentioned speaks to me the most. During the rest of the time, Never Underestimate the Power of Hope has become our mantra.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Thanks so much for the opportunity to share!