Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born into the most amazing family in a small town in Virginia. Ever since I could remember I loved to create + make things pretty. I bounced between wanting to be everything from an interior designer to a teacher. However, my life dramatically shifted when I became pregnant in college. After a difficult season I finally found myself on solid ground again + began dreaming about doing something, rather than just existing.
What exactly is New Creation VA?
New Creation is a faith based non-profit that creatively counteracts sex trafficking. Our two main focuses are prevention education and funding rescue + restoration through our shoppes that market survivor-made + fair trade items from around the world.
What inspired you to start New Creation VA?
My hubby heard the Founder of an organization in Uganda speak at our church. She was working to empower women who were survivors of sex trafficking there. As soon as he heard about the mission he encouraged me to learn more.
It really started by simply asking, “what can we do to help?” We learned that having a U.S. market place was extremely valuable to them, so we turned our dining room into a shop and invited women over to purchase beautiful jewelry made my the women in Uganda.
There is a verse in 2 Corinthians that talks about the old being gone + the new arriving – that is our hope for every person who encounters the trauma of trafficking. Our mission is to help survivors rebuild + restore…to be made new.
100% of your profits counteract sex trafficking, can you tell us about that?
We are so fortunate to partner with 40 different organizations globally. Many are doing rescue + restoration of those once trafficked, while the others are fair trade/social enterprises that empower + employ marginalized people groups who would be very vulnerable to trafficking.
When an item is purchased, 50-70% of the sale is going to the organization that made the item. The remaining profits help fund our mission by allowing the doors of our shoppes to remain open. This allows us to be actively engaged in not just helping our partnerships, but also by providing the vital work of community awareness. Every person who steps into our locations is invited to become a part of the solution of trafficking. We raise awareness of the issue, but also allow them to spend their dollars in a powerful, life-transforming way. Since opening our shoppe in July of 2015 over 14,000 transactions have been completed! That equals tons of awareness opportunities with our customers + also translates to powerful dollars spent to impact our world for the greater good.
We also created Freedom Friday to help fund the aftercare facilities close to us who do not have the social enterprise aspect. The first Friday of every month 10% of all sales is given to a designated U.S.-based restoration home.
Is there a favorite product?
Oh gracious that is a hard one. Ekkkkk. I really love all of our items. They tell such an inspiring story of new beginnings. If I HAD to pick, I would say the Inna Dress. The dress y’all is AMAZING! It’s simple + beautiful + can be worn a bunch of different ways!
We will be releasing it very soon + is part of a collaboration between us + an organization in Moldova.
What is your favorite part about running New Creation VA?
New Creation has allowed me to meet + work alongside THE most amazing people. Some of my dearest friends have been created within this organization and it always amazes me to see how a common goal can unite an entire community. I LOVE IT!!
What is your least favorite part about running New Creation VA?
Fundraising!!!!! Hands down. I never in a million years would have dreamed of running a nonprofit… + it turns out asking for financial support is part of the gig. I am not really a traditional fundraiser, I just love what we are all about + hope others catch the vision + are excited to give to it.
Is there anything on the rise for New Creation VA?
It is so crazy to think all of this started in my house + now we have 2 brick and mortar locations + an online shop. Our focus over the next year is to grow our online sales + reach a larger audience. We are overwhelmed by the support of our local community, but I believe others will want to get involved too! The more we grow the more positive impact we can have!
How do you spread the word about your company?
We have traveled all around our community + state sharing the vision of New Creation + our message of human trafficking awareness. This was the foundation of how we connected to people. I also think many folks have heard about us through word-of-mouth. We strive to make sure our customers know they are a vital part of our “Difference Makers Tribe.” We want to invite them into the story + solution + empower them to engage others. Social media has also been a powerful tool for us reaching outside our community to a broader audience! I personally adore Instagram + love connecting with people on that platform. Maybe a little too much…I may or may not spend hours on IG 🙂
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Dream flippin’ BIG! I mean huge. The make-you-wanna-throw-up kinda BIG. I believe most of us live out of fear. What will people think? What if I fail? What if it doesn’t work? We have to stop entertaining those thoughts + replace them with dreams, goals + visions. If failing was not an option, what would you shoot for? Now, make decisions that line up with that end goal. I may never see ALL my dreams come to pass, but if I didn’t step out + pursue them my impact would have been nonexistent. And I am not ok with living a life like that! I want to leave this world better than what I found it! Don’t you?!? Dream big then.
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? ☺
“Start where you are! Use what you have! Do what you can!”
I love the idea of doing what we can, where we are. Starting simple, but dreaming big, is a powerful combo!
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Not everyone will catch your vision + that is totally ok! Shortly after founding New Creation I had this crazy idea to purchase a former porn shop in our town. People laughed, scoffed, and flat out encouraged me not to.
They didn’t understand my passion or vision, and that was ok. I believe in putting the old to rest + focusing on building the new….in the lives of survivors, myself + that building. The impact that that purchase + transformation has had on this community is far bigger than I ever imagined. If I would have waited on the approval of others, I may have missed out. Don’t miss out, y’all! Don’t allow the opinions of others, or the presence of fear, stand between you impacting your world!!!