Archive | February, 2015

Sasa Designs : Fashion for change

Sasa Designs by the Deaf: fashion fighting for change

We love fashion that fights to create a better life for others. Sasa Designs does just that.

We got the chance to chat with Megan, Sasa’s Director of Global Enterprise, and we loved hearing her heart for the women behind Sasa!

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Tell us about the history of your organization

Sasa Designs by the Deaf was started in late 2011 when our first handful of artisans were trained. DOOR International, a ministry that works to create video bibles in local sign languages, had recognized a tremendous need for employment for Deaf women. DOOR mobilized training resources and in early 2012 Sasa Designs began selling its first pieces. Since then we have built an international brand, with partners in 6 countries! In 2014, Sasa Designs by the Deaf began the process of becoming its own 501c3, hoping to expand and serve many more Deaf women.

What are some of the trials and triumphs you have faced in bringing your organization to where it is today?

The biggest challenge facing organizations like ours is always related to scale and finances. Keeping 14 women working full time means we need consistent orders and sales. We face a lot of administrative challenges related to supply chain and sourcing, so growing big enough to sustain our work force is not an easy task. At the same time – we don’t want to get too big too soon – we want to make sure we can preserve the quality and care that goes into each piece. We have tried to grow organically and patiently – but we are always in need of new customers and partners to keep our team at work.

How have you seen God provide for your organization?

The most profound impact we have seen is in the total change in our artisans’ lives. These are women with enormous faith, despite Susan from Sass Designsspending a lifetime being set aside by families and communities as a result of their deafness. I honestly cannot express the joy of seeing an artisan like Susan, two years after coming to Sasa, welcoming us to her home and describing in her own way how different she was when she joined the team. Everything about her reflects her newfound sense of value: how she signs (talks), how she dresses, and her general spirit. She is also able to afford a much safer and securer room near our workshop than the original hut she lived in – and she now sends money to her extended family. What a transformation for a woman who was considered a burden – to now be in a role of provider to her parents and siblings!

 

As an organization, what are you most excited about right now?

We are always learning to be faithful! There are many months when we know we aren’t quite meeting the numbers we need to or getting the word out effectively enough. Then, a new opportunity comes up with a big organization or an individual with a certain skill set shows up and wants to help. We are excited about a couple of these new partnerships helping us take Sasa to the next level!

What are some of your hopes and goals for the future of Sasa?

In 2015 we want to establish a 5 year strategic plan that includes building our own workshop, hiring more Deaf artisans (including some men – we currently only work with women) and increasing the skill set of our artisans so we can create a broader product range. Our dream in 3-5 years is to set up Sasa in 1-3 additional countries where Deaf people face employment challenges and can help us create new product lines to keep them employed long term. We’d love to build more of a lifestyle brand to support livelihoods of Deaf people around the world.

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Please do not ever doubt the impact you as an individual have to make. Every dollar you spend has the opportunity to lift an individual up. For organizations like ours – literally every single purchase helps us serve these incredible women by giving them the opportunity to work and support themselves. Thank you!

– Megan

Sasa Designs beaded braceletNecklace_Trinity_Full__78388.1405324644.332.500  Sasa3Bracelet

 

 

I just love Megan’s final words, such a great reminder that every purchase matters!  You can find Sasa Design’s amazing products here.

CHANGE THE WORLD, SHOP BEAUTIFULLY!

 

Follow  Sasa Design’s by the Deaf:

Facebook                 Instagram              Pinterest            Twitter @SasaDesigns

 

 

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What kind of life is this?

Today’s post is short on words but full of emotion.

We came across this documentary earlier in the week and haven’t been the same since (in a good, important way).

We want to follow up on the Sole Hope post and Asher’s profound word’s to:

MAKE.IT.PERSONAL.

by encouraging you all to watch.this.video…

If you have 50 minutes, watch all the videos  If you can only spare 10 minutes, watch episode 5.

 

Let’s make this issue personal.  Let’s put ourselves in Sokty shoe’s.  Our purchases matter.

LET’S MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

 

 

 

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Sole Hope – sharing love & spreading hope, one {less} jigger at a time

Today we have the awesome privilege of hearing from Asher, one of the founders of Sole Hope.

 

Sole Hope is a non-profit organization working in Uganda to prevent and combat jiggers (diseases that enter through the feet) and to create a positive physical and spiritual difference in the lives of individuals in impoverished communities.

Sole Hope came into existence a few years ago, after Asher and Drü saw a video on the devastating effects that jiggers have on lives of children.

Soon, God place a burden on their hearts to become part of the solution. Watch this video of Asher to hear the details about how it unfolded:

Make.it.personal.

Wow!  Pretty moving, right?  I absolutely love Asher’s words about making the problem “personal”.   I spent the entire weekend with this thought echoing in my mind

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I couldn’t stop thinking about how these words can be applied in my life, and how they would change my response to “hard things”.   Thinking about issues like poverty, human trafficking, child labor, forced prostitution, etc.; when I look into the eyes of someone who has been in one of those situations (whether this happens in heaven or on the street) I want to be able to say, “I cared, and, more importantly, I acted”.

 

There are so many ways to act. I am thankful that one of them doesn’t require me to move to a foreign country or even leave my comfort zone. I can take action simply by using my purchasing power to shop beautifully and support organizations, like Sole Hope, that are doing good work. (You can find Sole Hopes products here and here).

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Asher isn’t done inspiring us yet! She also answered a few questions for us about the history and future of Sole Hope:

 

Can you describe a few of your biggest trials and triumphs in making Sole Hope what it is today?

Some of the biggest trials that I have faced since starting Sole Hope have usually been with people. When you have a dream that seems crazy or insurmountable, there will be many people who are critical or not supportive. At times, for a split second this has challenged the dreams in my heart that I feel so strongly about. At the same time these people have also opened my eyes to my strength and ability to continue ahead when I know something is right.

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We have been blessed to have many triumphs since 2010. As Sole Hope grows, the triumphs that stand out the most to me are those that involve 180° life changes for the thousands of people we get to treat at Sole Hope. Some of these changes are more drastic than others. For some, washing their feet and teaching them that there is no shame in having jiggers is enough to brighten anyone’s day. And then there are other life changing stories that we get to witness where children who literally had no future because of a pesky little parasite are given a new hope, the ability to take back their childhood, become free from a horrible stigma and learn about their true identity that was given to them by their maker. These people feel pride in the new start they have in life. I’ve seen it reflected in a 1-year-old’s eyes and I’ve heard it spoken from an 83-year-old man’s mouth.

 

How has Sole Hope seen God provide/move/blow your mind?

To see how far Sole Hope has come in just a few short years is a sign of his goodness! Being able to say that in 2014 Sole Hope gave out over 9,000 pair of shoes and removed over 60,000 jiggers, that to me, is mind-blowing!

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As an organization, What are you most excited about right now?
Stateside there are a couple new projects we are getting ready to launch that will give people other outlets to help out Sole Hope along side shoe cutting parties! Sorry, no details. You’ll have to stay tuned for updates!
Follow Sole Hope on Facebook to be the first to know about these exciting happenings!

 

We all can’t wait to see what the future holds for Sole Hope. What are some of your hopes and goals for 2015? 

We are hoping to expand in 2015 by purchasing land. This will help by being able to build a larger outreach house so that we are able to treat more children and have more workroom for the tailors and shoemakers so they can produce more shoes.

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Dear Asher, Drü, and Sole Hope:

Thank you:

for caring and acting,

and inviting us to be a part of the change you are making.

Connect with Sole Hope :
Facebook            Instagram = @SoleHope          Pinterest          Twitter

 

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Life Lived Beautifully

Happy Day Friends! LifeLBeautifully

 

 

 

Head on over to the Life Lived Beautifully Blog

 

I am sharing a little bit about  life,  Jesus, and a special prayer for you!

 

 

 

 

I pray that this generation of women will break the chains of insecurity; that we will be women who operate out of the fullness we have in Christ instead of what we lack according to our culture.  That we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds and will start celebrating, encouraging and supporting our sisters as the wonderfully, fearfully made women that we are!

 

 

 

 

 

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