Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Where Are You Spending Your Money: A Challenge for You

Yesterday I spent my morning working in a new location. I traded my office chair for a vintage green chair. I traded my normal commute (walking down the stairs) for a car ride with my dear friend Emily into the Heights area of Houston. I opened my laptop in a place that matters and drank coffee that looked like art. 



seriously, this isn’t from an ad, this was my flat white captured with my iphone. 

Can I just stop for two-seconds and say that I love that I have friends who know my love language. I am talking about more than quality time here. My love language includes vintage, unique, stories and recently it’s places or products that promote social good. 

You see, we were not having coffee in a large conglomerate coffee shop, we were spending our morning working (serious we worked - it was so hard to not just sit and talk) at A 2nd Cup. 

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A 2nd Cup is a non-profit that raises money  and awareness to end human trafficking. According the to Department of Justice, Houston is one of the most intense regions for human trafficking. A 2nd Cup benefits organizations like Redeemed Ministries and Elijah Rising to help end human tracking and also to help women who have lived through tracking to flourish in a new life. {Love Language Alert}

As I was taking in all the sights and sounds of A 2nd Cup, a couple of questions bounced around in my head; one being, “Where am I spending my money?” 

This question has convicted me for most of the year, especially as I have “met” exceptionally talented individuals who are not using their God given talents to become millionaires, but to help others. They have found a need and bridged a gap. 

Today, I want to share with you a few that absolutely adore and then I have a challenge for you (and for me). 

WARNING: As you know, I normally prefer others to tell their story instead of me telling it to you and with that in mind, I have included videos for most of these organizations. This is a blog post that includes sound, so if you are at work or somewhere that you can’t view these I ask for you to please schedule a time to come back to this blog post. 

Little disclaimer for you: when I say “I know” or “I’ve met” or “my friend” please know that at the moment I typed this “I know” the women behind some of the companies through my day job, “I’ve met” meaning I probably had a phone call or email with them and “my friend” means we are so instagram friends - just to be clear with you. 

Let me start with a woman I have known (read “my friend”) since I opened my handmade business in 2013 (which is kind of closed - mine, not her’s). I am not sure at what point Rebecca Smith and I started interacting on Instagram, but I remember being in-love with her bags. Rebecca could have easily turned her design for a diaper bag into a sought after business that benefited just her family, but she saw a need and acted on it. 


You can find Rebecca and Better Life Bags here:
Instagram: @rebeccasmithonline and @betterlifebags

These days you can find a key hanging around my neck that reads, “hope”. I received the key through my Spring Causebox (more on them later), but I have wanted one for almost a year. 

Like Rebecca’s story, I think this video is the best way to share The Give Keys’ story with you. 


I will wear my hope key until I am lead to pass it along - and that’s the whole idea. 

You can find The Giving Keys here
Instagram: @thegivingkeys

As I have been on the search for talented people who have started new things to continue the Kingdom of God, I had the awesome opportunity to meet (see above) Liz Bohannon (and have an awkward, grace-filled phone call one afternoon when my internet decided to crash and I juggled working from home while being a mother of preschoolers). Liz is the power force behind Sseko Designs. 


You can find Sseko Designs here:
instagram: @ssekodesigns

Now, let me get a little Texas local for you (not even Houston local, but Austin local - because that is where my head is until the end of September) and introduce you to a woman that inspires me to no end. Again, I have had the divine privilege to meet Sharla Megilligan through the conference I am planning. I remember find Makarios one morning, then watching the video below and thinking “I have got to meet her, even if she decides she won’t be a speaker at my conference”.


You can find Makarios and Dominican Joe’s Here: 
If you are in Austin, make sure to stop by Dominican Joe: 515 South Congress Ave (at Riverside Dr). 

A few months ago I found another way to support missions like the ones I have shared with you today and that is through the CAUSEBOX. This is a quarterly subscription box that delivers socially conscious items to your doorstep. I chose to start a CAUSEBOX subscription because, well, to be honest because they featured the Giving Keys, but also to find more companies that sell for a cause. And also to find non-profits, like Speak Your Silence, who’s stitch kit was included in my Spring Box. Now, this not the challenge that I mentioned above - this is just an option. You can sign-up to receive the Summer Box now by visiting their website: https://causebox.com/

My Challenge to you has two parts:

FIRST: I challenge you to think about where your money is going and to find more companies/organizations like I have shared with you today. I even found a link to help you along: http://busy-mommy.com/2014/12/150-social-good-companies-with-fair-trade-buy-one-give-one-products-or-who-donate-a-portion-of-proceeds.html

 Know, that this takes baby steps, there are still things that I spend money on that were massed produced, but I am making an effort to shift my thinking, to determine if places where I spend my money promote fair wages and ethical treatment while also empowering and giving back. 

SECOND: Go the extra step. Have you looked into how you can help the organizations you love? A 2nd Cup has a section on their website where you can “join the fight”: http://www.a2ndcup.com/join-the-fight by volunteer your time and talents. So, besides donations and being a customer, how can you dig-in, get involved and help out? 


I feel like since I’ve mentioned so much in this post, I should do a bit of self promotion and invite you to visit the website site for my day job with FiveTwo. FiveTwo is a network for any entrepreneurial man or woman who want to reach new by starting new - new business-as-mission, new neighborhood gather, new community development, new whatever. And the FiveTwo National Conference  IS where you get to come along side like minded people to hear from amazing individuals like Sharla Megillian and so many others. Again, I feel like I have been give such an amazing gift to be a part of this organization and hello, I get to “meet” awesome people for my day job (and wear yoga pants and no make-up). 


Find out more about the FiveTwo National here: http://beta.fivetwo.com/attend-the-conference/

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