As we begin this blitz of marketing and promotion for yet another brand selling soaps, lotions, and balms, you may be asking yourself why? Why is Redeemed Ministries starting a business? Why this emphasis on "survivor made" products? And along with why, what exactly is it? How does it work?
I'm happy to answer these questions, and hope that once you know the why, what, and how, you'll be as excited about Sparrow House Botanicals as I am!
For those of you who may not know, Redeemed Ministries is a 501(c)3 in Texas that provides long-term restorative care to adult survivors or sex trafficking. They have both a residential program and an independent living program that focuses on holistic healing using trauma-informed, brain based healing methods. Women coming out of sexual exploitation have a great many needs, and one of the most basic is the need for employment. At some point in her healing, she will need to start thinking about a job, and it's very possible that she has never had what would be considered "legitimate" employment. This is where the business comes in; once a woman has been in the Redeemed program for at least 6 months and is considered eligible to work, we want to offer her a job.
At Sparrow House Botanicals a survivor can come and apply, interview, and fill out all of the necessary paperwork that goes into getting a job. Whether she decides to work for us for 6 months or for many years, learning skills like interviewing and filing taxes will benefit her in the future. Having the opportunity to work, particularly while she is in the residential program, will allow a woman to save money, build an employment history, and gain skills that she can take to her next job. Our goal is to empower the women who work at Sparrow House Botanicals to grow in confidence and plan for their futures!
I chose bath and body products for this enterprise for a couple of reasons. Survivors of trafficking are seldom able to indulge in the luxurious products we are making. Soaking in a bathtub with the scent of lavender and chamomile in the air, exfoliating with raw sugar and orange peel, moisturizing with natural shea butter; these are not the comforts of a life of exploitation. I wanted the women to be involved in creating beautiful things. I wanted them to feel beautiful using them and be proud making them.
There was another, slightly more selfish reason too. I really love organic, Fair Trade products but they're really hard to find! And at a reasonable price? Not going to happen. There are products on the market that use some Fair Trade ingredients, or are most organic, but when you look at the ingredient list there's still a bunch of stuff in there that I can't identify. I wanted to make bath and body items that actually were natural! I also wanted the products, and the survivors making them, to be a part of the Fair Trade movement. As we work to restore women who have survived exploitation, we want to be sure that the suppliers we are buying from are not exploiting their laborers.
I love what we're doing here at Sparrow House Botanicals and I love the opportunity I have to work with the strongest, most courageous women you could ever meet. God has blessed us and I'm so excited to share with you all that we have in store.