I feel silly trying to write about an experience that I can’t even put into words. The magnitude of the evening still sits on my heart and flows through my thoughts, leaving my spirit dancing and my face smiling.
I had the privilege to volunteer for Compassion at a local Rend Collective show. To give a bit of background, the last time I was at a Rend Collective show, the girl behind me asked me to make her a bag just like the one I designed and was carrying. My first order! And so Ginger Lane, now BEVY Goods, began. Also at that show, I learned all about Compassion and committed to using a portion of profits to sponsoring a child. So Compassion + Rend Collective hold a deep spot in my heart and am grateful for how God has worked through them.
This time I was on the other side, and able to be one of the people handing out the child packets to audience members. I was able to talk to people about the girl we sponsor and share stories of how our relationship has grown.
A photo of our girl, her family, and the goat they were able to buy with funds through Compassion.
The heartbreaking moments came when we held stacks of cards in our hands, and realized just how many children need to be sponsored. Sponsoring a child is so much more than having money automatically deducted from your bank account every month. It is a relationship, filled with letter writing and sharing stories. Sometimes giving love and giving of yourself is much hard than giving money. But so much more valuable.
Patrick from Rend Collective said it best: “we can sacrifice a little luxury for someone else’s necessity”. It costs $38 a month to sponsor a child. To some, $38 is the cost of two pumpkin spice lattes a week or a t-shirt bought on a whim at Target that you’ll never wear. Little luxuries.
Please consider sponsoring a child through Compassion.
This is not an ad, I don’t work for Compassion. I just love what they are doing.
When I was a little girl, around 5, I had an idea that I wanted to make and sell my own perfume. My mom lovingly gave me some of her little perfume sample tubes (probably some Liz Claiborne, Opium and Giorgio) and a few old glass bottles. I mixed and mixed all these smells, and probably threw in some water. But it needed a name (Princess Buttercup! I was 5…) and a label, so out came the construction paper and glue. Then I sold the bottles, that probably smelled like The Golden Girls, to my moms gracious friends.
It was that moment, that creative process of taking a product through the lifecycle of design to sale, that I would uncover 30 years later as the thing that satisfies my soul. The thing that makes everything make sense about how I was created. We all are made with different gifts, different talents, different things that inspire and bring us great joy. (How was this uncovered? Go read – and answer the questions in – Jon Acuff’s Quitter. Life changing.)
So now, instead of designing perfume from samples from the 80’s (you’re welcome), I design handbags. Bags that are focused on supporting US makers and giving back in our own communities. Sign up to stay up to date on our launch (and Kickstarter!) at BEVY Goods and follow us on Instagram to see what we’re working on, vote on color choices, etc. A bevy of people – a community – can do great things and impact lives for good.
As I mentioned previously, I am rebranding Ginger Lane to Bevy. Still Goods for Good, but with the goal of impacting MORE. But there is more to the story. When I heard God’s whispers that He wanted MORE, I was deep into a time of undiagnosed physical pain that prevented me from sewing. Orders were coming in, my bags were in their first store, trunk shows were planned. But I got to the point that I couldn’t sew without tears streaming down my face due to pain, weakness and numbness.
So I had to stop. I had to accept that I couldn’t keep going. I had to tell people “I’m sorry”, “I can’t fulfill my promise”. I didn’t know what was wrong, so I just had to hope that people would trust me and that I wasn’t just flaking. This pain went on for a year. And the days were filled with doctor’s visits and tests, instead of creating. A partial diagnosis came, horrible medication was given, but the time of stillness gave me a lot of time to pray.
God had so clearly answered prayers with Ginger Lane. I knew that He created me to make, to design, to have a philanthropic company. So why was it all taken away? He kept whispering to me that He wanted MORE. He wanted me to grow the business, to outsource the sewing so that others would have jobs, to build community, to keep giving.
So here we are. Bevy. Goods for Good. A bevy of people, a community, can do great things. I am busy sourcing ethical leathers for our clutches. Busy finding manufactures that help local US towns with jobs. Busy planning ways to continue the giving cycle with every purchase. And so grateful to have you as part of our community.
Over the last year, God has continued to whisper to me about the journey He wants me to take. I’ve been blessed by the support for my handmade shop Ginger Lane, but I kept hearing Him say He wanted MORE. Less me, more community, so the name is now BEVY*. Still Goods for Good.
I am deep in the process of learning about the sustainable and ethical fashion world in order to make a greater impact. The goal is to create jobs by producing the bags in the US, create community for the makers and customers, to give love & hope.
Join me on this journey by signing up for the newsletter (I promise not to spam!) and be the first to know when we launch, get shop discounts and the occasional joke.
*Why BEVY? With the goal of community, we want to bring together makers & customers. A bevy of women to support one another, share their stories, give love and compassion.
(psst….there’s a gift from me to you at the end of the post)
One year ago today, my husband and I and some friends were sitting at the Rend Collective/Tenth Ave North concert when I felt a tap on the shoulder. The woman behind me wanted to see my bag. One that I had just made a few hours earlier. She passed it to her friends, gave sweet compliments and said she needed one just like it. At the next break, she handed me her card and asked me to make her one.
Then one of the lead singers came out to discuss Compassion and child sponsorship and everything just clicked. God answered all of my questions and prayers together in one instant. Personal relationships and connecting with people is where my heart is. Yes. It just made sense that we would give back by building relationships with children all over the world.
Our sweet girl is in Rwanda. It is such a joy to learn all about her. She wants to be a businesswoman and a great preacher. She knows about you all, how you are praying for her and supporting her. I have huge dreams about expanding the sponsorships, but until we can, we are also giving a portion of all proceeds to Compassion International. Please consider sponsoring a child.
I am overwhelmingly grateful to all who have been part of this Ginger Lane journey over the past year. I never would have dreamed that it would be a real business with and hundreds of bags sewn and photoshoots and customers and goals and trunk shows.
The morals of the story?
God likes to surprise us. Be patient and Trust. His plan for launching my business was a thousand times more fun and encouraging than if I pushed my way and tried in vain to make something happen on my own.
The best free and lasting gift? A genuine compliment. It is selfless for the giver. And highly encouraging for the receiver. Just her words and excitement have carried me through the past year.
I entered 2013 with the blind excitement that God wanted me to use my gifts. To let my light shine. I didn’t know how, but I knew I had to trust Him.
I have a need to create, to design. It is deep within me and had been stifled for many years as my life was in survival mode caring for three babies, then toddlers. I started the year by praying that He show me His plan. And while I waited for an answer, I started creating.
And His plans were much greater than I could ever imagine. He surprised and encouraged me at a Rend Collective (my fave) concert at our church last spring. When the girl sitting behind me tapped my shoulder, complimented my bag (which I had made hours before the show), and asked that I make one for her. My first sale. Quickly thereafter, a friend ordered 9 bags. The orders continued and Ginger Lane was born.
This fall, my small group of amazing, God-loving sisters started the Breaking Free study. Life changing is an understatement – and we’re not even finished! So my prayer and focus of 2014 is freedom. Freedom the enemy’s lies that I’ve let keep me captive. Freedom from false fears that have held me back. Freedom from short-term comforts and idols that ultimately betray. My eyes and heart are focused on the Truth. The Truth that I am a beloved child of God, that He sees me as perfect (not with all these self-imposed flaws), and that my unconditional love, value and worth comes from Him.
A few days ago I was filling out Lara Casey’s Powersheets, when she asked what my greatest fears were and why. Out of habit, I wrote that I was afraid of failure and rejection but then was able to write LIE in the columns next to why. I can’t honestly say that I’m afraid of failure and rejection because it means I’m not worthy or talented or loved or anything. That’s a lie! Even if I “fail” by worldly standards or am rejected, who cares? My worth does not come from the world. My only goal is to glorify God by being the person He created me to be. Freedom.
Psalm 40 starts, “I waited patiently for the Lord, He turned and heard my cry.” But I realized, in these times where I thought I was waiting on God, He was actually waiting on me. He has been waiting on me to say, I trust you. You got this. He doesn’t force Himself on us, He doesn’t force us to love Him or glorify Him. He waits on us. He waits for us to open our hearts and accept His invitation. We have to stand up and say we’re ready.
God put these crazy big ideas on my heart. And I’m giddy to do my part and follow His lead. I’m ready for God to do amazing things through me.
I’ll share more about the crazy ideas as they progress.