The Story Behind The Vision & Mission
This was the absent topic of conversation at events...
This was the missing part of my business model that I’ve longed to incorporate from the beginning...
This is the topic I've sat down to write about a dozen times since releasing it online...
The vision and mission of Habitual Threads.
HT’s vision and mission is a response to some influential experiences of mine in years past. The vision and mission gives purpose to making necklaces in my studio apartment beyond the obvious role of employment.
I was nineteen and in the middle of college during the summer of 2012 when my sister returned from a mission trip to Haiti. She brought back countless memories and stories, not to mention a heart transformed by her experiences.
There's been one account that has stuck with me ever since. Savannah (who was only fourteen at the time) told me about Monday morning at a feeding center in Maïssade. Savannah explained that the feeding center completely closed for the weekend. I don't remember why, maybe there was no one to work? Not enough food? Corruption? But it closed, leaving dozens and dozens of people weak and without food for 48 hours. Infants and toddlers were passed out from hunger. Savannah said she had to disruptively rock a little girl in her arms in order to wake her up to feed babe for the first time that week.
Like I mentioned, I was in college, studying fashion in LA, living in Pasadena, and had every need I ever had met. After hearing Savannah's story I was baffled how my life was fine and theirs was not. I felt guilty about the industry I was studying and wanted to work in. I felt confused about what do with this new information. My blissful ignorance broke.
How could so many people's most basic needs go unmet?
This question has come and gone in my mind throughout the years. I went to India and saw poverty with my own eyes unlike anything I've ever seen before. I returned to a career in fashion and would brainstorm about how to merge a creative background with helping people for years...
I've observed that different people need different things and limitations are real. When a need is unmet, it's really hard to move beyond that need without some help. The little girl Savannah held in Haiti could not wake up on her own to get the food she needed. Her needs limited her and she needed some help.
In my own life, I've experienced needing care for my mental and emotional health. After I got married and moved away from California, it was hard. On the surface, I had gotten everything I had ever wanted and was living my teenage dream. But I wasn't a teenager anymore and underneath, inside, around, I felt lost literally because of loss. I shouldn't feel this way was what I told myself for weeks until I couldn't anymore. It was easy to isolate myself because I only knew Luke in Philadelphia. Months went by, lots of tears, 12 seasons of Grey's Anatomy, and a phone call to my health insurance, I found myself a counsellor and began going to weekly talk therapy.
It worked wonders. My need was met. I began to think about friends and community in my new home for the first time. I could move outward versus being stuck inside myself. I worked, became more involved in my church and community, and eventually developed Habitual Threads.
We may not be able to solve everything but we can respond to something.
Through my business I have chosen to take steps towards supporting a variety of causes that meet basic needs because like I’ve explained above, I’ve seen and experienced the difference small changes can make in someone’s life. Small improvements lead to bigger ones and the end become exponential.
I want my customers to feel connected to who we are supporting, based on their heart, so I let them pick where to give $5 from their purchase. It’s been pretty cool to witness someone’s decision about who they’d like to give to-- some customers are so certain and some take a minute. Countless stories float around their minds while they choose. I wish I could hear them all…
I’m not naive enough to believe that this is the ultimate solution to fixing and providing every need out there. We all have our own stories and needs, sometimes they're similar and sometimes they're different but either way, this is my response-- the mission and vision for Habitual Threads.