I love it when I get to blog about awesome companies that you can use to make your weddingÂ thoughtful, unique, giving, and all-around-great. Today is one of those days with one of those companies!! Meet Open Arms:
“Open Arms is not a charity, but a “social enterprise”, a sustainable, for-profit company working to achieve a social purpose through the materials they use, the products they sell and the impact they have.Â As such, Open Arms measures its success against a triple bottom line that is economic (employ), ecologic (engage) and social (enjoy).”
Are you interested yet? I know I am! They make clothing and accessories, while employing refugees, giving them a sustainable living and educating them in the areas they need for American living. “Combining ESL and enrichment classes on an as-needed basis with family-friendly hours, this meaningful work and living wageÂ are intended toÂ set these women and their families on an upward path of integration and prosperity.” Wow right? Such a cool company.
Here is a little more about how they got started fromÂ theirÂ blog.
I had the chance to talk with them aboutÂ theirÂ business and what they do. Have a cup of tea and learn a little about making a real difference! I know a few bridesmaids of yours who would love to knowÂ theirÂ gifts went to a cause like this.
What is your specific role in Open Arms, just so we know who we are hearing from? Trina Barlow, Director of Marketing & Communications.
Can you tell us a little bit about your growth so far as a company? Sure! In just 2 short years, we’ve expanded from the local market of Austin, TX, to larger multi-store regional chains and now branching out to over 23 states and 125 retailers. We look forward to being carried nationally soon (shhh, can’t tell you who it is yet so check back!).
How do you find and meet the women in your company who are refugees? We rely heavily on recommendations from two non-profits in our area who work specifically with resettled refugees. They let us know who are the most vulnerable and are ready to work hard (our two requirements). Then we put the women through an extensive training program to get them up to speed.
What is your favorite item for sale right now? I’m really excited about our new accessories, especially our headbands….they are really comfortable and stay put on your head!
If everyone who read this only remembered one thing from the conversation, what would you want them to hang on to?
Supporting Open Arms by buying products and sharing the story with friends truly changes lives. And who are better friends than your bridesmaids?! You can really make a difference, right here in the US.
Lucky for you, they have offered to give away aÂ Jaqualina Infinity Scarf! Just leave a comment on this post and we will let you know if you won!
Contest Ends Monday night (5/6) at midnight!
Contest is ended. Jen of Jen Araya Photography is our winner! Congrats Jen!