I would have never thought that a divine connection I made in Thailand, two years ago, would have such an impact on my life in NYC today.
When I came back to NYC, I wasn’t quite sure what I’d be doing here. I just knew I wanted to continue to do work in the field of anti-trafficking, and I most definitely did not want to do it alone.
I was introduced to Elegantees, in February of this year, by a friend that I went to church with years ago. His wife, Katie, was putting together a fashion show on the upper west side, and he was wondering if I could help out, but I was in Florida at the time. So I told him I couldn’t.
But after I said “no” I felt it was the wrong decision, and so I contacted him a couple days later and asked him if they still needed help. He said they did, so I booked my ticket and flew back to NYC to help out.
I instantly fell in love with everything Elegantees stands for. Promoting modesty in a world where fashion screams that nudity and sexy clothes equate to beauty, and not only that, but providing sewing jobs for survivors of sex trafficking.
When I was in Thailand, I saw first hand how difficult it was to find jobs for the women who left prostitution. It was so discouraging to have companies, even Christian companies, unfortunately, tell us “No” over and over. I love that Elegantees’ desire is to meet that financial need, of the restoration process, for as many survivors as possible.
I knew I wanted to be on Katie’s team, and I told her to pray about me joining in any way that I could. So I joined end of February as Promotions and PR Manager.
So how did the person I met in Thailand come into play in NYC?
Well he happened to be David Batstone, the founder of Not For Sale, which just happens to be one of the largest NGO’s in the fight against human trafficking. We met at an Asian Pacific Forum on Human Trafficking, there. I contacted him when I came back to the states, and asked him if I could talk to someone from NFS when I went to visit the west coast in March.
He ended up giving me the Director of Merchandising’s email address… and one email led to another..and now Elegantees is partnering with Not for Sale to donate profits of certain tops to them, and support them in the amazing work they’re doing!! At the same time, we’re being introduced to thousands of new people through social media.
I’m now focusing more on Events Coordination with Elegantees, and, thank God, we are growing. We are still a small team of volunteers, but we desperately want to provide more employment for NGO’s helping to restore survivors. Right now we’re working with Restore NYC, in our own backyard, and Nepali Rescue Project.
I feel so blessed that I get to spread the word about a company that is looking to bring justice, enhance true beauty, and help restore precious women. I look forward to seeing Elegantees grow, we even have a men’s line that we’re debuting this fall!
Of course, it would be nice to be able to live off of this blessing (and not have to substitute teach), but more importantly I want Elegantees to grow so that we can see more women employed, and provide a new sense of dignity, and worth to the women who have come from a life of being used, abused, and feeling worthless.
I’ve sometimes battled with guilt of not being overseas, not living in a small bedroom that has a bathroom in it, and not eating pb & j every day, but I’m also learning that guilt doesn’t come from God. Also, I want to always be wherever God wants me to be, whether it means overseas or back home. It’s not so much about WHAT you do and WHERE you do it.. but whether or not you’re IN the Father’s will.. because THAT’S what He will bless…wherever you are. Oh I pray I will always be where and do what He’s asking of me.
I don’t really know what the my future holds, and how all this will span out… but I know this is just a part of all that God is going to do, in NYC, regarding this evil of human trafficking, and I am so humbled, and privileged to be a part of it.
Below is the Elegantees video promotion for the Not for Sale top, and this is the link you can go to to purchase the Britni top. Your donation will go to Not For Sale. So go ahead and shop for a cause. Fashion with a purpose..and what a beautiful purpose it is.