In the fall of 2017, I traveled to Central America with 15 Threads supporters—Ambassadors, staff, investors, and advisors—to visit our Artisan Partners in Guatemala.
In Patulul, we gathered with a group of artisan women to share our dreams. To transcend our language barrier, we used crayons and markers to draw our dreams on sheets of paper. As we started drawing, there was snickering and giggling among the group, all of us a bit anxious about sharing our artistic abilities (or lack thereof, especially in my case!).
When we finished drawing, we took turns standing in front of the group and sharing our dreams with the help of a translator. When our Artisan Partner Magdalena stood up to share, she was too nervous to speak. After a few moments, one of our Threads travelers (Nita, the founder of the Equity Project here in Denver) jumped to Magdalena’s side, put her arm around her shoulders, and held her while Magdalena found her voice and shared her dream.
The very first Threads family value that we formulated was “Together We Rise: We are better together. We choose collaboration over competition every time.” Threads is built on this foundation of collaboration.
As Mother Teresa said, “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”
In order to create a world that works for everyone, we must look to one another—to all of our Fair Trade Partners, Artisan Partners, Ambassadors, customers, and staff—and recognize that we all have a contribution to make to this vision. We are unique threads that make up the fabric of a new world that we are creating: a world that is fair, compassionate, and abundant. This is the time to forge a new path, a new way of being, a new way of working together, a new way of lifting one another up.
As women, we are inherently collaborative, compassionate, intuitive, and empathetic. We lead with our hearts and envision ourselves as part of the whole. At Threads, we celebrate and elevate these strengths, knowing that our shared commitment to our values has the power to equalize, the power to heal, and the power to change the world.
A few minutes later, our Threads VP of Sales, Kerstin, found herself overcome with emotion when she stood to share about her dreams for her family. Magdalena did not miss the opportunity to pay it forward and immediately rose to put her arm around Kerstin and offer her the same support she herself had received moments before.
I was so moved by what I was witnessing, and as tears welled up in my eyes, I was reminded that sometimes all we need to take that extra step is to know that someone has our back. When we know this, we are able to find the courage to act in the face of fear and push ourselves beyond our limits.
When our Spring/Summer products arrived from Guatemala last week, I pulled out the shimmering Unirse Bracelet and was reminded again of that powerful moment back in 2017. Unirse means “join” in Spanish… the perfect reminder that when women join together, anything is possible.