Written by Michelle Herd Fetch, VP of Operations for Threads Worldwide
I’ve found that when I surrender to divine timing, something beautiful always emerges. In my most recent surrender, an incredible opportunity has emerged: the chance to weave the mission of Threads Worldwide into the fabric of the United States, one town at a time.
In order to tell the full story, I should rewind a bit. After years of growing a career in the technology field in Denver, Colorado, I was nudged to leave the cushy and lucrative work to seek a different life. In late 2014, I was looking at Craigslist for the very first time in my life (divine intervention) and came across an ad for an administrative assistant position with Threads Worldwide. Most of the ad was dedicated to the description of the work, but there were beautiful morsels sprinkled throughout that described this company as one which gathers people who want to change the world. I was intrigued.
My intrigue blossomed into commitment as I became the first non-seasonal employee for Threads. As a foursome, the three Founders and I began the business of bringing additional expertise to deepen Threads’ initiatives. Over the next three years, we added to the team women with marketing, social media, photography, customer service, field development, and shipping and receiving expertise.
Fast forward to 2016. My husband and I had known for a while that we needed a change in our own lives, and this became more pronounced each day we looked towards our imminent future as empty nesters.
My life as a mother of two daughters has been the greatest joy of my life, and had become consuming to the point of my feeling disconnected from my true self. In the joyful and frenetic pace of parenting two children, now independent young adults, I had forgotten what lit my own fire. I found the fire again in my work with Threads Worldwide.
In tandem, my husband I were rediscovering our marriage. We decided that, after dropping our youngest daughter at college, we would begin a new chapter as nomads. We both had the fortunate option of working remotely, so we sold our home and nearly all our possessions, and began our adventure around the United States.
Now as we recently hit our 1-year mark of traveling, I am recognizing that my love of travel is not fleeting. And since my passion for Threads has not dimmed, it seems only right to combine the two!
I tested out this new role for myself in Gray, Maine, where I was fortunate to spend time with one of our Fair Trade Partners, Kate Sarton. I attended her Showcase, scheduled to reveal our new fall collection and celebrate her recent promotion to FTP 4 (Threads’ first official management rank). As a congratulatory gift, I thought it would be special to give her my Lamu Necklace, a piece that is now retired.
The Lamu was the first Threads piece I bought for myself. It’s a delicate necklace handmade in Kenya which highlights the power of connection through intertwined brass circles. To me, this perfectly reflects the power of women working with women.
I relayed to Kate’s guests that her promotion allows her to increase awareness of Threads’ mission even further, which translates into more work and a higher quality of life for our Artisan Partners and their families.
We had a lovely evening hearing Kate’s beautiful Threads Talk and trying on the stunning pieces of our Fall Limited Collection. I particularly enjoyed putting faces with names of Kate’s customers who’ve been supporting the growth of her Threads business.
This first foray into collaborating directly with our Fair Trade Partners was more special than I could have hoped. I can’t wait to attend more events like this one. And I’ll share with you what I learn along the way!