Visiting NEST school in India January 09, 2016 09:57
Today has been one of the most gratifying days in our 10 Made journey. When creating a social enterprise we promised that our give back would be more than just writing a check. Today we had the privilege of seeing 1st hand the impact of the NEST school on these precious children’s lives. Living in shanties, these children used to roam the streets of Banglaore, India alone from dawn till dusk. They had never experienced school, toys, swings, crayons, hygiene, fruit, vaccines, and many more items that we consider normal but to them are luxuries.
The NEST school drives to each shanty compound and picks up the children Monday through Friday to take them to the school protecting the children from potential traffickers. The school is equipped to take on even more children but the logistics of one small vehicle to pick up all the children is not allowing for maximum attendance.
As we entered the school, tears welled in our eyes as the children performed several songs in English for us. They were so well behaved and called us “Aunties.” The teachers pour love and structure into these children and the proof of changed lives is written in their smiles.
Today is why we created 10 Made.
Getting ourselves out there! October 13, 2015 22:48
In my opinion, blogs are a place where people get to see an insight or more intimate view of the people behind the company. So here it is, a glimpse into the struggles of Tiff and Jen.
Some people are born natural sales people, true extroverts. If you are a partnership in a business, it is always helpful if at least one of you fits this category. Unfortunately, neither Jen nor I are gifted with the art of sales or networking. Now that we are past initial launch, we are in the beautiful season of getting ourselves out there! I won't lie, it's a little painful. Can I please hide behind my product vignettes or cuddle next to my laptop and watch all the orders magically appear?
Then we remember the "why" behind 10 Made. Our "why" involves more than just ourselves. When you add a greater cause than just you to your "why", the heart gets motivated past your comfort zone into creating a life bigger than you could imagine.
Going live April 28, 2015 22:24
On the eve of our initial launch we are filled with a multitude of emotions. Excited, nervous, hopeful, inspired, blessed, a little tired, but above all, peace in the path we are heading down. What started 8 months ago as a small idea has evolved into a business that not only harnesses our passions of interior design and business, but allows us to work with amazingly talented artisans, teaches our children that you can work AND help others, and produces what we think are pretty amazing pieces for your home.
At time of launch we are blessed to be collaborating with 9 different suppliers/artisans. Some are trying their hand at turning a passion into an income, others venturing into a new industry, and one even providing newly created jobs to some of the poorest women we've ever met.
We've spent time with DeAnne, the fearless leader of Rippled Purpose (which is changing so many lives in Bangalore and we are so blessed to be partnering with in our first collaboration project!), stumbled through our first photo shoots, stayed up through the night teaching ourselves how to build a website, traveled to India to help a small textile business get started, and learned more about metals, finishes, wood and pillows than we ever thought possible.
We feel blessed beyond belief to be part of this. We knew we wanted to create a business we love. Who was to know all of these people would consume so much of our hearts along the way. It really is amazing how God works. And the journey is just beginning.....
Home from India February 05, 2015 11:30
We are home and filled we excitement and total nervousness! Excitement that we have partnered with amazing people with humble hearts. Nervous because now we have seen the poverty and met with the sweet people whose lives could be changed by having a trade and a job using this trade. We could have never understood how our sheltered way of thinking was wrong without going to India ourselves. We thought that just providing training for a trade was helpful in itself. What we failed to see is that training is no good unless you have a job. A job is no good unless you have a form of transportation to get to that job. Transportation to a job is no good unless you have paved roads to travel on to get to that job. None of these were available to the women we were wanting to help! So, we found our great intentions of "at least they will have training" were not so great after all. The realization hit us, "Oh crap, we really have to make this work." 10 Made has to be successful or there are no sewing jobs for these woman (4 of the 6 women being trained are on the left side of picture above). A new level of determination has been planted in our hearts!
India here we come ... January 05, 2015 17:30
Although we have had big hopes and dreams for 10 Made, we had no idea India would become a part of our story so quickly. Let me be honest, Jen and I are planners and not big risk takers (especially Jen). Ok yes, starting a business is a big risk. Perhaps, I will say we are very cautious risk takers.
We had started some corresponding with a friend of my mother's to train some women to sew in the very poor tea garden region of India as potential for creating 10 Made textiles. Our American way of thinking was, "worst case scenario, even if 10 Made doesn't work, they will have learned an additional trade to help them earn an income." It became quickly apparent, if we really wanted to help and give this a true shot of success, we needed to go to India and meet our contacts face to face. We have claimed that our hearts are to be an intimate part of the give back but how could we do that without meeting the women, seeing the villages, and sharing the vision together? So, without near as much planning as a normal business plan would dictate, we booked our tickets, prayed, and held our breaths!
The beginning of 10… December 19, 2014 15:45
Our family was together for an intimate wedding at the beach. Jen and I have had endless discussions on life and who we want to be when we grow up (we are mothers and let’s just say around the age of 40). The maternal guilt of wanting to be there for our kids but also wanting something that’s just for us had haunted us both for a while. So, here we were, yet again, having this discussion.
A little about our background…
I’m an independent interior decorator. I love being a decorator, but I have struggled with one area of my chosen profession. I wanted to have a philanthropic aspect to what I did.
Jen has a master’s in business with a strong corporate background. She truly enjoys business, but has always had a heart for non profit.
As we procrastinated our wedding duties, we asked the question, “how can we combine my love for interior design, Jen’s business savvy, and our heart’s for serving?” That’s when the 10 Made vision was born.
We couldn’t stop talking about it the rest of the weekend (much to the chagrin of the bride to be I’m sure – sorry Michelle.). The wedding turned out beautiful despite our distracted inattention to detail!
We walked away from that weekend with one major conviction. If we go for it and only end up helping 10 people along the way, it’s worth it. We have been fully committed to our vision ever since!