An “Ordinary” Woman impacting Lives through Johari Creations

The first time I learned of Lindsy, it was through an online fundraiser her & her husband were apart of to help bring home their daughter, Glory. I loved her story, her fundraising ideas and thought she seemed so “cool”. Little did I know that in less than a year we would be roommates at the Influence Conference and build a friendship over the internet. Lindsy is a mom to 5 under the age of 5 (with one still in Africa) through international adoption and foster care/adoption! Lindsy’s heart and passion spurs me on to continue to seek justice and mercy for those that come from hard places and to be ready to say “yes” to whatever He calls me to do. I hope that you enjoy what Lindsy has to say and make sure to head over to Johari Creations to do some Christmas shopping!

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Johari Creations is a marketplace for handcrafted products made by artisans in developing countries around the world. We seek to come alongside our artisan partners with sustainable incomes, holistic development and shared work and responsibility. We believe amazing beauty can come from poverty and while the artisans handcraft stunning products, it is the artisans themselves we celebrate as “johari” – the Swahili word for jewel.

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Johari Creations was started by myself and my good friend Erika. Erika and I are two mamas with an eye for the beautiful, a love for the lost, and a desire to come alongside the struggling and at-risk.

We are not special. We are just ordinary, everyday women saying Yes to God.

Johari Creations was born out of two desires – Erika’s need for a creative outlet (In the beginning she designed and created all of her own jewelry.) and to bolster her family’s financial situation. Erika and her family have been on the mission field since 2001 and, after moving from Africa to work in urban America, the Philip’s financial support took a substantial dive. This is when Johari Creations first began! However, at the time Erika had three children under the age of 3 (a son and twin girls!) and Johari Creations was put on hold.

Fast forward a few years and God began stirring in Erika a deep conviction regarding mothering, family, and poverty. Her soul conviction is simple – no mother should EVER have to give her children up for adoption or to the street because of poverty. Erika’s original desires for Johari Creations remained true – a desire for creativity and the need to diversify funding.

So, Erika began to reimagine what Johari Creations could be. How could she empower mothers in poverty to use their assets and gifts in a way that celebrates them and provides a sustainable income?

After grappling, experimenting with business, and putting her dreams to paper, Erika was about to take the leap – all the while feeling a bit crazy because of her responsibilities in full time ministry work and family! Erika shared her vision with me – to work directly with the artisans on design, community development and discipleship. To increase the artisan marketplace through an ambassador program, rebranded website and strategic online presence. To support community based orphan care and adoptions.

Yes. Yes. Yes. I wanted all of those things too. My family has been fundraising for our international adoption for nearly five years. Our most successful fundraiser has been purchasing jewelry from Uganda and selling it online, at art shows and in the homes of family and friends. As our fundraising draws to a close, I had been dreaming and thinking and praying about where to go next with our online shop and jewelry selling ventures. I love supporting artisans in developing countries and enabling them to provide for their families but I am pretty much U.S. bound and admittedly not the trendiest person on the block.

And then it hit us. Erika has the global contacts, eye for design, and experience working with people living in poverty. I have the strategic brain, itch to implement and grow things, and too much knowledge of social media. We’re a match made in small business heaven! After praying and seeking wise counsel, we joined forces in the fall of 2013 and launched the expanded and rebranded Johari Creations.
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A friend recently asked me how I “do it all.” My answer is simple, “I don’t.” I do what God puts in front of me today. I try to say “Yes” to what He is calling me to right now, in this moment.

Sometimes my “Yeses” are to seemingly small things, like making my husbands lunch or folding laundry or rocking one of my kids to sleep. Sometimes it’s seemingly big things, like pursuing international adoption or becoming foster parents or starting a small business.

But, in all of our “Yeses”, if we are living for Him, He is being glorified in and through us and that is being used by an extraordinary and big God.

Below is a giveaway for a $20 gift certificate to Johari creations! Make sure to enter for your chance to receive $20 towards your next purchase!

 

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Comments

  1. Thus far, the Safari Snuggles Elephant is my favorite Johari Creations item. But, once I browse their collection in its entirety, I might find a new favorite… we’ll see. 🙂

  2. I have been eyeing the batik singular bracelets since I first saw them! they’re so bright + modern.

  3. This is a great giveaway! I love the bracelets.

  4. The Cascade Necklaces & Acai Rope Necklaces are GORGEOUS!!!

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