Ask anyone about Nashville and the first things you might hear are country music and the Grand Ole Opry. But our growing city (and surrounding counties) are bursting with talent, and it’s not just in the music industry. There are local artists/entrepreneurs right at our doorsteps that are not only creating unique products, but some are even giving back in the process.
My introduction to this locally based group was after a friend of mine received a BRANDED bracelet as a gift. It was a simple metal cuff with a random number engraved on the side. She explained that each piece from the collection is created with a number that represents the millions of victims that are trapped in a horrible situation of human trafficking. What I didn’t know was that most victims of trafficking are branded, tattooed, burnt, and sometimes even cut by their captors with a number that marks them to show slave ownership.
When we think of human trafficking, we certainly don’t look within our own state lines. We think stuff like that happens in other countries. This Nashville-based non-profit group, End Slavery Tennessee, employs survivors in an empowerment jobs program and helps give them a fresh start at life.
When you received your branded item from BRANDED Collective, you are BRANDED. “Together you wear the story, share the story, and change the story.”
For more information – BrandedCollective.com
One of my favorite businesses that is also related to human trafficking, but addresses women of abuse, addiction, and prostitution as well is Thistle Farms. Started in 1997 by a female Episcopal Priest, Becca Stevens, this organization employs residents and graduates of their residential program where it offers women a sanctuary with a simple message of “LOVE HEALS.”
Their social enterprises operate a bath and beauty line, The Thistle Stop Cafe, a Global Marketplace, as well the Studios Workshop. It provides opportunities for women to acquire certain skills needed to earn a living and get out on their own.
Products are offered for men, women, and children, and range from scented candles to travel accessories.
For more information – ThistleFarms.org
In 2009, Nashville-based Brittany Fuson launched an adorable “ready-to-write” collection of stationary and notepads with stylish fashion illustrations that will inspire you with your own wardrobe. Through the years her product offerings have expanded into luggage tags, planners, notepads, stickers and disposable coffee cups. You can choose from a selection of best-dressed prints or work with Brittany to design your own.
For More information – BrittanyFuson.com
Founded in 2013, Ceri desired a creative outlet after the birth of her first child. While working late one night on cowhide pillows with her interior design business, she fell upon a genius idea of a fold over clutch. Her namesake company was born, and she has been designing leather goods since. Ceri Hoover bags are designed in the heart of Nashville but assembled in the USA in Los Angeles, CA.
Products offering include an extensive handbag selection, small leather goods and shoes.
You can visit her flagship store off of 12th Avenue South or check out more styles at CeriHoover.com.