What are you made to say "yes" to? - an interview with Lindsy Wallace
It started with an email and then a necklace she sent me. I quickly became a big fan of Lindsy, her jewelry and the way she uses her business to impact women in developing countries. When I started my summer series showcases readers who are doing amazing things, I knew she had to be in the mix. HINT : there is a special treat for you guys at the end.
Liz: You are one of the women behind Johari Creations. Tell us a bit about that business.
Lindsy: Johari Creations is a marketplace for handcrafted products made by artisans in developing countries.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.
Endeared to the traditional African wisdom of "Ujima", we believe our brothers & sisters struggles to be our own and therefore share a collective responsibility to work together towards spiritual freedom, justice and economic stability.
A percentage of all Johari Creation sales is given towards adoption and community-based orphan care. Our products are environmentally friendly and created from local materials in a historically indigenous trade.
Liz: Is this something you have always wanted to do?
Lindsy: Not exactly. I've always had what I've called an injustice complex and been a fighter for the underdog.
Our experience with the foster care system and international adoption brought us face to face with homelessness, mental health issues, single mothers/absent fathers, the brokenness of the foster care system, lack of clean water, human trafficking, poverty, lack of maternal health care and drug addiction.
This is where Johari Creations was born - out of my desire to come alongside families, in particular women just like me who desire the best for their children. Only they aren't like me because they were not born in a country where women are not educated or clean water is not accessible or there is no maternal health care... the list goes on.
So I said "Yes.". I said yes to starting an online business and celebrating artisans from developing countries around the world because I believe in them and I believe they deserve to raise their children. Thankfully, I found a friend-turned-business partner with over a decade of community development experience, global contracts and a killer eye for design to do it with.
Johari Creations is more than just another online business. The heartbeat of Johari is family. Connecting first world people to third world people one trunk show at a time. Giving ordinary folks like me a tangible way to come alongside parents on the other side of the world so they aren't forced to put their kids on the street or in an orphanage. So their kids can eat three meals a day and go to school. So the cycle of poverty and broken families can stop with them.
Liz: Thinking about creating economic stability for women in poverty, running an online shop and having a family on top of that seems daunting. Is it messy sometimes?
Lindsy: Not just sometimes, all the time!
I am a high-capacity person who is not easily overwhelmed but that doesn't mean I don't need to shift my focus away from my to-do list and back onto the people in my real life from time to time. Thankfully, I'm an evaluator so I am constantly evaluating things to see if something needs to change, and usually, something does.
I've learned to give myself grace and be quick to ask for forgiveness. I also have an incredibly supportive husband and kids who don't know any better.
Liz: How do you stay motivated when the problem is so big?
Lindsy: My motto is just say "yes" to the one thing in front of me. I try not to get ahead of myself and into the "what ifs" or worry that I am ill-equipped or can't see the next step. I just offer my "yes" to that one thing and trust that will be enough until the next thing comes along. One "yes" at a time.
Liz: Lark and Bloom readers are dreamers & doers. Any advice for them?
Lindsy: Ask yourself, "What is my one thing?". What are you being asked to dream? What are you being called to do? Don't get distracted with the "what ifs", just offer up your "yes". One "yes" at a time.
*** In the true spirit of community, Lindsy is offering fellow Lark & Bloom readers 15% off all purchases from Johari for the next five days. Just visit their website, and enter in "larkandbloom" as the promotional coupon code at checkout. (this is not a sponsored post and I do not receive any portion of the sales.)***
Lindsy Wallace is a Jesus follower, wife, mama, orphan advocate and justice seeker living in Kentucky. Visit her business, Johari Creations. Or check her out social media. Instagram: @joharicreations Facebook: @joharicreations. She also blogs at Light Breaks Forth.