Community Blog – Thistle Farms / Global Marketplace

From the Streets to Accounts Manager: Chelle is Living Proof

The growth Thistle Farms has enjoyed in the last several years has kept Chelle Waller, survivor-leader and Accounts Manager, very busy. As a 2005 graduate, Chelle has seen a great deal of change since she first began. “At one time, we were only about 5 women working here, just at one little table,” Chelle recalls. Now, Chelle manages the accounts payable process for a company with a $4 million budget.
October 12, 2016 by Melanie Reitz

We Are Not Alone: A Blog from Becca

On Thistle Farm's third trip to visit the Ikirezi community, Nicholas told me that our ecommerce partnership was important, not just because of the added economic value, but because it was a reminder that he wasn’t alone in this work. What he meant was that despite the overwhelming obstacles one faces in justice work out in the fields, we can overcome our times of loneliness and heartbreak if we work together.
September 19, 2016 by Becca Stevens

The Woman Standing in Front of Us: A Blog from Becca

very time a new partner comes on board the global trade network, it makes the whole effort stronger. Thistle Farms seems to keep growing in proportion to the calling to keep proclaiming love as the most powerful force for social change in the world.  We cant live into that calling without global vision. We cant talk about healing without knowing the communities of women producing the oils or growing the tea.
August 30, 2016 by Becca Stevens

Speaking without Words: The Global Language of Love

This past March, Thistle Farms’ survivor-leader and hospitality expert, Jennifer, traveled to San Eduardo, Ecuador with a small group from St. Augustine’s chapel. She had in hand the measurements for pencil and computer cases for the women artisans at Sibimbe, one of Thistle Farms’ Global partners. Two years prior, Jennifer visited the women of Sibimbe and their small sewing cooperative. She remembers that the community was struggling, but that the women she met loved working on beautiful sewn bags for Thistle Farms healing oil sets. Upon arrival, Jennifer couldn’t believe the differences she witnessed. “The community is thriving!” she exclaims.
August 17, 2016 by Melanie Reitz

New Definitions for Old Words: An Intern's Reflection on Her Summer at Thistle Farms

Carrie Cabush interned at Thistle Farms this summer as part of our Education & Outreach team and specifically worked on developing the framework for the 2017 Thistle National Conference. As a student at Princeton Seminary, she also spent time reflecting theologically on what she learned and we are grateful that she shared her thoughts with us. 

August 15, 2016 by Carrie Cabush

The Story of Sibimbe & Thistle Farms

One of the most crucial parts of Thistle Farms Global is the idea of learning together with our partners. Sibimbe, a Global Partner located in San Eduardo, Ecuador showcases a journey of learning and collaboration. The story of Sibimbe began as an exchange of ideas between Becca Stevens and Gina Angulo, the priest at Iglesia de San Eduardo. They decided to embark on creating a women’s cooperative, which would empower women socially and economically.
August 07, 2016 by Abi Hewitt

Universal Love at the Heart of our Being: A Blog from Becca

As long as we remain undaunted by the task of uniting women through shared trade and global ecommerce, we can help small communities of women find their path to economic freedom. And just as importantly, help them start the interior work of healing that is just as vast and powerful. 
August 03, 2016 by Becca Stevens

Angela Says Yes to Love, Community, and New Challenges

Survivor-leader and cafe team member, Angela, has embraced that “yes” with gusto in her time at Thistle Farms. She recalls, “I came in to Thistle Farms with less than 90 days clean, trying to work my way back up. Part of that process was to gain responsibility and accountability. I needed more and I knew that I could do this. In my time working at the cafe I’ve learned that I’m a lot stronger than I give myself credit for.”
July 20, 2016 by Melanie Reitz

The Power of Love: Summer Survival Kit

FreesetSaying “Yes to Love” is a global movement that we seek to spread to every corner of this earth, and we believe love is necessary to bring the next woman off the street and into freedom. Our global partners have taught us how similar we all are, regardless of the distance between us. As Becca said, “we are unwavering in the proclamation that the story of a million women around the world being trafficked and abused is actually one story of one woman that we’ve met time and time again.” 

Learning to Say Yes to Love: A Blog from Becca Stevens

I remember when the idea of our Global Marketplace, Shared Trade, came into being in the summer of 2014.  I was standing on a train pulling out of Oxford England with the Thistle Farms contingency and felt the shift of muddled thoughts moving from the world of feeling and taking on shape. The idea of launching a Thistle’s Farms Global initiative started after an international gathering with inspired music and justice advocates speaking in wishes about how economic justice could change the story of many women.
July 06, 2016 by Becca Stevens
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