Trades of Hope started in 2010 by two mother and daughter teams in a little town on the coast of Florida. Our small beginnings didn't change the big dreams we had to empower women out of poverty all over the world. I was one of the daughters in this incredible partnership and had the opportunity to help develop this amazing business from age 17.
We organically grew and as most start ups do, we looked around to see who could help us in our mission to change the world. We found close friends and family that partnered arm and arm with us to do the unthinkable: work toward ending poverty and changing the lives of women worldwide. And a movement began.
As we’ve grown, we’ve hired an incredibly diverse group of people that make our mission even more real and achievable. But the simple fact remains that we never want to lose that close family feel that can be seemingly lost in corporate America today. “Corporate” is the word we’ve banned in our office. Not that it’s bad, but for us, we want it to feel like home and like family. We even call our staff the "home team."
We believe that, if you’re going to spend 40 hours a week somewhere, you should love that place. And that place should love you back.
As a fair trade company, we are very focused on doing this also with the 13,000+ artisans we partner with all over the world. Work was not supposed to be a cold, clock in and clock out mentality. Work is meant to be your passion, your life’s work, your calling. And for every single person that works with us, whether vendor, artisan, or employee, we want to add to their life in some way.
How can you be passionate about work if your workplace isn’t passionate about you? We decided early on that we are passionately people first and will always champion that.
In 2017, we were so proud to offer medical benefits to our Florida home team for the first time. Knowing how hard it is secure the right benefits, especially with children, is an overwhelming part of this world. We were honored that we got to give this gift to our home team to help ease that burden and take care of their families.
Did you know that the U.S. is one of only two countries in the first world that offers no federal paid maternity leave? At Trades of Hope, we are a company that supports and honors women and all they choose to be. Because of this, we offer paid maternity leave with an additional 6 weeks of leave time for births and adoptions for our home team. On top of that, we love that we can also offer paternity leave as well, because we know that a new child is a transition for the mother and father and we want to make that transition as easy as possible.
We also LOVE that our Compassionate Entrepreneurs are their OWN business owners and can help others, bring in a paycheck, AND have families they stay home with if they so choose. We have many layers to our business and love the empowerment we can bring to them all.
In addition to this, so many of our artisan groups support their artisans by providing healthcare, childcare, schooling, and family programs. And in 2017, we were directly part of starting two schools for our artisan groups. We truly believe that education is one of the main keys to ending poverty at its root. To see the smiling faces of our artisans in India and Haiti who can now learn to read, write, and dream for their future, is one of our greatest hopes come true!
We believe in the power of women and all they choose to be. Because of this, we love that women can lead project meetings at Trades of Hope, be a part of a successful career, while also raising a healthy family.
We love that an artisan mom can create products in her workshop while knowing her child is being safely taken care of in daycare. We love that our Compassionate Entrepreneurs can work from home AND empower women worldwide. We love being a part of providing incomes that allow families to buy homes for the first time and reinvest into others. To champion people first is our passion.
We also focus on programs through out the year to create a culture of fun in our home office workplace. During the fall months, you could show up and find our staff dressed up as favorite movie characters, strong females from history, or sci-fi costumes. We host leadership teachings every Monday to pour into our staff, because we believe everyone who works for us is a leader with great power to change the world.
We love to throw parties and during the year we host parties with prizes, games, and moments of reflection. You can even find a few of our goofy staff videos online. Dancing and singing is involved as much as possible! Our work can be heavy, but we believe that we truly are in the business of hope and want to create an atmosphere that brings that to every person working with us.
At our Thanksgiving party, all our staff brings a dish to share. We sit around a table (which we keep having to add to every year as we grow!) and we each give thanks for one thing that happened at work that year. It’s often a time where tears, laughter, and hugs happen, as each person remembers the memories they’ve had, the growth gained, and the new friends made.
This Thanksgiving party is exactly how we want our business to look. We will continue to grow and have grown – hugely so! God has blessed us, and we believe that we in turn get to bless others. Our dream is to empower others to be all they can be. We are proud to create a place that feels like home for everyone. The little things we can do, like supporting working families, benefits, leadership investment, parties, and fun events, may sometimes cost a few extra dollars, sure. But the pay off is astronomical and crucial for the great work we’ve been called to. People first.
We’ve created a place of wholeness, where employees feel loved and accepted and work hard for their passion and our passion – ending poverty and changing lives all over the world.
And in turn, we’re able to pour this passion into partnering with over 5,000 American women AND 13,000 artisans.....who can now send their babies to school, buy a home for the first time, work in a place of love and respect, and see their lives completely change.
Sustainable, people first business truly changes things for everyone.
Check out more about us and how you can get involved at www.tradesofhope.com
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