RALEIGH, N.C., Jan., 20, 2021 — Designed For Joy (DFJ) proudly announces a partnership with two area groups, The Scrap Exchange in Durham and The Women's Center of Wake County, to create stylishly designed and sustainably handmade tote bags. This project was born out of a mutual desire to reach more women in emergency situations by encouraging them, teaching new skills, and paying these artisans a living wage.
"I am so excited about the Triangle Impact Tote Project because it is made by the community, for the community," said DFJ's Co-Founder and Designer, Kristen Sydow. "It's amazing to be a part of different groups coming together for the common goal of transforming vulnerable women in our community. It is the true community effort that makes this project so impactful."
The Triangle Impact Tote: More Than a Bag
The triangle formation on the tote is more than symbolic. This bag provides opportunities. The wide panels on the front of the bag are in the shape of an upward arrow, representing the empowerment and uplifting encouragement this community offers women. The three leather triangles on the back of the bag represent the three collaborating organizations.
The materials were supplied by and repurposed from the Scrap Exchange. The Women's Center of Wake County provides the on-site workshop space, plus nourishment and constant support for the most vulnerable women in our community. These sustainable totes will be sewn by women sheltering in the Women's Center.
Designed For Joy coordinates the workshops, teaches the women the skills to make the totes, and provides the equipment. Even more significant, DFJ pays them a living wage for the day of dignified work and will sell the bags in their boutique and online. Not only will they work in a safe environment and earn a living wage, but the funds made can be used for immediate needs.
Opportunities To Get People Talking
This tote not only helps vulnerable women but creates an excellent opportunity to encourage healthy discussions geared towards improving the quality of life for all.
"Anytime we work with an organization like the Women's Center or the Durham Scrap Exchange, or you support Designed For Joy, you support this entire network of groups focused on helping our community," said Cary Heise, Founder and Director of Designed For Joy. "The tote is a great way to promote all three of these partnerships. This one item becomes a talking point to discuss sustainability, earning a living wage, and empowering women."
DFJ also enjoyed the help of a team from the N.C. Museum of Art, and from a commercial furniture dealership, Creative Business Interiors. Volunteers from both organizations helped cut materials for the totes during a recent day of service.
If you are interested in becoming a part of this project, consider supporting by:
- Sponsoring a workshop $375 (equal to 25 living wage hours paid to artisans)
- Purchasing a one-of-a-kind tote $68
- Volunteering time to cut and prep materials (priceless)
To sponsor a workshop, purchase a tote bag, or volunteer, visit the Designed For Joy website: designedforjoy.com.
About Designed For Joy
Designed For Joy is a transitional work experience for women coming from trafficking, homelessness, time in prison, overcoming addiction or other vulnerable situations. We provide living wage work hours while building confidence and refreshing resumes.
The women who create our brand with us are those living at high risk for sex and labor trafficking and/or food and housing insecurities. We partner with long-running ministries or local NGOs serving women that may be coming out of trafficking, emergency situations, generational poverty, homelessness, rehab, or prison. We believe in a community approach. In this holistic care approach, we take the vocational resource component while our professional partners do what they do best.