50 women voting on how we spend $100,000

Meet Our Studio Staff

Retails Sales Director

Suzanne Gifford

Suzanne answered the call for retail volunteers in 2020 and is now on staff. She instantly fell in love with the women and the mission. Suzanne is passionate about expanding our reach in the Triangle and beyond. She loves sharing the DFJ mission with visitors in the studio and shoppers at vendor events. When not at DFJ, she enjoying spending time with her family, paddle boarding at Lake Jordan, reading, attending concerts and traveling.

Director of Corporate and Community Engagement

Grace Morris

Grace was born in Pensacola, Florida, but has called Charlotte, NC home for the majority of her life. She found her heart for mission work and nonprofits while working with her church growing up, but credits her passion to her grandmother, who served many nonprofits throughout her life and passed down a love of service to Grace. After moving to Raleigh in 2018 to attend Meredith College, Grace was able to pursue her passion as she constructed her own degree in Nonprofit Management. Grace started with Designed For Joy in the fall of her senior year as an intern and joined the Designed For Joy staff full-time following her graduation in May. When she is not hard at work, you can catch Grace hanging out with her friends, binge watching reality TV, or reading a cheesy romance novel.

Wholesale Sales Director

Vanessa Guirguis

Vanessa, a native New Yorker and self-proclaimed 'Jersey Girl,' bid farewell to her career in investment banking and left behind the frigid winters of the Northeast for the welcoming embrace of the south. Along with her husband Hap and their faithful companion Sydney Grace, they enjoy exploring the abundant walking trails within the Triangle or soaking up the sun at their favorite NC beach. Her unwavering commitment to an active and healthy lifestyle is reflected in her passion for cycling and her dedicated yoga practice. Vanessa always had a yearning for something more profound and a desire to find a deeper purpose. In 2023, she embarked on a new chapter by joining Designed For Joy which resonated with her core values, faith and allows her to channel her passion for service.

Warehouse Lead

Stacy Thompson

Stacy's love for trying new things drew her to Designed for Joy, which allowed her to combine work experience with a need to support a passionate faith-filled mission, that provides vulnerable women a chance to earn a competitive wage, while getting their feet back under them. She has alway enjoyed working part time jobs in small businesses while her kids, Ben and Laura, were growing up. When her kids were off to college, she, alongside her husband John, designed, built, and ran a retail gift business in Cary. In 2017, she and John decided to make a move from Cary to downtown Raleigh, where they could walk and live closer to all the things they enjoy doing! After, the gift shop closed in late 2019, they transitioned the best-selling products from the shop, to their website, and they now run the small business from home. When they aren't working, they love gardening, traveling with friends, cooking, and of course, walking to all the local restaurants, music venues, and breweries!

Production Coordinator


Ana grew up in a St Petersburg Russian orphanage until she was adopted at the age of 12 by a heart surgeon father and a special needs English teacher mom who live on a farm in Knightdale. In 2015 she got her Diploma for Dental Assisting from Wake Tech Community College. She worked in dentistry for 5 years but never felt that was her calling. Ana has two beautiful daughters; Dasha (18) and Ameerah (2) that are the loves of her life and they live together on the horse farm. Ana started with Designed For Joy in Nov 2022 and quickly showed enthusiasm, dedication and a willingness to learn. She started in the Day program, moved to the 3 month program sanding charcuterie boards, and was quickly promoted to Production Coordinator. She is a guiding light for all our women.


Dana Friedli

Dana Friedli recently joined the team as a designer at DFJ following a 41 year career as a professional musician. She is a Parsons School of Design trained silversmith, and has been designing and creating silver and dichroic glass jewelry for over 30 years. Dana completed a Teen Life Coaching Certification in 2023, recognized through the ICF. This seemingly disparate set of skills synchronistically comes together in working with vulnerable women and product design at Designed for Joy.