There were at least one hundred miracles leading up to this one. Our hope was full and the tension was real. We had been praying for a great success, hoping that the collection would sell out by noon. We wanted this to be the beginning of more.
We were dreaming big.
I fell asleep around 12am(11pm ET)— thinking, what can I do in the middle of the night… I tried to rest. At about 1am (12AM ET) my phone started going crazy with people in a panic trying to get the bag. There seemed to be struggles with an overloaded website and countless individuals started asking for my help. It was so exciting and I found myself fielding questions without even having opened the site, there just hadn’t been time! The buzz died down around 2:30am—I felt loved by so many loyal, courageous friends.
The next morning at New Hope Girls everyone was buzzing. We dressed in matching T-shirts designed for that very day. “Creado para Mas”—Made for More. We were holding tight to those words and the promise that our future was bigger than we were able to imagine in those monumental hours since the bags had been released.
The girls had decorated and the house looked truly amazing. We planned a time of gratitude, a time to remember, a time let down and celebrate. We huddled on the floor together singing, our eyes wet and leaking with hope and gratitude. We took time to remember the process and the miracles we’d shared along the journey.
We pulled out the bowl of rocks. Each rock holds a word that represents a significant miracle to the person who had written it in the first place. I took the first rock and wrote Vera Bradley, and as I began to speak of the rich connection and partnership we had formed, others followed and began reaching for rocks and writing their own words.
The words Growth, More, Healing and Refuge were written on rocks with raw stories explaining why they had etched that chosen sentiment. Stories of promise, dreams realized, from little shacks to beautiful facilities, from home machines to industrial, from yards to rolls. Our director reached for two rocks and shared that one year ago we submitted papers for girls who had no name according to the government. She then took a moment to announced that their birth certificates were received during this very week and now they not only have names but rights to study, work and travel.
We cried a lot. We screamed and danced and celebrated and prayed. It was perfect. The emotion of the day literally took our breath away.
Then, in the midst of our celebration, text messages, phone calls and notifications began flooding in. The bags are 100% sold out! We screamed and wept with joy. Struggling to breath, we were overcome by the dreams that were being fulfilled right in front of us.
Wanda, the leader of our workshop, stood up and began to address our girls.
“You are the reason we do it. You are the reason we celebrate. You are the reason we work and can work. You are New Hope Girls. You are created for more – we all are.”
We are now in a season of preparation. We feed pressed to use this momentum and have hopes to hire more staff, conquer our shipping puzzle between the US and Dominican Republic that we just haven’t been able to crack, grow our workshop and production all the while beginning our next line!
It is our privilege to say thank you to each and every one of you. Whether you pressed like on a Facebook post, shared your excitement over the collaboration on your Instagram, stood up in your community and encouraged them to share about March 8th, or were one of the blessed number of individuals that were able to purchase the bags before they were sold out. We see you and we couldn’t have done it without you.