As I’ve written before, I resigned from my teaching position at the end of the last school year. Since then, I’ve applied and interviewed for a variety of jobs, but have not had much success securing something full time. I promised myself that I would not settle for anything I didn’t feel was a good fit for me, and the person I aspire to be. I want to be happy, be fulfilled, and know that I’m making a difference in the world at least a little bit each day. I have faith that God will lead me where He wants me to be and allow me to do what He wills for me to do.
Several months ago, I was searching on line for some at-home business opportunities, just to see what was out there. I came across companies like Thirty-one, Pampered Chef, Avon, Tastefully Simple (my cousin Sherry McKnight dominates in that one!), Origami Owl, and the likes. Then I found something called “Damsel in Defense,” a company founded by two women named Mindy Lin and Bethany Hughes. It was different! They had products like stun guns, pepper sprays, and striking sticks. Their products don’t make women feel more beautiful, appear sexier, be more organized, or become amazing cooks. Instead, they sell things that can save their lives. And the lives of everyone they love and want to protect.
So I thought about this and I emailed a woman in Muncie who was calling herself a “Damsel Pro.” She was really nice and explained the business to me, directing me to the company’s website where I learned more. But as time passed, I put the idea in the back of my mind and moved on. Still, this lady sent me an email once in awhile to let me know about upcoming specials and new products. That was fine.
In August, Karl and I traveled to Georgia to visit some good friends we had not seen in quite a long time. It was a short trip, but I knew we’d be driving through Kentucky and Ohio, so we made it a point to visit a couple of places I’d wanted to see for research reasons. (Yes, I am still writing my sequel to “The Secrets of Heavenly.”) One stop was in Ripley, Ohio to see where John Rankin and John Parker helped hundreds of enslaved people to freedom after crossing over from the slavery state of Kentucky. (I’m going to post lots of pictures and information about that later, probably on my HeavenlyPlantation website for anyone interested in this amazing history!)
How does any of this tie into what I’ve been writing about?
Well, the other stop we made in Ohio was to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. Researching the Underground Railroad for my new book, I hoped to uncover more facts about it there, but it turned out that my eyes were opened to something else! There was an entire floor devoted to “modern day slavery” and it was enlightening, shocking, and downright disturbing. Dozens of displays told the stories of people all over the globe in abusive situations including “forced labor, bonded indenture, child slavery, sex trafficking and domestic servitude”. The most sickening part is that there were stories of people enslaved within our own American borders. Another horrific realization was that so many of the people who go missing in our country, especially women and young children, end up in the sex-trafficking trade!
As I kept thinking about all the dangers that exist in the world, I wondered what I could do as one person to help. Can I really make a difference and impact lives in the positive way I want to? My mind kept going back to that “Damsel in Defense” (DID) company and I went back to their website. I watched a video of co-founders Mindy Lin and Bethany Hughes as they talked about their “mission.” I discovered that they were also concerned about the issue of human trafficking, so much that in 2013 they traveled to the Philippines with Wipe Every Tear, which is a charity devoted to raising awareness about it. In a video posted on the website (https://youtu.be/EVS1pvP2Nic), they claimed that it has been a directive from God. Awesome!
They are committed to making the company more than a business that sells products, but an opportunity to give back to women and children in abusive, destructive situations.
The company supports several initiatives and organizations, such as the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN), and Destiny Rescue in Thailand, a home for women rescued from sex trafficking.
Once more emailed the nice lady I’d contacted before about Damsel. Here’s what I said:
I’ve watched the DID founders’ awesome videos about the mission work behind the company. SO impressive. Just went to the Freedom Center in Cincy last week and saw an eye-opening exhibit on modern day slavery. Powerful stuff! Anyhow, I haven’t really tried to do a business like this before, so I’m not sure how I’d do. But the focus of DID is so incredible! Maybe it’s time.
And she (Bria Zolman) wrote back:
I love hearing how drawn your heart is to our mission. I can promise you, if you decided to join our company, you would be in good company…
…I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you. If you’re like many of the rest of us, Damsel will continue to seep into your heart and mind until you take the plunge. I resisted for quite a while, because I didn’t like the idea of direct sales. Our mission is strong and so very, very important. I’m very proud to do the work I do!
So there it was! I procrastinated a while longer, but finally joined the “mission” on September 29. Right now I’m learning about the products, reading more about the company, and praying that God will use me to touch some lives very soon. Please check out the video I’ve linked above, as well as the links below. I’ll be writing more about this as I share more of my personal “WHY” about starting this new business.