September 19, 2011

A New Reality

The time is NOW...
Come Re-Invent with us.

August 26, 2011

Welcome to the School Bus Sew Shop!

The summer sun is high and hot and we have moved our work at Friendship Mission "The Bus."

This old Pike County school bus was on the property at the mission.  Kellie and Mary (the Mission director) decided it would be the perfect place to set up shop.  After a little bit of a makeover the bus is now a mini sew shop of sorts! We were working outside under an aluminum awning and that was h-o-t to the extreme.  This is a much better alternative and we are happy to have it! This bus is going to allow the women to make appointments and come sew and work on the machines during the week as well.

It's crazy for me  to think that on a side of town that most dare not go something so far-reaching is happening.

Thank you for continuing to follow this journey!

August 4, 2011

Write The Vision Down

When I wrote the below paragraph for our marketing piece about our messenger bag I had a vision of one day "seeing" two specific scenarios that are mentioned.  One was in the grocery store, which I saw first within a few weeks.  I knew the other would take some time, but I "wrote the vision down" and believed I would see it.  Well, 14 months later here it is: this is Julie on her mission trip to Uganda! 

"Whether you're trekking through the outback, the Himalayans, the jungle, or the urban jungle, G.E.A.R. is what you'll need.  Tote our garment bag to Europe or to the beach.Throw your passport into our messenger bag for your trip to Africa or toss in your list for your trip to the grocery store.  No matter what your use for G.E.A.R., you'll carry something unique, sustainable, and oh-so-stylish."
...even when buying a turkey at the local church auction!

July 27, 2011

Something Beautiful

"There is something cleansing about learning to sew and work with my hands. Especially after my hands have done so many things I wish I could undo." 

This is one of the many reasons we love and believe in what we are working toward with G.E.A.R. While we know that none of our pasts can be undone, we know we can take full responsibility for our future...and what we make of our past. We hope that what we are working on together with our friends at the mission will be a cleansing experience for all of us.  That we will become more of our true selves as we engage in relationships with each other...people who would in any other setting pass each other without saying a word.  Fortunately, our lives have collided and we now have an opportunity to learn and grow from one another.  As we walk this journey with these friends we hope to see them arrive at a place where they know they are fully capable of creating something beautiful with their hands...and with their life.

July 25, 2011

Atlanta Show!

Kellie returned from AmericasMart in Atlanta this past weekend and we are thrilled to hear how well G.E.A.R. was received by buyers and sellers at market! We will be shipping to 30 new stores in the coming weeks and hope to have a page that will tell you where you can find G.E.A.R. in a store near you!  We also have a sales team out on the road and expect for G.E.A.R. to take on a presence in more cities.

We are thankful for the new opened doors of opportunity  and are eager to see what continues to happen as we work with the ladies at the mission in the coming weeks. Thank you to all of those who are supporting this journey.  It's amazing to see dreams become a reality.

July 11, 2011

Market and other updates!

Kellie is heading to Market in Atlanta this week to hopefully sell more than we can handle! I (Rachel) and the rest of us are praying for record sales and that the heart and passion that is the driving force behind all we do will be seen and felt! More than anything else, this is about individual lives being changed.  That, to us, is the bottom line.   We will let you know how things go at the end of the week!

Our Saturdays at Friendship Mission are going wonderfully.  It has been a humbling experience being  there each week. I absolutely LOVE watching women like Stacey's eyes light up when they start to get the hang of the sewing.  It is a beautiful, beautiful thing.  This is not to say there are some difficult things that come up, as women leave and move on, but what we hope is that our presence and the opportunity we are presenting them with will be a part of changing the both of us for the better.

June 13, 2011

What Is Right In Front Of Me...

This past Saturday was our third training session "on-site" at Friendship Mission!
As I drove from Opelika to Montgomery (about a 45 minute drive) one of my best friend's called.  We had played phone tag for several weeks and so she thought she might catch me while driving over for the Saturday training session...and she was right.  She asked how things were going and we spent the next half hour talking about all that needed to be done and that things had been more overwhelming than ususal over the last few weeks.  We talked about the incredible opportunity G.E.A.R. has to launch our colleciton with a top showroom in Atlanta (more about this in the next post) at the July market, the cost of that market, as well as the cost of materials and road samples for a sales force of 7-8.  Of course, I explained that I'm beyond grateful for this opportunity, and although this is SO exciting G.E.A.R., as she knows, is a start-up in every sense of the word, so each step I take with this company is truly a "Leap of Faith". 
As we continued to talk about all that needed to be done, I began feeling like I couldn't catch my breath. It seems that if I don't talk about all that needs to be done, I stay focused on what's "right in front of me", but if I talk about it ALL, IT just becomes bigger than IT should and way overwhelming!  So, I was fast approaching the mission and changed the subject as I wanted to know how she was doing.  Over the next few minutes we chatted about her happenings.  I was relieved to hear about her sweet life and also relieved that as we talked about her, my breathing became more steady.  I took my left turn into the mission and standing there at the front was Robert Thomas with a beautiful, toothy grin walking over to see how he could help me carry my load in for the training session.  I told my best friend I had arrived at the mission, we said our goodbyes and as I opened my car door I thought, "And this is why I do what I do...THIS IS WHAT IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!"  None of the other even matters without what is "right in front of me"!  This is the reason, joy, and the absolute miracle of what we do!  I love these people, I love their stories, I love their willingness to do something more...they are brave, wonderful people and it is an absolute privilege to be able to spend the time that is "right in front of me" with them.
For more information on Friendship Mission please go to


March 17, 2011


photo props to flickr

"There is such a purity in working with your hands."
-Gary B.
One of the men we're working with at Friendship Mission

March 11, 2011


Today, I'm going to start off with 3 fun facts about what's going with R-I

Fact: We have a school bus that our friends at Friendship Mission have turned into the manufacturing/sewing headquarters for G.E.A.R....exciting!

The Bus at Friendship Mission

Fact: We have 3 women and 1 guy learning to sew under the guidance of our dear friend Mary. Today, Kellie met another woman who has 3 daughters who want to be a part of learning and producing.

Fact: As of this week, we have shipped G.E.A.R internationally! Jordan and Panama are our first 2 international shipments...we can't wait to see where else G.E.A.R. will go and inspire others to Go! and Re-Invent!

The reality of working with the women and men at Friendship Mission has been unreal. We are learning the hard parts about working with people who have been in situations we can't even fathom, and at the same time we are seeing the joy of seeing someone discover they are capable of creating something beautiful despite their past.
 There is SO much happening behind the scenes we can't even keep up! We are getting a plan in place that will help us tell the stories effectively and put something we can barely put into words...into words!