“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It's not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.”
― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
I recently heard a sermon on community within the church body. Our pastor used the California Redwoods to illustrate the truth that we desperately need each other if any of us are to truly thrive. We need to hold each other accountable and we need to encourage each other.
The reason redwoods are able to grow so tall and withstand the elements for a lifespan of approximately 2000 years is because of their sure foundation; each tree’s roots are intertwined with the roots of the trees next it.
Isn’t that a beautiful image of community? Each of our lives intertwined like the roots of redwoods.
This is why we love Amanda Cobb of Spoken For Shop. She is a connector of people, both locally and around the world, and she believes that we should speak life into others because we have been spoken for.
Her inspiring shop has become home to a community of creatives and makers whose collections speak life into her customers, but what we also love about Spoken For Shop is that it was created with the intent that our dollars will make an impact both locally and globally.
Amanda has set up something she calls the Justice Match, allowing each item in her store to be linked with a justice-driven organization, such as International Justice Mission or Africa New Life, for example.
You can buy a bracelet that supports children's education in Rwanda, a candle that helps fund the removal of jiggers from the feet of children in Uganda, or a head-turning, inspiring print that provides a place of healing and new life for victims of sex trafficking here in the United States.
That's where SHE Changes Everything comes in. Drum Roll, please.... We are thrilled to announce our brand new and beautiful little corner of Spoken For Shop!
Here are some of our faves from the SHE Changes Everything collection...we'll try not to buy all of them up before you can get your hands on them! These encouraging bracelets, prints, and bookmarks make GREAT GIFTS and are an easy way to SPEAK LIFE into women you love, or simply to serve as a reminder on your own wrist or hanging on your wall.
Amanda believes (and we agree!) that “our collective gifts, talents and dollars are going to assist in pulling women and children out of brothels, enslaved workers out of factories and will aid local leaders in the task of changing conversations of oppression, fear and abuse to hope, joy and dreams. We are going to support small business owners who are creating jobs in their communities, schools who are educating, and everyday heroes who are doing their part to make their communities thrive. Together we will speak life into darkness.”
And what’s not to love about that mission???
Here’s our conversation with Spoken For Shop founder, Amanda Cobb.
What did you do before the Spoken For Shop?
A little of everything, but the common thread in all of them from teaching teenagers with emotional disabilities to working in fair trade to creating spaces that educate, inspire and empower individuals in their spaces. I'm a connector at heart.
Was there a "switch" you remember being flipped that led you to change your focus?
I'm a creative and I'm extremely passionate about living in authentic relationship with others. I wanted to create a space for those I knew who believe in the power our words have. So I held my breath and went for it!
What's your favorite guilty pleasure when the going gets tough?
A day on the water. The beach is where I feel closest to Jesus and I have salt water in my veins, but recently we bought a little boat and now it's nothing for me to run away to the lake when I need to escape.
Whats been the most rewarding part of this new venture for you?
The stories from friends old and new about how the words they received on a bracelet or print or card have impacted them. I also love seeing my kids involved. My son Jax (pictured above with Amanda in Uganda) was a huge part of the creation of this shop and watching him dream up new ideas or writing notes in outgoing orders brings me so much joy. He's learning that work can be meaningful and fun!
How can the SHE community best link arms and cheer you on??
Well, I truly believe that we are our best selves when we are pouring into others. Just letting us be a part of that with you by using our gifts to create pieces with the words you speak is so much fun! There's nothing better than linking arms and cheering on the women who are stepping out to do the most good with what they have! Together we are strong!
Amanda Cobb | Spoken for Shop, @spoken.for.shop