Thistle Farms

My job at Whole Foods is pretty incredible, even on the most routine of days.  I work with amazing people at a mission driven company and get to spend my time meeting brands that are trying to do some good in this world.

But most days pale in comparison to visiting Thistle Farms, a social enterprise in Nashville founded by Becca Stevens.  The 3 beautiful ladies with me below are, Ebony, her mom Katrina and the outstanding Shana.  Heads high, eyes bright, hearts full.

Thistle Farms provides training and employment for graduates of Magdalene, a residential program for women who have survived, prostitution, trafficking and addiction.  And it's pretty friggin' outstanding to witness.

I visited on a Wednesday morning, when a group of about 60 women gathered for opening words.  A blended world of volunteers, graduates, students and visitors.  There are a lot of mission based companies and a lot of businesses that give back.  But for a venture that truly betters the lives of its employees and community, there is no equal to Thistle Farms.

There are five fields women can be educated through employment.  The paper store, cafe, sewing, manufacturing body line and sales of the body line.  Working alongside volunteers and communicating directly with customers and retailers is the best job class I've ever seen.

Next time you're picking up a lotion, basket, card or necklace, I invite you to take a little closer look at the tag.  There are a lot of lines out there that are improving women's lives with their empowering supply chain.

And if you'd like to contribute a little more and pick yourself up by helping another, take a few cues from Thistle Farms' 19 Ideas:
My absolute favorite product: