Kairos Traders works alongside businesses that have the same mission as we do, engaging human trafficking and exploitation. We would like to highlight some of these businesses to give you an idea of where our products are coming from, and what they are doing in order to help folks overseas. Our first post will be about the business Freeleaf.
Freeleaf works with women from a large variety of backgrounds; homeless women, women with mental or physical disabilities, women who have been in the sex industry, domestic abuse survivors, women with low education, trafficking survivors, single moms, sexual assault survivors, and the list goes on. They set out to create a company that could provide stability and sustainability for women.
I interviewed founder Adisyn Pyles. She never thought of herself as a business woman. “Being a natural introvert, cautious decision maker, and a lover of simplicity, I always assumed I wouldn’t make a very good front-person or leader.” After she graduated college majoring International Studies and French, she was discouraged because nobody would hire her because she didn’t have experience working overseas. She then decided to spend a gap-year in Asia learning Mandarin and volunteering.
While in Asia Adisyn met a local woman named JiaYi, and realized that they had something in common, a passion for helping women-in-need. They slowly began talking to at-risk, abused and exploited women to gather more information about what their needs were. They came to the realization that the root of so much abuse and exploitation was economic.
“When women are poor and lack educational or economic opportunities, they often find themselves vulnerable to abuse and/or exploitation.” Adisyn and JiaYi then realized that they wanted to create a safe place for women to heal in a sustainable and substantial way. “We didn’t need to create some non-profit or charity program; we needed to create a business.” So Freeleaf was born in June 2016.
They didn’t only want to provide employment to women; they also wanted see women experience holistic freedom physically, economically, relationally, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. “Our holistic care programs are designed to address the non-economic struggles that our employees often face.” To do this, Freeleaf provides each woman with safe shelter in a company dormitory, medical care, professional counseling, coaching/mentorship, vocational training, and constant encouragement.
“Ultimately, this holistic viewpoint is designed to help women grow to understand their intrinsic value and give them the tools and confidence to stand firm and achieve their dreams, whether they stay at Freeleaf or if they move on to somewhere/something else.”
When asked what the biggest benefit she has received from this business she said, “For me personally, the most unexpected benefit is the joy and camaraderie that comes from daily working with strong women so intent on persevering through difficulty. I believe that all of us, whether you're rich or poor, single or married, whether you've walked through exploitation/abuse or had an "easy" life, all of us are on a journey to increasing Freedom. None of us have fully "arrived". For me, I have learned so much from the women who work with us about how to keep faith and joy in the midst of pain and how to keep fighting for Freedom.”
Adisyn has the dream of seeing Freeleaf grow as a company so that they can have the ability to come alongside more women in need.
“We know that there are hundreds of at-risk, abused, and exploited women in our city who would benefit from a safe working environment where they’re encouraged and equipped, and we want to grow to become a company that can employ hundreds! Tied into this dream is sustainability, which is so important in international development work.”
Kairos Traders loves what Freeleaf is accomplishing and we are proud to support and work alongside them. We sell their products on our website; here is one of the more popular items we carry. If you would like to learn more about Freeleaf we would like to encourage you to go to their website: https://www.knotforsale.com/
written by Victoria Geary