When we launched our business nearly five years ago as three Texas women, our vision was to empower millions of people to reduce their carbon footprint, invest in the dreams and journeys of women entrepreneurs, and create an impact that inspires action. We came together in 2008 as sisters and friends, and started our mission-based business, BlueAvocado.
Today, we are thrilled to have a variety of eco-collections for food on-the-go and travel and beauty bags that can be found in key retailers including The Container Store, Whole Foods, Target, JC Penney, and numerous online retailers.
However, a key part of our original vision was to have a made-in-the-U.S.A. line, which at the time of our launch (and the height of the recession) was simply too great of a challenge.
Fast forward five years: with several lessons learned, obstacles overcome, hundreds of products created, millions of disposable items and waste avoided, hundreds of women micro-entrepreneurs empowered across the world, and impactful partnerships formed, we are thrilled to announce that our original vision of having products made in the U.S.A. – and literally in our own backyard in Austin Texas – is now a reality.
Open Arms is a social enterprise using the power of business to inspire social change. Open Arms offers living wage employment to women war survivors, demonstrating the power of the human spirit and breaking the cycle of poverty that this group so often experiences. Combining ESL (English as a Second Language) and enrichment classes with family-friendly hours, this meaningful work and living wage employment creates self-sufficiency and dignity for the women they employ. Open Arms is committed to both people and the planet, offering conscious consumers the opportunity to make a purchase with a purpose.
Together we have created an eco-collection of coveted accessories using reclaimed T-shirts, canvas, and remnant fabrics, sewn by the hands of women war survivors in Austin, Texas. If 4,000 people SAY YES to one reusable bag, we can keep 200,000 disposables out of the landfill, upcycle over 2,000 T-shirts, and provide full time jobs and literacy classes to four women for four months.
This is a pinnacle point for us – a dream come true on so many levels. We are all connected by one planet and the potential of the human spirit to rise up in the face of extreme adversity and realize the impossible. Say yes to women entrepreneurs using the power of business to create a better world. Waste less. Empower more. Say YES!