Business Connection is my new series that features women just like you, who have taken part in a home-based business. Rainy Benedict is our very first guest. She works with Trades of Hope, a company with beautiful products on a mission. Fair-trade items such as jewelry, scarves, handbags, home decor and more are hand-made by women getting a living wage for their work. The pieces are beautiful and not as expensive as you might think.
Thanks so much for joining us, Rainy! Can you please tell us a bit about the home business you do?
Trades of Hope is a missional company. We sell Fairtrade items from around the world (including the US) in a catalog. These items are all hand made by women (some men) who are trying to pull themselves out of poverty, slavery and sex trade. It was founded by a pastor’s wife and a lady who was running an orphanage in Haiti. Now they have both of their daughters who have joined the founders team.
Wow, that sounds powerful. How did you find out about this?
It was a God thing. My mom had ovarian cancer so I was checked for the BRCA gene and found out I was a lucky one with the gene. My daughter also has this gene. So we chose to do the preventive things to stop the cancer. During this time I lost my sister to breast cancer and my mom to ovarian cancer. My dad moved in with me and we found out he had Alzheimers. I spent 24/7 with him and I was really having a hard time. I was on facebook and noticed a message about TOH. I thought I should call on this but didn’t. Well God really wanted me to do this so He sent the lady who posted about TOH to me. I was in our church (5000 people) and here she comes right to where I was setting. I was so excited and I signed the next day. I found my JOY back.
That’s a touching story! What is your absolute favorite part about it?
The stories from the artisans who make each item. They share how they are able to send their children to school (education is not free in 3rd world countries) because the only way to break this cycle is education. They can bring their children out of the orphanages and take them home now that they have a sustainable income. There are over 500,000 unorphaned children in Haiti. Not because they don’t have mom and dads but because their parents can’t take care of them. TOH is helping families to come back together. One example is a young girl was going door to door asking if someone would take her baby. She loved her enough to give her up because she knew she would die without food. She came to one of the business that TOH buys items from and they offered her a job. She was able to start work that day and have her baby in the daycare on site. She is so excited about being able to feed and cloth her child because someone was willing to give her a chance. TOH is a big part of that because we sell this items. So I am a world changer right here in Indiana.
Opportunities! The artisans don’t want charity. It doesn’t work because people go by there emotions when they give. When they loose that feeling the giving stops. We are giving them the opportunity to learn a trade and sell it in our catalog, home parties, and online parties. They are a proud people but as long as people continue to give them hand outs they will never change. We are changing one family at a time. By helping women out of poverty they bring 4 women with them.
Now if you are talking about the people in the US, it gives them a chance to make a difference in someones life. It is a small price to pay for each item when you think about what you are doing for a family. Plus you are earning an income for your family when selling TOH. God wants us to take care of our families also. You can be a stay at home mom and still bring something into the family income. You can make as much or as little as you want. Up to you if you want parttime or full time. No pressure selling with this company. If you want to grow a team you can but you don’t have to add anyone. If you want to move up the ladder you can. I started out just wanting to have a few home parties every month. But after going to Haiti and seeing what a wonderful thing TOH is doing I want to grow my team as big as possible. I want to spread the word about helping others.
Powerful words. Is there a favorite product that you offer?
I guess my favorite item is the Haiti Signature Necklace (cereal box necklace) I have been working very hard to collect cereal boxes to ship to Haiti. I have churches collecting them also. It does cost me to ship to Haiti but they can make so many necklaces, bracelets and earrings out of these boxes.
Ooh, yes, that one is beautiful, and readers, it’s also the one in the giveaway below! Rainy, can you explain TOH to me as if I knew absolutely nothing about it?
I kind of answered this one in Q1 but let me say this: Trades of Hope is an Opportunity with a purpose. By joining you will be helping women around the world just like us who love their families and would do anything to help them. We know these women and we love the ladies who make the items. We know that by hosting a TOH party that the money is going to where it needs to be. We know the owners of the companies that hire the ladies and have put our trust in them.
So, do you see yourself working with TOH for as long as you live?
I’m 60 yrs old and have worked in the corporate business all my life. I retired to take care of the mom and dad when they were ill. This is a job I will do as long as by body and mind allow me. When you do a service you have joy. I never want to loose my joy. This company makes me happy to be able to help others is a positive way.
I understand that. When I looked at the TOH website, I was blown away. It is something that should have been around years ago. What can those of us who don’t do well in front of others do?
I don’t think that there is anyone who can’t do this. I had never been in direct sales before this and was determined not to go into sales. To me this is just talking to your friends about how they can help others. The products sell themselves. Each item has a tag that tells where it comes from and how it is helping. But I know some people have stage fright. You can still become a compassionate Entrepreneur and do only online parties. Right now I need people to host parties for me. I will come to your home as long as it is not more than 1hour away from me. The only thing you have to do is setup a spot for me, have a snack, and invite your friends. I handle everything from there. They pay me, I place the orders, and products are shipped direct to you. So after the party you are done. (Unless you want to become a CE.) The other things you can do is spread the word about Trades of Hope. Pray for me, share my website ( on TOH ) order on my website for yourself or gifts for others. We also say SHOP-HOST-JOIN and lastly wear or display the items from Trades of Hope so people will ask you questions about the products. Then you can direct them to my site.
Is there anything you want to tell our readers about having a home business?
I think that for me my home business is my passion. It makes all the difference when you believe in what you are doing. It no longer becomes a job but an adventure. Meeting like minded people, wearing the items, sharing with joy. I know that people have told me they can tell I love this job. I remind them to me it is not a job. Don’t get me wrong it is not easy, I do work at it but because I love it I don’t call it a job. Somethings to remember.
1. Do your research on the company you join
2. Be organized
3. Plan your work and work your plan
4. Have a focus board (put your goals on your board)
5. Reward yourself when you meet a goal.
6. Networking is hard but a must in Direct Sales
Wonderful advice! You know, I think the company is amazing, but the only thing that concerned me in looking over everything is, there is no mention of God at all. Is the Gospel ever presented to these ladies? Because for me, that’s their only true hope. Once they see that people care about them, are they shown His love?
Yes it is. We have the ladies who run the groups who are Christian women. TOH is a christian company. We start every call, every meeting and always pray. I go to my site and ask my team for prayer. Now when we went to Haiti we had our devotions daily with each other. We can talk about God with the groups of artisans but we can’t push our God on them. I hope that we share the love of God with them through our relationships. When we were there we went to church with the artisans. I know the ladies read Bible stories and sing Christian songs with the children during their time in daycare. I agree with you that this is so important. Do we walk them through the process as a company, I would say no. But my belief is that when you are God’s hand and feet it comes through. We also get prayer requests from the artisans and we put these on our TOH page so everyone can pray. Below is the verse that we use in most on anything that TOH sends out. We feel that you can’t get a person to the Lord until we meet their physical needs. So we are working on the physical needs of hunger, clothing and shelter. Once this happens then they are ready to hear the Word and we have ladies who do Bible studies with them.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute. Defend the
rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8
That makes me feel even better about it, thank you. Rainy, thank you SO much for joining us and opening our eyes about this amazing company.
Friends, I pray you will visit Rainy’s website and also *like* her facebook page. Also, anyone local is free to bring their empty cereal boxes to my house, because Rainy is going to pick them up about once a month! I am also prayerfully considering getting involved in a more personal way with Trades of Hope.
When I was researching about TOH, I found this video that blessed me. I wanted to share it with you.