Oct 22, 2011
by April Hedrick

Grand Re-Opening

When a store sets up shop, they do some advertising, hire a celebrity to cut the ribbon in front of the media and say in big letters “NOW OPEN.” For a Re-Opening it’s pretty much the same deal following a period where they were temporarily closed for remodeling or because there was a change in management. They want to publicize what is new and improved.

Following that idea we would like to introduce Hope Marketplace, formerly known as Hope Jewelry. We weren’t closed, our online doors were still open, but we did do quite a bit of remodeling. We took time to re-evaluate our purpose and how best to accomplish it. And as a result we have a new name, a new look, and a new mission statement...

A marketplace of goods and ideas supporting freedom from human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

What’s in a name? The word “marketplace” can refer to a place where you shop as well as a place where ideas are exchanged. Hope Marketplace is both.

As a store, our merchandise supports survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. We buy from organizations working in prevention, rescue, and rehabilitation of survivors of human trafficking. We also buy from organizations helping people to be free from sexually exploitive circumstances. The name change also reflects our expanded product selection, now including more than just jewelry and accessories. We continue to buy from Made by Survivors but have also added merchandise from other non-profits including iSanctuary and Thistle Farms, our first domestic representation.

As a marketplace of ideas we want to go beyond awareness. When we formed Hope Jewelry 5 years ago many people, including ourselves, knew very little about the issue. Fortunately that is no longer the case and our mission is to broaden that basic understanding and spur people to take action. With frequent blog posts, links to current articles, and other resources to help people learn more, we want to be a hub of information and a place where people can interact on the issue. We would love to be a launching place from which greater things are done in the fight against trafficking and exploitation.

You’ll notice in our mission statement that we’ve widened our efforts from sex trafficking to the broader scope of human trafficking domestically and internationally. Our emphasis still is on sex trafficking but we don’t want to limit our impact by only supporting the efforts of organizations working uniquely in sex trafficking. There are many organizations who have sex trafficking as a component of a more comprehensive ministry to human trafficking in all areas and we want to avoid unnecessarily withholding a market for them because their efforts extend beyond a limited focus. Rather, it is our intention to encourage the efforts of non-profit organizations working to help survivors or potential victims of any type of slavery.

Our mission statement now includes “sexual exploitation” as well. The official definition of sex trafficking is “a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 19 years of age.” With minors it is clear that they fall under the category of trafficking, but with adults, particularly in the United States, we’ve come to realize that the line between the official definition of “force, fraud, or coercion” and someone’s willingness to do something is blurry. The vast majority of individuals in the sex industry (i.e. prostitution, pornography, strip clubs) would rather be doing something else. There is a lot to consider in this area and we’ll delve into it more in future posts in our Journal. For now we want to communicate our enthusiastic support of organizations helping people come out of these situations and begin new lives free from exploitation.

And the final component of our remodel is our new look. Our flower logo symbolizes new life. In the midst of brokenness a bright, beautiful flower represents hope- hope for a future free from slavery and sexual exploitation, and hope for healing for the millions of individuals suffering under this injustice. We want to play a part in bringing hope.

If you’ve been on our site in the past you are probably aware of our make-over. Or, if you don’t notice anything different then you’ve probably never been here before.... In any case we invite you to take a look around the Marketplace, perhaps learn something new, find a new book to pick up, comment on a Journal post or choose a meaningful gift to buy. In any case, Welcome to Hope Marketplace, we’re glad you’re here!

About Hope Marketplace

A marketplace of goods and ideas supporting freedom from human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
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