Lynette reminds me often “Think about it Denise, ever since we went to Peru, things have been happening. Things just line up. They don’t make sense but it’s like they should.”
And I don’t want to believe her but it is so true. It is closest to the truth when we talk about Chicks for Children and the orphanage we (yes, we, as in YOU and MJC) have paid to help give up to 100 girls a safe place to sleep at night. A blog post I wrote sums up the beginning of the story, when we were all hit by a Ton of Bricks with the sad news of Amber Roussel. In short it says, “And right before I heard the news about Amber I was on the phone with another customer, Charlotte. We’ve sent them quite a bit of Matilda Jane for her family’s work in Kitale. I received a note from her a few weeks ago. They are trying to build an orphanage and I wanted to help spread the word. But after seeing the site and reading about it, I knew it was something I had to do. Something I could do thanks to Matilda Jane. I was on the phone telling Charlotte that we would like to fund their entire Brick By Brick Campaign. And as I think about it now, maybe it was something we were supposed to do for Amber. Just maybe.”
A few weeks ago, we all got Pay it Forward bracelets in the mail from Amber’s husband, Ryan. I had been out of town, so Kayla just gave me mine last week. I put it on and not any more than a few hours later I get an email from Mark, the founder of Chicks for Children. He was sending me the blueprints for the orphanage. I wish I could think of words to say how I feel about the timing but I can’t. It’s almost as if ….this whole thing is out of my hands and in those of a greater being. I know I may sound crazy but think about it. All along we have been planning to honor Amber and her family in Kitale but we are waiting for it to be the right way. We are still unsure what that may be. Maybe a sculpture, maybe her namesake, maybe just a simple photo with her story…we will know what is right when we are ready. I am certain of that.
Now let me flash forward to this very moment. And maybe I am reaching but as I am getting ready to tell you a story about the dress above I notice the strands of chicks hanging. Yes, chicks and no, I did not ask Skye to do that nor did I notice until this very moment.
In the back of my head I have been thinking “Gosh, we cannot just build an orphanage and think our work is done. What about septic and a bed to sleep on, or a kitchen to cook in with plates to eat off, and the food and the help to let these girls know there is a bigger and brighter world waiting for them.” And loud and clear in front of my head I hear the words “Denise, you are not going to be happy when you see this.” Oh, I hate those words because I know it usually has something to do with production or a mess Franklin made. Whelp, these words were coming from Kayla this time, our Quality Control gal….and it was not only a dress but also a top. Two pieces of our already small Winter Collection had the smallest of flaws that, in my mind, are unacceptable. I don’t know if you have ever looked at our clothing carefully, the stitching, the way the seams are finished, but we do a GREAT job. And yes, I am bragging because I am always looking at the boutiques to check what other quality looks like and I am quite proud. Very proud. But today not so much….just because of these two pieces.
I looked at Lynette and neither of us had to say a word, because we both knew in our heart of hearts that we cannot sell either piece because it falls short of our standards. However, we certainly can’t close up the boxes and ignore these darling pieces. They are way too cute and I knew they could be used to help support our on going efforts in Kitale, Africa.I know we have never done this before. But I also know, I cannot let boxes of gorgeous items sit in a box when they could be helping so many people. We have given them a roof over their head, and I ask that you help give them a bed to sleep on. So, instead of just pulling these pieces and not offering them, we have decided to still offer them to you, our customers. They will be discounted due to the minor defect we noticed, and all proceeds will go to Chicks for Children!
The flaw is very small. You may or many not even notice it if you take a look at your Trunk Keeper’s kit sample. But regardless, there is a flaw.
So, if you still decide t buy these two pieces…and I hope you do…please know that all of the proceeds are going to a wonderful cause. A cause that 20 of my MJC friends and family and I are all traveling to Africa next month to be a part of. Because of this, please understand that we are not able to offer our regular return policy with these two pieces. Purchases of these two pieces are NON-REFUNDABLE, NON-EXCHANGABLE. ALL PROCEEDS go directly to help furnish the orphanage and because of this, ALL SALES ARE FINAL ON THESE TWO ITEMS. The dress will sell for $15 and the top for $10.
We work hand in hand with Mark and Linda Cooper. They are not a big foundation. It is them, several others and us. They came to visit me and my team about a month ago to tell us all about the trip and the work to be done. We know exactly where every dime goes. This is very important to me. I normally would never EVER sell a piece of clothing that has the smallest of defects but it’s either box them up or get these girls a great mattress. Part of me says I am crazy to blog this, but part of me says, “It’s not all about me, we are part of something much bigger”.
So please know I understand if you do not agree with Matilda Jane selling these items. It is ok, and your choice. I get it! But I’m sure many of you will still fall in love with these items even with the slight flaw that exists…and at the same time, something wonderful will result from it!