Tenfold Collective: 'Being fashionable never meant so much'
As a Dressember advocate, Misty Burton knew how a dress could change the world. 2017 was her first year participating in Dressember after sitting on the sidelines watching a friend, Lindsey Cunningham, lead a team for years. When her heart started breaking about human trafficking, she knew she had no choice but to join Lindsey’s team, Blooming Hopefuls! She met her goal of raising $350 in one day with the help of 12 friends. The next day, she raised her goal to $1,500. By December 12th, she raised it once again to $5,000.
Misty always wanted to start her own business, but had some trouble self-starting. She got the idea to sell leather earrings when Lindsey gifted her a pair she loved. Thinking they couldn’t be too hard to make, Misty made a few imperfect pairs that she gifted to friends.
About the same time, she and her Dressember teammate, Amanda Drinkall, were learning a lot about human trafficking through their work with the Junior League of Columbia. They were part of a committee that sought to find their league’s role in the state and local issue of trafficking. During a meeting with state and local leaders to discuss trafficking and what role the Junior League could play, Jen Thompson, the Executive Director of Lighthouse for Life, a non-profit in Misty's hometown, shared with her a story about a little girl who held a lemonade stand in her neighborhood and gave the money to Lighthouse. “Amanda and I left that meeting burdened. One thing we both heard loud and clear is that they needed advocates raising awareness about human trafficking. They needed people with a platform to spread the word on what human trafficking was, and was not. They needed people to know the signs of trafficking and how to report it.”
“Amanda and I left that meeting burdened. One thing we both heard loud and clear is that they needed advocates raising awareness about human trafficking. They needed people with a platform to spread the word on what human trafficking was, and was not. They needed people to know the signs of trafficking and how to report it.”
The next morning, Amanda messaged Misty asking, “What if the Junior League could sell something and give all the money to fight human trafficking?” Misty didn’t think the League could do that, but that didn't mean that THEY couldn't. "Luckily, Amanda is a self-starter," Misty mentioned. They started meeting and planning and within two months had a plan. Tenfold Collective, their own lemonade stand, was born.
You may wonder, why Tenfold? Misty said the idea came from the simple universal law of tenfold return - whatever you give away will come back to you tenfold! “I was constantly reminding myself, ‘Misty, what you give freely, without expectation comes back to you tenfold.’ For some reason, reminding myself of that made me push on and keep showing up and pouring out, even when I didn’t feel like it.”
“I was constantly reminding myself, ‘Misty, what you give freely, without expectation comes back to you tenfold.’ For some reason, reminding myself of that made me push on and keep showing up and pouring out, even when I didn’t feel like it.”
Tenfold is still in its early stages - they sold their first pair of earrings this year on January 5th! - but it is already growing so much. From collaborations with companies like Purpose Jewelry and Branded Collective, to return customers buying a second pair of earrings, they have seen success beyond what they imagined for their company. Tenfold Collective gives one-third of their profits to the fight against human trafficking, and hopes in some small way that they are empowering survivors of trafficking through those grants and donations.
Tenfold is a small company with big dreams. They currently run the entire operation from a small office in Misty’s home. They make all their own earrings, invoice on the day orders are placed, boxed as they go, and shipped out the next day if possible. In just three months Amanda and Misty have had to learn the ins and outs of business management - from social media to marketing to shipping. They hold tight to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos philosophy to be "stubborn on vision but flexible on details."
And what is their vision? That one day they “could help women who want a different life after trafficking receive an education, or find a job. One thing we know is that often times women in the US who are escaping trafficking are choosing poverty. They are choosing the harder thing for themselves. They have often been arrested for other things like prostitution or sexual criminal misconduct and finding a job is a real problem. We love to dream that Tenfold could be that for even one woman in our lifetimes.”
Misty has some wise words for fellow Dressember advocates: “Not everyone is going to bleed for this issue like you do. Some people bleed for rescue animals. Someone else bleeds for homelessness. Realizing that was big for us." She also left us with some encouragement: "I would encourage people to continue to bring awareness to human trafficking beyond Dressember. It’s awesome that we all flood everyone’s social media feeds in December, but maybe we can still remind them in June?"
So why shop at Tenfold? "You can know that your money is supporting a small woman-owned business that is committed to giving back for this specific cause. We like to say, ‘Being fashionable never meant so much.’”
We love seeing Dressember advocates take the leap and use their time and talents to continually engage in the fight to end modern slavery. You can check out Tenfold Collective by following their logo below. If you want to get your hands on a FREE pair of earrings for you and a friend, head over to our Instagram @dressember, and enter our Instagram giveaway. We'll announce the winners on our Instagram page on Monday, June 4th.
You don't have to wait until December to be a part of the impact. Join the Dressember Collective and become part of a powerful community of advocates and donors furthering the work and impact of the Dressember Foundation through monthly giving.
About the Author
Austyn McAnarney is a wife and mom living in Springfield, Missouri. She is studying literature and creative writing at Missouri State University. In her free time, Austyn enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family and their dog, Axle.