Fashion Friday: Bought Beautifully
Emily and Colin Betzler, founders and owners of Bought Beautifully, are creating meaningful opportunities for consumers to turn their everyday purchases into real-life love stories. As a curated marketplace, Bought Beautifully offers artisan products from more than 20 countries around the globe. Each product, ethically and thoughtfully sourced, has a story that is literally changing lives and spreading love. With a fiery passion for social justice, the Betzler family gives us a deeper look at how our spending can be used as a powerful weapon for restoration, empowerment, and transformation around us. Bought Beautifully is uniquely designed to provide every visitor an avenue for living out their values through a simple purchase, and from today’s conversation, you’ll find countless ways to #liveoutlove. Here is our interview with world-changers Emily and Colin Betzler.
Bought Beautifully provides an amazing avenue for consumers to make a powerful impact through their purchases! Can you tell us briefly where the idea and vision for Bought Beautifully came from?
Thanks for the kind words – we are always thrilled to hear from people that connect the dots to see the vision we are working towards!
Bought Beautifully was created out of our desire to act on the following questions:
What if we applied what we believed to our spending habits? What if we traded the quest for low-priced-deals, trendy items, and unnecessary splurges for products that poured love into and improved the lives they touched? Products whose sale perpetuated an economy based on love and justice? What kind of crazy impacts might that have on global poverty, social justice, and financial inequity?
We are a marketplace that connects shoppers with artisan made products that empower people, restore hope, and provide transformational opportunities around the world. Our partners live out love and justice through job creation, paying fair wages, providing safe and positive work environments, and meeting needs in their communities.
As a marketplace, your business interacts with numerous artisans around the globe! Can you speak to the incredible impact BB is making worldwide?
We are honored to have 40+ partners now in more than 20 countries including several right here in the USA. Our partners vary from dedicated professional groups to individuals, all who are living out our mission to love their community in ways that are unique and inspiring.
While the diversity of missions among our partners make it difficult for us to boil down our impact into a simple statistic, we still try, right? In 2016, BB customer purchases provided 4,200 days of dignified employment to our partners. We’re still amazed by that impact! Your simple purchase compounds with others to truly transform lives. Every day we are inspired and given fresh perspective on our own lives through our relationships with our partners.
Your motto really shines through your business – I just love the tagline #liveoutlove as part of Bought Beautifully’s vision – can you explain how BB is helping men and women “live out love” through their purchases?
When you buy a product from Bought Beautifully, your purchase is more than a transaction, it’s an act of love. Your transaction becomes a heartbeat, pumping life-giving sustenance to our partners who are loving, serving and being the hands and feet in their communities. We believe shopping beautifully is one way people can put what they believe and values into action and essentially – live out love through their purchases.
This year BB has teamed up with Dressember and is providing the first 50 advocates who raised $500 a “Be Beautiful” medallion necklace! Why was it important for BB to team up with Dressember this year?
We have followed Dressember and participated in the campaigns in the past and were thrilled to be at a place as an organization where we could throw more weight and support behind the amazing work you are doing…so we jumped at this opportunity to join with you to fight the injustice of human trafficking. It’s an honor for us to partner in saying a small thank you to you and your amazing advocates hitting their fundraising goals this year.
Your website is laid out so thoughtfully! I really enjoy how visitors can shop by “love story” and choose an area where they specifically want to make an impact. One love story that BB focuses on is fighting human trafficking, which is also the heartbeat of Dressember. Can you talk to why this love story is so important to your mission?
It’s 2017, and while humanity has never been more connected and technologically advanced, we seem collectively numb to the fact that there are more slaves today than at any other time during history…currently estimated at 30 million individuals...men, women, boys, girls that do not own their own life. Whether they are kidnapped fisherman, young children lured to the city at the prospect of a job, or working to earn their eventual freedom, this enslavement is horrific.
Several of our partners hold similar beliefs and are actively working to fight Human Trafficking. Rahab’s Rope exists to give hope and opportunity to women and girls who are at risk or have been forced into the commercial sex trade of India. By creating a safe and loving environment, they enable the women and girls they work with to grow and develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. Our partnership with Rahab’s Rope has allowed young women to create dignified lives for themselves and #liveoutlove within the safety of a supportive community.
Dressember is a key piece of the puzzle – you all do such a great job of raising awareness and giving everyone an opportunity to DO something to advocate for freedom.
I squealed a little bit with excitement when I saw that you also offer a subscription box! What a fun gift for others (or a little personal happy mail!) Can you tell us how this works and what we can expect in a box?
They are definitely worth squealing for! Our Beautiful Boxes are filled with lovely and complimentary products that weave stories of love and impact. For each seasonal box, we also share more about the partners that make the products. Not only are the contents beautiful but the stories help re-center us and offer a gracious perspective of how we can be loving brothers and sisters around the globe in a way that provides a hand-up and not a hand-out.
As a family, your passion and heart for empowering and loving others well really shines through. For someone who might be just learning about ethical shopping, can you speak briefly about the positive impact conscious consumerism can have?
Absolutely! We’d be quick to encourage them and tell them that re-examining how they make purchases might seem small, but collectively small choices are making an incredible difference in the daily lives of real people. Bought Beautifully is a small organization, but last year the purchases made by BB customers meant 3 entire months of payroll for 14 deaf artisans in Kenya! It meant an entire year’s rent for a vocational center in Goa, India that serves victims of human trafficking. Every day, we all use our dollars to, in effect “vote” in support of certain business practices…whether we mean to or not. Making conscious decisions to support life-giving business practices with our dollars does matter and does make a difference.
During the Dressember Campaign, our advocates will be wearing dresses every day during the month of December! What are some of your favorite pieces from the BB marketplace that we could style with our outfits this winter?
Our first favorite, is the Mary Poppins bag. This beautiful bag is the mother of all purses and is perfect for travel or work. Dressember participants will not only love the style of the bag but also the fact that its sale supports women who have been rescued from human trafficking.
Second, we love the artisan made Echo brass ring from our partner 31 Bits in Bali. It’s got an elegant bohemian vibe happening and we have yet to meet another ring like it…my husband jokes that it’s “classy bangles are a quiet jingle bells for your finger…” Luckily, he doesn’t write our product descriptions…yet.
Finally, our Ketzali scarves and ponchos are handmade by small cooperatives in Guatemala and are perfect to add some style, warmth, and layering to your ensemble.
Thank you Emily and Colin, for your thoughtful answers that are sure to make us better consumers. We are incredibly grateful that you and your husband have faithfully built Bought Beautifully and have decided to partner with us this year!
If reading this has encouraged you to get further involved with Bought Beautifully and their mission to #liveoutlove then you can host a missional market, share your talents, and use your influence. Find out more at their website by following the link below.
About the Author
Michaela Judge is a military veteran and Southern transplant. As a Public Relations specialist by day, she is overjoyed to use her love of writing to help fight for freedom and justice through Dressember! Her favorite moments are spent with her husband, Phil, and daughter, Ellie, adventuring in Charleston, South Carolina, and spreading hospitality