As stated in my last post, one of my visions for STL Heart Cards has been to cultivate community based relationships in St. Louis and beyond to support the voices and lives of those who live on the margins. From the beginning, I have always wanted STL Heart Cards to build relationships, not just throughs selling photo cards but by actually getting out into the city to get to know people behind the lifestyle photographs and urban landscapes depicted on the cards.
One of the best ways I feel this mission and vision has been accomplished has been developing a community relationship with Route, Inc, an organization based in Columbia, MO that buys and sells sustainable handmade goods created by women coming out of lives filled with addiction, pain and loss from around the world. On the front page Route's online their mission states:
At Roūte we believe each person can be empowered to make change through ethical purchasing. We are a community formed as a nonprofit, with a shop in Columbia, Missouri. As you get to know us, follow the map on each product page to see the Roūte each product takes to get from maker to Missouri. We work hard to find products that are not only ethically made, but also fashionable. As you invest in ethically produced pieces there will be less slavery, more children in school and out of the workforce, and fewer deaths from unsafe working conditions.
The STL Heart Card and Route, inc partnership works by including both Route, inc and STL Heart Cards working side by side one another at community events and pop up shops throughout the city to help promote both the visions of both creative businesses and organizations. We feel the visions of both STL Heart Cards and Route are to develop deeper relationships with the community through quality made goods, transparency and sustainability.
One of my favorite ways that STL Heart Cards and Route, inc collaborate is co-hosting Women's Small Business and Artisan Pop Shops at different venues and small businesses in STL on a quarterly basis. The Women's Small Business and Artisan Pop Up Shops bring together 10-13 women small business owners artists and artisan (includinf Route and STL Heart Cards) who agree to promote the event, their goods, the creation and goods of other women and sell together for 4-6 hours on a Satruday or Sunday afternoon. This is one of my favorite events because it is truly beautiful to see women who have created something they are passionate about, work together to help each other support themselves and each other. That is one of the core values of both Route and STL Heart Cards, nurturing relationships through art, design and community.
I look forward to seeing where this partnership goes and how Route and STL Heart Cards grow and flourishes in the community.
If you have any questions about Route,inc's mission or products, don't hesitate to reach out to me or anyone at Route,inc. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Christina Weaver or Jessica Penner at Route, inc at email@example.com