The "Nutshell" Version
What started with some experiments involving sewing with leather and making jewelry from antique pieces led to a collection of too many wearables for just one person. After a lot of prayer, I launched Ma & Pembum. Half of the profits from every sale is donated to organizations that fight to end human trafficking. I love what I do and feel extremely rewarded doing it. I hope this feeling of fulfillment stretches its way to you as well, as you enjoy your Ma & Pembum purchase.
The "Pull-Up-a-Chair-and-Grab-a-Cup-of-Coffee" Version
About three years ago, I started sewing with leather as an experiment. I had sewn off and on throughout the years, though never very seriously. I had some scrap leather left over from a college art project and I decided to see if my sewing machine could handle it. To my surprise, it could do so with ease. So, I started making simple handbags and pouches. Around that same time, I visited a local antique store, where I discovered box upon box of tiny watch parts, brass stencils and little, round hotel key labels. I loved these tiny treasures, so I began making jewelry with them, using them as the feature piece on chains and ear wires.
One night, not long after embarking on these creative endeavors, I had a terrifying dream: my two children - ages one and five at the time - had been taken and I had no idea where they were. I eventually discovered that they were in a “hospital,” having been kidnapped by “doctors,” who intended to use them in scientific experiments. I awoke from this nightmare completely unglued - it was so fresh and so vivid. I spent the next few hours praying myself through it, begging God to remove the images from my mind. Eventually He did, and I fell back to sleep. What I could not seem to remove from my mind, however, was the heart-wrenching reality that there are actually parents out there in the world who really don’t know where their children are. For weeks I thought about this, and even after prayer, it lingered.
Finally, I asked God what He was trying to tell me, and what I, a mostly-stay-at-home-mom in Hinesburg, VT, could do about such a huge, world-wide problem. When I finally asked that very specific question, He answered: I was to take these leather bags and vintage jewelry (which I had made far too much of to ever reasonably use myself) and sell them. I would then donate 50% of the profits to organizations that exist to end human trafficking.
What began as a simple, one-girl experiment, selling her creations here and there, has quickly become a company with three dedicated staff members that continues to grow. And the only explanation is that God is running the show.