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3996 East Ponce de Leon Avenue
Clarkston, GA, 30021
United States

678-768-5729

For women, looking to make a difference, Peace of Thread is a handbag company that makes high quality bags that help a refugee woman by providing them with a sustainable source of income, and training in English and job skills. Unlike other stylish brands, a Peace of Thread purse is a fashion-forward way to intentionally provide a job for a woman in need.

Each bag in handcrafted, and one-of-a-kind -- just like our artisan threaders -- and serves as a statement piece for our customers to carry the stories of our artisans into the world. Be a part of our story. Sew Peace.

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New Friends and a New Mindset

Peace of Thread

Note: Peace of Thread is a politically neutral organization.  The blogger’s views are her own and don’t reflect the views of the leadership, the workers, or the other volunteers.

There were ballcaps and t-shirts. Colorful signs waved in the air.  The cheers were loud enough to hurt my ears.  The people on my screen were triumphant.  Victory was theirs!  Their team was proving itself to be the biggest, baddest team on the block.

But this wasn’t a sporting event I was watching.  This was a rally being thrown by President Trump in Youngsville, Ohio.  The home team was America.  The opposing team was all those other countries, the ones stealing our jobs.  President Trump wanted everyone to know that America is winning and the other countries are losing.  The people and the rally were in complete agreement.

As I listened to the people in Ohio cheer at Trump’s statement that “We are finally, finally, finally putting America first,” I thought about our Peace of Thread seamstresses-who come from countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Myanmar.  How can these people only care about themselves- and not about precious women like Anisa*?   I wondered.  How can our refugee friends be safe and thrive in Trump’s America?

But the truth is, I don’t have much room to judge these people.   I remember how I felt when I first met our seamstresses.  I remember the fear I felt as I walked into a room full of veiled women. The way I cringed when I realized many of them didn’t speak English or spoke with heavy accents.  But their warmth and friendliness won me over.  Today, I don’t feel fear when I visit my friends. I enjoy watching them working and their machines and playing with their kids. I see them smile and hear them laugh and know that they’re human just like I am.

It’s natural to want “our team,” the group of people we identify with and who we perceive to be the most like us to succeed.  It’s natural to feel nervous or even afraid when we meet someone who’s different for us. But an “us v.s. them” mentality is something better saved for sports. The challenges in our country will be overcome when we start to think of ourselves as an “us”-one people that includes both refugees and people from Ohio.   And when we don’t think in terms of “us v.s. them,” we’re free to make new friends.

*name changed for privacy reasons.  To read Anisa’s incredible story, see “Peace of Thread: More Than Just Purses” from May 27, 2016.

Joyful Feast

Peace of Thread

Friday, September 1, was Eid-al-Fitr (“ the Feast of the Breaking of the fast”), one of the two major feasts in the Muslim calendar. As the name implies, Eid-al-Fitr is the celebration that marks the end of fasting during Ramadan. (“Eid al-Fitr)  Since our refugee friends could now eat freely, I packed some chocolates into colorful polka-dotted bags and headed with Denise S., Stephanie, and April to spread some holiday cheer.  We saw May*, Shada*, and Naira*.

Eid al-Fitr emphasizes generosity (“Eid al-Fitr”).  And our friends certainly were generous with us.  They invited us to sit on their pillows, eat their cake, and drink their tea.  (Shada insisted I have a pillow.  She wasn’t going to let me sit on her floor!) But while the cake and the cushions were cozy, the best gift our friends could give us was the opportunity to share in their lives.

  At May’s place, we got to meet her new brother-in-law.  He told us about how he and May’s sister moved to Georgia from North Carolina.  Meanwhile, the kids pranced around the apartment singing, “We’re going Trick-or-Treating” while stuffing candy into their mouths. 

And at Shada’s place, I met her husband for the first time.   I learned that he spoke five languages!  He told us that Afghanistan’s two main languages, Dari and Pashtun, have different words for “Thank you.”  He explained to us that Muslims are so happy during Eid because it comes after the Hajj (special pilgrimage to Mecca), and all their sins have been washed away.

  When we arrived at Naira’s place, we found that her house was unsually quiet.  That’s because her toddler was sleeping on the couch, passed out as only a toddler who’s partied too much can.   Naira is one of the women I mentioned in my March 5th post who gave birth this year.  Naira brought her out her baby girl to visit, and I can honestly say that she was one of the most beautiful babies I’ve ever seen, especially in her white dress.

 Sharing good times with our friends reminded me of God’s generosity to us.  God gives us delicious food to eat.  God gives us friends and family whose company we can enjoy.  Best of all, God gives us Himself.  Because God is so good, we can celebrate every day.

Source:  Wikipedia Contributors.  “Eid al-Fitir”   Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 12 Sep. 2017. Web. 15 Sep. 2017

*Names changed to protect privacy

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Seeing Possibilities

Peace of Thread

On Friday June 2, I did something for Peace of Thread that I’d never done before.  I traced patterns for our eyeglass cases (always a best seller during the summer months).   This job involves taking a piece of cardboard and tracing it against a piece of fabric with a marker so that someone else can cut the shape out and make it into a bag.  Like a lot of people who are trying to do something new, I found my work both challenging and rewarding.

The most challenging and rewarding part of tracing was looking at each piece of fabric and imagining it as a bag.  What would those orange stripes look like when my diamond shape was folded into a rectangle?  How could I fit as many bright blue flowers as possible into my narrow lines so that they would all show up on the final product?

As I set one scrap of fabric after another to the side and watched Denise S. start to turn them into bags, it occurred to me that our work with refugees is a lot like tracing patterns.  We look at someone who’s been through a lot of hardship-someone who may look kind of “scrappy”-and imagine what her future could look like. Then we work with her so that she can become the best person she can be.  In this case, the “patterns” we use are the personality and talents that God has given each woman.  God is the designer and the only one who knows what His “final product” will look like.  But we have the privilege of watching that plan unfurl as we get to know each woman.

Of course, unlike a bag, a person is never “finished.”   The women we love still make mistakes.  They still have flaws and the scars from their past.  But it has been a blessing to watch them become vibrant and empowered as they learn how to support themselves in America.

If you would like to be part of this work, e-mail us at info@peaceofthread.com