The Vickery Trading Company
“Beauty is a character trait that is built around the appreciation of differences and diversity. It is how someone engages with those around them and beauty looks different on different people”
is how Stephanie Giddens, Founder and Executive Director of Vickery Trading Company, defines beauty.
Although her plans to relocate to Africa with her family fell through just 24 hours before departure, Stephanie Giddens’ passion for social movements and desire to help underserved populations are far from standing still. Stephanie’s interest exponentially grew after she discovered a large refugee population living just miles from her home in a neighborhood called Victory Meadow.
Since 2015, Vickery Trading Company, located in Dallas, Texas, has been providing professional and personal development programs that empower women to become self-sufficient and contribute back to their local communities.
Texas became one of the top three states for resettlement of refugees by 2021, and the Victory Meadow neighborhood is often the first place refugees settle, so there has been a tremendous opportunity to make a difference without being a world away.
Refreshingly, Stephanie is always able to see the positives:
“There is so much misinformation about refugees and I want people to know that they bring a strength (not a drain) to our community and that as humans, they bring the most beautiful, creative and colorful life to our community”.
Through Vickery Trading Company’s unique and holistic 21-month program, refugee women are hired and trained to sew at a professional level using industrial machines and paid fair wages for their work while also learning English and other valuable job- readiness skills.
The sewing industry is a sustainable one, and a sewer’s salary, combined with the income of a spouse, would enable a family to function well on their own and give back to their community, which is the ultimate goal of the program.
“We are teaching women how to fish rather than just giving them one. We are all about the hand up, not the hand out,” says Stephanie of their approach.
Currently, 98% of clothes are made overseas, but the industry is thriving here in the United States and is growing rapidly. For anyone in need of things such as custom tailored drapes, bedding, pillows, suits, wedding dresses, dance or cheer uniforms, chances are you will need a “just-in- time”’ service close to home. This growing need has made sewing an essential skill for women and those that employ them.
Looking for a way to help refugee women thrive?
Check out their products at https://vickerytrading.org/ where every purchase benefits the refugees that make them. Make a tax-deductible donation or volunteer your time in one of many ways.
You can find Vickery Trading at:
- Instagram: Vickery Trading Company
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