Adored Boutique By Emily Smith
Tell us about yourself? We want to know your story!
I am a Registered Nurse by degree and worked clinically for 19 years before opening Adored. I loved my time as a nurse and draw from the experience all the time, but there is nothing in me that wants to go back into medicine right now. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and married into West Michigan. My husband and I have been married for 20 years and we have a daughter in High School and a son in Middle School. Life is crazy busy and sometimes I have no idea where the week went, but we have carved out Sunday afternoons for family time and somehow that restores and fills us all back up. At this point in my life I don’t have many hobbies, but if I have free time, you may find me taking a walk, baking something with chocolate in it or watching an 80’s movie. I am in bed and asleep most nights by 10pm and I fall asleep thinking about my morning coffee. I love Jesus and I do what I do because of what He did for me.
What lead you to create a boutique that supports ethical businesses and women around the world? Tell us more about the mission of Adored Boutique!
In April of 2015 the restlessness in my heart to do something that serves and honors God more (than what I was doing) became overwhelming. I told no-one what I was feeling, but silently searched for nursing opportunities in the area. Everything I saw made me want to vomit, literally, and I was left uninspired and sad. My family and I went on a Spring Break trip to Nashville just a few weeks later. I walked into a philanthropic boutique in downtown Franklin and had a Holy Spirit encounter that knocked my socks off. I wanted nothing, but loved how I felt in the space and simply did not want to leave. My husband, who never makes quick big decisions, said to me, “You should see if they franchise.” I totally blew this off because 1, I had never worked in retail, 2, we had not at all talked about my frustrations at work or the idea of me changing careers, and 3. it was so outside of his normal behavior I thought for sure he must be sick to even say that. Two weeks later, I was in Cuba on a mission trip and it was like The Lord had designed the entire trip for me. Every sermon, word of encouragement, worship experience was crafted in a way to tell a story to my heart. I left that trip knowing that God had more for me, that if I said “yes” that He would be preparing me for a ministry and that I was going to be changing my career and opening a store. After this trip, there were 9 months of silence from God on this subject and instead, prayer, fasting and seeking to understand what I was doing, why I was doing it and to let God transform places of my heart that needed transformation before He could give me a ministry. It was in those 9 months that I learned about human trafficking, slave labor and the lies of the enemy that so many of us believe and don’t even realize we are believing it. It was in those 9 months that I was delivered from bondage I didn’t know I was in and was freed in Christ to step into this ministry and it was in those 9 months that the Holy Spirit said I could sell whatever I wanted but that I just “can’t sell anything made by people who are not respected the way I respect you.”
How have you seen your boutique impact the women in your community, women in businesses and the women of the world?
For Christmas 2018, we did “Twelve Days Of Impact” instead of 12 Days of Christmas. This was a quantitative collection of the impact made globally and locally through our buying and giving over the first 2 years of business. Maybe the best way for me to express this to you is to just list what was accomplished. Its emotional, it blows me away and if I think about running a business that doesn’t make this kind of impact it makes me sad. I am so incredibly grateful for how the Holy Spirit taught me about running a business in the world but for The Kingdom.
12. One year of university education paid for for one woman in Uganda.
11. 28 global companies focusing on fair and dignified labor were supported, allowing them to provide employment for countless individuals.
10. Conservative estimate of 900 days of food and shelter for orphans around the globe.
9. 416 global annual salaries paid
8. Countless vulnerable women rescued and trained in a new trade, earning a sustainable wage
7. Countless gallons of water protected though recycling, up-cycling and using a holistic approach toward production.
6. Countless lives transformed because of the opportunity for employment. It’s never just the employed who is impacted, but also their family and their community.
5. That annual salary number translates to 5000 global one month salaries.
4. Countless prayers lifted up for strangers and answered by The Father. We have a prayer wall in the store (in pictures) and I have not taken any prayers down since we opened. I just keep adding hooks. So many stories of Gods hand over the lives of those on, and off, that wall.
3. Countless rescued women in Grand Rapids dressed head to toe in new beautiful product from Adored. Sometimes out 15% give back comes in the form of a private shopping party for the women under the care of the mission we primarily support, Sacred Beginnings.
2. Immeasurable women and children rescued from the grips of the global human trafficking industry.
1. Countless expressions and gifts of love given to countless individuals, influencing their lives in tangible and spiritual ways that we won’t know until we are in heaven with them.
How would you encourage the women in your community to live Fearless lives?
Say “yes” scared. I was so scared and had a lot of reasons to say “no". I made mistakes. We all will. It’s the journey through those mistakes, and successes, that proves to be so much more than we can imagine.
Emily Smith of Adored Boutique