Since we could start forming words, we’ve heard all sorts of adages about money. Money doesn’t grow on trees, Money can’t buy happiness, Money talks, in the voice of Cuba Gooding, Jr., “Show me the money!” Since November 30th, Greenville has been gifted with an amazing new gathering space by the name of Given Goods. Greenville Natives, Erin, Beth, Jesse, & Caitlin, a band of four powerful sisters, are the hands, heart, and feet of this community-minded business.
These ladies found themselves at the Illume Conference Greenville hosts in October 2014, a conference with the intention of empowering women and nurturing the desire to make positive change in your respective community and eventually, the world. Even though each member of the family already had the desire to make a difference, the line up of powerful speakers inspired them to action.
They sat down together and made physical lists of each individual’s talents, experience, and gifts. Erin had years of buying and managing in retail, Beth, a knack and eye for web design and online sales, Caitlin, expertise in marketing and social media, and Jesse in finance, listening to what money has to say and even better, telling it what to do.
With their combined powers, and the help of Root Collective and Clothed in Glory, two vendors they connected with at Illume, Given Goods was born and their mission given a voice: to offer a thoughtful curation of ethically minded, socially conscious goods that champion great causes. Faced with the knowledge that money is a necessary evil, Given Goods hopes to make the power of purchasing one that empowers and sustains.
With 7 kids (all between 3 and 9 years old) between the sisters, they were not able to commit to a physical storefront – yet – so they launched their online campaign in October 2015 and found themselves full circle, hosting their first pop up shop at that year’s Illume conference. The next two years would entail lots of pop up shops and online sales, and finally searching for a physical storefront in Greenville – the community their family has grown and thrived in for many, many generations.
While Downtown Greenville is a bustling metropolis of food, shops, and coffee, the foursome wanted to offer a new gathering space where they saw the most need. With some luck and blessings from above, they found their new home at 1631 E North Street this past mid-October. The store set up was a whirlwind, having to paint over Victoria Secret Pink walls, set up wifi, and bring in merchandise by their grand opening a month later, but with tenacity and grace, it all came together.
“We want to be a store where things are cost conscious, that is a gathering space for friendship, networking, and community, and have shopping with a purpose. We never want to be ‘just a store,’” says Erin, the radiant face you will most likely see during your visit.
But how much purchase power do you actually have? Lots. Given Goods has strong relationships with 27 current (and counting) partners that are all striving to create positive change in our local and international communities. Some local partners include the Piedmont Womens Center, which exists to provide medical info and services to women in need, and Switch, an organization that is actively trying to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation in the Upstate, being involved in the process from awareness to rescue to restoration. Other partners include missions like: providing meals for communities fighting starvation, support of international artisans in high-poverty areas, resettling refugees of war torn areas or sex trafficking, fighting homelessness nationwide, providing clean water, environment sustainability, and many, many more.
Given Goods’ support of these partners is a tight-knit relationship; they know the majority of the artisans by name, getting the joy of communicating with them directly, and have pictures allowing proof that real people are being helped with every purchase.
Consider Given Goods when looking for a gift to someone else or yourself, both now and forever. Being able to clothe yourself or stock your space with unique, handmade goods that provide support and sustaining life to so many different people is an easy and rewarding way to use your purchasing power for good.
“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
– Luke 6:38