The road of dreams is long and messy but beautiful and full of life. If we’re willing to be patient and keep walking through the chaos, beauty always wins.”
FBA: Tell us a bit about your leadership journey.
Adisyn: I remember not long ago, I sat at home in Austin dreaming about starting a company that would provide employment to women in need, and brainstorming ideas for products we could make. Before that, I never imagined I’d start a social enterprise. I’m an introvert at heart, a wrestler of ideas, a cautious decision-maker, and I hate being the center of attention–which I interpreted to mean I probably wouldn’t be a good leader.
But today I sit in an office, in the middle of a busy city in Asia, the leader of a company with five incredible women who make beautiful products and teach me daily what it means to pursue your dreams despite your difficulties. Over the last several years, I’ve walked alongside women who have experienced incredible suffering and abuse. Together, we’re slowly but surely building a company and community where women are valued, encouraged, strengthened, and free.
When I first started along this road, I thought physical freedom was the pinnacle. Freedom from abuse and slavery seemed the simple goal. But I’ve learned true freedom includes emotional, spiritual, economic, and relational freedom as well.
Working alongside women fighting for their own freedom has helped me see I’m on a journey of freedom as well. Seeing their courage has given me the courage to battle my own oppressors – fear, anxiety, insecurity, doubt, sickness, and more, totally transforming the way I see the world, myself, others, even God.
Adisyn: Freeleaf provides employment and holistic care to at-risk, abused, and exploited women. As a social enterprise, not a charity, our ability to employ women and provide the support we do is entirely dependent on sales. So our first dream is for Freeleaf to grow as a company so that we can come alongside more women in need. We want to grow to employ hundreds in need in our city.
FBA: What inspired your use of knots as the motif for Freeleaf designs?
Adisyn: Freeleaf designs are inspired by the rich history of the Chinese knot, used for centuries to show elegance and bestow blessings. Throughout the process of tying a knot, it’s easy to feel like you’re making a mess. But with patience the knot slowly begins to emerge and you’re left with a stunning product. I find this process so often mirrors life. The road of dreams is long and messy but beautiful and full of life. If we’re willing to be patient and keep walking through the chaos going on around us, beauty always wins.
May is Trauma Awareness Month, and those working with exploited or oppressed individuals are often very passionate and outspoken about being trauma-informed. But what exactly does it mean to be trauma-informed, and why does it matter?
Just as upcycling old and broken materials turns them into something new and beautiful, employing people with a broken history enables them to feel fresh, new, and empowered.
Freedom Business is a multi-pronged solution to human trafficking. Each type of Freedom Business has a distinct and important role in the overarching goal of creating life-giving jobs for the most vulnerable