We often hear on the news how we're a divided nation. Tensions
run high as political, racial, and cultural divisions lead to hate,
prejudice, and fear. Amidst the turmoil, one woman in an
under-resourced community in Detroit, Michigan is taking small
steps toward creating meaningful, cross-cultural relationships and
bridging the divide. Rebecca Smith is the founder of Better Life
Bags, a company that seeks to provide economic opportunities for
women who might otherwise face barriers to employment. This is her
Things You Don't Want To Miss:
Meet Today's Guest.
1:20 - Rebecca Smith is the founder of Better Life Bags. Better Life Bags is a
custom handbag company located in the heart of Detroit, Michigan.
Every bag is hand-sewn by a woman from their under-resourced
community. Your purchase gives these women the opportunity to excel
at a skill and provide for their families. Click the video below to
learn more of Rebecca's story.
The Rebecca 101.
10:30 Better Life Bags will celebrate its tenth birthday this
summer, and it really started as a hobby. In the summer of 2009,
Rebecca was in the final months of her first pregnancy, and she was
bored. She decided to make her own diaper bags, and at the behest
of her friends, she decided to try selling them on Etsy. Around the same time, she decided
to send a portion of her proceeds as a micro-loan to low income
14:00 Her family moved to an under-resourced, ethnically
diverse community in Detroit, Michigan. She needed help scaling her
business, and she hired a Yemeni neighbor to help her keep up with
the work. The two quickly developed a close relationship, and in a
lightbulb moment, Rebecca realized she could use her business to
provide economic opportunities to other women in the
A Higher Purpose.
20:35 - Rebecca is currently in the process of writing a book
that tells the story of her journey. She's been reminded throughout
the project that God is looking out for us, and that He leads us as
we take small steps of obedience in faith.
Lessons From The Old Testament.
22:13 - In the Old Testament of the Bible, we're constantly
reminded of God's plan for His people. He's constantly leading the
Israelites despite their shortcomings. Even amidst their fear, He
offers protection as He leads them toward the Promised Land in
order to accomplish His purposes for them. We're reminded of how
difficult it can be to trust God amidst difficult times. However,
as we look back over time, we begin to see His bigger plan.
Sometimes, we simply need to follow him, one step at a time.
Making Cross-Cultural Connections.
25:44 - It can be difficult to start relationships with people
who are different from us. Rebecca shares how God used the story of
Jonah to call her to love her local community. She shares how her
neighborhood in Hamtramck, Michigan enabled her to
develop relationships and bridge the cultural divide Americans
An Update On Better Life Bags.
37:00 - Better Life Bags has greatly evolved through the years.
They currently employ about 15 women, and Rebecca shares how God
has challenged her to consider what it means to do His will. She
saw the business grow immensely through its first seven years, and
now as growth has leveled out, she's asking herself whether she can
trust God's plan through a period of slow growth. She wants to
follow His plan, and trust Him with the results, even if it means
Getting To Know Our Guest:
45:34 - Rebecca shares her love for sweets, her aptitude for
long-distance road trips, and her longing to return to the
A Memorable Moment:
"It's about taking small steps and trusting God has good plans
for us. We don't have to wear ourselves out because He has the
plan. We just have to walk it."
Business with Purpose takes you “behind the scenes” with some of the world’s most generous entrepreneurs with host Molly Stillman of "still being molly." From the CEOs of mission-driven brands, to directors of small, community non-profits, and everything in between, Molly is sitting down with men and women who believe in changing the world through not only their personal lives, but also their professional careers. We believe that every person was created with a purpose, for a purpose and this podcast gives inspiration for how we can all make an impact by supporting businesses with purpose.