Hey everyone!! I am so excited to introduce you to a gal that I have absolutely fallen in love with during the short time I have known her. She is a SHINING example to others of what it looks like to use your gifts, passions, and life experiences to make a difference in your sphere of influence. And in her case, ALL of those precious gifts are on display for us to see as she lives out her dedication to women through a special “mission boutique” called Heartisans. I truly have never seen mercy more beautifully displayed. Get ready to be inspired! And please, give a warm welcome to my guest of honor, Julee Rachels.
Julee Rachels is the Founder/CEO of Heartisans Marketplace in Longview, Texas. Opened in the Fall of 2014, Heartisans Marketplace is a volunteer-driven 501(c)(3) non-profit. Their mission is to provide a customized job-training program to unemployed women living in the community.
Heartisans was born out of Julee’s heart to fill a need in her community for homeless or disadvantaged women ready to move forward in their lives through job training, education and employment in order to achieve a better life for themselves and their families. Understanding God’s unconditional love for all, Julee desired to provide a program that exhibited an example of God’s love by fostering human dignity and self-respect through helping women find meaningful careers that matched their God-given interests and talents. The organization’s goal of increasing the employability and self-sufficiency of program participants has been achieved through a community partnership with Longview Economic Development Corporation (LEDCO) as an ACT WorkKeys Career Ready 101 site which is a vital work testing requirement in the Longview area. Because of Heartisans’ unique program, women are referred from all over the local community including other non-profits, churches, law enforcement, and the community at large.
The Heartisans’ program is funded through a retail shop in Downtown Longview and community donations. In designing the funding aspect of Heartisans, Julee wanted to provide other women in the community a place to volunteer. The Heartisans slogan, “Love Serves”, is truly exhibited as volunteers give their time and use their God-given gifts and talents to work in the five manufacturing studios at Heartisans. They successfully produce quality products which are sold, along with sourced items, in the unique Heartisans Marketplace gift shop. Volunteers also mentor, tutor, lead the weekly Bible study and budgeting classes. Furthermore, they provide transportation, along with filling many other needed roles. Volunteers also provide a valuable resource for program participants through networking and encouragement as they move through and graduate out of the program.
Julee is a former retail business owner and has a passion for cooking, quilting and sewing. She is a shining example to others of what it looks like to use your gifts, passions, and life experiences — all which are on display through her dedication to the mission of Heartisans. All that enter this special boutique are witnesses to what it looks like for the church to live out the love of Christ – day to day – in a practical ways within the community. She states, “What a blessing to serve alongside others doing what God has gifted us to do as we help other woman realize their personal worth in Christ. We then get the privilege to walk alongside her in life! It’s pure joy to see a woman achieve independence through work and know she is doing the very thing that God has given her a passion for. God graciously allows us to be a part of her journey!”
Lives are changing! Since its inception, the Heartisans program has had over 25 women graduate and move on to a life of dignified work where they are living out their God-given purpose. To God be the Glory!
Please visit the Heartisans website to shop some of their unique hand-made products as well as read some of the incredible life-changing stories of the women they have served.