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From The Workroom / Personal & Faith

a dream // and a step

I’ve had a lot of questions about my post two weeks ago hinting at where my business is going this year, so i thought i’d share a little more about one of my dreams.

I think it’s hard to talk about your hopes and dreams isn’t it? It’s vulnerable. Its real. It’s sharing a part of your soul.

To be honest, I don’t really dream of success. I don’t dream of making my business bigger, or being the biggest best pattern company in the world, though obviously those things would be awesome. I am a Christian, and my dreams are for people, for humanity and human rights. Not wealth, success or fame.

For a while, our sewing patterns were produced locally in Perth in a sheltered workshop for people with disabilities. What does that mean? It means that people who otherwise couldn’t find work because no-one would hire them, work in a safe protected environment doing work at their skill level. People who work there have pride, and hope and security. And every time my patterns were delivered to me, I got to talk to many of them first hand, and see what that looked like. And it was awesome, I cried after every delivery. I think the greatest gift you can give someone is the ability to look after themselves with dignity and security. I think that’s better than charity as we often experience it, faceless money changing hands. And where does it all go? I believe in empowering people, in really seeing them, and giving them work and a life. I loved it, but unfortunately as my business grew, this unique and valuable organisation couldn’t keep up with the level of production.

That was almost two years ago. Since then, I’ve had a dream. The one i keep in my heart, and save for when i’m falling asleep at night, and almost never talk about though it consumes my thoughts.

I make patterns because i love designing clothing, but i dream about helping people. My children are safe, and loved and have a world of opportunity in front of them. Their futures are bright and hopeful. But other women and other children don’t live like that, not even close – and it makes my heart bleed.

Deep breath. I dream of opening my own sheltered workshop oneday. I dream of opening a sheltered workshop in one of the many countries where women and children are stuck in the disgusting life of human trafficking and sex slavery. My heart is broken for them and their constant, daily suffering. I dream of their freedom, and pray that one day i can help in some way by providing safe work, safe homes, a better option for communities. Choices. I want to be a part of that.

But this idea has stayed a dream, because it’s so big, I’m not there yet. I didn’t even have a first step.

Then a few months ago i met a couple at church who work with an organization that do the very thing i have dreamed of doing! Seriously. My head exploded and i did a happy dance. It took me all of 3.5 seconds to figure out a way that we could work together.

They provide safe and sheltered employment, health care and child care to women who have escaped the sex trade in India- all at a fair wage. Right now they make organic fair trade tshirts and bags, and are working on expanding so they can support more women.

So here is my small, but significant step. Right now we are finished with the design stage, have begun manufacturing and soon will be releasing a line of tshirts to support this amazing cause! I AM SO EXCITED> i really can’t wait! There won’t be any profit. I don’t care. Being a part of providing work, and safety and hope is the most amazing thing ever. I don’t know where this will go exactly, but i’m so excited to be making a small start on a big dream! To be making a small stand in a big world.

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Annette Tirette
7 years ago

You are a wonderful person!

Annika
7 years ago

WOW. This is amazing. I wish you all the best. You will make a HUGE difference in the life of this woman. So good!

Alison
7 years ago

What an amazing thing to do, if only there were more people in the world who wanted to make a difference not money! I pray that the t-shirt release goes smoothly and your dreams continue to become reality :)

Debbie Iles
7 years ago

What a wonderful thing to do. Very inspiring!

Rory
Rory
7 years ago

Your post made me cry this morning, but in a postive, heart-lifting kind of way. I am so thrilled for you that you found a way to make this dream a reality. So many of us are saddened by the huge injustices of the world and you’ve found a way to help. Thank you so much for this post. What beautiful and inspiring actions.

Kelly
7 years ago

So wonderful! Work is so important, the sense of pride and self-worth that go along with it mean a lot. It’s wonderful that a goal for your business is to give that to people. Amazing, and thanks for sharing!

Trudy Callan
7 years ago

That’s wonderful! And hopefully, you sharing your dream will inspire others to get involved as well in some small way and together make a big difference. You would then make an even bigger impact even if you don’t know that you did.

Brigid
7 years ago

What an awesome step for you Megan! Isn’t it amazing how God will take our dreams and make them reality? That has happened with my sisters and I in the past year, and it truly does amaze me each time the Lord fulfills a dream we have held in our hearts for years.
I pray He will bless this new effort of yours!

Manouela
Manouela
7 years ago

I wish you from my heart best of luck with this project. It is and you are such a blessing to these people and anything can make a difference. And honestly, if there is anything I can help with, please send me an email and ask, I would love to be involved!

Kailee
7 years ago

I appreciate this so much! In so many ways. I feel like I’ve had a lot of similar thoughts that you wrote about and I just want to say thanks! Good luck, I’m really excited for you :)

Sylvie
Sylvie
7 years ago

How exciting! If you have them in your shop I’ll be happy to buy one! Or if there’s a way of donating to the organization, I would be happy to do so. <3

Emily
Emily
7 years ago

Megan, you inspire me so much. I am so excited. While I love to sew, I have four kids at home, homeschool, and am dealing with carpal tunnel. I can’t wait to buy one for me, one for my sister, one for my SIL, etc. I loved your post about not doing a book.

Dara
Dara
7 years ago

God Bless you Megan, and HIS very best to you on this wonderful endeavor!!

Kristin
7 years ago

You are such a good person. I’d love to buy a shirt and help spread the word too, once they’re ready! Good luck. :)

Lizzy
Lizzy
7 years ago

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Francesca
Francesca
7 years ago

Your post brought tears to my eyes. (Note to self – do not read this blog at work!) What a good person you are. Really, really lovely. I am so touched that I can hardly write. It is so inspiring to know there are people like you in this world.

Morenike
Morenike
7 years ago

Inspiring,is the word that came to me while reading . A big ‘God bless you’.The world will be a whole lot better place if we have more people thinking as you do. It’s so much joy reading about christains that are doing such amazing things for the kingdom . I wish you the best.

Elle Croft
7 years ago

This. Is. Incredible!
Seriously, I have goosebumps reading this post – women who have been victims of human trafficking are so on my heart too – I hope one day I’ll also find a way for my skills to help them. Thanks for sharing your dream, and if there’s anything at all I can do to help, I’m all yours xxx

Ginger
7 years ago

Oh Meg, my heart is bursting and I’m just so moved by your desire to help those in such need. This sounds like such a great partnership and I’m really excited to see how it shakes out! You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers and so will the folks at Freeset!

regena
7 years ago

way past awesome

Kathryn
Kathryn
7 years ago

That is so cool! God works in such mysterious ways. I wish you all the best in this new endeavor!

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[…] (I’m talking about her like I know her, but I really don’t. I wish I did though! If this recent blog post of hers is anything to go by, she sounds like a wonderful person with really a big […]

Kat @ House of Lane
7 years ago

Omg I have goosebumps and tears! You are so amazing. I want to give you a massive hug. What an amazing initiative. You are changing people’s lives and that is beautiful.

Christy
7 years ago

What an awesome dream! Hope to see you in Queensland for Easterfest 2016, selling those tees and sharing your dream with more of Australia :D

Laura Baker
Laura Baker
7 years ago

That’s fabulous Megan! I admire your compassion and warmth. We need more people like you in the world :)

Justine Wong
7 years ago

Congratulations Megan! I am so so soooo happy for you. My heart just grew from reading about your new adventure!

PendleStitches
7 years ago

Megan, you are an inspiration to those of us who have and a beacon of hope to those less fortunate. This is a huge thing for the families involved. Bravo.

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[…] a quick aside: thank you so so much for all of your love and support and encouragement on my last post. I am beyond excited, and i can't wait to share this journey with you!! You truly are an amazing […]

Jules Means
7 years ago

This is wonderful. If you eventually expand to include other products I hope you will consider the soft block printed cotton of India. It really is like no other. It is very hard to find here in the States. I have found some on ebay, but I would buy yards and yards of lovely simple hand blocked cotton made by families who need help and encouragement. How lovely that you have found this opportunity- all the best, Jules

Jules
Jules
7 years ago

Wow, this is so inspiring . Love and and prayers in your new venture.

Anna
7 years ago

Wow, you just made me cry, in a good way! You are inspirational I pray that more and more doors will open for you so that you can do this in a sustainable way. Xxx

Megs
Megs
7 years ago

Megan,

We don’t know each other, but I’m so proud of you!
You are so incredibly inspiring. I can’t wait to follow your adventures and I hope you continue to post more on the matter. I work for a non profit company that provides day training programs, residential services, and supported employment for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I wouldn’t trade anything for the amount of joy and sense of community I witness daily.
Wishing you all the best!!!

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[…] tees are part of a greater vision i have for supporting humanitarian efforts through my brand. They come from a burning passion i have to help women and children who are stuck in sex slavery and human trafficking. They are made in the […]