Hi all, please welcome a pair of Featured Crafters today, Amanda Foust and Kim Howard! Their Etsy jewelry shop, called The Next Door, is a nonprofit that is dedicated to providing services and financial help to African refugee families. Their vision… “to enrich the lives of people locally and globally who are struggling to overcome poverty, oppression and injustice.” What an amazing cause to support, please check out their shop and story below!
Kim and Amanda’s Etsy Shop Link: TheNextDoor
Can you please tell us a little bit about yourselves and your shop?
Kim: Amanda and I are friends who are working on our shop together. “The Next Door” is a not-for-profit shop that was inspired by some African refugee families that we sponsored through our church. We started by sponsoring 4 people and that has now grown to 21. We have seen the struggles they face as they adjust to life in America and work to support their families. We wanted to give them a creative and social outlet and use the profits from our shop for their needs as they arise. Our Etsy shop is the first phase of our plans and we are also working on a store front. Our store front will sell our creations as well as handmade items from around the world that will support people who are working to overcome poverty, injustice and oppression. Kim has been married for 23 years and has 3 children ages 15-21. Amanda has been married for 2 years and is in the process of adopting a daughter from the Congo. The difference in our age and stage of life is a strength that gives us different perspectives and allows us to relate to woman of all ages.
Can you describe your creative process?
We try to create items that are different than what you could find in a store. We love mixing materials like beads, silk cord, kimono cord and sari ribbon. We want our jewelry to have a global vibe and enjoy finding unique materials that are made in other countries. We love the days that we can spread out all our materials, make a big mess and just experiment and create!
Where can we find your work?
We have been in business for a few months and have done 2 successful craft shows as well as working on our Etsy shop. You can find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Next-Door and on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheNextDoor.
When did you first become interested in your craft?
Amanda: We have both always enjoyed creating things and when the opportunity to help our African friends arose, I was excited to learn a new art – creating jewelry! We knew we would be able to teach our friends to make jewelry and feel that it is an invaluable skill – what woman doesn’t like unique jewelry?
Apart from creating jewelry, what do you enjoy doing?
Amanda: I teach and write, which I would say are just other outlets of creating! It is hard to get away from creating things but that is the way I like it.
Kim: I homeschool my son and love spending time with our African families. I am involved in community theater and am producing a show in February. Amanda and I also spend a lot of time working on The Next Door storefront.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Amanda: I am honored to be able to be a small part of this journey that opens doors to those who are in need all around the world. I hope this encourages other to open doors using their gifts and talents that some may not have discovered yet.
Kim: Amanda and I are very passionate about raising awareness of needs in our community and globally. We are also passionate about creating our jewelry and learning new skills. This journey with our African friends has been life changing and we are honored and blessed to be a part of their lives.
We would also like to thank Dawn for featuring our store in her blog! We are just getting started and appreciate her help in getting the word out.
Thank you for sharing your craft and your passion for helping others!