CHARLOTTE — Among the beautiful historic homes in Dilworth sits a boutique with a unique mission. BraveWorks works with women suffering from trauma, whether it be due to mental illness, substance abuse, poverty, incarceration or human trafficking.
Program manager Lauren Smith says the organization provides mentorship and support for women to help them reach their goals. It partners with artisan projects and women in 10 other countries that are referred to the program by community partners.
Through the program the women become artisans and make jewelry that’s sold at the boutique, which provides supplemental income for them.
“It’s so neat to see a room with different cultures, different backgrounds, different religious beliefs, but we’re all women,” said Smith.
“We use jewelry really as a catalyst to create conversations, to create community and to create that safe space to learn something new and challenge themselves.”
Jasmine Greene is an artisan at BraveWorks. Following her mother’s death, Greene sought counseling, which led her to the program.
“I said,’ I need another way to take care of myself,’” explained Greene.
“BraveWorks made me feel safe. It’s like it brought back the confidence that I once had and (helped me dare) to dream,” she said.
Greene is set to graduate from the program this month. She plans to open a child placement agency to find loving homes for foster children.
BraveWorks is at 1717 Cleveland Ave.
For more information, visit braveworks.org.
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