The community that we have at Rethreaded is the foundation on which we have built much of our business model. It guides how we start our day in devotion, how we run our program, the types of events we hold, and even the method by which we do business.
Our value of “Radical Community” is central to the reason why 80% of the women we have employed no longer return to the trade. When you spend 40+ hours per week at work, you need to make that time work for you as well. We intentionally build time within our workday for activities that build community and are restorative – think morning devotion, gratitude practice, and cooking and eating lunch together. These things aren’t rocket science. It’s what we as humans are built to do – be in community.
Many of the staff refer to each other as their Rethreaded family. I know that it can be cliche to refer to your co-workers as family, but I don’t know of any other way to phrase it. The Rethreaded family is a group of people that have made a choice to do hard things in life and to support one another in that process. Just like a biological family, we have good days where the team feels like a well-oiled machine, events go off without a hitch and we crush our goals. We also have our not-so-good days, the days where nothing seems to work the way we planned (I’m looking at you, credit card swiper), and we’re on each other’s nerves. The thing I love is that when we get to the other side of those hard days, we’re still a family and we have each other’s backs.
I think really beautiful things happen in the hard spaces. I have seen Rethreaded staff walk through some of the most difficult life experiences you could imagine, but they weren’t walking alone. For many women, this is the first time they have ever experienced genuine care and support for their well-being. They don’t trust that it’s real, or that we don’t want something in return. Their life experiences have been so vastly different, they simply can’t accept it. Until one day, they do. When that day comes, and you see someone let their guard down and be their whole self, it’s a moving sight. Seeing someone feel accepted for the first time leaves you changed. When someone finally feels “part of” instead of someone on the sidelines of the world. When someone is able to use their voice to enact change because they know their community will listen. When someone is able to ask for help when before, they tried to go in it alone.
Personally, my Rethreaded family walked with me through one of the most difficult times of my life when my mother passed away in early 2022. When I reflect on that time, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to be by my side. There were no grand gestures, just simple things. Words of encouragement, nods of acknowledgment, locking eyes over shared experiences of grief. The little things that made me feel seen and cared for. I don’t know if I would have made it through that time without my Rethreaded community.
No one that experiences Rethreaded leaves unchanged. Community has the power to heal. One person’s success can be shared and celebrated. We can be the architects of our own joy. We can hold each other accountable to the Rethreaded values and give grace to one another when we don’t quite get it right. It’s in those little moments that many in our family learn to believe in themselves. We learn the value that we bring to the world and the talents that we didn’t know we had. We learn what our weaknesses are, and are strengthened by others in those weaknesses.
I would invite anyone to come to Rethreaded and experience what it truly means to be part of a community. You won’t leave unchanged either.