We’ve been fielding questions recently about who we are as a social enterprise. As we’ve been answering these inquiries and thinking through the issues people have asked about, it’s been a catalyst to provide some needed clarity to our focus and mission! As we get ready to launch our fall programming (a  new mentorship program + English conversation practice + sewing cork & carpet bags), it seemed like a propitious time to share some of these questions and answers with you, our supporters, so you can better understand who and what Persona Grata Goods is.

Are you a fair trade manufacturing company?

Um, sort of. We’ve done sewing production contracting for other small businesses, and we hope to have more opportunities like that in the future. But we don’t currently have a factory and our main goal isn’t to take on lots and lots of contract work. Instead, the refugee ladies who sew for us get trained in sewing cork & tapestry accessories (like Carpet Bags) as a component of the program. Small batch sewing production is by no means the only function and goal of Persona Grata Goods – more on this later.

Refugees in Charlotte North Carolina Social Enterprise

But flexible jobs ARE vitally important for refugee moms (and really, any mom who wants to be home when her children are home). So through our Persona Grata Goods store, the women in our program receive training at our “home base” location at Make Welcome Refugee Sewing School in Charlotte,  NC. Then they get to take the materials for the product home and complete the work at their house. That way they’re home to parent and guide their kids through the myriad of cultural adjustments that are faced each day.

When you buy a product through our store, you’re directly investing in and supporting a refugee mom.  When a fellow small business hires us to do small batch sewing production, they’re providing SO much more than just money for paychecks – they’re investing in mentorship and ESL and dream building.

So that’s the first part of “What is Persona Grata Goods” blog series. Stay tuned for more! Also, sign-up for our emails newsletters if you want to be the first to know when we release new products as well as program news and updates.

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