Introducing The Friend Ship – a give-back kid’s store.
My ride or die, Tiffany and I met while working at Harold’s on Campus Corner in Norman, Oklahoma. It was love at first smoke break, and we’ve been BFFs ever since.
Tiffany is the yin to my yang. As we navigate our lives juggling careers, marriages, kids, and church, my heart overflows with appreciation to have a friend who lifts me up through thick and thin, literally.
One life event we have in common is losing our mothers to cancer. Tiffany was 20 when Vicki died of stomach cancer, and I was 34 when I lost my mom, Betty, to pancreatic cancer. We got matching ladybug tattoos after college to symbolize Vicki’s spirit, she is always with us. Never mind that it is drawn in the style of Mary Englebright – it’s the thought that matters!
About a year ago, Tiffany and I were contemplating our purposes in life…just a casual Saturday night conversation over a fat glass of rosé. What could we be doing to better serve, how do we fit more giving into our hectic crazy lives, and how the heck did Betty and Vicki do it all? Those questions became a longer, multi-weekend conversation. We sprinkled in some prayers and dreams, which led us to a big, bold move: we started a charity.
We named our charity The Friend Ship. Our general mission is to help children who can’t help themselves. It’s a cause my mom worked towards my whole life, mostly as a CASA volunteer in Tyler, Texas. Tiffany and I felt called to honor Betty’s vision to benefit kids in need. Our idea is to create a memory that a child will forever cherish. So, funds raised by The Friend Ship will be used to send underprivileged kids to summer camp.
I couldn’t stop thinking about how dang cute The Friend Ship is and how fun it is to embrace this mission with my bestie. If you know me, you know I don’t do anything small or quietly. My team and I have been brewing ideas on how to incorporate more give-back components into our business. We’ve been buying more local, more small batch merchandise. We’ve added over 10 give-back brands to our product mix in the past year. One thought lead to another, then the opportunity slapped me in the face, let’s turn a part of Favor the Kind into its own give-back brand.
Today we are launching a pop-up kid’s store that will give 100% of profits to charity. The pop-up is an amplified version of our kid’s section, with more gifts, more toys, more precious tiny clothes. The pop-up is fittingly called – The Friend Ship.
Between the pop-up and other fundraising, our first goal is to send 5 kids to summer camp in 2019. We will keep you posted on our progress!
The Friend Ship pop-up is now open inside our Houston Heights store and already our first guests oohed-and-aahed at all the right things. The Friend Ship, both the charity and the pop-up, is the first step in a long future of difference-making. Tiffany, my staff, and I feel honored to have a chance to use our friendships and our business to channel something bigger than ourselves.
Thank you for being on this journey with us! Follow along at @shopthefriendship.