Milk & Honey Market: Restoring Lives Worldwide
If You Only Have 60 Seconds…
- Milk & Honey Market is an organization that sells fair trade jewelry
- Artisans from all across the world are receiving fair treatment because of the work that organizations like Milk & Honey Market are doing.
- Milk & Honey Market is currently an online shop but hopes to one day become a brick and mortar storefront that offers various types of fair trade goods.
Taylor Smith is changing the world. An Upstate native, Taylor has a passion for seeing redemption and restoration happen in the lives of women of all different backgrounds and walks of life. Her platform? An online jewelry store that sells handmade products by artisans from all over the world.
Behind the Market
I originally heard about Milk & Honey Market back in September 2017 through Taylor’s family. I knew them quite well when I lived in Anderson. When I saw her mom post about Milk & Honey on Facebook, I immediately fell in love. I was so intrigued by the cause, and of course, the jewelry, and knew that I had to share this story. Flash forward to March 2018 when I reached out to Taylor asking if we could sit down for an interview. We agreed to meet at the Village Grind one Thursday morning (because where else would we go?). I ordered my favorite lavender latte with almond milk and sat anxiously waiting for Taylor to arrive. When she walked in with her beaming smile and opened her arms wide to greet me with a hug, I knew that we were going to have a great time. This was my first time meeting Taylor in person and let me tell you, she is a truly a gem. We sat for 45 minutes talking about her, her story, and Milk & Honey Market. Want to learn more? Keep reading.
While in college at the University of South Carolina, Taylor attended the Passion Conference, a Christian event for young adults. There she heard Christine Caine, founder of the nonprofit A21, speak about human trafficking across the globe. “I knew about human trafficking but I didn’t know that it was happening in our own backyard and I didn’t realize how much it was happening around the world.” After learning more about human trafficking and realizing the serious problem that existed, Taylor felt burdened for the mission. She went back to school and immediately changed her major to social work. “It was like the missing puzzle piece,” Taylor said. “All of a sudden it was like a light bulb switched and that was what I was supposed to be doing.”
Taylor eventually went on to intern with A21 at their Charleston location, and worked with various nonprofits and organizations throughout college and after. Later, in 2016, she and her husband came to the realization that it was time to put matters into their own hands. Taylor knew that she was called to stand for something bigger than herself. Her burden for human trafficking lead her to pursue her career: starting her own brand that would support women all over the world.
More Than Just an Online Store
The mission helps to support these women, as Milk & Honey Market partners with companies across the globe that are are providing fair wages and safe working conditions for people. The artisans that work for these companies are mostly women who have taken a leap of faith and stepped outside of their cultural norm. With the money they earn, they are able to lead lives that many of us here in America take for granted. They can feed their families, purchase land, open bank accounts, and may even get the chance to send their children to school.
When looking to purchase items for the store, Taylor is very strategic about the companies she buys from. She wants to ensure that the employees are actually being treated fairly and are receiving proper equipping to move forward in life. Some of the makers work in various areas of their companies such as marketing, while others may even go on to become managers or own their own businesses. Because of the equipping they are receiving from these companies that are offering them dignified jobs and resources, they are empowered to do more than what their culture says they are capable of.
“It is a Land Flowing With Milk and Honey”
Aside from the mission and impact of Milk & Honey Market, the name itself may be one of the coolest parts of it. “I knew that I wanted the name to be something that would create conversation around modern-day slavery and make people more aware of what is going on in the world,” Taylor says. A Biblical reference (Exodus 3:8), Taylor wants her shoppers to know that the items they purchase help these artisans’ tables overflow with milk and honey, both literally and figuratively. Not only are they able to provide a decent life for themselves and their families, they are continuously being restored and redeemed through the dignified work they are doing. Eventually, Taylor hopes to expand Milk & Honey to become a “market” for all types of fair trade goods – coffee, chocolate, baskets, and more. Hence the name Milk & Honey Market.
Necklaces, Earrings, and Bracelets Oh My!
Milk & Honey Market items come from various corners of the world: the United States, Uganda, Haiti, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and India. Each item is handmade, specific to the country’s style. You can find beautifully crafted earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, and even clutches and wallets. Each piece has its own unique flair: from simple, daintier pieces such as gold studs, to more extravagant, brightly colored pendant necklaces. There are items for every style. Whether you are looking for a statement piece or something to go with your everyday look, each piece is beautiful and of high quality. Prices are extremely affordable, and bonus, your money is going to support these artisans who work hard to create quality products.
Brick and Mortar Dreams
Milk & Honey Market is a game-changer. They are a powerful voice in an overlooked and saturated cause. They are working with the public to support the livelihood of women all over the world. They are even partnering with their local community to make a difference. Milk & Honey periodically partners with Switch, a nonprofit in the Upstate actively working to fight local human trafficking. In the future, Taylor hopes to expand Milk & Honey Market to become a storefront that offers various fair trade items. Her goal is to employ women of the Upstate who themselves are going through restoration. She hopes to equip women with the necessary tools to, just like the artisans, become managers or even business owners. Her dream is to one day take these women to meet the artisans so that they can see what restoration looks like all over the world.
For more information, how you can be a part of the cause, and to see their brand new Spring Collection, check out Milk & Honey Market’s website here.