Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Merry Market 2015

This past weekend, I had the privilege to participate in Merry Market 2015, an indie market began by two sisters seven years ago. It was such a blessing, and I was able to raise $1,650 for my upcoming mission trip to Haiti! It was a wonderful day. 

I'd like to thank everyone who came out to support, and my sweet momma and husband for helping me set up and break down, and for standing by me and helping all day on Saturday. 

For those of you that don't know, this was the end of this sweet ministry. I have cherished everything about Renmen Abonde for three years, and although it's ending is bittersweet, I have a peace that I know could only come from Jesus. 

I wanted to share a few snapshots from the day:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Time for Everything

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the Heavens."
Ecclesiastes 3:1

The past three years of starting and growing Renmen Abonde have been such an incredible journey. I'll never forget that day at the daycare where I worked in Boone, NC during my last year of college when I was inspired by a precious lady who also loves the Lord named Peggy Eller to start a business of making bracelets to raise money for my trips to Haiti. Someone commented on the pretty scarf she was wearing, to which she replied, "Oh, thank you! I bought it from [so-and-so] for her mission trip to Africa!" That's when I perked up and said, "Mrs. Peggy! I'm selling pine needles with my church for our upcoming mission trip to Haiti! Want to buy some pine needles?!" She then replied with a laugh, "I can't wear pine needles!"

I remember looking down at the pretty bracelets on my arm that a dear friend of mine, Lee Lankford, had given me months before. She had made them out of beads and wire, and I loved them and wore them every day, but the thought of making them myself had never crossed my mind until that day at the daycare. When I got off work at 5pm I drove my broke college student self straight to Michaels, the only craft store in Boone, where I spent $48 of the $50 I had to my name on beads, wire, pliers, wire cutters, and a small tupperware box.

I sat at the desk in my dorm room that night and made bracelets until the sun came up. I was exhausted, but it was like something came over me and I just knew that Jesus was going to use this. The first one couple of bracelets I made were not the prettiest things in the world (it definitely took me a while to get a hang of it) but I soon began to see the fruit of my labor take shape and pretty little bracelets that I could hardly wait to share with the world. These bracelets weren't just bracelets to me. They were a plane ticket and a bumpy landing into Port au Prince. They were new shoes for my Haitian friend, Junie. They were the money used to pay the sweet Haitian ladies that cook for us at the hospital in Jacmel where we stay, helping them provide for their families. They were the money for repairs and renovations at the hospital and church where we serve in Jacmel. They were so much more than bracelets.

The next day, I took them to work with me at the daycare and I not only sold every single bracelet that I had made the night before, but had orders for almost 100 more. Clubs, sororities, church groups, sisters, friends... they all wanted my bracelets. I was floored. It's amazing what God will do if you're obedient to Him, and I've never seen that more true than with these bracelets. Soon after that, doors began opening at local boutiques and hair salons.... all wanting to sell my bracelets. I shared with each person the story behind these twisted pieces of wire and beads, so excited to have opportunities to tell them about the Haitian people. Soon after that, I outgrew that small tupperware box.

It wasn't long after that I chose a name for this blooming ministry: Renmen Abonde, meaning "love abounds" in Creole (the beautiful language of my beloved Haitian friends).

The rest, they say... is history. And to me, it's the sweetest, most precious gift. Jesus used people in my life in such incredible ways through this journey. People opened their homes to me for bracelet parties, where they decorated, provided snacks, and invited all their friends- all the while providing me with yet another opportunity to share the mission behind these bracelets, explain what God is doing in Haiti, and give people and opportunity to be a part of the wonderful revival that's happening there through willingness to share the Gospel with them. Churches invited me to come share, strangers sent me extra donations for the cause, accompanied by sweet letters of encouragement. It has been more of a blessing in my life than I could ever explain.

As we prepare for our upcoming trip to Haiti this December, I know without of shadow of a doubt that it's going to be special. Going back to see my brothers and sisters in Christ, continuing to build relationships with them, and see the growth they've experienced since I saw them last, warms my heart in ways that only Jesus can. Please continue to pray for our team from Calvary Baptist Church as we prepare for our trip, pray for the Haitian people- that they will continue to learn and love Christ, and that healing, restoration, growth, and revival would happen like never before.

Renmen Abonde has (including this upcoming trip) helped send both Grayson and me to Haiti two times, helped support a team of guys from our church that went to Haiti last December, fully sponsored a child from our church to go to summer camp, which had a focus on missions, and has been used in every way we could find to support both local and global mission work.

There's not a doubt in my mind that God allowed me the privilege of this ministry for this season of life. It's been such a sweet season, and I've seen His faithfulness and provision through this in every way. However, after much prayer, I believe that this season of life is coming to a close. Merry Market will be Renmen Abonde's last big outreach, and after the current supply of bracelets are gone, this ministry will come to an end. There aren't enough thank you's, not enough hugs, not enough words to ever begin to thank each and every person who has believed in me, supported this cause, encouraged this mission... I am so humbled and eternally grateful to the gracious hearts who have helped make Renmen Abonde so successful. I have been pushed, challenged, and stretched through this journey in the sweetest ways, and God gets all the glory. His love for us is so powerful, His plan for us is so much bigger than we could imagine, and this story is proof that He doesn't call us to be able- He calls us to be available. When we make ourselves available and say, "God, use me," our request will never be ignored. It might be through beads and wire, it might be through making pies for our neighbors, it might be getting out of our comfort zone and completely moving to a new place to share the Gospel, or it might just be through mowing someone's yard for them, but God will show you. He always provides a way.

With all this being said, I hope to see each and every one of you this Saturday (11/7/15) at the Grand Hall in Mount Holly, NC for Merry Market 2015. I love everything about the heart behind Merry Market and I'm honored to be one of the 48 local artisans offering handmade goods at this craft fair. Bring your friends and stop by Renmen Abonde's booth between 10-4. The address of the Grand Hall is: 400 East Central Avenue Mount Holly, NC 28120. I can't think of a sweeter way to bring this season of ministry to a close than by sharing it with you all at such a sweet, special event. See you there!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Upcoming Event: West Elm Show // October 10, 2015

Today is October 1st, which means we have a big, exciting announcement to make!

On Saturday, October 10th, Renmen Abonde will be at West Elm (1100 Metropolitan Ave, Ste F-160, Midtown, Charlotte, NC 28204) from 12-4. Please mark your calendars & come out to shop! We are SO thankful for this awesome opportunity & give Him all the glory! 

Also, this cute calendar is a free download for your desktop background or phone, and can be found here

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Upcoming Event: Merry Market // November 7, 2015

I am so excited and honored to be listed among these local artisans and creatives. We are all coming together under one roof for the 2015 Merry Market in Mount Holly, N.C. It's coming up soon and before we know it, it will be here! Please mark your calendars for Saturday, November 7th and plan a day to come out with your girlfriends and do some Christmas shopping!

Shop local!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

From my living room to your mailbox

If I told you that no worries, frustrations, or stress came with running my own business at 23 on top of working full time and learning how to be married, I would be lying. Sometimes, it's hard and overwhelming and I wonder how in the world I got myself into this...

And then, I hear my Father's whisper. He says, "I began a good work in you and I will carry it to completion" (Philippians 1:6). I am totally blown away when I think about what a blessing this ministry has been over the course of the last two years. I would have never guessed, even in my wildest dreams, that I would be doing this - that the Lord would be doing this through me. It's one of my greatest honors, and knowing that the Lord has entrusted me with this is worth it all.

I want to be totally transparent in the sense that you, as my customers, know that I'm praying for you. I pray over every single one of these bracelets as the wire and beads pass through my hands. I pray that whoever ends up receiving them will feel Christ's love and that their bracelets will serve as a constant reminder of the abounding love of Christ. By purchasing these bracelets, you are making a difference. 
 So, from my living room to your mailbox, I hope you know that Christ's love is in every detail. As I prepare for my trip to Haiti this December, I am so thankful for your love and support. Without it, this trip would not be possible!
Remember, ordering is easy! Just email to order and shipping is FREE until the end of September! 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sale: Free Shipping ALL September

That's right, ladies! Enjoy free shipping on Renmen Abonde bracelets all September long! Just email to order!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Upcoming Event: Merry Market // November 7, 2015

We are so excited to finally announce that we've been chosen as a vendor for the 2015 Merry Market in Mount Holly, N.C. This is such an incredible, God-given opportunity and He gets all the glory. We are so thankful for all the opportunities He's given us as we continue to raise money for the mission work we do in Haiti. Our next trip to Haiti is coming up this December!

Please mark your calendars for November 7th and plan on spending a day enjoying all that local artisans have to offer with your girlfriends as you get ready for Christmas. It's going to be a great day!

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Right now, these tassels are so popular. Isn't this trio adorable? 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Collaboration: Jamberry Nails

One thing I love about making bracelets is that I have the opportunity to connect with lots of different kinds of people all over the world with very diverse backgrounds. Getting to know people and hearing their stories is half the fun! A treasured customer named Leah discovered Renmen Abonde a few months ago and has since purchased several bracelets for herself, and also for friends and family. The combination of her heart for giving, passion for Jamberry nails, and love for giving to and supporting mission work through prayer resulted in such  a fun collaboration.

I hope the ladies who will be receiving these beauties absolutely love them, and realize that they are wearing jewelry with a story. Each of these bracelets have been prayed over, and are helping fund our upcoming trip to Haiti in December 2015!

Did you know that gift wrap is complimentary? Renmen Abonde bracelets make the perfect gift! Email to order today!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Two Week Workshop: Success!

Last fall, a lady named Becky reached out to me about Renmen Abonde. She purchased a few bracelets, loved them, and asked if I would be interested in coming to her church to lead a workshop. As the leader of the women's group at First United Methodist Church of Gastonia, N.C., Becky is always excited about finding new people to share their gifts, talents, and testimonies.

I was so honored that she asked, but with our wedding rapidly approaching in December, I was unable to commit to a two week workshop until after the start of the new year. In January, she contacted me again, and I was so thrilled!

The first week of this two week workshop was a time for me to share my testimony, the story behind Renmen Abonde, and I opened the floor at the end for a brief question and answer session. Although public speaking has never really been hard for me, I definitely felt some serious butterflies. There's not a doubt in my mind that I had faithful friends praying for me, because, like any time you are trying to do something good for the Lord, Satan tried to intervene. About 2 p.m. the day of my first meeting with the ladies, I got a terrible headache that medicine did not seem to help at all. Then, after getting about ten minutes down the road on my way there from all the way across town, I realized I had forgotten some important materials I had prepared to take with me that night and had to turn around, putting me very close to being late. Then, I sat in traffic with my gas light on, frustrated, and wondering why this was happening.

However, the second I walked in the door, I felt a peace that could only come from Him wash over me, calm my spirit, and focus my mind. I was able to speak that night with words that came straight from Jesus and it was a sweet time of reflection and fellowship.

During the question and answer session at the end of our meeting, one lady asked me, "If this is your business, why are you so willing to teach us how to make bracelets? Don't you want to kind of keep it a secret?"

This is HUGE.

The answer to this question is simple, really. There is almost nothing unique about Renmen Abonde bracelets. I do think making them out of old jewelry, allowing customers to send me sentimental pieces to craft into a bracelet they can keep forever, and the fact that 100% of the profits goes towards mission work sets Renmen Abonde apart, but the bracelets themselves are not special. I could easily list 20 people that I know of right now who make bracelets like these.

It's not about me. It's not about how many bracelets I've made. It's not about being the best or the most famous. It's about Jesus. It's about serving Him. It's about loving people enough to do anything for them, anything to get to spend time with them, and anything to continue building intentional, Christ-focused relationships with them. Without Renmen Abonde, it would be close to impossible for Grayson and I to afford another trip to Haiti this year, but because of our customers generosity, support, and encouragement, we get to answer the Lord's calling by saying, "YES Lord, send us!" I don't ever want my bracelet-making to become a pride thing. I want it to always be totally and completely about Jesus.

I've never been competitive. Maybe it's because I'm an only child, but I've just never seen the need to compete. I hope we all make it. I hope everyone succeeds in their own way. That's why it hurts my heart to see young business owners who selfishly (and quite pointlessly, if you ask me) try to further promote themselves by putting down others. Just because you like one brand doesn't mean you have to hate another.

Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that Jesus makes beautiful things, and if we are called to be like Him, being made in His image, should we not make beautiful things too? Lets all do it together!

And if you feel called to buy Renmen Abonde bracelets to support our mission trips, that's just the cherry on top.

The second part of this two week workshop was a teaching session. At the end of week one, I handed out a supply list, detailing exactly what the ladies needed to bring. They were all excited when I got there, and after a brief Word and prayer, we dove right in! I was impressed by how quickly the ladies picked it up, and before we knew it they, too, were creating little masterpieces out of beads and wire.

I am so humbled and thankful for this opportunity, and it's my prayer that the Lord continues to open the floodgates of opportunity and growth for Renmen Abonde!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Beachy, Blushing, Beautiful, Bridal Bracelets

When a bride contacted me about making customized bracelets for her bridal party, I was so excited. When she told me it was a beach wedding in Florida, I was even more excited. With a cream and blush color palette, what's not to love? These feminine beauties add the perfect touch! 

Are you or someone you know getting married? Renmen Abonde bracelets make the perfect bridesmaids gift, and add a special something to your day. Email to place your order today!

*Orders of 10 or more are discounted to $12 per bracelet plus shipping.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Bracelets, Hope, and Spreading Awareness

One of my favorite parts about Renmen Abonde is the ability to brighten a person's day, get to know their stories, and give them a tangible reminder of God's love. In this case, I was able to send these long-prayed-over beauties to a girl who has just been diagnosed with cancer for the second time in two years. The aggressive breast cancer she is facing had metastasized to over 8 places in her body, including her liver and spine. I am so honored that the sweet giver of these bracelets thought of Renmen Abonde as a gift of hope and a reminder of Christ's abounding love || Join with me in praying for this victim of such a terrible, despised disease. Jesus is the almighty Healer, and He is bigger than whatever we face. Let love abound.

From San Francisco to North Carolina!

Check out these pretty stones my friend Bland bought during her recent trip to San Francisco! They're now Renmen Abonde originals that she'll be able yo keep forever! I love making my customer's day with totally unique, customized jewelry that has a special meaning to them!  

Email to place your order today!