Local Shaker Renews Hope for Local Survivors
Before I introduce our next featured Jax Shaker, let’s talk numbers. 90. That is the percentage of women in the sex trade that want to leave, but don’t have access to jobs. 100. The percentage of Rethreaded employees that were trafficked HERE in the city of Jacksonville. 35. The number of survivors here in Jacksonville who’s lives have been changed by Rethreaded. 4,000. The number of women Rethreaded has helped globally since it’s launch in 2012.
While alarming to learn how close the sex trade hit to home, it was equally reassuring to know that we have women like Kristin Keen in our community eager to help end this vicious cycle. Kristin is the Founder and President of Rethreaded. For those who haven’t heard of Rethreaded, they say it best …
Rethreaded's mission is to renew hope, reignite dreams and release potential for survivors of human trafficking locally and globally through business.
Rethreaded provides a second chance at life through employment for survivors of human trafficking in Jacksonville, Florida. Women have employment opportunities in different facets of the company including production, inventory, sales, marketing and finance/admin.
Rethreaded also operates as a distribution company that sells products from like-minded businesses who also employ women who have found freedom from the sex trade.
We’ve had the privilege of meeting Kristin and being involved in several Rethreaded events here in the community. Read on to hear what sparked this project and how founder Kristin continues to help survivors.
How long have you lived in NE Florida?
I moved to Jacksonville in April of 2009. I’ve loved it from day one.
How do you explain Rethreaded to someone that has never heard of it?
I talk about the power of economic empowerment and strong community to change lives. These are the two transforming agents that make Rethreaded so successful.
What or when was your "aha moment" when you decided to take on this incredible mission?
I had returned from India after working with survivors of human trafficking there. I was talking with a Survivor I met here in the states and she shared how hard it was for her to find a job after the trauma she experienced as well as overcoming her background. After talking with her I know that issues for women were no different here then they were in India and the solution is the same - a new job and a new community can help give a new life!
When you get overwhelmed as a founder, what keeps you motivated?
Possibilities. I have big dreams. I have seen lots of those dreams come true. When I get over whelmed I just remember what we are are working towards and why we are doing it. We are doing this so women will have a chance to be who they are created to be through business.
Do you have a favorite activity to do with friends or family when they visit you here in Florida?
I am obsessed with being outside. My favorite place in the word to be at is the beach. I swim a lot of mornings during sunrise. I will always take my guest to experience the beauty and majesty of the beach!
If you could travel anywhere this year, where would you go?
I miss my best friend who lives in Boston, so i would hop on a place with her and go visit some of our mutual friends in Europe!
You're having a dinner party this weekend and can invite a famous guest, who would that be?
What is your go-to morning drink to get you ready for each day?
One small mug of Rethreaded survivor-made Coffee with three packs of french vanilla creamer
What is one piece of advice that you have for someone that is just starting out as a founder of a company?
Know your WHY. If it is strong enough it will help you overcome anything that comes your way.
Can you share something that is on your personal bucket list for 2019?
I am training for a half Iron Man on May 11th!
Tell us something that most people don't know about you?
I feel intimidated a lot by all the amazing people i get to meet.
There seems to be a lot of buzz about Rethreaded lately, anything interesting happening?
Yep! We just launched a brand new product line in partnership with Southwest Airlines and Project Runway Allstars!
Have you ever sold out of an item before?
We also chatted with Kristin’s Director of Marketing, Rebekah Suwak, about what it’s like working for such an incredible organization …
What is a typical day like at Rethreaded?
Every day is exciting and feels like a new adventure. Just being in our warehouse is a blessing in itself, Rethreaded is such a rewarding place to work! I have only been with the company for three months but it feels like a lifetime already!
Do you have a favorite new skill that you can attribute to your training at Rethreaded?
Giving the people what they want! haha All joking aside, but being able to market our new products to new audiences has opened Pandora's box for me and my team. I also love being able to just go with the flow and working with such a determined team.
What is it like to work with a visionary like Kristin?
It's wonderful and exciting. She has a ton of great ideas that help to propel us forward as a company. Working by her side is never dull and her passion is contagious. Kristin really has trusted me to market Rethreaded in new ways and it has been amazing to see everything come together.
Do you have a favorite piece in the Rethreaded line?
I am in love with the new line that we created in collaboration with Southwest Airlines and Project Runway All Stars. In particular, the handcrafted leather pen pouch is super cute and trendy, plus it doubles as a makeup bag!