How One Trip Shaped Her Career: Ixchel Triangle Bags
Summer is here and that means vacations, trips and outings. Whether it is a trip to the beach, coffee with friends, going to grandmother’s house or a family vacation, there is always a lot to bring along. We all want a bag that looks trendy and cute but is also functional. In addition to all of these things, Ixchel Triangle bags give back to the community that makes them. Founder, Tory Jones’ story is a good reminder of how to be a person of action when you see a need, and also the willingness to leave a life of comfort and security to pursue a dream.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Matthew 6:2-3
Founder Tory Jones’ grandmother moved to Guatemala when she was five years old. After visiting her, she began supporting the education of a few children there. Tory always had an eye for art and a love for creating things. Prior to Ixchel Triangle, she was working as a baking occupation instructor in a prison. She would teach inmates how to bake and help them to get a job upon release. While she loved this job, she knew that she needed to take a risk and start her own business. She wanted to merge her passions of creating, art, culture and giving back to the community along with the families she had grown to love in Guatemala. It was difficult and scary to leave a secure government job and become her own boss, but she wanted to create something that she could be proud of.
Tory Jones tells the story of how Ixchel Triangle bags are made:
“Ixchel Triangle is the only company producing goods from Guatemala that has committed to work solely with co-ops, not factories, and to only use handmade weavings, not machine made. We take pride in guaranteeing that every product is handmade by artists that are personally known. Our bags are new, but their souls are old. Ixchel Triangle bags have had a prior life as a Huipil [ˈwipil], and these beautiful hand loomed works of art have been repurposed into the amazing bags we have created. Each product is filled with the history, tradition, and culture of the indigenous Mayan women who wore and wear them. Ixchel Triangle bags, not unlike the women who wove them, are urbane, alluring, and have the strength to carry more than expected. I am honored to give them new life and purpose
Every Ixchel Triangle item that is purchased directly supports a family in Guatemala. A portion of the proceeds is given to every artisan who participated in the construction of these 100% hand-made creations.
“With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.” Acts 4:33-35
Tory shares about the impact of the company that extends even beyond the artisans.
“The artisans are paid above market wages for their talents, and thrive as highly valued members of our team. There is great pride in personally knowing and working with every person who has transformed these traditional Huipils and Cortes’ (Mayan skirts).
Ixchel Triangle believes that knowledge is freedom. The company is committed to helping those who want to better themselves through education. It is the company’s great pleasure to help fund education of children in Guatemala. For example, Jose Mario, the oldest of three siblings, is an exemplary student. He is now able to continue education to pursue his passion of becoming an architect because of Ixchel Triangle’s support.”
Give back! Have you been on a mission trip or service project that has changed your perspective? Pray and ask God how you can support that ministry or organization on a day-to-day basis. From having a lemonade stand, to donating a percentage of sales from your business, or even employing a needy people group, there are many ways to give back. You can also research different companies and products that support causes and organizations that you are passionate about and purchase their products. As you pray, be obedient. God might challenge you to do something out of your comfort zone.
What risk do you need to take in your life? Pray and ask God to give you faith to make that “next step.” We are often content living our predictable and secure lives, when in actuality, God wants us to be obedient and pursue the life He is calling us to. Take time this week to journal. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you areas of your life that you need to take a step of faith in. Whether it is a career change, starting a ministry or sharing your faith with a friend or co-worker, God desires us to be guided and directed by His Holy Spirit.
Live out your passions. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 27:14).” God has given each of us different gifts and passions and He wants us to use them for His glory. Ask your friends or small group what gifts and talents they see in you. What makes you come alive? Pray and ask God for opportunities to use those things for His purposes. We need to make sure that we are being good stewards of the things that we have been entrusted with.
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Nick Petro is a motivational speaker, author and mentor. He travels around the world empowering youth by sharing a message...