Looking back, Stacey Edgar realizes how God has blessed and guided her to establish Global Girlfriend, a business that started in her Colorado basement and grew into a multimillion-dollar enterprise distributing handmade, fairly traded products and clothing made by women throughout the world.
During her children’s early years, three events—the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the Columbine High School shootings in 1999, and the terror attacks of 9/11—filled her with terror for their future.
When paralyzing panic ensued, Edgar called 911 and was taken to the hospital. In the following days, she thought, “What is this world I’ve brought three children into? And what can I do to change it?”
However, she realized that her anxiety was nothing compared to that of other women worldwide who deal with poverty, homelessness, illiteracy, financial powerlessness, sex trafficking, and HIV/AIDS. She concluded that “the women of the world needed their own 911 call.”
In 2003, with a $2,000 tax return, Edgar began to import women-made, fair trade, eco-friendly products that North American customers would find attractive. Initially her customers were her girlfriends, neighbors, family, and mothers of her children’s friends. An e-commerce website, mail-order catalog, and wholesale business followed. In five years, the customer base grew to 20,000 American women “who eagerly used their purchasing power to help their girlfriends around the world gain economic security.”
In her book, Global Girlfriends (St. Martin’s Press), and on her website, Edgar shows that “we have an opportunity to shop according to our values.” When we do so, each item we purchase recognizes that a person, valued in God’s sight, needs to be afforded dignity and given a fair chance to make a meaningful living.
Global Girlfriend donates a charity royalty from each purchase of apparel, bath and body products, handbags, accessories, jewelry, handmade papers, and more to Camfed (Campaign for Female Education), “a nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating poverty in Africa through the education of girls and the empowerment of young women.”
Edgar founded Global Girlfriend because she believed that small, seemingly insignificant acts can change the world, one person at a time. God has blessed her act of obedience. What small, seemingly insignificant activity is God calling you to participate in?