*Feature photo: Emily Betzler shows ethically-sourced jewelry and a bowl available through Bought Beautifully. / Pitchengine Communities* (Sheridan, Wyo.) — Right here in Sheridan, a local woman has started a "shop with impact" effort that is having a worldwide effect. Styled as a "Christian Etsy" of sorts, Bought Beautifully
serves as an online hub for people looking
use their purchasing power to send a global message: That our dollars
support ethical commerce.
Bought Beautifully now hosts 33 vendors, and is designed to grow with
demand, founder Emily Betzler says.
Some of the products for sale through Bought Beautifully are made by deaf
women in Kenya, who are paid a fair wage and whose livelihood depends on
selling their goods; others are made by survivors of human trafficking
rings, people who live right here in the U.S.
The idea began several years ago when Emily and her husband Colin visited
Colin's brother, who was serving in the Peace Corps in Western Africa.
"We were really heartbroken, and we felt like we wanted to do more,"
Betzler says. "We didn't want to just live the American dream. We feel like
we are supposed to be in Sheridan, and we love it here, but we want to play
a role in what is happening in the rest of the world in a positive way."
With that in mind, Emily started making more conscious purchases.
"Our finances are a blessing, and something that can be used for good,"
Emily says. "God wanted us to be strategic on how we spent our money. We
started with Christmas gifts, giving gifts that give back or matter."
That effort grew, and today, Betzler's efforts help to provide "dignified
employment, rehabilitating those once trapped in slavery, or creating
beauty for His Glory," Bought Beautifully says.
While she herself serves in a volunteer position—it is her ministry, she
says—Betzler has created a positive impact for Sheridan youth as well,
employing high school and college interns.
Betzler will host a fashion show beginning at 6 p.m. Friday at The Barn in
Big Horn. The show will feature 12 models styled with 24 looks, wearing
both Bought Beautifully items and fashions from local boutiques.
The event will begin with a happy hour from 6-7 p.m. and the show will be
at 7 p.m., with drinks, appetizers and a Bought Beautifully store.