Welcome to Sweet Southern Sugar’s first installment of our newest blog series “Hometown Focus” which spotlights Alabama small businesses and people making an impact on the community. For our first collaboration we have linked up with Uttermost Jewelry, a handmade jewelry company that benefits human trafficking in India, run by Maggie Parsons. You can read more about this business and even receive a special offer below. Enjoy!
All pictures and information were provided by Uttermost Jewelry
About The Owner // Maggie Parsons
I have known Maggie since I was young. We went to high school together and had mutual friends. Ever since I have known her, her heart for missions and Christ was evident and radiated through her daily life so it was no surprise to me when Maggie started this company. Maggie grew up in Birmingham, AL and is now a current Freshman at Oral Roberts University.
The Story Behind The Company & The Name
I asked Maggie to elaborate on the inspiration and reason behind starting her business. Below is her answer, in her own words.
“Uttermost Jewelry was founded in December of 2016, However, its vision had been in the works for months, if honestly not years. In 2009, I took my first trip out of the country to go on a mission’s trip to Mexico. That mission trip launched my entire life onto the path I’m currently walking on. Six years and five more missions’ trips later, I ended up on a trip bound for India. Out of all the countries I’ve been to and places I’ve had the chance to serve at, none of them have impacted me as deeply as my first trip to India. To keep this short, I’ll skip through all the things I encountered while there, but I cannot skip past the encounter that affected me most. While in India, my team and I had the opportunity to walk through a local brothel. We had all heard of human trafficking, it has been a pretty hot topic on the global issue spectrum, but there is a defining moment in all of our lives when we go from hearing about an issue to seeing and meeting it face to face. When we reach that moment we have two options: look away and disassociate or, face it dead on and acknowledge it. For myself, I chose to acknowledge the evil, heart breaking, gut wrenching reality of human trafficking and I knew I had to respond. I and a group of others on that trip all decided to make our response to human trafficking a nonprofit that would create a way out for these women trapped in the sex trade.”
“This nonprofit is called Freedom Trade International, we’ve been up and running for over two years and we seek to establish a business that hires former victims of human trafficking in a business that brings them fair wages, and a safe and empowering work environment. Now. How does this all relate to Uttermost Jewelry? Well, for any large scale vision such as Freedom Trade’s, sufficient funds are needed. I wanted to find a way to use my creative gifts to contribute to a cause and organization that was close to my heart. At the same time, I’m just a college freshmen who wants to graduate from college debt free. The solution seemed clear to me, start my own business. The college I attend is named Oral Roberts University, it’s a ministry school located in Tulsa, Oklahoma and was founded by evangelist Oral Roberts. We have chapel every Wednesday and Friday and one day, I arrived extra early for some reason. I sat down in my normal seat and honestly just was soaking in the silence (you don’t get much of that at college). On the back wall of our chapels wall is a quote that was spoken to our universities founder when God called him to start our school. I remember just deciding to skim over it while waiting for chapel. It reads, “Raise up your students to hear My voice, to go where My light is dim, where My voice is heard small, and My healing power is not known, even to the uttermost bounds of the earth. Their work will exceed yours, and in this I am well pleased.”
I know that not everyone who will read this is a person of faith, and that’s perfectly fine, but as for myself I am a follower of Jesus Christ and when I read that the Lord spoke to me too and said, “You’re going to be one of the one’s who fulfills what I told Oral to do.”
“The word uttermost just stood out to me and I knew that even if to some it’s an odd word, it’s the word that God gave me. So, all of that to say, Uttermost Jewelry is a jewelry brand that seeks to empower those in the uttermost bounds of the earth. If you look at a map, India and the United States are about as far away from each other as two places could be! Haha! So for me the uttermost bounds of the earth is India (if you’ve ever been there, it feels like it takes an eternity to get there). I want my business to benefit others other than just myself. My heart is to connect others to something larger than themselves and show them the power of their buying. For me, good business is business that benefits more than just the buyer and the seller. I want to educate others about human trafficking and get them involved even if it’s just inadvertently through them buying a necklace, it still gets them involved.”
The Mission Statement
Ten percent of all purchases are donated to Freedom Trade International, a nonprofit that is fighting human trafficking in India. The way they seek to do this is through the avenue of what is called a “freedom business”. A freedom business is a business enterprise that employs former victims of human trafficking or those who are at a high risk of falling into the sex trade. Here at Uttermost Jewelry, we know that people are not products and should not be treated like so. We, with your help, want to make a difference in the lives of these women. You can be assured that the jewelry that you are wearing is as purposeful as it is beautiful.
Here is a direct link to purchase the necklace pictured above
Uttermost Jewelry // The Product
Below is a description of what you can find when you shop at Uttermost Jewelry.
“In general, it’s all handmade jewelry. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc. I don’t really stick to one type of jewelry genre because I know that everyone’s style is different. I like variety and I know so do so many others. I am experimenting on some none jewelry type items that my business may expand into, but as of now it is strictly handmade jewelry.”
Here is a direct link to one of the sets of earrings pictured above
Unfortunately this necklace is sold but be on the lookout for more styles mirroring this in the future.
A Special Offer
Maggie was generous enough to provide my readers with a special discount code for use when purchasing her product. When checking out, use the code HOMETOWN for 10% off your purchase!
Get In Touch With Uttermost Jewelry
I had such a wonderful time communicating and learning more about Maggie and her business and hope that you will support her and her business!
If you are interested in being a part of out blog series “Hometown Focus” please email firstname.lastname@example.org