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  • Looking Back on 2018 With Gratitude

Looking Back on 2018 With Gratitude

Each passing year that GAIA grows, we have more and more people to thank and acknowledge for helping push our mission along. As we enter into our 10th year (!!), we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year and show gratitude for our little village of helpers, volunteers, shop owners, and boss babes.



The minute we met local artist Mione Plant, we knew she was a match made in watercolor heaven. Her drive and passion to help others was apparent, and her ideas for partnering were even more inspiring. We teamed up to host kid and adult art workshops in our space that were not only well attended, but a complete blast. Plus, she created an exclusive series of prints for our shop (see if you can spot the GAIA product making sneak appearances!). We know there are more collabs to come with this talented woman.

We also treasure our partnership with Perennials©, a Dallas-based, female-fueled fabric company that has resulted in tons of new high-utility GAIA goodness!

And speaking of collaborations, we've loved teaming up with local Folklore Las Ninas, who partnered with us to create our first necklace for the littles! You'll also see part of their adorable children's clothing collection hanging in our store. {Shop the necklace collection here!}  

We added a few new retail rockstars to our staff this year, including Devin McCrary. Shout-out to Commerce Goods + Supply for gifting us with their sweet former staff member and for featuring founder Paula Minnis as the speaker at their first "Conversations at Commerce" event. (And if you haven't been to Commerce in the renovated Adolphus space, run. Don't walk. It's inspiring us on so many levels.)

As we've mentioned, we made the move to a retail space in an Uptown cottage  last year. And our neighbors at Blue Print welcomed us with open doors. The ladies behind the gorgeous interior design shop included us on their "shop local" map, and helped spread the word to their customers about our store around the corner. And we must say, the staff wears their GAIA goods well. 


When we opened up a retail space, we wanted to welcome other groups in to host their events. (And we take any chance to spread the message of our mission!) For instance, we co-hosted a celebration to commemorate World Refugee Day with Fossil's Mon Amie brand. And other groups used our happy home to host their events too: Kleinert FoundationPHECA, UT Southwestern Faculty Women’s Diversity Group, NCL Turtle Creek, and multiple birthday and bridal shower celebrations!

GAIA exists to empower refugee women, and helping to lift up refugee teens is the perfect extension of that... after all, empowered girls become empowered women! With the help of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, we launched our GAIA Girls Initiative, and designed bracelets to be made by girls FOR girls, helping refugee women and their daughters create brighter futures for themselves in the U.S.

Meeting Katie Stout opened up another opportunity to spread our GAIA goodness. The marketing guru and founder of Pulley Project invited us to participate in the Opt for Optimism campaign. We received a $100 gift card from Frost Bank, and "frosted" it forward by donating the cash back to the Heart House. We love finding ways to give back. 

Another awesome experience was taking part in "A Day in Dallas." By Way of Dallas and D Magazine handed out cameras to 20 people to document 24 hours in their day, and our very own Buthayna was one of the chosen few! You can read all about it here

Our mission is to employ and empower refugee women. And yes, they really do make every piece that we sell. However, some of our items need a little extra love, and we have Heather Dolan (above right) to thank for her expert skills on the sewing machine. Heather spent countless hours helping our refugee women perfect the Rina top and the Bella bag. We are so lucky to have Heather as a VIP volunteer... then were doubly blessed to have her sweet daughter Drue (above left) intern for us over the holidays!  

Our local Dallas retail partners are always at the top of our gratitude list. Their endless support and understanding of our mission makes us able to do what we do! Major props to Cabana. For the last 8 years, Merry Vose and her team always make us feel at home at the beachy/casual Lovers Lane boutique. If GAIA had a muse, the ladies who shop at Cabana would be it.... when we're creating new looks, we're always considering how our designs will look alongside their expertly-curated assortment! Then just next door, Madre, a beautiful design store for kids, carries our collection of children's items. Our little purses and necklaces fit right into the chic space. If you ever need a hostess gift or wedding shower present, Madison in Highland Park Village is our go-to. They were actually the first retailer to carry GAIA back in 2009! (Trivia moment: Did you know it all started with a dinner napkin?)  Wisteria not only sells GAIA, but they generously let us borrow their studio for our photo shoots. (And they helped us choose some gorgeous items for our new retail space, too!)  We love a trunk show because it allows us to show off our range of products while getting to know our GAIA customers and supporters. Thanks to Carley Seale and her gals at Favor the Kind and Roam for hosting us at two trunk shows this year, we loved hanging with you!! 

 Our hearts are so full of gratitude for our kind and compassionate tribe, and their steadfast support of GAIA and the inspiring refugee women we employ.  As we reflect on the past year, we feel excited for the future. What will 2019 bring? Follow along with us on our journey. We'd love to see you in the store this year! 


P.S. - For a fun visual recap of our year, head to the "2018" Highlight in our InstaStories!



  • Post author
    Alyssa Isaguirre

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