One in four girls will experience child sexual abuse. These broken, abused children, if not given the opportunity to heal, grow into broken adults who are vulnerable to many of society’s injustices. Joanne Ewald, survivor and founder of Mend on the Move, hopes to help break the silence of abuse and trafficking, empower survivors, and be their voice until they become strong enough to find their own.
Products are created at a recovery home in Detroit called Samaritas Heartline where the women live. Soon they will have a mobile studio which will house all their equipment and tools and up to six of their makers can actually create inside it! They will also use it as a retail space for markets and events (look for them at Eastern Market).
Customers can purchase items on their online shop and at various art shows, awareness events and speaking engagements they do throughout the year, as well as retail locations Made Studio + Market in West Bloomfield and Finding Roots in Howell.
All their jewelry all retails for under $30, most expensive item they sell is the leather cell phone sling for $32. They use car parts which are very inexpensive and the leather is donated so we spend as little on our materials as possible and more for our makers’ hourly wages.
The most important thing for customers to know about the products is that they are providing an opportunity for women recovering from abuse and addiction to feel good about themselves again. Working for Mend on the Move builds their confidence, provides skills, promotes accountability and is a stepping stone for future employment. In addition, they also feel strongly about promoting our makers into leadership roles within Mend on the Move.
Mission and more information from the Founder.
The inspiration behind Mend on the Move came through my own journey of faith and healing from childhood abuse. But that process took years and the true work did not begin until I was 40 years old. My heart goes out to women carrying the shame and burdens associated with unhealed abuse. I am a jewelry artist and I have always been intrigued by social enterprises which provide creative means for people to help themselves. Mend on the Move became my vehicle to serve others who struggle like I once did.
This is the common story of the women we serve through Mend on the Move. It is also my story and why I was inspired to start Mend on the Move. I, too, am a survivor of child sexual abuse. But I was one of the fortunate ones. My abuse did not lead to trafficking, addiction, homelessness or domestic abuse. I have been able to heal. My heart aches for those women who are still trying to find their way.
In conclusion, the majority of our Makers were first abused as children, as was I. It sets them up for further abuse and addiction later on in life. The poor choices often lead to incarceration. The irony of abuse is that so often it is the victim’s life, not the abuser’s, that is destroyed by abuse. It is the victim who lives with shame and unworthiness. As a part of our mission, we hope to help break the silence surrounding abuse.