fancyFREE jewelry! (super-duper september)

Today’s contributor is someone I number among my met-her-on-the-internet-and-she-showed-up-at-my-front-door-and-now-I-really-love-her friends. She’s in good company.

Krysten and I share a passion for loving the poor (particularly in Asia–she recently took an amazing trip to India) and for fighting human trafficking both overseas and right here in our own city. She’s fun, funny, and has a huge, huge heart. She and her husband, Todd, have been a GIGANTIC blessing to our family this year, and we’ll never be able to thank them enough.

Let’s meet her and find out what goodies she has for us!

Me: Tell me a little bit about yourself–who you are, what you do, what you’re passionate about.

Krysten: I’m a regular gal. Born and raised in Columbus. During the day I am an elementary school teacher. All the rest of the time I’m the wife of an awesome husband, mom to a nearly-grown son, a lover of books and words and making stuff. I’ve also been getting my world turned upside down by Jesus for about 10 years now. A lot of things can catch my attention, but the thing I’m most passionate about is freedom in every form: freedom from shame, insecurity, debt, and the hold that our stuff sometimes has on us. That word—freedom—seems to be connected to every ministry I am a part of.  That’s probably why, over the past year or so, I’ve become a budding abolitionist.

It all started when I saw a movie with a complex network of sex trafficking at the center of its plot. I was so disturbed by this, wondering if it could really happen, that I couldn’t even sleep after the movie. I stayed up searching online to see what I could find out about human trafficking. I learned that those networks of people really do exist, scheming and plotting very detailed ways to target, coerce, and enslave men, women and children into situations where they become property. It made me sick to my stomach like nothing else ever had.

Not long afterwards, an organization called doma International offered a “Human Trafficking 101” presentation at my church. I learned so much more about how this was a real problem that existed not just in the movies, but in my own backyard. My eyes were now open to all this stuff and part of me just wanted to close them. I didn’t know why this was becoming so important to me, but I knew that somehow, I was supposed to keep my eyes wide open and join this fight. I knew God was placing me in a spot to become a small part of his solution for this.

Me: LOVE. And now a little about your jewelry (what/how/why?).

Krysten: Several months later, a friend was putting together an awareness event for the Gallery Hop in downtown Columbus, and she was looking for local creative-types who might be willing to sell handmade items and donate the proceeds to local anti-trafficking organizations. Jewelry-making has always been a hobby of mine, so I prayed that if I was supposed to somehow use that simple hobby to fight this evil, God would give me a clear vision of exactly what I should make for the event. A few days later, I was literally shampooing my hair and got a very clear picture in my head. An industrial-flair line of jewelry that would represent trafficking survivors: A little rough and beat-up, but lovely nonetheless.  I got to work, hand-stamping the word FREE into each piece, and called the line of jewelry FancyFREE.

Me: Tell us about the ministry you support through your handiwork.

Krysten: I donate proceeds from the sale of my FancyFREE line of jewelry to the same nonprofit organization that first educated me about human trafficking, doma International. They are based here in Columbus and their mission is to restore survivors of sex trafficking and support vulnerable women and children around the world. There are truly several great organizations right here in Columbus that are doing wonderful things to fight trafficking. But what impressed me specifically about doma was their commitment to go through the entire restoration journey alongside these women, from beginning to end. They don’t just go get ladies off the street. They provide resources for them to rebuild a foundation and become the women they were made to be.

And doma is having an Open House/Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony on September 20. Everyone’s invited!! Details on their facebook page.

Me: (I heart the folks at doma.) What do you love most about what you do?

Krysten: When I first started all this, I had the thought for a moment that it would just be easier to forget making jewelry to raise money, and just write a check myself to donate some. But what I realized is that one piece of jewelry reaches much further than just creating a donation. Every time someone wears it, someone else can see it. It is unique enough to spark a conversation, and then there’s one more person who is aware of the problem. And who knows…that could be one more abolitionist that joins the fight. That’s what I love…knowing that something so small could reach so far. (Making unique stuff with my own hands is also pretty cool.)

Me: What words of inspiration do you have for someone who wants to make a difference in the world from right where she’s at?

Krysten: Just start where you are with what you have. Big changes never start with massive undertakings. They start with one person with a burning heart, doing whatever little thing they can to fight an injustice. Ask God how he’d like to use you to do his stuff. He’s already given each one of us gifts and talents specifically for doing the work he made us to do, the key is tapping into those things and actually doing something.

Me: Holy cow, girl. You’ve almost inspired me to go make some jewelry!! (just kidding, but wow)

Today’s give-away is one of Krysten’s one-of-a-kind FancyFREE pieces (your choice of earrings, bracelet, or necklace). Your choices: Necklace #1, Necklace #2, Necklace #3, Necklace #4, Earrings #5, Bracelet #6, Earrings #7. (The 6 that don’t get won will be available for purchase later this week. $15 for the necklaces, $10 for earrings/bracelet.)

*And sweet friends, a note on the Rafflecopter. You have to actually go DO what it says (tweet, share on Facebook, leave a comment, whatever) and then come back and claim your points. Clicking the points doesn’t mean you did the task. That’s cheating–I know, I know, you didn’t mean to, but a lot of you cheated yesterday. I still love you.

p.s. Yesterday’s Noonday Collection give-away will stay open one more day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

79 thoughts on “fancyFREE jewelry! (super-duper september)

  1. Pingback: freedom jewelry! {3/40} | Marla Taviano

  2. Sharon

    I ordered the free necklace and it came today – I love, love, love it!!! Thanks Krysten! And thank you Marla for introducing us to such fantastic jewelry that also helps those caught up in HT.

    1. Krysten

      Thanks, Carey! And thanks for sharing your heart and making me fall in LOVE with Noonday Collection! Gorgeous accessories & such + sustainable economic development all around the world??? what’s NOT to love!

      1. Krysten

        And by the way, the necklace pictured in #1 is THE original design. When I first began, I only made this one stamped circle, then adorned it with the charm you see here (because it reminded me of the crown of thorns=freedom!) or a small charm in the shape of a key. I think I bought every little key charm from every shop in town! Now I do more than just this basic design, but it will always have a special place in my heart! If you don’t happen to win the raffle, you can always get in touch with me and purchase one for $15, with all the profits going to doma!

  3. Jan

    I love these and the meaning!! I work at children services and we have seminars on human trafficing and children. I would love to do more to be a part of something that makes a difference so close to home.

    I would love #1

    1. Krysten

      Hi Jan! Thanks for checking out my stuff! You mentioned that your employer does seminars on HT…in the central Ohio area, you can contact doma for a wonderful speaker to do a very informative presentation and present resources for helping victims. Gracehaven House is a resource specifically for domestic minor sex trafficking victims here in the central Ohio area. They are launching a residential facility soon. Awesome stuff!!

    1. Krysten

      Thanks Suzanne! I don’t know if you can tell in the photo, but the bracelet #6 has tiny charms, each stamped with a letter that spells F-R-E-E! It is the only one I have ever made in that style.

  4. Danielle

    Krysten, these are all so very creative and I love the message behind them. I think the uniqueness of them is definitely a conversation starter to a huge issue slavery that is worldwide. Thanks for sharing your passion with us!

    1. Krysten

      Thanks, Danielle! I appreciate that. I remember stopping by your blog several times before. I loved it… “Randomness of D!” HA! I should probably change my blog title to “Randomness of K!” because that fits my description perfectly! Glad you enjoy the jewelry! Best of luck in the giveaway!

  5. Sharon

    I’d choose #1. My husband and I were shocked to find out not too long ago that we have a ministry in our city for victims of human trafficking. In OUR CITY?? So hard to wrap your mind around the idea that that stuff happens anywhere, but especially in your own city.

    A question for you Krysten: I love the idea that your jewelry is a conversation starter to bring light to the issue to others. Could you give an example of what you’d say to someone who asks you about a piece you are wearing? I have a shirt (She Has a Name – thanks Marla!) that has to do with human trafficking and the butcher at the store asked me about it. I was flabbergasted and didn’t know what to say. It didn’t seem right to bring up such a topic with a stranger. I also had a service provider that I know pretty well ask about the shirt and when I explained it’s meaning, I could tell she was caught off guard by my response. Maybe that’s not a bad reaction, I just felt like she was uncomfortable.

    1. Krysten

      Sharon, you are so right about being shocked that this awful stuff takes place ANYWHERE, let alone in our own hometowns! And I know just what you mean about not really being sure how to explain the whole idea of human trafficking or what your shirt/jewelry stands for (I have a She Has a Name shirt too!) I have to say, I was an EPIC failure when I first started sharing my heart and what I know about HT with others. I went ALL OUT in my explanation and it was a lot of “how can we sit by and let this happen!??” and “This could be YOUR child!” and stuff like that [help me and my big mouth, Jesus!] Yeah….that’s not the best approach! After frightening numerous folks with my “scary stories” I have settled on a fairly short response, then I’ve allowed people to ask their questions if they want to know more. When it’s brought up, I simply something like “I make [wear] this to raise awareness about victims of human trafficking. It’s one of those things that sounds kinda weird, but basically it’s just the crime of one person being made to do something against their will for another person’s gain. I’ve learned that it’s much more common than we think, even here in the US.” I might even add “it’s when a woman is forced into prostitution” or “when children are forced to work” or something of that nature. Then that will either get the person to ask more questions, or they will zone out because they don’t want to hear any more. If they zone out, I try not to judge them, I just try to think of it as a seed of awareness being planted to be watered another time. It’s hard to remember that although every cause that helps the poor or oppressed IS a worthy one, not everyone will feel the “woe to me if I don’t _____” about the same things I do. It doesn’t stop me from wanting to grab people by the shoulders, shake them violently and scream “DID YOU HEAR ME!?? I said PEOPLE are being sold for sex!! CHILDREN are being tortured and raped! Women are being LEFT FOR DEAD!!” But then I remember Jesus saying something about speaking the truth in love, and I just pray that the seed planted with spark a bit of rightous anger within that person for some injustice in the world.

      1. Sharon


        Thanks so much for your response, it was very helpful. My “She has a name shirt” is the most comfortable shirt ever, but I’ve shied away from wearing it in public since I didn’t know how to respond when asked about it. But, I definitely want to raise awareness and will come up with my own standard response that gives the gist without too many details and let people ask for the details if they want them. Thanks again!

  6. Angela Hatzipavlis

    It’s so awesome to see Kristen’s jewelry on here. I know she has a deep desire to help set these ladies free! She also has an awesome talent and it’s super to use it this way! Way to go!

    1. Krysten

      Thanks, Angela! Just so you know, #3 is actually a bracelet! It’s a little hard to tell in this picture, but the hook shape is the clasp, and the “FREE” tag and charm hang down from the bracelet.

      Check out the link below…the #3 bracelet is fashioned just like the 6th one down on the left in this gallery:

      That should give you a good idea of what the clasp/charms look like on the #3!

      1. Marla Taviano

        Just so you know, Marla is jewelry-illiterate. I looked at #3 and thought, “Man, that’s gonna choke someone.” OR you could double it up and wear it as THE BRACELET IT IS. 🙂 I love it now and want to keep it!!

    1. Krysten

      Who knew there was another K-R-Y-S-T-E-N in the world!? My sista!!

      Best of luck in the giveaway…I LOVE the coper/silver color combo in necklace #4 too. It’s my favorite color scheme.

      1. Krysten T

        You are only the second person I’ve met who spells it the same way. I don’t know how you got your spelling but mine came from my dad. 🙂

  7. Bethany

    I love the message of being FREE in so many areas–shame, insecurity, debt, the hold of our stuff, actual slavery.

    I love necklace #3.

    1. Krysten

      Thanks, Bethany! I think freedom is really what it’s all about. I kind of think sometimes: “what would the world really be like if we were just all FREE?? Free from expectations, from the shame of our past, free from worrying what everyone else might be thinking of us all the darn time?”

      REALLY…what would that be like? I think it’s where God really wants all of us. Free is how we were made to be!

      (Oh, and if you really want to get me talking for about 100 gazillion years….just bring up freedom from DEBT! Oh, mercy, do I ever LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing people freed from their bondage to debt and stuff! Whew, mama…)

  8. dani

    I love this super duper september idea of yours! and am absolutely loving the awesomeness that these organizations are bringing. Cute stuff+ doing good makes me all happy inside. I really love number 2.

    1. Krysten

      Super Duper September is the coolest! I’m not surprised, considering Marla tends to have lots of amazing ideas! So thankful to be part of it. Can’t wait to hear all about the other people and their hearts for all sorts of cool things!

      1. Krysten

        Yeah, he’s pretty dreamy. I think I’ll keep him.

        And reading the whole post….wowzer. That is a big deal. I tend to be a little, uh…wordy…So the poor man never gets a break from the “read what I wrote!” thing. And he loves me anyway. I sure am a lucky woman. 🙂

  9. Shannon Wheeler

    Krysten and Marla, thank you for putting this in front of us, and thank you for inspiring us to use our gifts to do something for the purpose of the passion God has given each of us uniquely for His kingdom.

    God bless you in your ministry! It’s awesome to do something fun that makes such a big impact. I love ALL the necklaces – so cool! And I have a teenage daughter, and I think your pieces are so versatile that us mamas or our teens could wear them, so to me it’s a great teaching tool as well.

    1. Krysten

      Thanks Sharon! I think you’re right, I could see ladies of all ages wearing these. They are fairly popular with most crowds, despite their “grungy” theme. Although the last time I was selling the jewelry at a church during an Anti-HT awareness event, I had a lady ask me if I also make “normal” jewelry! I had to laugh because I knew what she meant…something a little more refined and mainstream. The answer is yes, I do that too…this is just something special to raise awareness of this particular issue. I thought that was pretty funny!

  10. Pingback: Super Duper September! « Pray, then learn

  11. Andrea

    #7 or #4….ooooh such great stuff! Love a lot of this interview, esp the point about the jewelry reaching farther than Krysten’s one check and “Big changes never start with massive undertakings.” Thanks for sharing!

    1. Andrea

      Also, a note for the readers, I did the Rafflecopter tasks yesterday before clicking that I did it, but I did not understand to paste in the url from my actual tweet, etc. I thought since I was tweeting from the application, it would record it and I only needed to paste url if tweeting from Twitter’s page. Maybe others were slightly confused 🙂 ha. I thought I did it right, but now I see there was more to insert!

    2. Krysten

      Thanks, Andrea! That thing about “reaching farther” has become really important to me lately. Sometimes the whole issue of human trafficking (and a million other things) can seem so overwhelming that it almost stuns us into not doing anything at all because we don’t think it will make a difference. Just realizing how far little things can reach has really given me a sense of hope again!

      1. Andrea

        Oh yes! I agree! I have to dial it back a bit and still do something instead of being paralyzed by the tremendous amount out there to be done. My small group is currently trying to do some things with the thought that we can accomplish more together than several individuals. It also gives me hope to remember that there are other people doing other things in other places, and it’s not up to Andrea to solve all of the problems.

        1. Krysten

          Darn it! I was hoping it WAS up to Andrea to solve all the problems so I could chill out a bit. : )

          I totally get what you’re saying. Sometimes it’s like we’re thinking we either have to do it all or just do nothing, as if there’s nothing in between. When really all of our little “doing somethings” add up to big business for the Kingdom.

          PS: I stalked your blog for a bit today. Your “there are no words for this” section nearly made me spit my drink out a few times! HILARIOUS, girl!

          1. Andrea

            I know, I know. It would be great if it was up to someone else so we could chill out a bit. ha. I think I go there every time problem-solving and doing becomes time-consuming, carries anxiety, and just overwhelms. Pretty sure God didn’t make us to just chill out 🙂 But we so want a break and our comfort!! And a nap. A nap would be good.

            haha Thanks for visiting my blog. I should add more to that section. Makes me crack up too! Decided to visit yours, and really enjoyed several posts (incl one about really loving another, and carrot cake pancakes?!?! !!!)

  12. Jonna


    You are an inspiration to the many of us who wonder how just one person could possibly make a difference…. well, you sure proved it to me! I love you O’ cousin O’ mine!

  13. Mary

    marla i am already loving super duper september! what a great way to create awareness about all these great organizations!! i love earrings #7 and bracelet #6!

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