I saw a picture of a girl. She was standing outside with an adult who was forcing her into prostitution. She was four, one of many women and children forced into the sex industry. I was devastated. It drove me to research human trafficking, and I discovered the documentary Very Young Girls created by GEMS.
GEMS is an organization located in New York city and founded by survivor Rachel Lloyd. They do not just combat sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking but work to empower survivors through education, housing, and counseling.
My husband and I wanted to find a way to support GEMS. We love vintage and fell in love with the Etsy community. It became clear starting an Etsy vintage business was the solution. We chose the name Autumn House because it represents change and the coming of new things. For us, our vintage items are the start of something new for the survivors we are helping. Every item in the store has been redeemed from thrift stores, flea markets and storage units and made beautiful.
Our mission with Autumn House is to make all things new. We want to see Autumn House grow and blossom beyond capacity, so that we can support GEMS and their goal to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
Find out more about GEMS at: gems-girls.org