CHARLOTTE, N.C — A Charlotte-area shop looks like a typical boutique, but it’s actually much more.
Fashion and Compassion in Dilworth helps women get back on their feet through a unique program and a special partnership.
Participants are women who've had a rough road in life – from human trafficking to homelessness. The program teaches women how to make jewelry; they get the proceeds to help support their families.
Carrie Stahl found fashion and compassion five years ago.
“I was in an abusive marriage for 27 years, and I have seven children,” she said.
Stahl said her husband kept her so isolated, when she finally got out, she had to start from scratch.
“When I came down here, I had to learn everything, how to function in society," Stahl said.
The Charlotte boutique took her in – like the other women they work with – and gave her a sense of community and a sense of self-worth.
Danielle Carelock is a single mother of six who struggles to afford bus fare to get to her main job. But she said Fashion and Compassion has given her a new skill.
“Once your piece is done you’re like, wow, I did that," said Carelock. “It helps you become a better person, for yourself and others. It taught me to be strong.”
Beads, Inc., a Charlotte store where they sell beads and make jewelry from hand, donates a lot of the beads the women at Fashion and Compassion use.
The jewelry shop is holding a donation drive through the holidays -- anything you could use to make jewelry -- drop it at the store. Beads Inc is at 339 Circle Ave. in Myers Park.