"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward and while some see them as the crazy ones. We see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
are the ones who do."
Being 'a creative' was never something I saw as a blessing. In fact, for the majority of my life, I simply wanted to be "book smart." I was never an exceptional student, and really struggled to even maintain B's and C's. I was wild. I was rebellious. And I had no idea what crazy plans God had in store for me.
Every summer since I was four years old, my parents would pack me and my three siblings in the car and drive 15 hours to a small town in Iowa to go to Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp. On Tuesday of each week at camp, we got to tie dye t-shirts with the camp logo on it during arts and crafts. This was always the highlight of my week!
18 years later, I found myself at the very same camp, in the small little art shed, anxiously awaiting the tie dye party I knew was about to ensue. Mitsu, the Art Director, explained the process and the two designs we could choose from. A little girl asked if she could make a heart design on her shirt. When I saw the mom hesitate to reluctantly tell her daughter no, I quickly replied, "Of course you can," and started teaching the process of rubber banding the t-shirt to create a beautiful tie dye heart.
The very next day, we all sat down in the dining hall listening to the Camp Director announce a two year capital campaign. Okoboji was starting to raise money to renovate housing, redo the chapel and pay off debt.
At that very moment, God breathed a creative vision into my soul that would later answer so many questions my scared, little "junior in college" self had. The day I arrived home from camp, on July 4, 2014, I logged onto Etsy and opened a shop called The Tie Dye Hippie. 10% of every order between July 2014 - 2016 was given to Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp.
One year later, I was accepted to study abroad all summer in London. I was very hesitant, as tie dye orders were starting to increase quite quickly. After careful consideration, I decided to put my shop on "Vacation Mode" (where others could see my shop, but couldn't purchase items). When I casually mentioning this to my sister, she sarcastically replied with, "No you're not, I'm going to run it!" Carly stepped into the role with so much enthusiasm and excitement that it not only grew our sales, but more importantly grew our bond even stronger. We enjoyed tie dye Skype dates from across the Atlantic, and Carly loved every minute of being The Tie Dye Hippie.
When Okoboji's capital campaign ended, Carly and I decided to start looking into local places that needed our help. We've committed to donating 10% of proceeds to an amazing organization that is making a tremendous impact in our city. Love Runs is a team fighting against human trafficking in Metro Detroit.
This is near and dear to our hearts (as well as our location), and many people aren't aware that Michigan currently ranks among the worst for human trafficking in the nation. Although we cannot end this horrific problem alone, I pray that together we can make small steps to not just minimize it, but END IT.
If you've made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read our story. I pray you never feel too small to make a difference, and I hope your journey is filled with laughter, love, faith and tie dye.
The Tie Dye Sisters
P.S. Did you know I'm also a photographer?