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#UpWithHer: How one woman is using fashion to help sex trafficking survivors have a voice

Brandi Voth says she didn't have any history in retail or fashion, but she does have a passion to help others.

A fashion statement meant to highlight a courageous mission. Entrepreneur Brandi Voth is using hats to help victims of sex trafficking and to encourage women to speak powerful words over their lives. 

Brandi Voth says she didn't have any history doing what she does now, but she does have a passion to help others.

"I don’t have any history or background in retail or fashion," she explained.

The designer is fearless. She explains it’s not a lack of fear but how you manage it.

"We as women fall into this silly little trap, we think that we don’t have talents or gifts because our talents or gifts don’t look like somebody else’s," says Voth. 

But she is on a mission to help women recognize their talents.

"I began mentoring survivors of trafficking and teaching a life and business coaching course. I work on the restoration side so, I’m not trying to pull people out of the lifestyle, but once they have made their way out, taken the steps and gone through the process, I come in," she explained. "I help set them up with skills for entering the next phase of life."

That next phase is currently a job with The Power Hat Co., Voth's newest entrepreneurial endeavor.  

"I wanted to make a nice, beautiful, high-quality product that people wanted to buy before they even knew the story behind it," Voth said.

Her wide, flat-brim felt hats are bold, meant to inspire confidence.

"I knew that I wanted to put power words somewhere on the hats, because I’m a huge advocate and believer that words have power," she explained. "Words that we speak over ourselves help us step into our calling." 

Tenacious or treasured, there are thirty different power words stamped on the leather bands placed on the hats, the work done by survivors of sex trafficking.

"We’re able to ship the leather and the tools to them wherever they are at, so I have girls in multiple states that are making the bands for us now," Voth explained. 

Everything aligns now, but Voth says a new venture is all about timing; she encourages entrepreneurs to actively wait instead of giving up.

She says finding mentors can be a huge help.

"Finding people who have gone ahead of me and have done this before, I’ve picked their brain," Voth said. 

Now, other women are seeking her guidance as more small businesses pursue social enterprises like hers.

"We have a conscience consumer now that wants to make their dollars count," Voth said. "I’m trying to be the voice that educates people on really getting to know where your product is made, how it’s made and who its’s impacting." 

She launched a Facebook group called ‘The Power Squad’ and she’s super accessible on social media. Like one of her power words, Brandi says to be your own ambassador.

"Everything has aligned, and we’ve really stepped into my personally calling in life, my mission in life," Voth said. "We’re just operating out of vocational stewardship and taking the next step every day to try and build this thing and impact as many lives as we can. With Google and God and a few mentors, we can figure anything out."

She encourages people to take a personality test, as by learning your strengths you can really tap into ways you can serve your customers and community.

Over the next year, she said she also plans to hire more women who are restarting their lives in full-time positions.

To find out more about Voth and her mission, click here.

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