This is always the first question I hear, and it always makes me smile and take a deep a breath while my head begins to swirl with thoughts like, “Oh, where do I start…?!” According to the website and the description on our hang tags, ‘Soul Grateful was created to inspire you to live a life led by Gratitude. For every item you purchase, Soul Grateful will donate a portion of the proceeds to help end human trafficking and modern-day slavery.’ But, wow – how, when and where did this all begin to come together to create this powerful message and mission? Sit back, grab a cup of (insert what you want here) and allow me to introduce myself…
My name is Amber Rose (yes, that’s my birth-given, legal name… unlike someone else very famous… we won’t say who, of course) and a couple of years ago I was your average working professional with a demanding schedule. I channeled my daily stresses through running, yoga, prayer and meditation. During this time, I stumbled upon mala beads and immediately became infatuated. I decided to take my long-term dream of fashion design and began creating one of a kind jewelry. In the meantime, my company name organically began to work its way into my everyday life. It became my daily mantra. I got it tattooed on my forearm (and then I trademarked it.) I became obsessed with this daily reminder to live every moment of my precious life, Soul Grateful. Now mix in my past love for fashion design, workaholic tendencies, an “I can teach myself anything and everything” attitude, endless creative ideas and designs, and I began to phase out of jewelry and into lifestyle apparel.
My designs are centered around what I call, ‘The Soul’s Daily Chants’. “I am Soul Grateful. Live Soul Grateful. Be Soul Grateful. Speak Soul Grateful. Breathe Soul Grateful. Think Soul Grateful. Pray Soul Grateful.” Did I say, I am Soul Grateful?! That’s my personal favorite and another tattoo!
(Soul's Daily Chants Tank)
I know what you’re wondering, so let me answer that for you. No. Being grateful doesn’t always come easy for me. Honestly, it’s something I have struggled with. No one has had a perfect life. NO ONE. Every single person you know has experienced hurt on some level. No hurt is greater than another hurt. Hurt is hurt. Trauma is trauma. Disappointment is disappointment. The majority of people you interact with on a daily basis are currently struggling. It’s difficult at times to look at scenarios life hands us like that. We get so involved in fixing our own issues that we have pity parties for ourselves when life hits a speed bump. I have said hundreds of times: “I don’t have TIME for this today!” “Ohhh, they are barking up the wrong tree today!” “You have no IDEA the day I have had!” When in reality, yes someone else out in this big beautiful world has gone through EXACTLY what I am currently experiencing. And you know what? There are plenty more that have experienced it in worse environments and with no support system. But we don’t share our stories. We claim we don’t have the time, we claim we don’t want to talk about our hurt and dark secrets and we claim we aren’t ready to share. I know all of these excuses, because for the past 16 years I have told them to my closest family and friends. However, the older I get the more I realize that I cannot move forward if I keep running back to hide the past.
Transparency is beauty. Truth is beauty. Acceptance is beauty. Gratitude is beauty. Who doesn’t want to be beautiful?
For the past decade, I have felt led to get involved with an organization that aids individuals recused from sex trafficking. Rebuilding one’s spirit takes time, patience, love, faith and Gratitude. Being grateful doesn’t come easy to me because I have been deeply hurt by trauma and disappointment. When I was 17, I was a victim of sexual assault. When I was 19, I married a man that over the next 5 years emotionally, verbally and eventually (ending the marriage) physically, abused me. At 33 years old those are still very hard things to type, and to this day only a small handful of people know.
Every two minutes an American is sexually assaulted, 2/3 are committed by someone the victim knows, 97% of the assailants will never spend a day in jail and yet this topic is taboo and females cringe at the thought of exposing this horrific crime happening to them.
What followed after was such a dark time in my life and I HAD the unconditional love and support from my family. Parents that could afford to put me in counseling 3 times a week for God knows how long. I discovered running, and ran till I would come home sobbing and my toes bled. People experience this every two minutes and don’t have the support I did. It took me a long time to love the woman I am today, and I still work extremely hard on that every single day.
The International Labour Organization estimates that globally there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking. Of these, 26 percent are children and 55 percent are women and girls. The average age for a teen entering the sex trade in the U.S. is between 12 and 14. Many of these teens endured sexual abuse as children. The global sex trade is the fastest growing form of commerce, worth 32 billion annually. It is also the fastest growing area of organized crime and the third largest income revenue for organized crime.
My goal is to show love and support through our donations and by empowering individuals through Gratitude. My goal is for Soul Grateful to be a powerful force in helping end this horrific epidemic.
I envision Soul Grateful to be a platform for individuals to share their souls. Each of us has a story, few are ever shared. We present ourselves to the world free of blemish and heartache. Filtered photographs to hide our physical imperfections, smiles to hide our broken past and dark secrets. I look forward to the day when we empower and embrace one another, regardless of our race or religion. There is so much power in sharing, and healing in acceptance of oneself.
GRATITUDE IS MAGIC. I believe that when we believe something, we virtually make it true. I don’t believe Gratitude should be reserved for birthdays, holidays and special occasions, I believe expressing it in the current moment creates a more positive experience for yourself. Studies of personality traits show that Gratitude may have the highest connection to mental health and happiness! I believe through Gratitude we can heal ourselves and in turn, heal the world.
So, what did I do? I KEPT LIVING. The point is to live everything. Let me say that one more time... The point is to live everything. The heartache, the tears, the laughter, the struggles, the feelings of defeat, the moments of success, when you accomplish your goals, and the tender moments that bring you pure joy. My life kept going, whether or not I wanted to enjoy the ride was up to me. “Find that magical place in your world… and live there.” Yeah, Soul Grateful is that magical place in my world.
Oh, and if you were wondering – Soul Grateful is a one-woman business. I am the artist, designer, writer, website builder, social media marketer, and model (oh, and my fiancé, because I am not a beautiful chocolate man!) My incredibly talented sister is my photographer. All of our photo shoots take place in South Florida (unless I am traveling solo, in which I have become a little pro at my GoPro selfies.)
Soul Grateful was created to inspire you to live a life led by Gratitude. For every item you purchase, Soul Grateful will donate a portion of the proceeds to help end human trafficking and modern-day slavery.