CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As the weather conditions heats up, so does the art scene. Gallery crawls and art festivals are popping up in communities during the state.

BraveWorks, a Charlotte nonprofit, celebrates artwork just about every working day by showcasing and promoting handmade functions by community and global artisans. Having said that, it goes deeper than that.


What You Want To Know

  • BraveWorks is a Charlotte-dependent nonprofit that sells handmade functions by neighborhood and international artisans 
  • BraveWorks also teaches girls expertise in jewellery generation and other artisanal creations 
  • The females producing, termed artisans, are referred by nonprofit community companions as they look for to get over cases, these types of as human trafficking, incarceration and even ethnic persecution 
  • Jennifer Brown finished the jewelry-producing system two years back and is now making ready to graduate from faculty


The goods are much more than just decorations. The development of them also will help to modify lives.

“It’s that abundant and purposeful residing that we are hoping for each and every of our artisans. So, they are coming in and discovering new techniques and to make stunning products that we then offer to fund our mission. But, it’s so much extra than that. They are finding out objective and purposeful perform, but also discovering function in their lives,” claimed Executive Director Beth Bell.

The corporation does it by the craft of jewelry-creating, working with hundreds of beads to assistance hundreds of females, like Jennifer Brown, be their ideal.

From handmade skirts to jewelry and anything in involving, Brown’s buying selections seem to be infinite.

Meticulously browsing every single space of the boutique, she mentioned: “There’s so lots of points that you just take for granted in your daily daily life.”

She’s truly a faithful purchaser, but not just mainly because of these colourful pieces. She is drawn to every single of the creators guiding them.

“It’s empowerment. Like, folks like me made every thing in below, and it’s some thing that we can be proud of,” Brown said.

When she says “we,” she’s conversing about girls who have taken the steps to arrive to BraveWorks and just take section in its jewellery-producing software.

It’s an opportunity for them to prevail over hurdles, these as human trafficking, abuse, habit or poverty and adjust their lives for the much better.

“I spent a little over a yr and a 50 % building bracelets, necklaces,” Brown claimed.

She made a decision to transform her lifestyle two many years in the past following a five-year stint in federal jail.

“I was a pretty great worker prior to my legal way of life. I experienced attained promotions to administration, awards, factors like that. And then I got in my habit, and then I commenced providing medicines,” Brown stated.

She destroyed her relatives and missing custody of her only child.

Nevertheless, right after signing up for the software next a friend’s advice, she before long identified that amid all the stringing, wiring and beading, crafting developed character.

“To most people, it’s just building jewelry. It’s no major deal. But it is time administration, accountability, responsibility, earning genuine wages,” Brown claimed.

Brown is one particular of hundreds of ladies, or “artisans,” BraveWorks serves and has served considering that 2012, not just in Charlotte, but all over the environment.

Last 12 months by yourself, it served just about 600 gals globally. Ninety-two of them have been neighborhood. Practically all of them achieved the lifestyle-modifying aims they set for themselves.

Gloria Robinson performs as the organization’s program director.

“Women arrive in for 4 several hours each 7 days. When they arrive into the application, we sit with them. We want to have an understanding of who they are. What do you want? So, performing with them, we create objectives,” Robinson mentioned. “When women arrive in, they’re usually damaged, not confident. When we see them depart our system, they are brave.”

Like a lot of of the girls, Brown carries on her journey of transitioning from soreness to development.

The 41-yr-previous is now making ready to graduate from college and has her sights established on law school.

With a constant job and performing to re-create a connection with her daughter, she claims she’s happy of her accomplishments. She also has newfound confidence and hopes to positively affect other folks the way jewellery-producing has impacted her.

“I have acquired that you have a bunch of parts that really don’t actually glance like considerably, but you put it alongside one another and it can make something lovely,” Brown explained.

You can uncover all of women’s products and solutions, locally and internationally made, on sale at BraveWorks.