A LITTLE MORE ABOUT US
Free Brand is ran by a mother/daughter team of Rosalie and Lexie Salensky who are incredibly passionate about making ethical products accessible and slow fashion the normal. After their first trip out of the country to the country of Kenya bringing clean water filters they saw really hard living conditions and a lack of basic needs, primarily clean water and stable home situations. While this was earth shattering enough for two white women living in the United States who had never seen such poverty, what further impacted their lives was something completely separate from the lack of resources and hurt that is seen in the more rural areas of Kenya… the joy and creativity that was brought out in these amazing people and the sense of community surrounding them. They looked around and realized that with all the things that they had that these people didn’t (safe water access easily, constant power, smart phones, etc.) they were the ones who were less fortunate when it came to what really mattered. After coming home from Kenya, they both could not shake what they learned from the amazing Kenyan people and spent a lot of time and prayer about what to do about it.They did not want to just be Americans who came back and went "wow I am so fortunate and have so much" and act like they were white saviors, because they knew that not only was that ignorant and wrong, but that was not going to be helpful for anyone besides our egos. These countries and people were over exploited while we lived with excess, and they deserved to be the hero and to have fair wages and care given to them. They decided that if we are going to be FOR people, then They needed to make that reach beyond just their small circles and welcome every person they meet and every organization working for good to the table if they wanted a place.
Well, as you can imagine, time passed and they both settled back into their roles back in the States and lived their lives. But the thing was, neither of them ever could look at Fair Trade/Store bought products the same and felt a void in their lives like there was something else that they should be doing. Something that mattered and gave back, and something that made Fair Trade accessible to people around Lexie’s age. The problem that they saw was that while the emerging generations were among the most eco-conscious, social justice driven, and adventurous generations to date, they were also struggling financially so had to choose product options that were at discounted prices if they wanted something fashionable (discounted prices generally means made unethically, though not always). These products did not have a story or impact around them, but they were affordable and that was always the winning bid. So Rosalie and Lexie tried to figure out how to make a way for students and adults alike to purchase ethically made products that gave back, have a story, and make a direct impact in people’s lives, while also making sure that nothing in their market was over a set price point, thus making it accessible to many more so these people's stories could be shared on a larger scale.
In that, Free Brand was born. All the products in our shop are under $50, with the majority being under $25, but with that price you are not sacrificing quality, give back, or the story and impact. We work with local and global organizations that create ethical goods to sell here in our online market and apparel that has a direct give back to organizations creating change in our world, and with every purchase you can feel good about what you are buying and know you are making a difference. In everything we do, people are the center and focus, and we want to make sure that at the end of the day we feel great about what we are putting out there and who we are working with. We are a ministry market- a place where we get to cheer organizations, ministries, and people on and share their missions as we build a place that we can be proud of and that brings people together and uplifts those who do not have a voice, such as human trafficking survivors and those living in extreme & systemic poverty. We have been so blessed to get to partner with amazing people, and their stories matter. Check out more on our Give Back page to learn about what they are doing! Is it probably bad business to share other people's missions and sites on our website where we are supposed to sell items made by them and pursue building our own dreams? Yeah probably. But we are going to do it anyways because we believe in their missions that much and truly want you to fall in love with their missions as well and support them if you feel led in any way you can. We are for people, and that is more important than business. It is what matters.
Rosalie and Lexie
-Rosalie is a wife of over 35 years, mother of four and one amazing daughter in law, and a friend and prayer warrior to those in her community. She is a woodworker, home DIY queen, and can literally do anything that she dreams up and make it professional quality. There are several things on our shop that are designed by her in partnership with our friends. Her heart is for people and to see people live in freedom above and beyond what they ever dreamed. Let us also reiterate that she can pretty much build or create anything from what seems like thin air, so that is pretty rad. If you need any help with projects, message her first because she is just a boss like that.
-Lexie is a pastor, worship leader, dog owner to her black fluff ball named Chaplin who resembles a living shag carpet, a lover of the outdoors and all adventures, and tries to be the biggest cheerleader of people in the room so that people always know there is someone on their side. Her passion of travel, speaking life into people, and seeing chains broken in people's lives are what keep her going and she loves to take people on the adventure. She is not a craftsman like Rose, but is thankful for having a mother who can fix anything because she is constantly thinking up new projects and ideas. She, on the other hand, says that she is better with supervising and would rather create music, graphics, or dream up ideas over coffee instead of saws and tools.