FAVORITE PRODUCTS REVIEW: Kelly Hillegass

Our friend Kelly Hillegass was born and raised in our beloved city, Wilmington, North Carolina. She is a talented creative and stylist having gained incredible experience in NYC and Wilmington. She launched her own styling company this summer and provides personal, commercial, and editorial styling services. We are big fans of her work and are so excited to share the top two products of MISSIO Hair that she is a huge fan of and why. Be sure to check out her website at https://www.kellyhillegass.com.

LIGHTWEIGHT CONDITIONER: “I was immediately drawn to MISSIO’s packaging, after looking at the simple ingredients I had to purchase. After hearing what they stand for and trying the lightweight glossing conditioner, I started telling everyone I knew about this company! The conditioner leaves my hair smelling amazing and completely touchable like no other conditioner can after highlighting and days in the ocean. As a surfer, my hair gets really dry and I have yet to find a conditioner that works better. This product is light enough to use daily and still leaves me with volume. I feel good about where I am putting my money and also feel safe using this product in my outdoor shower. I'm obsessed and will be a lifetime fan.

COCONUT CLEANSING POWDER: “The coconut cleansing powder is a lifesaver for me. I was looking for a safer solution to keep my blowout going all week. I am so happy I have found a non-aerosol dry shampoo with safe soothing ingredients I don't have to be worried about applying to my scalp. I have tried a ton of dry shampoos before, but most leave my hair really dry and crunchy, but this powder leaves my hair soft and full of volume. I can brush through my hair easily! It honestly looks like a fresh blowout and makes my hair lasts all week with a fresh natural smell. I feel good about the brand I am supporting and save so much time with this product!

TEXTURE PASTE: “The texture paste is just the consistency I have been looking for. This easy matte paste is perfect for securing flyaways or taming my wild beach hair frizz in the summer. I keep it in my purse for emergencies! I found this product after going to an event for Hurricane relief last year. MISSIO had a booth and I purchased more of my favorite conditioner (their lightweight glossing conditioner), and they gave me a nice sized sample of the paste to try.”

Everything about this brand is wonderful from the purpose, the packaging, the ingredients, price point, to the amazing quality of this product. For those reasons I continue to purchase this brand for myself and as gifts for others. But, it is the amazing team of people behind this line that have pushed me to share my love, review, post and tell everyone I know about this brand. I have been able to get to know Lorin through community events this past year and her and her team continue to amaze and inspire me. If you haven't purchased anything from MISSIO yet. What are you waiting for? Seriously, this is not fluff I love this stuff. Every product makes my hair more manageable and makes it easier and quicker for me to get out the door in the morning. Thank you for what you do!

-Kelly Hillegass

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IT TAKES A VILLAGE

We all deserve to be pampered, to be refreshed in a way that only a fresh hair wash and style can provide. It does something within us. It restores a sense of value and confidence, it reminds our hearts that we are worth the time spent.

A couple of weeks ago we got to be a part of a very special day with one of our non-profit partners and one of our salons partners. A Safe Place in Wilmington, NC has an incredible staff of women who work selflessly and relentlessly to put an end to the commercial sex industry and sex trafficking. They spend their days pouring out time, energy, love, passion, and fight for victims of human trafficking. We at MISSIO know the toll that serving within such a heavy, yet beautiful field can take on a person, so we wanted to make sure that their staff had a day of feeling refreshed and pampered.

They needed headshot photos taken for their website, so we saw the opportunity to connect them with one of our local wholesale salons - Set Dry Bar. Kate, owner of the Dry Bar, has always expressed her desire to serve and partner more with A Safe Place, so we knew that it could be a perfect fit. What an incredible way to use their space and talents- to serve a local non-profit staff with a gift that they don’t get to receive often!

What did it look like? It was one morning of opening their salon early and welcoming the staff of A Safe Place in to provide complimentary washes and blowouts- helping each women feel their best for their new headshots. We got the privilege of being there as well, enjoying conversation, running to get everyone’s favorite coffee, and just spending time with the wonderful ladies who we get to call partners.

It was such a special day that we got to be a part of! It takes a village to love your community and we are so grateful for our growing village. YOU are a part of serving opportunities like this just from choosing MISSIO products. Thank you!

A STORY OF IMPACT

Our Salon + Boutique Partners are the heart of our company. We believe so deeply in their unique influence and their ability to change lives every single day. One of our partners, Retrospective Salon, has truly exemplified the very heartbeat of MISSIO since joining as a partner with us in January. We had the privilege of interviewing them recently and once we read their responses, we HAD to share! We know that their story will inspire and encourage you!

1. How did you find out about MISSIO?

“We met Lorin and Kyle at a hair show in Birmingham. We were near the MISSIO room to sit in on a men’s cutting class but it turned out to be something that wouldn’t benefit us. Lorin saw us (looking lost and confused probably) so she invited us into her presentation and she used words like ‘honored’ and ‘grateful’ , which are words you do not hear that often from artists at a hair show...so we immediately knew that was where we were supposed to be.”

2. What was the THING that resonated in your heart and propelled you to join the movement?

“Lorin told a story about a young girl she had gone to serve that had just been rescued from a sex trafficker. She told us how the young girl was very shut-off and would not even hold her head up or look her in the eye. Then Lorin said something I will NEVER forget. She said ‘As I sat down on the floor to polish her toenails I realized that there is nothing more humbling than placing yourself lower than someone who is in the lowest moment of their life.’ As tears were literally flowing from the mere four people who had come to her presentation I knew that we were going to walk away changed and doing what we could to take our talent beyond the chair…however that looked for us.”

3. How did you take the heart and mission of MISSIO to your own community?

First, we called a meeting with our owner and began our campaign of trying to help him understand that we HAD TO begin carrying the MISSIO brand. Not simply because it is an AMAZING product line (we had been using it ourselves since we purchased it at the hair show), but because we knew that by doing so we were automatically joining the fight. That took three months! In the meantime, we were searching for places to serve in our community and we were led to a small alternative school in the rural area of Eton Georgia.

4. Can you share one impactful story from your community service experiences?

“We serve kids that attend an alternative school, which is where they are sent after making bad decisions in their home schools and getting suspended or expelled. Each student has a different story and they share those with us while we are cutting their hair. We know we can’t change the way they live from day to day, but we CAN offer them a hug, words of encouragement and someone to hear them. They share their hopes and their dreams and it’s incredible the amount of courage they have in spite of their current situations. I received this text from one of the teachers after we left our last visit with the kids:

‘One morning this week, after your visit, I walked into the cafeteria and standing up, talking was a good looking guy wearing a green Cabela’s hoodie. Before your visits he always looked scraggly. But standing before me was a self-confident young man. He was happy and he knew he looked good. I was moved to tears! Y’all do so much, you change a kid’s appearance and this gives them self-confidence. They hold their head higher, smile and walk a little taller. It’s amazing!’”

5. What would you tell others who might be nervous to step out in service or may not know where to begin?

“I would tell them to simply keep their eyes open for ANY opportunity to serve! It does not have to be in the human trafficking arena for them to be able to make a difference and impact peoples lives! MISSIO has supported us in ALL our outreach opportunities and we are planning to continue what we have started by providing free haircuts to children who are currently in foster home situations. We love helping kids because so many times they are in situations that were NOT their choice and most of the time those situations are not good ones. We provide love, a hug and words of encouragement along with boosting their self-esteem by giving them a free haircut!”

6. In what ways has choosing MISSIO changed your salon/business and your everyday life?

“I am so proud to say that because of the amazing quality of the products and the incredible mission of the MISSIO brand, our products sales are up over 50% from last year to date this year! It’s a product and a mission we really believe in and our clients believe in as well!

When it comes to our personal lives I think I can speak for all the girls who participate in our outreaches when I say that the MISSIO brand and their mission literally lit a fire in our hearts to go outside the salon and beyond our chairs to use our God-given talents. You have helped us find our purpose and we are so grateful for that leadership! We are HONORED to be able to be a small part of the bigger picture!”

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WE BELIEVE...

We believe…

01 — HOPE

Believe in restoring hope where it’s been lost.

02 — BEAUTY

Believe that beauty can be used for creativity, connection, and encouragement.

03 — IMPACT

Believe in creating opportunities for people to make a difference and impact the world.

04 — PURPOSE

Believe that everyone is valuable, created on purpose and with purpose.

05 — EDUCATION

Believe that education can empower people and inspire change.

MISSIO was founded from a heart resolved on certain values, truths, and beliefs that lead to an undeniable desire to do something, to act. Through experiences, stories, and education a passion was created and a foundation was laid in our hearts. Hearing and entering into other’s stories shifted our worldview and these belief statements were forming under the surface...

Experiencing the power of serving one another, business influence, and shining a light in a dark place molded who we are today. Seeing firsthand the unique role that beauty can play in bringing hope, connection, and encouragement confirmed our vision and dream. Watching education open countless eyes and inspire change within our community opened our own eyes to the power of and need for increased awareness.

These belief statements are five truths that we have put words to that our company is founded on and lives from. We are fiercely passionate about each one and its unique role in who we are! We will be diving into each one individually over the next couple of months as we continue to have incredible difference makers like YOU join our movement.

"The World Needs Who You Were Made To Be"

From the first moments we began dating (a long time ago in college!), we always dreamed about “doing big things.” Of course, we had no idea what this could look like; we had very little idea about our career paths or where God would take us, but we knew we were created to do something meaningful, something with purpose.

Two weeks ago, we were preparing for our trip to Magnolia, getting ready to meet over 10,000 people per day at Spring at the Silos. We looked at each other and had a lightbulb moment, realizing that we’ve been dreaming about an opportunity like this for a long time!

To create products, a brand, and a company that was selected out of over 700 applications, to be one of 90 invited to attend this nationally recognized event — this is BIG.

To introduce MISSIO, share our story, and sell our purposefully detailed and designed products to someone; to know that our work is supporting local and global initiatives fighting one of the worlds greatest injustices — this is BIG.

To hear reports that over 300 potential victims of human trafficking were rescued just last month through the organizations we have the privilege to support, and to have the opportunity to tell THEIR stories to people from all walk of life — this is BIG.

To haul boxes of products and furniture from the MISSIO office halfway across the country, for us to have the opportunity to meet the most incredible brands and vendors from all over the country, as well as hear from Joanna Gaines herself about how much PASSION she could see we had all put into our work — this is BIG.

To sit here and think that the ideas behind these products were just a dream, one that took many years of patience, persistence, and hard work; to now being given the opportunity to see our dream come to life — this is BIGGER than us and our dream. God placed this vision in our hearts, we are grateful to steward this dream with such an amazing team. Thank you for believing in us, cheering us on, and continuing to support MISSIO as the dream unfolds. We are so excited and grateful to have EVERY ONE of you a part of this with us! 

If you would like to read more about our time at Magnolia’s Spring at the Silos, check out the photos below!

With love and gratitude,

Kyle and Lorin

"YOUR EDUCATION SAVED MY LIFE"

It was just another day delivering products to local salons when I (Lorin) encountered the most amazing stylist and story.

As we were chatting about products and thanking the stylists there for being a part of MISSIO, a beautiful young red-headed stylist named Krysten looked at me and said, “Your education saved my life!”

A few months prior, we had visited her salon to educate them on human trafficking - we trained the staff about the realities of this issue in their city, the warning signs and red flags they might encounter, and how to assist someone who may be at risk or a victim. Little did we know that a stylist in attendance would herself have to fend off an attempted abduction at her apartment complex.

Here’s her story: As she was walking her dogs one night, a man was standing outside acting like he was searching for things in his car. With the MISSIO training fresh in her mind, her awareness of the situation heightened. He began to approach her and she fled quickly while he aggressively pursued her. She was able to make it back to her home, locked her doors, hid and called 911 while he tried to break in by kicking the door. Terrified, she stayed in her bathroom until the police arrived.

“As soon as this started happening, everything that you taught us popped in my mind.” She shared that she moved to escape faster because she immediately thought of what she had learned in the MISSIO training, and her intuition and awareness kicked in. We are extremely grateful that she is safe and that we were able to play a part helping her in what could have been a horrible outcome.

What a privilege we have as MISSIO to have the opportunity to educate and raise the awareness of stylists and salon staff, as well as countless others around the country. It is stories like these that keep us going, confident that this initiative is making a meaningful difference. Thank YOU for being a part so that we can get in front of as many people as possible and continue to raise awareness in our communities.

If you are interested in more info about our education click here, and if you would like to read the news article about this incident.

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MAGNOLIA: Spring at the Silos

Waco, Texas here we come! We are so excited to finally let this little, or okay- BIG secret out... MISSIO Hair has been chosen to be one of 90 vendors at a very special event with Magnolia. It is called Spring at the Silos, and by some off chance that you’ve never heard of it let us tell you more!

It is a weekend full of magic where tens of thousands of people from all over welcome spring in all of the best ways at the Magnolia Silos. Florals galore, live music, book signings, food trucks, and a free vendor fair. It is truly a celebration!

Around 700 businesses applied to be a vendor at this sought after event, and we are humbled to say that MISSIO was one of 90 chosen to be featured. We are absolutely ecstatic to be able to share our beautiful products and beautiful purpose with the Magnolia family and attendees from near and far. The dates for this year are March 14-16th, so just one month away!

Our mission is to inspire a movement of difference makers who use beauty to restore hope and fight human trafficking. We cannot wait to have the opportunity to share with thousands in Waco how choosing a product with a purpose can and is truly changing lives. We are believing for great things and we get so excited thinking about how our non-profit partners will be blessed as a direct result of this event.

Be sure to follow along @MISSIOHair. If you are interested in attending, seeing a list of the other vendors, or just learning more visit MAGNOLIA.



LOVE JUSTICE: Our First Global Partner

On this special LOVE day, we could not be more thrilled to announce our newest partner - Love Justice. We are honored, humbled, excited, and overjoyed to partner with this incredible international organization and help contribute this fighting human trafficking worldwide. You are a part of this with us!

We first interacted with Love Justice at an event here and Wilmington where we met the founder Doug Dworak, the Global Ambassador of Love Justice International. A couple of months later, we had the opportunity to spend more time with him in Dallas. To say we love this guy and his heart is an understatement! He and his team are truly an inspiration, and we at MISSIO hope to play an increasing role supporting this organization in the years to come as we grow.  

Love Justice’s heartbeat is beautiful. Fueled by God’s love, they are committed to finding and implementing the best, most effective strategies to prevent human trafficking and rescue it’s victims. They primarily serve in two areas: Children’s Homes/Schools and Human Trafficking Intervention.

Before orphaned and abandoned children become subject to trafficking, they help to place at-risk children in a safe environment where they receive love, education, and rehabilitation. Through their Dream School, they help children realize their dreams by creating a place where they can become all that they have created to be.

Also, they serve potential victims of human trafficking by monitoring national borders and transit hubs, intercepting victims before they are lost to the dark world of modern day slavery. Through transit monitoring and interception, they attack trafficking at the most strategic moment—while it is in the process of occurring and BEFORE exploitation and enslavement. They have intercepted over 16,000 people from slavery, exploitation, and abuse - amazing!

Love Justice work effortlessly and passionately in both of these huge areas of prevention and intervention. The are based in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, but are expanding their reach to South Africa, Mongolia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Benin, and Thailand.

We are so excited to be able to partner with Love Justice and take our reach global- thank YOU for being difference makers with us. You choosing our beautiful products with a beautiful purchase makes this partnership possible. Thank you!

To read more about Love Justice and GIVE directly to this amazing work, visit https://www.lovejustice.ngo



MISSIO Hair + ABLE

Change happens when we link arms and work together to make a difference in the world around us… The beautiful truth is that there are not only countless non-profit organizations working around the clock, but there are also other for-profit companies who choose to use their platform and influence to make an impact. We love linking arms with companies who are like-minded in their mission and vision. We are thrilled to be linking arms with ABLE!

ABLE is a lifestyle brand, based out of Nashville, focused on ending generational poverty through providing economic opportunity for women. They have grown from producing a single collection of hand-woven scarves to a one-stop shop for ethical fashion, offering leather goods, handmade jewelry, denim, clothing and footwear. Their products are produced in Ethiopia, Mexico, Peru, and Nashville, TN - and each item has one thing in common: because it is made by women, it is leading all of us a step closer to the end of generational poverty. Their heartbeat is beautiful and their company is inspirational.

Today, we have been invited to their headquarters as they host an Advocacy Panel for Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Our Founder, Lorin Van Zandt will be sharing during this special event in the Nashville community that aims to be an overview and discussion event about human trafficking around the world. We are honored to be apart of this event, and we cannot wait to share more about our experience and time with ABLE. Be sure to follow our journey on social media!



NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS DAY

Today is a big day - a day where many in our country have recognized the need to raise and unite our voices against one of the greatest injustices of our time. Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. We believe that education can empower people and inspire change. Yes, education involving statistics and facts; but even further, education that involves stories, real situations involving real people.

Knowing the global statistics may empower you, and hearing a real life account of what that looks like in your very own city may inspire you to action. As we participate in this day, we’d like to both empower you with information and inspire you with story from right here in the US:

Some Facts:

  • Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against his/her will.

  • An estimated 40 million people are enslaved globally.

  • It is a crime that generates an estimated $32 billion dollars here in the United States.

  • In the US, sex trafficking exists and continues to grow because it can generate high profits and a perceived low risk for the traffickers.

  • Some common warning signs are: avoids eye contact, depressed mood, always has a third party present, suspicious tattoos/branding,  unexplained/conflicting injury stories, lack of control of own money, domestic violence, substance abuse, controlling relationship

  • Trafficking often occurs in plain sight, is not limited by race, geography, or socio-economic status, and is happening in every State.

A Story:

“A lot of times people feel like with sex trafficking you can look at someone and tell or it’s people on the street… That is definitely happening, but it can be as easy as next door. My traffickers were school teachers; he was a coach. They looked like a normal middle class family… someone you would never guess what was going on behind closed doors, but that is how they got away with what they did. Raising awareness of the reality that it is going on will help people like me get free. In my situation things were horribly off, but no one asked any questions because they thought from what they saw that things were normal... Something within me, in all of the terrible things I experienced, was like- there has to be more than this. Finally, a couple reached out to me because they saw some things that started to concern them. They were the first people that genuinely loved me. It took years, but I finally saw that there could be another life for me. That I could get free! It takes everybody in every type of position for us to come together and end this. Whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Do something. I’m so thankful that they pursued me and didn’t give up on me.” - U.S. Human Trafficking Survivor

We at MISSIO are on a mission to inspire and empower a movement of people in the fight against human trafficking. We educate. We mobilize. We give. Check out our websites for simple action steps on how you can get involved in this fight with us. It could be as simple as swapping out your current shampoo for a #productwithpurpose.



LOOKING BACK AT 2018: A Message from Lorin and Kyle

“It’s been a year of unlocking purpose, inspiring and educating hundreds in the beauty industry, and making a difference in the lives of those who needed to be reminded of their worth. We can’t wait for more in 2019!”

We can’t believe that 2018 is over! When they say time flies, they aren’t kidding. It’s been a year filled with beautiful, challenging things, significant growth and the joy of partnering with more and more people who are inspired to make a difference with us! Here’s a look back at an amazing year:

New Products LAUNCHED…

We launched four new hair products in 2018 - Classic Shampoo, Styling Spray, Texture Paste, and Styling Cream…all of which have become fan favorites! We love hearing testimonies of the amazing things the products are doing for your hair, and we are so glad you LOVE the scents so much. We also launched our YouTube tutorials with YOU in mind. MISSIO had the honor of being featured in Twist & Pin’s Winter season and we loved creating fun tutorials with them! And of course, one of the best launches of the year was the launch of our candles! We could hardly keep them in stock!

Spreading MISSIO…

It was so amazing to get out of NC to spread the word about MISSIO this year. The highlights included speaking in Dallas at N2 Publishing’s National Conference, being featured in the POPSUGAR Playground in NYC, making new friends at a pop-up at Citizen Supply in Atlanta and exhibiting and educating at our first hair show at Premier Birmingham! Our brand continued to expanded across the country - now MISSIO products can be found East to West, as far as California - as well as ten other states- AL, FL, GA, IN, NE, OK, PA, SC, TN and VA!

Purpose + Impact…

EDUCATE: We had the opportunity to educate hundreds on the warning signs of human trafficking this year - from college students to individual salons to professionals at a beauty industry trade show. We know that this initiative is making an impact not only because of the incredible response and feedback, but also because of the calls and reports we have received about women being identified through the stylists and salon owners we have educated. 

MOBILIZE: Each opportunity we had to serve and mobilize others to serve this year was also incredibly meaningful! We partnered with organizations such as Five 14 Revolution, Vigilant Hope, and First Fruits Ministries to offer shower trailers days and haircuts to the homeless and vulnerable, as well as those in at-risk and recovery situations. We empowered and trained countless stylists to serve and launched our first three stylist Ambassadors, who are now leading services initiatives. We cheered on those inspired by MISSIO nationwide and received reports of them serving their own communities! After experiencing the devastation of Hurricane Florence on the East Coast, we rallied to provide two days of haircuts to hurricane victims at an emergency shelter in Wilmington, NC. To close the year MISSIO stylists donated thousands of dollars worth of salon gift certificates to our non-profit partners to be used by their staff and members who are overcoming exploitation.

GIVE: We were honored to help financially support our non-profit partners and their amazing work. Five 14 Revolution stands “for the one- impacting one life, one heart, one woman at a time- for freedom from sexual exploitation.” This year we helped contribute to their emergency fund to help the women they serve. We were also able to support the work of A Safe Place and sponsor a table at their “A Day in the Life Luncheon.” This was the first full year that the Emergency Shelter and was made available for housing - something to celebrate as it is the first of its kind on the East Coast! We wrapped up the year with amazing meetings with these two partner non-profits where we gave over $1,000 worth of Christmas gifts and financial support plus $2800 in gift cards and salon services. Lastly, following the hurricane, we completed our candle GIVE campaign and hand delivered candles to those affected by hurricane Florence to bring LIGHT into their homes - an unplanned and unexpected, yet very beautiful giving project.

Team and Office GROWTH…

We are proud to say we moved out of our garage and coffee shops into our first real office space and studio at the Cargo District. and we absolutely love being a part of Coworx Community in Wilmington, NC. We were privileged to grow our team, adding Lauren as our Salon Partnership Manager and two amazing interns this year - Catherine and Hayley. Mary, our Chief Brand Ambassador, became a mama AGAIN this past year - let’s just say she’s superwoman. ;) We’re incredibly proud of and grateful for our team and all that they do!

Thank YOU…

As we take the time to look back, there is so much that we have to be grateful for. We have seen the impact that each one of these initiatives has made in RESTORING worth and aiding in the rescue, recovery and rehabilitation of those subject to human trafficking and exploitation. And all of this was made possible by a dream, a God-given vision involving something as simple as hair products. Stylists have a unique ability to make a difference, and it’s amazing to see this vision come to life.

Thank you to those who have believed in MISSIO, who’ve partnered with this work through purchases and retail partnership, and those who’ve served with us. We have so much to celebrate all because of YOU and your support. Thank you for spreading the word and choosing MISSIO. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for making a difference with us in 2018!!!

Looking AHEAD…

So what’s next in 2019? We can’t wait to share!!! We are excited about new products, partnerships, and opportunities to make an impact. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for being a part of this journey. Here’s to even more amazing things ahead!

With love and gratitude,

Lorin and Kyle (Founders of MISSIO Hair)




MAKING A DIFFERENCE BEYOND THE CHAIR

A recent email we received from a stylist who attended our education in Alabama reads…

"Very rarely can I quote what I hear people say but the words that Lorin used when we heard her speak in Alabama will stick with me FOREVER! She was telling us the story about sitting on the floor and polishing the toenails of a girl who was just rescued from her captor. “There is something very humbling about positioning yourself lower than a person who is at the lowest point of their life. So powerful.”

Our team read the email aloud in the office, we were in awe. 

Later, this INSPIRED stylist went on to write:

“The girls and I have set up our first outreach, December 3rd. We will be taking our talent on the road to visit a school where kids from 6th-12th grade are sent when they get in trouble and are expelled from their home school. It is in a very poor area of North Georgia and most of them come from broken homes and/or foster care. My sister in law works there and she says all the kids really need and WANT is to be loved… and for people to be kind to them. We are so excited that we are doing to be able to go and serve them!”

A few days later we watched as the team reported their day of service on instagram. We were so excited to cheer on Amanda Black and her team at Retrospective Salon in Georgia as they went “Beyond the Chair”  to serve and show love to others last week. Someone shared " The day was magical. The kids were excited and so proud of their new do’s. All students walked away from the PVIS Salon holding their heads high and smiles on their faces!"

We are so proud and humbled to help inspire this work. It is awesome to see our initiatives inspire action all over the country. Let’s keep serving others in our communities and reminding them they are worthy, they are valuable and they are LOVED. Imagine what we can do together.

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PERFECTLY IMPERFECT

If you’ve been following along with the MISSIO journey, you won’t be surprised to know that Lorin and I (Kyle here!) have VERY high standards for our products and the way our company is run. Those standards are deeply rooted in our belief of our PURPOSE. This whole vision began because we wanted to create that strongest platform possible to inspire and empower stylists and their clients to fight human trafficking. We wanted nothing to deter us from this vision, so we created PRODUCT that stylists and their clients would love so that our collective efforts could be carried forward in a strong, growing, and sustainable way. We couldn’t be more proud of how far we’ve come and where we’re going! 

Every element of our brand is meant to capture this journey: the gritty humanity of the city combined with the life-giving, healing of the sea…we even tried to capture that in our lovely fragrances! Well, from day one, our customers of been in love! Over and over, we were asked to make candles so their homes and businesses could be filled with MISSIO scents all day everyday. Never ones to back down from a challenge, we plunged into the world of candle-making! We considered finding a third party manufacturer, but we couldn’t find anybody who could meet our standards (ironic…read on, and you’ll see why!). 

So, we decided to make them here at MISSIO. After months of trial and error in my own kitchen, we launched our candles last week, and they SOLD OUT IN ONE DAY! We couldn’t be more grateful. 

As I’m playing catch up with our orders this morning (in addition to pouring our own candles, we custom make each wooden lid with the MISSIO logo branded), my high standards are being challenged.

You see, each lid is IMPERFECT! The wood grains are different, some have dents and are rough around the edges. Some of the branding is off-center, or the wood responds to the heat differently. None of them are perfect, and there’s nothing I can do about it. 

At first, I was very frustrated…then I was absolutely delighted in what this process was teaching me. There are so many things about our lives that are completely imperfect, but that is okay.

THERE IS UNIQUE BEAUTY IN IMPERFECTION. It should be celebrated! 

This has been such a great reminder about all of us, about MISSIO, about the thousands of people who are in dire situations right now who we seek to help. 

Our wooden candle lids represent this. Every time we sand one down and place our logo on it, we celebrate the imperfections, the uniqueness of each lid, the reality that nothing is perfect in this world. We choose to see the beauty in each divot, uncentered placement, rough edge, etc. Just like all of us, they’re PERFECTLY IMPERFECT. 

Sometimes, we need to place our high standards to the side and celebrate the imperfect, the uniqueness, the differences, the hardships. We at MISSIO believe that this is where TRUE BEAUTY exists, and we’re here to help you see it. 

We hope you remember this every time you remove your perfectly unique and imperfect wooden lid and enjoy our uplifting, life-giving candles…a beautiful representation of hardship and healing. 

With love and gratitude,

Kyle Van Zandt (Co-Founder, MISSIO Hair)

WHY AMBASSADORS?

As you may have seen, we have launched our first team of Stylist Ambassadors in our founding city. You can read all about them HERE (www.missiohair.com/stylistambassadors). The heart behind this special component of our company runs deep and wide. MISSIO was founded because of personal experiences of watching women come to life in new ways while receiving the gift of a haircut or manicure or pedicure. The impact that can be made while behind the chair while serving in your city…

Part of our mission is to MOBILIZE stylists to serve in their community. As we started to implement this in our founding city, we realized that we were starting a ripple effect. We found that certain stylists were rising up who not only wanted to serve with us, but they wanted to take it one step further and actually commit to serving and being a leader amidst their sphere of influence to mobilize others as well. We found that as we mobilized stylists it stirred a passion in their hearts to start mobilizing others. A beautiful picture of something that starts small can make HUGE IMPACT.

So we have launched them forward! Serving, educating, spreading awareness, and more- paving the way for change. We are so grateful for those who have partnered with us as Stylist Ambassadors in their community, and we cannot wait to watch what they spearhead forward as they use their gifts and talents to bless their city. Turning PASSION into ACTION.

If you are interested in applying to be an Ambassador click HERE. Our next launch will be January 2018, and we would love to have you Join the MOVEMENT.
 

FOR THE ONE

We had the opportunity to serve with one of our nonprofit partners recently and wow what a special time that it was. One of the things that they shared with us in our last meeting with them was that their new focus and vision is this concept of “For the One”. They felt lead and compelled by this idea that if they only change just one life, it is all worth it…

What a powerful mantra- for the ONE. The truth that in order to be world changers, we need to start with the one person in front of us. The truth that one life is worth the risk, the energy, the resources, the time, the perseverance, etc. The truth that one life has value beyond what we can comprehend and its worth it all to help set them free.

We got to join in this vision and mission during a “Beyond the Chair” service event. Four stylists from the community stepped out from behind their normal salon chair and chose to step behind the less glamorous folding chair to bless women whom they had never met. They chose to use their gifts and talents to restore worth and identity into women walking through hardships that are often unfathomable. They listened, they loved, they encouraged, they served. They spent time, one by one, with women who just needed to be loved. Women who needed one on one time to be reminded that they are seen and worth someone else’s time.

Every service event is powerful, but this one was something special. We watched women pour out their hearts and stories just because they had someone who actually was listening to them. We watched women walk away with a restored sense of beauty and confidence. We watched women begin to hold their heads a little bit higher through the simple, yet powerful gift of a haircut.

What if we truly believed and lived for the one? What if we chose to “change the world” through the lives right in front of us? That’s where true life change happens.

 

 

 

POPSUGAR PLAYGROUND: NYC Trip

The POPSUGAR Play/Ground Event in NYC was an unforgettable experience! Thousands of women came to visit the booths at this 2- day festival, and were introduced to MISSIO in POPSUGAR’s Pop Shop. We were honored to be a part and thrilled to be featured as one of their new favorite lifestyle and beauty brands!

Highlights included meeting POPSUGAR staff and beauty consultants, sharing our story, and interacting with other amazing socially conscious brands like ABLE. Also, spotting celebrities like Kayla Itsines and Mindy Kaling, and sliding down the rainbow colored, adult-sized slides into a giant ball pit were some of our favorite things! 

While in NYC we also got to attend an amazing event called the Consumer Discovery show. Here we learned from top business leaders and beauty industry professionals like Bobbi Brown. Sharing our story and purpose in this setting was an incredible opportunity, and we are excited about the connections for MISSIO that may come as a result!

All in all, we are grateful for the opportunity to spread the word about our PRODUCTS WITH PURPOSE, because the more we grow, the more of an impact we can make. Considering that human trafficking is a significant issue in states like New York, we took our platform there very seriously. We are so grateful to have been given the chance to unite people around this purpose and vision- restoring worth where it has been lost. 

CITIZEN SUPPLY CO: Atlanta Trip

A big THANK YOU to Citizen Supply in the Ponce City Market in Atlanta for hosting MISSIO for a pop up a few weeks ago! We had a blast giving free styles, telling people about our products, and of course, sharing about our purpose to fight human trafficking. We can’t wait to come back to Atlanta...what a great city with amazing people. Go check out our friends at Citizen Supply if you’re in the area!

Highlights included meeting people from all over the world that were visiting this market- and doing their hair! Free product demos were super popular among the ladies- mostly beach wave curls with our styling spray, braids and textured styles! 

Atlanta being a hotbed for human trafficking, people were incredibly inspired, grateful and excited to see our company begin to have a presence in the city. 

DIFFERENCE MAKER: Ashley Baxter

"As a survivor of sexual assault, I have learned that some of the darkest actions in this world, like human trafficking, greatly rely on two things . . . for others to be unaware and for them to not get involved."

Criminals need others to turn a blind eye, to think "that subject is too uncomfortable to talk about", and to falsely believe there is nothing they can do to help. But THANKFULLY with organizations and companies like MISSIO bringing awareness and action, we can help take away that power more and more, and help rescue victims.

The beauty of MISSIO is that it allows everyone an opportunity to get involved in the fight against human trafficking. Whether it be buying MISSIO's fabulous products with the knowledge that some of the proceeds will go to non-profits working with human trafficking victims, or hair stylists receiving training on how to recognize and help a human trafficking victim sitting in their chair. 

Not only do I love the purpose of MISSIO, but I also love their products! As I approach (cough) 40 years old (cough), I have found that my hair has become a lot more coarse. I even was resorting to using coconut oil a couple times a week to help! But thankfully the combination of MISSIO's Gentle Cleansing Shampoo and their Luxe Conditioner has my hair feeling soft, moisturized, and amazing!"

Guest Post: Ashley Baxter 

Ashley loves traveling the globe, making people laugh, and has a passion for helping people find hope in the midst of suffering - especially survivors of sexual assault, since that is part of her story as well.  

Follow Ashley @RestoringHeart for when it goes live later this summer on finding hope in the midst of life's hardships.

 

PRODUCT CREATION - Trust the Process!

Slow down. Calm down. 

Don't worry. Don't hurry. 

Trust the process. 

- Alexandra Stoddard

Spring is in the air, and so are new things at MISSIO! If you've been following along with us on our journey, you're familiar with our commitment to amazing products - safe ingredients, excellent performance, and an uplifting experience - YOU deserve the best! 

Well let me tell ya, it has been quite the process to develop them! Whether we've been trying them out with world-renown stylists, on-the-go-moms, cosmetic chemists, or our kiddos in the bathtub, we have definitely learned to trust the process. And it's been totally worth it...we can't wait to get them in your hands! 

So as we anticipate the newness of Spring, we are so excited to share with you what we've been working on for quite some time. MISSIO products not only give you hair life and style, but with your help, we have the opportunity to shine light into a dark place, to help in the prevention, rescue, and recovery of victims of human trafficking. 

Stay tuned for our SPRING release! New products available ONLINE NEXT WEEK!

Photo Creds: Lindsey Pruitt

PARTNER HIGHLIGHT: Five14 Revolution

Five14 Revolution is an incredible non-profit organization in Wilmington, NC that we are honored and excited to partner with! Five14’s mission is to serve as an interruption to human trafficking and sexual exploitation by bringing hope and empowerment to women in places of vulnerability. Their focus is on prevention as they seek to reach out to women experiencing hardship as a result of poverty, substance abuse, prostitution, homelessness, or even the challenges associated with being a single mom.

Five14 desires to meet the needs of women in places of vulnerability so that they do not have to make compromising decisions that might lead to human trafficking or exploitation. One of the ways that they do this is by operating a Storehouse. This is a place where women can come to have their practical needs met, such as: household items, baby care items, and personal toiletry items. These are items not typically covered by government assistance, so they are able to help alleviate these specific burdens and create relationships throughout the process. They also have an outreach ministry to Wilmington/the surrounding area, are a huge resource and connector to any help/services that a woman may need, and have a 24-hour hotline.

We love what Five14 is doing in our hometown and how they are aiding in the prevention of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. It is so incredible to watch organizations each find their specific role in this fight and live it out so beautifully!