Hope in the Darkness

One of the reasons we started this company is because we believe in the idea that beauty can be used to restore hope and fight human trafficking. Our Co-Founder, Lorin, along with teams of stylists, volunteers and MISSIO staff, have been serving women in need who have been victims of abuse for years. Through these experiences, they have met and spent time with countless women with incredibly courageous stories.


One beautiful young woman had grown up unfortunately abused and mistreated in the foster care system. She found her self with no choice but to run away from home. On the streets, now homeless, she was soon after lured into the “care” of a trafficker. With his name tattooed on her forehead (a mark of property), she began servicing other men while he received the profits for her forced “work”. After a car accident and a miraculous chain of events a few years later she found herself able to escape and enroll in a recovery program. This is where Lorin and the team got to serve her, wash her feet, treat her to a relaxing spa-like afternoon while getting to know her beautiful soul.


“She was one of the most joyful people I’ve ever met. Not only was she thrilled to receive a pedicure, and have her toenails painted bright pink, but she was such an amazing example of hope and how restoration can be found after the darkness. She shared with me how through the program she was learned about what REAL love looked like, that it is patient and kind, and that is not how this man had treated her. She was beginning to see herself in a new light- and to not be defined not by her past, but see herself the way that God sees her, full of purpose and worthy of a future.”


This beautiful young woman will forever remain in our hearts and mind… A precious story of restoration and healing who we have had the privilege to serve. Thank you for being a part of MISSIO and believing in the beautiful idea that hope CAN be found after the darkness.

Education Empowers

Human trafficking is a complex and elusive injustice. It is complex because it is a worldwide crisis occurring in many forms, most notably labor, child, and sex trafficking. It is elusive because it can often blend in with it’s surroundings and can sometimes be very difficult to identify. In the US, sex trafficking exists and continues to grow because it can generate high profits and a perceived low risk for the traffickers. This low risk is because it can often be very difficult to identify potential victims of human trafficking. 

MISSIO is hoping to change that. We believe that if communities can be educated in identifying potential victims of sex trafficking, we can prevent it from happening. Specifically, We EDUCATE the beauty industry on how to identify potential victims of human trafficking, and how to connect them with HELP in their area. We believe that the beauty industry has a unique opportunity to reach victims right where they are. In the US, trafficked victims are often sitting in the salon chair or walking into beauty boutiques. Imagine thousands of stylists, estheticians, boutique and salon owners trained and equipped to identify victims and to take action. We believe that widespread vigilance can increase the risk for traffickers and change the lives of those in slavery.

With a curriculum created with experts on human trafficking and resources gathered from Polaris and local and federal law enforcement officials, MISSIO seeks to educate as many beauty industry professionals as possible through on-the-ground training and webinars. One of the greatest joys in our journey is watching individuals find a new purpose and passion within their career field. Our education has helped to inspire and equip hundreds of people to join the movement in the fight against human trafficking. If you are interested in becoming MISSIO Equipped by one of our staff, email team@missiohair.com. Also, our free online training can be accessed at www.missiohair.com/education.

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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"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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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



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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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.

 

 

 

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

THE HAIRCUT I'LL NEVER FORGET

The following is a true story told by MISSIO Founder, Lorin Van Zandt. 

I'll never forget the day I received the phone call. There was a woman who needed a haircut. But the reason was one I would have never expected. She needed help with her hair because there had been large chunks of it ripped out by an abuser- her pimp. 

We quickly organized to have a friend's salon space open to only her on a Sunday afternoon. She came in with her head hung, timid and obviously struggling to believe in herself due to the way she looked. She told me "I don't even want to walk outside right now."

With a nod I welcomed her and led her over to the styling chair where she would receive a simple haircut. I worked to carefully blend her hair to hide the bare spots. As time passed, I opportunity to get to know her and to hear her story. She shared about her life of abuse, a situation where she was tricked and coerced through a false relationship into a life of years of forced sex. She shared about her multiple attempts at escape and then enrollment in the rehab program. We talked about her goals for regaining custody of her children and the new life that she desired for her future. As I blended her hair, I was able to let her know that I believed that she could achieve these goals. 

When we finished, she looked at herself in the mirror and her entire countenance changed. Her face lit up and her eyes welled up with tears. She went from not being willing to be seen in public to LOVING the way that she looked and holding her head up high. She laughed and touched her hair, hugged me and cried. She could not stop saying "thank you." It was a very emotional moment to realize that this was the beginning of her believing something new about herself.

It was in moments like this that MISSIO was born, as we discovered how something as simple as a haircut at a critical time could be used in powerful ways to help women believe in their worth once again. 

Today, MISSIO seeks out opportunities to link stylists with situations just like this. In every city where we are found. Thank you for your support of all that is happening and how we are growing. Imagine what we can do together.

WHAT CAN BE DONE IN A WEEK.

Wow! We are overwhelmed by all of the support that MISSIO has received in ONE WEEK! And in that one week, SO MUCH has already been done in the fight against human trafficking. None of this can happen without you! 

Here are a few highlights: 

- Our team has been on the ground educating salons and stylists to aid in the interception of victims of human trafficking. So far, we have be able to equip 35 stylist and salon owners. We have at least 3 set up this week and many more to come!

- This past weekend, stylists had the opportunity to volunteer to serve at-risk women who are in transitional situations. We love seeing them empowered to use their gifts to serve others!

- The word is out! People all over the country are catching the vision of MISSIO and inspired to take action. 18,000+ views of our launch video, close to 200 shares, products being purchased from all over the country, MISSIO being sold in 6 local salons and growing rapidly! 

- We have LOVED hearing reports from customers that their hair is healthier and softer than EVER BEFORE using our products! Annnnd there is already a slight obsession surrounding the scent of our Coconut Cleansing Dry Shampoo Powder. ;)

This is just the beginning. Imagine a widespread effort around the country all happening through the vehicle of MISSIO Hair. 

Thank you for an amazing first week...let's do this!

 

WE EDUCATE.

WE EDUCATE.

We EDUCATE stylists & salon owners how to identify potential victims of human trafficking, and how to connect them with HELP in their area.

Human trafficking is a complex and elusive injustice. It is complex because it is a worldwide crisis happening in all places occurring in many forms, most notably labor, child, and sex trafficking. It is elusive because it can often blend in with it’s surroundings and can sometimes be very difficult to identify. In the US, sex trafficking exists and continues to grow because it can generate high profits and a perceived low risk for the traffickers. This low risk is because it can often be very difficult to identify potential victims of human trafficking. 

WE MOBILIZE.

WE MOBILIZE.

We MOBILIZE stylists and volunteers to use their gifts to serve and encourage women who are in RECOVERY from human trafficking.

There is healing in something as simple as a haircut, a style, a manicure, or a pedicure. We believe that there are thousands of stylists and others around the country who have the ability to restore a sense of worth in a victim of human trafficking through volunteering their time and their spaces. 

WE GIVE.

WE GIVE.

We GIVE to non-profit partners who are aiding in the RESCUE and RESTORATION of victims of human trafficking, locally and globally.

We are honored to partner with many non-profits both locally and globally who are working diligently to address the issue of human trafficking in many incredible ways. Having worked for 10 years with various non-profits, we at MISSIO know first-hand the challenges that these organizations face to continue the important work they do. 

THE STORY OF MISSIO

THE STORY OF MISSIO

A lifetime of experiences and a deep passion to stand up for people in need led Lorin and Kyle Van Zandt to start MISSIO Hair in 2016. 

Lorin began doing hair when she was fifteen years old, and she quickly became passionate about beauty. She soon realized that beauty could be used to help people in need, and she began giving haircuts to the homeless, to those in drug rehab centers, and to refugees from around the world.