Hope Wissel

Trades of Hope


I can hardly believe that it has been over 4 years since I met this AMAZING woman.  This is how it all started: I got an email from a local Thirty One Director. She wanted to know if we could connect. I have to admit that I was hesitant. I was a new Director and feeling a little overwhelmed by leadership. God nudged and I responded. I am so glad that I did. I am blessed to now call Karen Peet a friend, and a sister in Christ.  I am blessed that Thirty One brought us together.

Here is her story about God’s tug on her heart:

Did you ever feel like you had a missing puzzle piece in your life? Well, that was me. I love what I do. I am involved with a local non profit, Step of Faith Ministry. We do lots of local mission work and have a large ministry in Haiti. It is all wonderful and I love it! Our ministry helps many but still I felt a missing piece. One of my friends in Haiti said that ” “Haitians need to stop taking. What they need is a hand up by learning how to work!” That conversation never left me. One day in August 2014 I found it…that piece. It is called Trades of Hope (TOH). Trades of Hope helps provide sustainable income to women mostly in third world countries through a party plan model business. They are being given an opportunity that they have never received before, which is to learn skills, work and provide for their families. We are giving a voice to the voiceless and empowering women all over the world one product at a time. I am helping to provide for my family and at the same time helping another woman across the world provide for hers. Plus the products are beautiful, great quality and handmade made with love.

I asked Karen to share the TOP 3 things that she loved about their products…It’s hard for me to name my top three things I like about our products but here it goes!

1. I love that our products are fair trade. That our woman make a living wage and can feed, provide a home and education for her family. TOH makes sure she has enough to do all that.
2. Our products are teaching skills! Not only do our artisans learn skills to make our stunning products but they learn more (designing products, budgeting, buying goods to make our products, travel to buy, accounting and more)! Plus women are teaching women. It has a ripple effect.
3. When you buy a product you are getting more than a piece of jewelry or home good, you are providing HOPE! I love that being a Compassionate Entrepreneur for TOH gives me the opportunity to be a voice for the voiceless. I am speaking up for those who did not have an opportunity in their desperate situation. We represent woman in extreme poverty, victims of sex trades, slavery and more! Hope is one of the most empowering things you can give.

Check out Karen’s website at www.mytradesofhope.com/karenpeet or if you have more questions you can reach out to her via phone at 732-687-0215.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

What Are Your Obstacles?


When I graduated college, work was all about moving up in the corporate world.  I never thought about being my own boss.  To me that was a lonely life – I needed people.

My first home-based business was “Special Tots” a line of premature baby clothes.  I designed them, cut them out, sewed them and then marketed them.  I loved it but I was not ready to be my own boss.  Then came “H.O.P.E. Consultants”, a grant management and consulting service for non-profit agencies.  A success but I missed the daily connections with people.  When I closed those doors to go back to non-profit development, I never thought I would be by own boss again.

Then life changed – Belinda was living in North Carolina, the commute to work was 4 hours round trip, I got married and there were some health struggles.  The pros of being my own boss: making my own hours, no commuting and doing something I loved far outweighed the BIGGEST con which was the lack of people.  YUP, I was ALONE.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my business.  But it tends to be solitary work. I write alone. I sit in the office alone talking to people on the phone.  I coach alone, mostly by phone.  I work from home, my team scattered about this and other states. The crazy part is that I question my passion when being “alone” gets lonely.

What’s missing is the connections!  Connection isn’t just “networking.” Connection isn’t just collaboration. Connection isn’t just communicating with people. I love how Valerie Burton describes it: “Connection is love. It is the moment, however brief, when your soul aligns with another and you serve one another’s needs in some way. It could be a smile, a touch, an idea, a word of encouragement, or act of support. But connection makes life and work juice”.  This is just one of the hurdles that you can expect when you work a solo-preneur.

How about blending Your Work Life with Your Home Life?  Most people enjoy the fact that an office job gives them the ability to leave their work at the office. This is tricky if you’re working in your home, and even tougher for those you live with. I have a separate office space in the house – a spare bedroom.  It prevents my business from intruding into every aspect of our personal lives– for the most part.  At least the physical aspects of it.  The advantage is that there is  no commuting!  Blending is a lot easier if you build your business around something you’re personally passionate about.

How about working longer and harder than ever before?  Many entrepreneurs say “I work from the minute I wake up until the minute I go to sleep.”  That may be the case some days, but it will be especially true in the beginning.  You will do whatever it takes to get your business going.  The advantage is that you will work longer and harder, but it’s ultimately for your own gain.  Nothing is more satisfying than that!  While you will make time sacrifices, you’ll also have more flexibility.  I ultimately have the ability to change my schedule when I need to. There are certainly sacrifices toward owning your own business, but for successful entrepreneurs, the advantages far outweigh the difficulties.

No matter what the obstacle in owning your own home-based business, there is a solution.  The passion you have for your business combined with the desire to reach your goal will help you find that solution.  Need help finding those solutions, reach out… I will be more than happy to help you on your journey.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!