Peace of Thread purses are trendy, gorgeous and one-of-a-kind. Best of all, they’re skillfully made by refugee women who are learning what it means to be an American…and how to live and thrive in the United States.

Through Peace of Thread, refugee women are employed, trained and given a sewing machine so they can work from home. Currently, about 30 volunteers – four of whom are seamstresses – contribute their expertise and mentorship to the project.  “As our name implies, we want to share and demonstrate with newcomers that we are a peaceful people,” said Denise Smith, co-founder and CEO of the faith-based nonprofit in Grayson, Georgia. “Our mission is to empower women to make a new life for themselves and their families by making purses, bags and accessories using top-of-the-line, refurbished fabric.”

Along the way, Peace of Thread promotes cultural exchanges, provides a platform for refugee women to improve their language skills, and connects refugee women to women in the receiving community.

“It takes a while to build trust,” Smith continued. “It doesn’t happen overnight. But teaching these women sewing skills – while providing the opportunity to be social and develop friendships, despite language barriers – goes a long way toward helping them embrace a new, peaceful culture that’s different from their own.” 

Peace of Thread also teaches women about their rights to certain freedoms in this country, like having their own bank accounts and debit cards, making their own decisions and having choices. Meanwhile, longer-term residents involved with Peace of Thread open their homes to newcomers and others to enjoy, buy and sell the artistic handiworks (which are also sold on Etsy).

Besides offering employment opportunities, this experience dissolves the uncertainty some U.S. born women feel in the presence of newcomers. It teaches them about different walks of life, and in their enthusiasm, they often get their children involved, leading to family friendships.

One of the organization’s core values is to assist refugee and receiving community women physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

For more information, visit Peace of Thread or contact

Denise Smith

Co-founder and CEO

Peace of Thread