“Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.”

Oprah Winfrey’s words make change sound too easy.  But we all know it takes more than a single step to remake a life.  But she’s right.  We need to step into a new mindset of possibility.  And, that’s where Kathy Phillips and her business, Primitives by Kathy, get us started.

Kathy developed a business around highly curated home decor and lifestyle products.  After working in her mother’s gift shop for years, she starting making homemade products that answered a consumer need.

I discovered Kathy’s business and story while looking for Valentine gifts to add to our online WomanScape Boutique for the month of February.

What I noticed about Kathy’s 20+ years of business was the joyful way all of her home decor and lifestyle products inspire us to celebrate life with those we love.

Her gift-style products are incredibly fun – especially the unique boxed signs and wine lover glasses – and the branding messages help people believe they are capable of great things.  In a way, they’re mini-hugs of strength, courage, and inspiration.

While some of this explains Kathy’s thriving global success and her guru-like status as an industry trendsetter, I think Kathy is also a history maker.  In the early stages of Kathy’s business when the orders started to grow, she asked for help from Goodwill Services.  This relationship laid the foundation for a corporate strategy to do good.

So as the sweet catchy reminders of joyful living on Kathy’s website grew, so did her line of products to provide financial support and awareness for a variety of important causes.  Kathy has raised thousands of dollars for charitable organizations within her community of Lancaster, PA while helping other people to actualize their hopes and dreams.

Kathy supports a broad range of organizations from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the United Disabilities Services Foundation to the Triangle Therapeutic Riding Center.  Kathy supports all kinds of charities including breast cancer awareness.  Her pink socks are written with the words “Always a fighter” and 100% of the sales fund programs for women diagnosed with breast cancer.

While pretty, these socks are not nearly as fun as the aged black and white sign that says, “Cancer touched my life so I kicked its ass.”  This month’s “Dog Best Friend” sign is also a favorite of mine and fosters an unlikely relationship.  Monies go to the United Disabilities Services Foundation, an organization that connects dog training staff with inmates from Houtzdale State Correctional Institution.

Of course, at WomanScape, we have a special affinity for anything patriotic as we raise money for military veterans through our WomanScape Cares page.  So we’ve added this sign from Kathy’s collection to our boutique, Home of the Free Because of the Brave.

It’s wonderful to see women like Kathy changing lives.  Whether people benefit directly from product sales support or the inspiring items that celebrate joyful living with friends and family, Kathy shows us what’s possible when we dare to look beyond the walls that would hold us back.

Rose McInerney

Author Rose McInerney

Rose combines her love of all things artfully-designed to connect women to a shared community of learning and a richer, more fulfilled self. As a passionate storyteller, published writer, and international traveler, Rose believes women can build a better world through powerful storytelling.

More posts by Rose McInerney

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