I look back at pictures and feel as if I had been there, but I wasn’t. In fact, in 2016, I was 9,000 miles away and very much absorbed in my own little world. The happenings of a brand new café in Mae Sot, Thailand honestly wasn’t on my mind.
Three years ago Braverly opened its doors for the first time. On this Fall day, life was business as usual for 99.9% of the world. Kids went to school. Government bodies met and argued about something. Somewhere a recent college grad moaned about the struggles of adulting.
But a small group of people in a quirky Thailand border town felt a little anxious and excited and completely full of anticipation. Their hearts beat a little faster, and their steps held a little bit more purpose. On that day, a dream was stepping into reality and breathing its first few breaths on its own.
Braverly was born.
A quick look at street view on Google Maps shows that simple, beautiful concrete building. From the street, you can see Braverly’s logo—that big, cursive B and the words “bikes. bagels. bags.” But once inside, you see that other word that pulses through the veins of this café and sewing center—brave.
Braverly came from the dream from an American who imagined a place that trained and empowered marginalized and oppressed women—moms, sisters, and aunties trying to build a better life for their family. From there, the idea of a café and sewing center slowly began to form. Not only would these spaces give women valuable business, life, and hands-on skills, they would provide opportunities to impact Mae Sot and possibly even the world.
Etched on the back wall is the slogan and driving force—three simple lines that inspire everything.
Every day the women in the Braverly family are challenged to live with courage over fear. They are stretched to dream scary, big, difficult dreams for themselves, their families, and the world. And because of their courageous decisions, they encourage bravery in others.
For three years, this has been the mission, and it has begun to make a mark on Mae Sot. Yet, there is a longing for more. This dare toward courage, this challenge to choose bravery is for the world. It’s a message we all need to hear and be wrecked by and choose every day. So while the café became known in Mae Sot, the dream grew.
What if Questions Inspire Bold Dreams
What if these beautiful handmade products—bags, wallets, clutches, and more—were sold across the world? What if these story-carrying products created by incredibly courageous women in Thailand found their way to the arms of women in the U.S., Spain, Kenya, and Mexico? What if a simple purse was a reminder for women all over the world to choose courage over fear every day, to dream intimidating dreams, and to encourage others to choose bravery?
It’s the question that seems to start every big and beautiful and terrifying adventure, doesn’t it? What if humans could fly through the sky and reach places we never imagined? What if we could connect the entire world through cables and satellites? What if we took a risk, a step out? What if we tried and failed? What if we tried and succeeded, and the world became a better place because of our courage?
For Braverly, the questions have always been simple—what if one woman found freedom, wholeness of heart, empowerment, and life in the Father? What if that one person became two became three became a whole family, community, a whole nation?
Why it all Matters to You
Last week, the dream stepped a little closer to reality when Braverly’s online store launched. Yes, people of America, you can now buy beautiful products made by incredibly brave women in Mae Sot, Thailand. You can show off a unique headband crafted from beautiful Thai fabric. You can carry a one-of-a-kind clutch or bag created by someone you have more in common with than you know.
The dream of Braverly was never just about Mae Sot, about the people who invest so much of their time and skills, heart and soul into this place. It was always about the world—about you and me. It was about all of us, because if we pause long enough, we just might see that we have more similarities than we ever could imagine.
You get the opportunity to be part of the Braverly story. You get to choose courage over fear, bravery over insecurity. What if we became a people marked by courage?
What if we were a people marked by Braverly?
Join the movement, and check out these handmade, story-carrying product here.