Gracie Moakler :: Miriam Designs
Miriam Designs started in 2012 after meeting women in local rehab facilities around Nashville. I started to get to know some of the women and hear their stories. They were beautiful stories of redemption and restoration… but due to the fact that the beginning of most of the stories involved criminal records, these amazing women had a hard timefinding a job. I was a fashion major who loved to create… so I began to brainstorm how I could help. I came up with the idea to teach them to make jewelry as a way to make a living, which then turned into Miriam Designs. Miriam has grown way more than I could have imagined. We started with basic jewelry making, then moved into metal working, clothing, and are now developing a home goods line coming summer ’15.
Nashville has been SO kind to us. I have met so many talented people who have pitched in to help make Miriam what it is. I started this at 23 having NO idea what I was doing, and I have had the best people come alongside and show me the ropes. fashionABLE has been a huge supporter and source of encouragement for me in particular. From local stores carrying our brand, to the orders that come in online, to those who are signed up for our monthly jewelry box, we feel so much love from Nashville.
The name Miriam came from the story of Exodus. (Steve actually came up with it!) In Exodus 15, the Israelites have just come out of bondage in Egypt and crossed the red sea without harm. They look back and see that he Egyptians have been drowned, and in Exodus 15:20, it says “Miriam picked up a tambourine and led the women in rejoicing”. We felt like that’s where we are in these women’s stories. They have come through such hard things (addiction, homelessness, etc) and we are celebrating with them on the other side through creativity.
Our products are unique because they are all designed and handmade here in Nashville. We teach our girls all skills necessary to make everything on our website! We are very inspired by nature, and a “simplistic bohemian” style if you will. Totally just made that phrase up =) We want to create pieces that make women feel beautiful & pieces that they can wear every day… all while not breaking the bank. We want to provide a way for people to purchase items that they like stylistically while also making a difference in our community through conscious purchasing.
We have 2 women from the Nashville Rescue Mission who work for us and make all of our products. (Excited to hire more as we grow!) Not only do we teach them how to sew and make jewelry, we also help them open bank accounts, find apartments, etc. We want to help them get back on their feet and stay on the journey of recovery! We met these women because we go in every other month to the mission and teach jewelry making. We love making a difference and serving in our community. We also teaching jewelry making at Park Center, which is a place in Nashville that provides services for those with mental illnesses. We love taking our skills and using them to give back wherever we can.