“God loves us with a never stopping, never giving-up, unbreaking, always and forever love,” reads the simple, yet profound, black words on white paper.
With each print of this Sally Lloyd-Jones quote, Callie Brannen hand letters it afresh and prays for the mothers in Iraq who are facing unimaginable horrors and need a breath of hope.
Callie, what part of Preemptive Love Coalition appealed to you?
Being a woman, I was so moved to hear the stories of women who are being put in impossible situations. Being an entrepreneur, I love the idea of helping women rebuild their life by giving them skills they can use for a lifetime. Being a mom, my heart aches for mothers and fathers having to watch their children suffer and not able to provide for them or have the medical treatment they need.
How did you decide to use part of your proceeds to benefit the people we serve?
I was compelled to take action. Donating a large monetary contribution is just not in the cards for us right now (read: two small boys and young business) but I knew I could do something. I deeply believe that we are each given gifts to use to make the world a better place. Others needed to know about the crisis in Iraq and I had the opportunity to become a small platform to bring light to the situation. Each "God loves His children" print is hand lettered and every cent earned goes to PLC. I chose to hand letter each one so I would be forced to pause and think/pray for the women and families that will be impacted.
What do you envision your creative contribution doing?
I wanted my clients to be able to purchase a gift for their friends, children, or loved ones and know that their purchase would have a ripple effect across the world. Even if they did not purchase my print, my hope is that attention would be drawn to the situation and PLC.
Have you always been interested in the MidEast region?
No. It's easy to have a microscope view and only see my quiet life in Georgia. After reading more about the crisis in Iraq, I became very interested. How could I have my microscope lens on when I now knew of the horrible reality for so many others?
Did anything surprise you as you learned about the individuals we are helping?
Hearing on the news about the terror that ISIS is raining on the people in the Middle East, I felt like there was nothing I could possibly do. When I read about the work that PLC is doing in the Middle East, I immediately knew I could do something. I could join hands and help defy ISIS.
Does “Love first; ask questions later” resonate with you? Why?
Yes. We are called to love others, no matter the cost to us and no matter the circumstance. Only through genuinely loving and caring about people can we truly meet their needs.
How did you get started in your artistic field?
I have always loved pretty lettering and often volunteered to do small projects for friends. I had a deep desire to create beautiful things. I finally started my etsy shop after about a year of being a stay at home mom with our first son. Callie Brannen Design has evolved so much over the last few years and is now almost unrecognizable from where I began.
What is the creative process like for you?
Most of my creating is done late at night after everyone has gone to bed. As a mom to two young boys, this time is invaluable. Most of the time, I am inspired by truth others have spoken in to my life or what I have been learning recently.
I am a stay at home mom (we really need a better job description- I never stay home) and run my etsy business during naps and after bedtime. I drink a LOT of coffee.
Tell us something unique about you.
I have two young boys, Moses (3) and Oliver (6 months). We have moved 6 times in 6 years. We have gotten really good at it but hope not to test our skills for a while.
Callie, your heart for the women of Iraq inspires us. With every letter you swirl onto paper, goes out from your hands a testament to that love and a reminder to all of us to look a little broader, see a little deeper. Thank you.