“My nature is to do things quietly in the background,” Sherri Rice explains. “But with the negative conversations that were happening about refugees, and Muslims in particular, I felt I needed to take a stand for what I believe the church is called to—loving first and pursuing peace, regardless of place or people.”
“I just felt that ‘standing’ through posting on social media was not enough—I needed to actually DO something. And to be able to play a part in enabling other women to support their families through small businesses is the icing on the cake!”
Sherri Rice’s “do something” is a spin-off project from her Texas-based slipcovering business August Blues. It’s called Pillows for Good.
Love of home decorating goes right back to Sherri’s earliest years. “When I think back to my childhood, I do remember that my very first slipcovering experience actually happened when I did not like the plaid upholstery on the furniture in my dollhouse—my solution was to make little slipcovers!”
“I have always loved sewing—I likely get that from my mom and grandmothers. They were also thrifty and made the most of what they had. And I have always loved home decorating. So, when you put that together, I guess you get slipcovers! I have to say, though, after I made my first one (for a hand-me-down couch in our first house), I thought I might never do it again. But eventually I was brave enough give it another try.
Fast forward to life in Texas, and Sherri was looking for ways to contribute to her family’s income. “I didn’t think a regular job would suit our family’s needs. So, I was considering starting a home business of some kind. When I looked around the house and realized that I had slipcovered everything in sight… I figured maybe people would pay me to do the thing that I was doing anyway!”
Sherri began creating practical, family-friendly home décor for customers like herself, whose lives are filled with family, boys, and dogs. “I believe that our homes exist to serve the needs of those who live there.”
“I have always felt that August Blues has been a gift to me and my family. From the beginning, I hoped that this business would be able to ‘pay it forward,’ to enable other women to be empowered to support themselves and their families.”
“Pillows for Good is where you find pillows covers for REAL life,” she adds. “These pillows are family-room pillows, pillow-fort pillows, sick-days-on-the-couch pillows, my-dog-sleeps-on-my-pillows pillows.”
Through beautiful, real-life pillow covers, Sherri is helping women in Iraq—those who were forced to leave their homes because of the violence of ISIS. She is helping these women rebuild their lives.
When Sherri sews to provide for her family, she empowers an Iraqi woman to do the same.
When Sherri sits at her sewing machine, carefully stitching pillow covers for her shop, there is now an Iraqi woman sitting at a sewing machine of her own, stitching up garments she will sell. Women like Om Hassan and Sikoot.
“My brain has always found respite in creative pursuits.” The very thing that brings respite and balance to Sherri’s busy life—and new life to women half a world away.