GLADSTONE, Mo. — When you walk into The Red Thread in Gladstone, Missouri, you’ll meet Hannah Coleman.
Coleman is debuting some of the clothes she made herself.
“I am a really girly girl,” she said. "I love dresses."
And you can tell by the stylish dresses and outfits she puts together.
From teen clothing to jewelry, this store is more than it appears, starting with the name: The Red Thread.
“It comes from a Chinese proverb,” lead designer and Coleman’s mother, Trish Coleman, said. “Everyone who's destined to meet is connected by a red thread, and it might stretch and it might tangle, but it'll never break.”
All the items are handmade either locally or from areas in Haiti, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.
Items that are bought here help families from around the world find jobs and homes, and also help educate children who are in orphanages.
“We want to see the entire world, have an opportunity to have a better life and it happens through kids,” The Red Thread owner Susan Pettit said.
For Hannah Coleman, it’s a feeling that hits close to home.
“I don't know how to put it into words, just quite happy about it that I could help someone that has less than us,” she said. “I know what it felt like when I was adopted myself. When I was in the orphanage and I didn't have much myself.”
Before being adopted at 6 years old, she lived in an orphanage and knows just how much the gift of giving means.
“I know they are truly happy when they have something as little as food, clothes, a roof over their head,” she said. “Something as small as that can make them happy. They treasure it.”
As she works alongside her mother, who taught her how to sew, and Pettit, Hannah Coleman said she hopes this can bring more people together, one red thread at a time.
“I hope that this can reach out to them and it can touch their hearts some way,” she said. “And I hope they can understand what others are going through and there are other people that aren't as fortunate as we are.”
“When someone buys a product here, then they're connected with that country and that thread is never broken,” Pettit said.
There is also a room dedicated to cat and dog lovers, with pictures of adoptable dogs and cats on the walls.
Store hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.