Some days are simply made for relaxing with exotic coffees, perhaps soft drinks or tea, having a tasteful lunch and most enjoyable of all, people watch.

Naturally women are the most fashionable and as you admire the feminine scenery you notice one woman wearing some stylish socks above or outside of her boots and you think, wow, why didn’t I think of that.

Well, fortunately a beautiful woman did think of that.

Her name is Melissa Hinnant and along with her husband, the Grace and Lace Company is her game.

Let’s meet her. Her story is a fascinating one.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, graceandlace.com photo credit

At her home, graceandlace.com she is happy to share.

“I’ve always been a DIY kinda girl. I grew up with a mom who always made homemade play dough and birthday cakes, and sewed our dance costumes. So I learned to “sew a straight line” very early in age.

In the spring of 2010 I was five months pregnant with a little girl. At a routine doctor’s visit, I was suddenly given the devastating news that without surgical intervention I would give birth to our daughter within 24 hours and she would not survive. I was rushed into emergency surgery to try to save her, and spent the remainder of my pregnancy in the hospital on strict horizontal bed rest. The days were incredibly L O N G, and since I couldn’t even sit up, I just had to do something with my hands! I started with a vision to crochet this tiny baby girl a blanket. And thus began and spurred my desire to sew, sew, sew.

For two weeks I lived in the hospital until doctors could no longer stop the labor. Our very tiny, but oh-so-perfect, baby girl was born. With lungs not yet developed enough to survive on her own, the Lord took her straight to Heaven.

Though heart-wrenching and devastating, I truly believe that out of this great tragedy has come our greatest victory.

My love for sewing and all things knit continued to grow. Late in the fall of 2011, I made my first pair of lacey leg warmers. Everywhere I went, people would stop and ask me where I got them. I put them up for sale online and in a matter of days I was overwhelmed with orders I could not possibly fulfill on my own! Now, just a few years later, Grace and Lace has become a full-blown women’s apparel company with trademarked designs, a full studio and warehouse, and friends and family as staff. A portion of every sale goes toward building orphanages in India!

It has been an exciting journey and we are beyond grateful for the many doors that have opened for us over the years, including all of the media opportunities we’ve been given. We are also incredibly grateful to have the most amazing mentors and team members, and loyal customers who keep coming back for more. We are humbled, grateful, and blessed!”

Others are grateful too and are happy to give her product praise.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, graceandlace.com photo credit

At the informative financial site smallbusinessrevolution.org they report, “A small team of employees is hard at work in Austin, Texas, at the headquarters of Grace and Lace. The office space and adjoining warehouse are fairly unassuming, but it would be a mistake to underestimate this company — or its shrewd founders, Melissa and Rick Hinnant.

Grace and Lace began in 2011 out of Melissa and Rick’s Home. The fledgling company made a single article of clothing: a lacy women’s “boot sock” that would stick out the top of a pair of boots and create an added design texture between footwear and pant leg. The boot sock struck the Hinnant’s as a niche item, until they promptly did $800,000 in sales in their first calendar year.”

They were doing so well that they made it to the carpet of the hit venture capitalist television show, Shark Tank.

More important, unlike most who sing and dance there, they got a deal.

The great reporting site gazettereview.com speaks to what happened to their company after the show. “Grace and Lace were really impacted by Shark Tank. Within 5 days they managed to make sales that grew to more than $1 million. They now have moved into a bigger facility and have hired 20 people.

In episode 9 of Season 6 (during the Update portion which airs so often), the Hinnnants said Barbara is a really good partner. Barbara introduced the Hinnants to the editor of Cosmopolitan, who featured them in the February 2014 edition.

Since appearing on the show they’ve done $6.5 million in sales and have opened orphanages in India as well. They have also taken 100 orphans into their homes and used some profits to better the lives of these children. Grace and Lace is doing great things and making women look great.”

As we can see, making money is not their sole motivation. They are involved in a fantastic cause that is making a difference in many lives.

Their Mission speaks to this.

We travel back to their home site. “When our “accidental company” started, we knew one thing: Grace & Lace would be more than just socks. While our desires deal with being a sought-after brand of quality, on-trend knits and clothing, and providing an incredible customer experience, we’re also making a REAL difference and changing the world. We fully believe that God has given us this business as a platform; a platform to inspire others to dream big and beyond their wildest imaginations. We work with diligence and do our very best, but leave the results to God. This is His business and we are simply the stewards.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, graceandlace.com  Photo Credit: Melissa and Rick Hinnant

As a teenager in 1999, instead of lying poolside, Melissa spent her summer with the poorest of poor in India. She worked helping those in need and most importantly bringing the love of Christ to orphans and those who did not know Him. She left there crying and praying, wishing she could do more. Our heart is to scoop these little children off the streets and give them shelter, food to eat, fresh well water to drink, clothes on their backs, and most importantly, to raise them in Christ. That dream is coming true!

In 2013, we made the decision to partner with House, where a portion of every sale would go toward building orphanages in India to house 50 orphans each.

The response to our brand has far exceeded our expectations, and as a result we were able to build two orphanages in the summer of 2014 and another five in 2015, taking a total of around 160 orphans off the street between them all!

For the first time in their lives, these children now have mattresses to sleep on, fresh water to drink, and food in their bellies every single day. They have backpacks and school supplies, uniforms, shoes, Bibles, and will now receive a private education. They have house parents to care for them and train them.

The little girls also have Grace and Lace socks to wear

In addition to the orphanages, we also had the blessing of funding a safe house for young women in 2015. Around 40 young women now have a safe place to live, avoiding the prolific sex trafficking that is so common in the area, while learning a trade in order to support themselves.”

What a wonderful story.

The Grace and Lace phenomenon teaches us many valuable life lessons including one very important one.

Most of us love to people watch and Grace and Lace enhances that recreation. Not only can women wear their unique attire and while doing so, they can help others around the world as well.

Now that’s a fashion trend that we hope catches on.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, graceandlace.com photo credit

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http://www.graceandlace.com/

http://smallbusinessrevolution.org/story/grace-and-lace/

http://gazettereview.com/2016/08/grace-and-lace-shark-tank-update/