A Toast to Designed For Joy 

Designed for Joy (DFJ), a nonprofit formed in 2017, is dedicated to providing women in crisis with stability and dignity through immediate employment and support.  

“Designed For Joy created a wealth of affirmation and love that watered a seed of hope within me,” said Designed For Joy Artisan Rhiannon. “The transformation I’ve experienced over this past year has been positively overwhelming, and it all began with an open door and an ‘I love you.’” 

The artisans employed by Designed For Joy are emerging from traumatic and life-altering situations, such as human trafficking, substance abuse, incarceration, and religious persecution. Most of the women who complete the Designed For Joy program have found full-time, safe, and dignified work. They have moved into permanent housing, purchased cars, and regained their self-worth.  

“I’m happy to share that we were able to provide our artisans with a raise. The 21 women helped so far this year earned $16 an hour,” said Cary Heise, Designed For Joy’s executive director and founder.  

In the last six years, the organization has paid over $400,000 in living wages and hired over 120 women — and they are ready to celebrate! Designed for Joy and Visit Raleigh are co-hosting an open house for DFJ’s sixth anniversary at the W. Cabarrus Street location on Thursday, August 24, from 5-8 p.m. Hear special remarks and take part in a champagne toast at 7 p.m. (a nonalcoholic option will be available). Sip on drinks from Red, White, Bubbly & Brew and nosh on delectables from the delicious charcuterie table catered by Graze Charcuterie.  

“The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh) is proud to collaborate with Designed For Joy. It is with pride that we gift their products at trade shows and client events as it allows us to share the story of a Wake County organization in the heart of the city that bolsters dignity, respect, and empowerment to the women of Designed For Joy. Meetings, conventions, and events change lives by creating jobs and opportunities. Sharing Designed For Joy products fuels Visit Raleigh’s goal of inclusivity, opportunity, and growth as a catalyst for economic development within our community,” explained Dennis Edwards, president and CEO of Visit Raleigh.  

Don’t miss this chance to support DFJ’s mission to provide stability for women in crisis! 


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